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Orwell's classic '1984' turns 70 amid enduring interest

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By Pauline FROISSART

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The book endures and will continue to endure as the world we live in now becomes more like what is written in the book.

China's Social Credit System is a very good example of what Orwell could foresee.

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A few years ago, I'd have said Huxley's variation on dystopia was the more prescient one. But with the rise of rightists across the globe, I'm no longer sure--certainly soma and endless sex/entertainment is still being embraced, but the jackboots are walking again.

Anyway, as Neil Postman put it years back:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that our fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us.

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When I first read the book some 35 years ago I was comfortable knowing that it could never happen. Now here I am today watching it become reality.

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I read it for the first time very recently, and thought it was very relevant to our time.

Animal Farm is also a good read, and maybe just as relevant as 1984.

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Thats because Google, Facebook, Twitter and every other social media is stealing our data and reselling it, what is privacy? Funny word and no meaning..

He predicted it correctly and perfectly. 5G will only cause more data leaks soon, Google it if your unaware

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Orwell was prescient.

The concept of "thought police" seems very real today.

Police in the UK and the Continent are interrogating, arresting and charging citizens for "hate" speech.

Which they alone can define.

And traditional liberals are defending this fascist policing of speech.

All animals are equal. It's just that some animals are more equal than other animals.

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Jcapan,

Thx for the recap of those two points of view, would seem BOTH are happening at the same time.

We are headed for rather nasty times, I don't want to be around for the next BIG correction\setback it WILL be a doozy!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Double think:

1: "You're pregnant?! Congratulations on your precious little baby!"

2: "You got knocked up?! You can abort it. It's just a blob of cells."

Thought and speech police: Facebook, Google, Twitter, media and political elites, perpetually 'offended' and 'triggered' SJW's, etc. "You dared to utter something offensive! You're fired!"

It will get much worse. 1984's scenario will be fully and completely upon us or our descendants when the coming one world government rules with an iron fist. God help us all.

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I graduated from high school in 1984 and this was the book to read and have. Unfortunately, in so many ways some of it is now true.

January 1991: people stand in front of TV sets to see announcements of the start of the 1991 Gulf War wich is on the radio and TV, 24/7 and orchestrated as entertainment.

1994: O.J. Simpson trial - everyone stands in front of the 'telescreens'.

'porn controls the prols': everybody gets so obsessed with 'celebrities' famous for sex tapes, and other stupid things. President Bill Clinton gets impeached for stupid adultery acts.

2001: 9-11. George W Bush said that day that Iraq is the greatest enemy of the world, but it was al-Qaida who did the terrible WTC destructions. And you don't hear about al-Qaida anymore, do you? Usama bin Laden is killed ten years after the WTCs are destroyed. Why is that? Everything is Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Just like Oceana is not (now) at war with Eurasia but Eastasia, always has been!

And out of the ashes of Iraq rises the real menace of ISIL, which we don't hear of anymore. Trump announced this year that ISIL is defeated and that our (unauthorized by Congress) ground troops would be leaving Syria immediately - but he lies! And he keeps inventing a 'crisis' and a 'war' against Hispanics/migrants ('animals') that doesn't exist yet he kidnaps their children and has held them in cages for over a year. Hitler and Francisco Franco and the fascist regime of Argentina did that before.

And many newspapers tell the most outrageous lies with constructed news stories. Walter Cronkite said in the preface of my copy of '1984': '1984 may not arrive on time but there's 1985'.

Is there any hope for the U.S.A.?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

President Bill Clinton gets impeached for stupid adultery acts.

Astounding? And Democrats want to impeach President Trump on things that happened before he even became president, go figure

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Astounding? And Democrats want to impeach President Trump on things that happened before he even became president, go figure

Um, no we don't.

We want to impeach him on Obstruction of Justice.

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@Concerned,

Your doublethink example is completely different from Orwell's concept. It's perfectly normal to see the same thing differently in different contexts. A mountain can be both a thing of beauty or just a big obstacle.

Having an opinion on something is fine. Howling down the opinion of others with no reasoning except to apply labels such as left or right or liberal or fascist seems mindless. But as they said, ignorance is strength.

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In today's brave new world, victory goes to the manipulators.

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bass4funkToday 02:34 pm JSTPresident Bill Clinton gets impeached for stupid adultery acts.

Astounding? And Democrats want to impeach President Trump on things that happened before he even became president, go figure

Collaboration with foreign powers, tax evasion, sex crimes - those are crimes. And after entering the WH - more crimes. Collaboration with foreign powers, illegal military actions, mass kidnappings of ethnic children, gas attacks on people and violating foreign airspace, neglect of duties, neglect of disaster aid relief, hoarding, stealing, inciting violence, obstructing justice - so many more. Crimes! And all impeachable offenses.

President Bill Clinton got impeached for stupid (but not illegal) adultery acts. And they were with stupid consenting adults too. Not incestuous acts either. What Clinton did was just plain stupid. And yet the sick things that Donnie Douchebag says and does is alright?! I call that doublethink. I call that quintuple-plus-ungood!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Collaboration with foreign powers,

The Obama administration knew about the Russians interfering in our elections why did he not mention it immediately and only years later.

tax evasion, sex crimes - those are crimes. 

Nothing he did during his Presidency, it was when he was a private citizen, but good luck trying to prosecute or indicting him.

And after entering the WH - more crimes. Collaboration with foreign powers, illegal military actions, mass kidnappings of ethnic children, gas attacks on people and violating foreign airspace, neglect of duties, neglect of disaster aid relief, hoarding, stealing, inciting violence, obstructing justice - so many more. Crimes! And all impeachable offenses. 

The other stuff is just liberal echo chamber talking points that have zero merit, even if they impeach him, the Republicans won’t remove him. Gosh, the Democrats really want to lose badly next year. They just can’t leave this crap alone.

President Bill Clinton got impeached for stupid (but not illegal) adultery acts.

He lied under oath and if he wants to play around on his wife, take the woman to a hotel, not while you’re on the job at my tax payer extent.

And they were with stupid consenting adults too. Not incestuous acts either. What Clinton did was just plain stupid.

He got disbarred, so some good news there.

And yet the sick things that Donnie Douchebag says and does is alright?! I call that doublethink. I call that quintuple-plus-ungood!

What?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The Obama administration subsequently issued a set of sanctions to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and booted 35 Russian diplomats the US accused of being intelligence officers.

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FYI: President Clinton was not impeached for any sex act. That is and was his personal business. President Clinton was impeached for suborning perjury... persuading Monica Lewinsky to lie under oath about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The Obama administration subsequently issued a set of sanctions to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and booted 35 Russian diplomats the US accused of being intelligence officers.

Wow! And still Putin showed Obama the finger and took Crimea.

FYI: President Clinton was not impeached for any sex act. That is and was his personal business.

No, it is not his personal business when he is the active President in the WH. Liberals are going after Trump for cheating on his wife when he was a private citizen, but Clinton sleeping around as public official who’s salary is paid by the tax payer is supposed to be off limits? This is not Saturday evening bar talk now.

President Clinton was impeached for suborning perjury...

Exactly! Should have never done it and lied about it with her.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This thread is about ‘1984’ not Trump!

Where is JT’s thought police when they’re needed?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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