Friday, October 17, 2008

Rereading Orwell's 1984

Observing events of late, I find myself troubled by how much of it seems reminiscent of previous rises to power of the Socialists and Communists of the 20th century. These were leftist Totalitarian regimes with their progressive leaders promising "change". And change they delivered - witness the 100 million graves dug in order to make a better world by Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Jong II, Castro and others.

Myself, I am a staunch anti-communist. Watching the Democrats select a Socialist/Communist as their Presidential candidate is almost as disturbing as watching a Republican President allow the nationalization of an industry.

I located a used copy of Orwell's masterpiece dystopia. It was as awful a tale as I remembered. I just hope it remains in the fantasy rather than non-fiction category at Amazon.

"...he seemed to have lost the power of expressing himself..."

"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the
Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of unorthodoxy."

"...a mass of imbecile enthusiasms - one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges...

"Nearly all children nowadays were horrible...ungovernable little savages...It was almost normal for people over thirty to be afraid of their own children."

"The enemy of the moment always represents absolute evil."

"Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past."

"We're destroying w
ords - scores of them, hundreds of them, every day."

"Don't you see that the whole aim of
New Speak is to narrow the range of thought?"

"...a feeling that you had been cheated of something that you had a right to."

"Nearly everyone was ugly."

Party claimed, of course, to have liberated the proles from bondage. So long as they continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance."

"Truisms are true...laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet."

"The older generation had been mostly wiped out in the great purges..."

"If you're happy inside yourself, why should you get excited about
Big Brother and the Three Year Plans and the Two Minutes Hate and all the rest of their bloody rot?"

"It's all
Inner Party stuff. There's nothing those swine don't have, nothing."

Hate continued exactly as before, except that the target had been changed."

"It is precisely in the
Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of the enemy is the strongest."

"The two aims of the
Party are to conquer the whole surface of the earth and to extinguish once and for all the possibility of independent thought."

"The aim of the
High is to remain where they are. The aim of the Middle is to change places with the High. The aim of the Low, when they have an to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal."

"The new aristocracy was made up for the most part of bureaucrats, scientists, technicians, trade union organizers, publicity experts, sociologists, teachers, journalists and professional politicians."

"In general, the greater the understanding the greater the delusion: the more intelligent, the more insane. One clear illustration of this is the fact that war hysteria increases in intensity as ones rises in the social scales."

"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."

"Power is the power over human beings. Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation."

"There will be no art, no literature, no science."

"The more the
Party is powerful, the less it will be tolerant, the weaker the opposition, the tighter the despotism."

"The thing that is in
Room 101 is the worst thing in the world. The worst thing in the world varies from individual to individual."

"For everyone, there is something unendurable."

-George Orwell


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