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


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#46    Avatar Samantha Ai

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 04:17 AM

Stop Taking Orwell's Name in Vain

Here are more examples of the overuse of Orwellian.
  • Forbes attacked Obamacare as Orwellian in 2012.
  • Common Dreams placed Happy Meals in the sphere of, "McDonald's Orwellian manipulations."
  • The beverage industry characterized Bloomberg's soda ban in terms of Orwellian grave rolling.
George Orwell himself would have been against that.

Quote

Orwell would likely disapprove of the use--the overuse--of his name.

That's because Orwell crusaded against clichés like few public figures have before or since. As he said in his widely cited 1946 writing treatise Politics and the English Language: "Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print."

*snip*

Does it matter that "Orwellian" has become a conveniently meaningless cliché? Orwell's literature says yes. The destructive power of squishy political language was at the heart of Animal Farm, as the sinister shift of the slogan "Four legs good; two legs bad" to "Four legs good; two legs better" over the course of the novel shows.

Then again, that a public intellectual's name would come to represent a hazy collection of things he opposed might not surprise Orwell. Over and over again in his career, he pointed out how writers and orators exploited terms that seemed erudite, using their veneer of credibility to prop up otherwise unpalatable ideas. It's a practice that people today might call... well, never mind.

The author loathed cliches and conveniently murky political buzzwords—like "Orwellian."


#47    Michelle

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 05:19 AM

Would it make anyone feel better if it's closer to the Demolition Man, The Fifth Element or even Eureka? The original Star Trek had technologies and visions that have come to fruition many years later.

There are voice recognition smart homes with security systems, which people can activate remotely and it can be hacked very easily. Personally, I value my privacy too much to have it in my house. It's not that I have anything to hide, it's just some things are personal...like having sex with my husband.


#48    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:07 AM

View Posttapirmusic, on 10 July 2013 - 01:47 AM, said:

Fine.  But don't be such a skeptic that you fail to heed Orwell's messages.  There's a balance somewhere here.
I'm afraid the balance is way too optimistic for Orwell to have been able to imagine it, and probably not of any great literary value -- kinda like Star Trek.


#49    Avatar Samantha Ai

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:06 AM

The world looks nothing like Orwell envisioned it.

Posted Image

Please keep in mind the world is more than just America/Canada and the UK.

So many societies today, most in fact, are no where near 1984 and perhaps have other problems as to not even have the luxury of making such comparisons.

On the other hand they just might not have less problems and just disagree with comparing reality to fiction.




The world of 1984 also had only one political party. Those who keep complaining about are two-party system yet claim we are 1984 are so far from the truth...

Edited by The world needs you, 10 July 2013 - 07:50 AM.


#50    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:52 AM

View PostMichelle, on 10 July 2013 - 05:19 AM, said:

Would it make anyone feel better if it's closer to the Demolition Man, The Fifth Element or even Eureka? The original Star Trek had technologies and visions that have come to fruition many years later.

There are voice recognition smart homes with security systems, which people can activate remotely and it can be hacked very easily. Personally, I value my privacy too much to have it in my house. It's not that I have anything to hide, it's just some things are personal...like having sex with my husband.
I don't think Orwell's fear was of technology but of the uses it might be put to.  Some human beings seem to have a partly sexual sadistic desire for power, which to them means the ability to control and thereby humiliate and destroy others.  That a group of such people should get power and have such technology is truly terrifying.

That such technologies have been invented by other authors or even in real life and have found other, more enlightened, uses, is to be expected.  The Orwellian view is an unreal distortion of human nature.


#51    Avatar Samantha Ai

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:24 AM

*our two-party system

View PostFrank Merton, on 10 July 2013 - 07:52 AM, said:

I don't think Orwell's fear was of technology but of the uses it might be put to.  Some human beings seem to have a partly sexual sadistic desire for power, which to them means the ability to control and thereby humiliate and destroy others.  That a group of such people should get power and have such technology is truly terrifying.

That such technologies have been invented by other authors or even in real life and have found other, more enlightened, uses, is to be expected. The Orwellian view is an unreal distortion of human nature.

The varying views of what this work of fiction meant, especially as put forth by you and questionmark, reveal exposure and thinking above the ordinary.

Those views are most interesting especially in their deviation from the overused cliche of proclaiming it was a prophetic work of mystical proportions (just as everyone can claim Nostradamus meant this or that regardless of the era they are in) or a cautionary tale.

It is as if now that society is turning away from religious texts they have a void to fill and do so through the canonization of others works of literature. It is near religious for some it seems.

Edited by The world needs you, 10 July 2013 - 08:27 AM.


#52    Avatar Samantha Ai

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:26 AM

Quote

Today “Nineteen Eighty-Four” seems more historical than futuristic; an imagining of what England might have looked like if a totalitarian regime had triumphed. So many of the novel’s details — the food rationings, the razor shortages, the smell of boiled cabbage — speak to its time, while the nature of the party is overtly Stalinist (purges, secret police, big mustaches). As D. J. Taylor notes in his biography of Orwell, “the appeal – and the resonance – of ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to many of its original readers stemmed from the fact that it depicted a world that, by and large, they already knew.”

What few comparisons one might draw between the world of “Ingsoc” and contemporary America would have to be so cripplingly superficial as to be practically useless. Surveillance of citizens in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is done so overtly that posters reminding you of the fact are displayed everywhere, whereas the NSA’s en masse mining of metadata is performed in such secrecy that even members of Congress admit to being baffled by it. Nor is there anything “Orwellian” about the nickname Boundless Informant, as Megan Garber claims. If anything, the name is embarrassingly straightforward. (Was that really the best they could do?)

*snip*

It’s the same with surveillance. In its contemporary form, it is far more insidious; with no overarching single-party State, culpability is extended to the various companies and corporations that ordinary citizens, no doubt foolishly, entrust with heaps of private information. Whatever else the NSA leaks can tell us about government surveillance, we need to consider the question of how much independence we are willing to relinquish in order to be plugged in all the time. George Packer, writing on the New Yorker’s website, rightly said that “it’s sinister when Big Brother is watching you, but it’s even more sinister when Big Brother is you, sharing.”

What everybody gets wrong about Orwell

Edited by The world needs you, 10 July 2013 - 08:34 AM.


#53    third_eye

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:21 AM

THe NSA is watching ... and approves ...

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#54    Phaeton80

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 09:58 AM

View PostThe world needs you, on 10 July 2013 - 07:06 AM, said:

The world looks nothing like Orwell envisioned it.

Posted Image

Please keep in mind the world is more than just America/Canada and the UK.

So many societies today, most in fact, are no where near 1984 and perhaps have other problems as to not even have the luxury of making such comparisons.

On the other hand they just might not have less problems and just disagree with comparing reality to fiction.




The world of 1984 also had only one political party. Those who keep complaining about are two-party system yet claim we are 1984 are so far from the truth...

Are you kidding me? The specific envisioned topographic zones are just about the least relevant and are probably the last thing Orwell thought would become reality exactly as is painted in his prophetic novel. Its more about the concept of Unions, the loss of sovereignty of individual states - the end of nations, not the specific borders / zones those unions occupy. Come on.

You go on to state that we are not at all like 1984 because we do not have one, but a two party system?! Seriously? Ignoring the rather obvious notion this two party system is in fact one at the end of the day, you would seriously argue this?
If 'one' cannot discern the unequivocal parallels that are overly evident between present trends and that which can be found in the mentioned novel, I dont think any level of discussion can change that.
Personally concluding that such a person would be, quite literally, blindfolded.

Edited by Phaeton80, 10 July 2013 - 09:59 AM.


#55    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:05 AM

View PostPhaeton80, on 10 July 2013 - 09:58 AM, said:

Are you kidding me? The specific envisioned topographic zones are just about the least relevant and are probably the last thing Orwell thought would become reality exactly as is painted in his prophetic novel. Its more about the concept of Unions, the loss of sovereignty of individual states - the end of nations, not the specific borders / zones those unions occupy. Come on.

You go on to state that we are not at all like 1984 because we do not have one, but a two party system?! Seriously? Ignoring the rather obvious notion this two party system is in fact one at the end of the day, you would seriously argue this?
If 'one' cannot discern the unequivocal parallels that are overly evident between present trends and that which can be found in the mentioned novel, I dont think any level of discussion can change that.
Personally concluding that such a person would be, quite literally, blindfolded.
I live in a one-party state and think I am freer and less subject to propaganda than Americans, most especially if you include advertising.

That said, I don't see where what you assert is true at all.  You say there are "unequivocal parallels" between present trends and those of the novel.  You have set yourself a high target there -- "unequivocal."  No possibility of equivocation.  Anyway, if for no other reason than the entertainment value, I would like to see an attempt at such a thing


#56    Mr.United_Nations

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:06 AM

According to Congress CIA spying on Americans IS NOT ILLEGAL.

"In 1947, when Congress voted to create the CIA as part of the National Security Act, there was great concern about whether the CIA could operate in the United States and against Americans."

http://www.thirdworl...IA_Home_LS.html


#57    Phaeton80

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 10 July 2013 - 10:05 AM, said:

I live in a one-party state and think I am freer and less subject to propaganda than Americans, most especially if you include advertising.

That said, I don't see where what you assert is true at all.  You say there are "unequivocal parallels" between present trends and those of the novel.  You have set yourself a high target there -- "unequivocal."  No possibility of equivocation.  Anyway, if for no other reason than the entertainment value, I would like to see an attempt at such a thing

Lets have a go then shall we?

- structural phasing out of individual nation's sovereignty;
- structural phasing in of collectivism, unionisation of homogenic states / zones;
- continuous centralisation of power, assets;
- continuous underminement of the 'family unit';
- invasive / illegal actions against people's / citizens privacy by the ruling body;
- further intwinement of corporation & state / union;
- continuous underminement of the rights & freedoms of the people / citizens in favor of 'security' (swapping freedom for security by way of fear);
- assasinations of citizens without any form of judicial trial and or hearing;
- rising application of 'newspeak';
- 'telescreens' in every room,all public and private places;
- 'peace through war';
- growing class segregation;
- ever growing taxation while governed by self enriching corrupt politicians;
- continuous movement towards world institutions, world currency, the globalisation mindset;
- etc etc.

Edited by Phaeton80, 10 July 2013 - 10:58 AM.


#58    SolarPlexus

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:00 PM

And what is the point of this thread? To convince us... lie to us , that we're *not* going there? Pfff, sorry, but it seems only the OP wants to believe it so. Signs are everywhere and you'd need to be far removed from reality to claim such.

Edited by SolarPlexus, 10 July 2013 - 01:08 PM.

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#59    Frank Merton

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:06 PM

View PostPhaeton80, on 10 July 2013 - 10:58 AM, said:

Lets have a go then shall we?

- structural phasing out of individual nation's sovereignty;
- structural phasing in of collectivism, unionisation of homogenic states / zones;
- continuous centralisation of power, assets;
- continuous underminement of the 'family unit';
- invasive / illegal actions against people's / citizens privacy by the ruling body;
- further intwinement of corporation & state / union;
- continuous underminement of the rights & freedoms of the people / citizens in favor of 'security' (swapping freedom for security by way of fear);
- assasinations of citizens without any form of judicial trial and or hearing;
- rising application of 'newspeak';
- 'telescreens' in every room,all public and private places;
- 'peace through war';
- growing class segregation;
- ever growing taxation while governed by self enriching corrupt politicians;
- continuous movement towards world institutions, world currency, the globalisation mindset;
- etc etc.
Sheesh.  You ignored the word "unequivocal."   Your tests are as equivocal as a Delphic oracle.    Some of them are even false.  Disqualified


#60    aztek

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 01:07 PM

he is right we are not in Orwell's 1984, what we have now is a lot worst, Orwell could not have imagined what we have now.

RESIDENT TROLL.




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