Of the many great books that are mental maps for ideologies George Orwell’s “1984” is probably not considered one of them. Should it be, or is it simply the work of a great visionary?
Orwell did not hesitate to add detail of his vision for society some 40 years into his future. And much like many books purposely designed to guide followers of an ideology, he was not wrong in his predictions, he was just some 40 years short in his timeframe. As we look at events of the last 15 to 20 years and watch the progression of Orwell’s predictions coming to fruition in America today, should we celebrate Orwell or, as we are doing to much of American history, should we erase Orwell and burn his book. To hide from the truth.
One of the overriding themes Orwell examines is the roll of truth and facts as they are used by politicians to manipulate opinion. The Truth versus Truthful column is dedicated to explaining that just because a particular part of a particular incident may be reported as a fact, without context those facts become deceptive: as dishonest as if they were not true in the first place. But defensible nevertheless.
In “1984” the world was mostly at war, government surveillance was uncontrollable and history was being altered by propaganda. If these sound familiar, consider that as the last voice of freedom speaking out against the growing threat of a barbaric government, the protagonist Winston Smith is ‘eliminated’ by Big Brother.
In just the past few days the Chief Protagonist of the ‘deep state’ has been banned from Facebook, deleted from twitter and removed from YouTube. By those actions, the President of the United States has been shown to be less powerful than the collective forces aligned against him.
Perhaps the biggest failure of the Trump presidency has been that the prosecution of crimes became as political as the crimes themselves. Efforts by the deep state collaborating with political allies failed in multiple efforts to destroy the President. Meanwhile the President’s efforts to drain the swamp, as he labeled it, were hampered as he failed to bring to justice even the most blatant criminals for the most obvious crimes. These failures emboldened others to mock the law and commit more destructive crimes than simply destroying cell phones containing damaging evidence. Those who would most benefit from freedom and who’s ancestors may well have given their lives for the chance of freedom took to the streets destroying property, looting even property of their friends and neighbors, without realizing they were yielding power to those who would strive for a dystopian society.
It was 1957 when Ann Rand published her book “Atlas Shrugged” in which she expands on the idea of the evolution from freedom to a dystopian America. Over the past five or six years her book has become popular as a reference for those who would work for freedom as well as those who would seek government solutions to all of their life’s challenges. These are the people who follow – anyone! These are without doubt the supporters of the often incoherent rantings of Joe Biden who believe it is better to choose evil than to have good imposed upon them. These are the people who believe that every crisis can be solved by expanding government; not by getting out of the way and let human spirit and imagination find the solution.