“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”~ George Orwell
Let me say it again; George Orwell was a man before his time. Or rather, he missed his time by about thirty years. In his classic dystopian tome, 1984, Orwell (writing in 1948) makes a number of staggering predictions about the future of politics. It is scary how right he has become.
This point was driven home for me over the past few days as I have listened to various pundits on television talking about the status of the attacks we are launching on “The Islamic State” and whoever else it is that we are attacking this week. The one thing that almost all the pundits who support the war are saying is that it will not be over until the terrorists are ready for it to be over. They usually go on to say (often in the same sentence) that they will never give in. By extension, they are saying that they are perfectly fine with engaging on a war that will never end.
This was the last piece of the puzzle that needed to fall into place before I could truly say that 1984 had finally and truly arrived. The novel begins when Winston, thinking how the news reports seem to keep changing the opponents in the never ending war hat Oceana is fighting. (Is it Eastasia? I thought we used to be fighting Eurasia). He later learns that the perpetual war is Good for the state in that it instills fear in the population and provides ready consumption of the output of the factories of the war machine.
What are the other pieces of the puzzle, you may ask. Well, those have actually been in place for a while:
“Big Brother is watching you”~ George Orwell1984
A government spying on its own people is one of them; and the one that most people could probably quote. Government “Of the people, by the people, and for the people” as Lincoln put it could never – would never spy on its own people. That thought would be inconceivable. Yet, with recent revelations out of the NSA, this is exactly, what we have.
“Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.”~ George Orwell1984
People believing what the party to which they belong without questioning whether it is true is another. By setting-up Faux News as a mouthpiece for the right and MSNBC as a mouthpiece for the left (and all the others falling toward the end of the spectrum their corporations would prefer them to) we have a noise machine that removes the necessity – neigh, the ability to think for ourselves. “I saw it on TV; it must be true.” or “Well, they said on [insert partisan ‘news’ source here]…” are two of the warning signs that you are talking to someone who really needs to do more research.
“He who controls the past controls the future.”~ George Orwell1984
Need I say more? Revisionist histories and gerrymandering have made the political system in the US a pantomime of what it once was.
“thoughtcrime”~ George Orwell1984
In the "newspeak" of today, using your first amendment rights to ask questions is called "being un-American." It is now considered scandalous to point-out that both parties are lying to the general population. There is very little difference between the two. They are both pandering to the wealthy at the expense of the poor and paying lip-service to the masses.
Wherever you are today, I hope that you will commit a "thoughtcrime" today and THINK FOR YOURSELF!