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Sorry, We're Not Living in Orwell's "1984"


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#106    Frank Merton

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Posted 12 July 2013 - 10:33 AM

At least I get nice red tomatoes.


#107    joc

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:10 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 12 July 2013 - 10:33 AM, said:

At least I get nice red tomatoes.
And you can throw them at the Hate Screen!

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#108    Almagest

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Posted 13 July 2013 - 03:32 AM

View PostTutankhaten-pasheri, on 12 July 2013 - 10:29 AM, said:

I know to some that political correctness is a shibboleth that must not be attacked because they say it is all about being "nice" to others. But this is not so, for being "nice" and good manners are simply that, good manners. Political correctness is the "newspeak" of 1984. If people wish to be boorish and ugly in their use of words, then that is their affair, not that of the state, but political correctness (newspeak), is totalitarian in a way that I am sure Orwell would understand. This "newspeak" combined with the state survailance is as bad, if not worse, than anything conducted by the Stasi, and indicate to me that we certainly are living in 1984, and have been for a long time.

This I agree with. I've always been of the opinion that if you limit the amount of words people can use, you limit the amount of ideas they can express. I think Newspeak and the Two Minutes Hate are the most enduring ideas in the book.

I agree with the basic premise of this thread, that we aren't living in Nineteen Eighty-Four, but it's a great novel that still has a lot of relevance in today's world. I would caution conservatives who laud it though, George Orwell was a devoted socialist. ;)

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#109    treii28

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 06:19 PM

View PostFrank Merton, on 10 July 2013 - 12:52 AM, said:

Animal Farm and 1984 were well-written distopic novels of the [then] future.  They were fiction and as it turned out were utterly wrong.   Don't let great writing cause confusion between fiction and truth

While taking any work of fiction 100% serious is misguided, saying that a work of dystopian political fiction such as 1984 and animal farm 'turned out utterly wrong' is equally misguided. Writers of political and dystopian fiction examine existing trends and realities and stretch them out to seemingly implausible extremes to demonstrate conclusions more vividly about the nature of those realities.
As many people in this thread have pointed out, there are multiple means of surveillance currently available. Even if they are not all publicly accessible in real time, we have seen through scenarios such as the Snowden NSA leaks that the government can gain access to them and through events such as the Boston Marathon Bomber, that even the private videos, email and other information can be subpeona'd in mass under the right combination of circumstances.
So the nature of the surveillance takes on different forms, but the end results do bear many striking similarities. And it does not end with the surveillance. Consider the 'newspeak' and compare that with things such as internet slang (in regards to 'dumbing down' and simplifying language) or political correctness (in terms of making certain words and the concepts they represent taboo akin to causing you to loose esteem, employment, reputation, etc.) Consider the obfuscatory language used by politicians such that we no longer have 'taxes' but they enact 'revenue enhancements'. Even down to the naming of bureaus and agencies: the Department of Defense is the government agency entrusted with carrying out acts of pre-emptive warfare, the Department of Justice is primarily involved with putting people in prison, and the so-called 'Department of Welfare' has overseen steady increases in both poverty levels and wage disparity since it's inception.
To say that the notions in Animal Farm were 'utterly wrong' is to not understand the ruling class as it exists today. We see the healthcare bill and numerous other pieces of legislation going through congress.... with exemptions for members of congress and all of their friends in the larger lobbies such as unions, etc. Some animals are more equal then others it seems!

Works of fiction are just that, works of fiction. But when written in a political-activist sense, they can be used to draw attention to specific wrongs and their potential outcomes in the real world. That doesn't mean reading them verbatim and expecting a caged rat to be strapped to your face. If anything, the three biggest mistakes Orwell made in 1984 in ascending order were: assuming government would give out cigarettes and alcohol, assuming government would prohibit sexual activity (in fact the opposite is true on those two counts) and putting what amounts to an 'expiration date' on the front cover so people can assume they are 'out of the woods' when it comes to some of the potential predictions he made.


#110    joc

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 05:53 PM

View Posttreii28, on 25 July 2013 - 06:19 PM, said:

While taking any work of fiction 100% serious is misguided, saying that a work of dystopian political fiction such as 1984 and animal farm 'turned out utterly wrong' is equally misguided. Writers of political and dystopian fiction examine existing trends and realities and stretch them out to seemingly implausible extremes to demonstrate conclusions more vividly about the nature of those realities.
As many people in this thread have pointed out, there are multiple means of surveillance currently available. Even if they are not all publicly accessible in real time, we have seen through scenarios such as the Snowden NSA leaks that the government can gain access to them and through events such as the Boston Marathon Bomber, that even the private videos, email and other information can be subpeona'd in mass under the right combination of circumstances.
So the nature of the surveillance takes on different forms, but the end results do bear many striking similarities. And it does not end with the surveillance. Consider the 'newspeak' and compare that with things such as internet slang (in regards to 'dumbing down' and simplifying language) or political correctness (in terms of making certain words and the concepts they represent taboo akin to causing you to loose esteem, employment, reputation, etc.) Consider the obfuscatory language used by politicians such that we no longer have 'taxes' but they enact 'revenue enhancements'. Even down to the naming of bureaus and agencies: the Department of Defense is the government agency entrusted with carrying out acts of pre-emptive warfare, the Department of Justice is primarily involved with putting people in prison, and the so-called 'Department of Welfare' has overseen steady increases in both poverty levels and wage disparity since it's inception.
To say that the notions in Animal Farm were 'utterly wrong' is to not understand the ruling class as it exists today. We see the healthcare bill and numerous other pieces of legislation going through congress.... with exemptions for members of congress and all of their friends in the larger lobbies such as unions, etc. Some animals are more equal then others it seems!

Works of fiction are just that, works of fiction. But when written in a political-activist sense, they can be used to draw attention to specific wrongs and their potential outcomes in the real world. That doesn't mean reading them verbatim and expecting a caged rat to be strapped to your face. If anything, the three biggest mistakes Orwell made in 1984 in ascending order were: assuming government would give out cigarettes and alcohol, assuming government would prohibit sexual activity (in fact the opposite is true on those two counts) and putting what amounts to an 'expiration date' on the front cover so people can assume they are 'out of the woods' when it comes to some of the potential predictions he made.
I don't really see 1984 as 'predictions' of any sort.   Why do you think the Government is so against cigarettes?  Because the government doesn't own the cigarette companies like Cuba does.   The point anyway was not that the Government was doling out ciggys, but that, the ciggys, being  so bad,  the Prollies had to hold them tilted upright to keep the tobacco from falling out while thinking  they were the best ciggys ever made....the point thusly made was that the Prollies put their whole Faith and Trust in whatever Big Brother gave them, said to them, offered them...that Big Brother was the bestest of the best and why would anyone not love BB?  The point:  The people trusted Government more than they trusted anything else.

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#111    preacherman76

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 06:59 PM

View Posttreii28, on 25 July 2013 - 06:19 PM, said:

While taking any work of fiction 100% serious is misguided, saying that a work of dystopian political fiction such as 1984 and animal farm 'turned out utterly wrong' is equally misguided. Writers of political and dystopian fiction examine existing trends and realities and stretch them out to seemingly implausible extremes to demonstrate conclusions more vividly about the nature of those realities.
As many people in this thread have pointed out, there are multiple means of surveillance currently available. Even if they are not all publicly accessible in real time, we have seen through scenarios such as the Snowden NSA leaks that the government can gain access to them and through events such as the Boston Marathon Bomber, that even the private videos, email and other information can be subpeona'd in mass under the right combination of circumstances.
So the nature of the surveillance takes on different forms, but the end results do bear many striking similarities. And it does not end with the surveillance. Consider the 'newspeak' and compare that with things such as internet slang (in regards to 'dumbing down' and simplifying language) or political correctness (in terms of making certain words and the concepts they represent taboo akin to causing you to loose esteem, employment, reputation, etc.) Consider the obfuscatory language used by politicians such that we no longer have 'taxes' but they enact 'revenue enhancements'. Even down to the naming of bureaus and agencies: the Department of Defense is the government agency entrusted with carrying out acts of pre-emptive warfare, the Department of Justice is primarily involved with putting people in prison, and the so-called 'Department of Welfare' has overseen steady increases in both poverty levels and wage disparity since it's inception.
To say that the notions in Animal Farm were 'utterly wrong' is to not understand the ruling class as it exists today. We see the healthcare bill and numerous other pieces of legislation going through congress.... with exemptions for members of congress and all of their friends in the larger lobbies such as unions, etc. Some animals are more equal then others it seems!

Works of fiction are just that, works of fiction. But when written in a political-activist sense, they can be used to draw attention to specific wrongs and their potential outcomes in the real world. That doesn't mean reading them verbatim and expecting a caged rat to be strapped to your face. If anything, the three biggest mistakes Orwell made in 1984 in ascending order were: assuming government would give out cigarettes and alcohol, assuming government would prohibit sexual activity (in fact the opposite is true on those two counts) and putting what amounts to an 'expiration date' on the front cover so people can assume they are 'out of the woods' when it comes to some of the potential predictions he made.

Welcome to the boards treii. Great first post. Looking forward to reading your opinions on other subjects.

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#112    Detective Mystery 2014

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 07:12 AM

Come back, Treii!; Treii, come back (said like the famous scene from "Shane")! Seriously, I hope that you'll drop a few more great posts when you get a chance. I don't disagree with a thing in your post. Both Orwell and Huxley sound like prophets (spirit opposed to letter), even though their books aren't always identical to current events.

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#113    Yamato

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 09:07 AM

View Postjoc, on 26 July 2013 - 05:53 PM, said:

Why do you think the Government is so against cigarettes?
:blink:

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