Saturday, December 03, 2005



I noticed a comment earlier this week, an out-of-context reference to Orwell’s ‘1984’. As it happens, I was re-reading ‘1984’ this past week, and once again observed that while it is justifiably called a classic, it is such for reasons the Liberals have neither observed, nor are willing to accept.

To refresh the memories of those who have not read ‘1984’ recently, the book focuses on the life on one Winston Smith, citizen of Oceania and outer member of the ‘The Party'. Smith lives on an island called ‘Airstrip One’, though he vaguely recalls it used to be called England. From this perspective, the reader sees a world in black and grey, all of it dirty and defiled, so that by the end of the book it is no wonder that the forces of oppression have won.

Many people have concluded that Orwell was sending a clarion warning of the dangers of Soviet Communism; and he was doing just that. But most people have forgotten that despite being British by citizenship, Orwell was not born there; he was born in Bengal in 1903 under the given name of Eric Blair, and served with the Loyalist forces in the Spanish Civil War. ‘1984’ was written in 1948, just one year before Orwell died from a lung ailment, which may go a distance in explaining his depression and futilism in the novel. Orwell was a Socialist, in that same unrealistic sense that pursues a dream without much notion of how to make it real. In the novel, the Party is opposed by a small, nebulous group which calls itself The Brotherhood, but without any formal roster, chain of command, or political platform. Rather, in my opinion, like those modern-day Socialists who protest everything done, but with so substantial or detailed plan for how to repair the issue. In ‘1984’, Capitalists are only discussed in perjorative and misleading terms, confused by the protagonist and the Party with the worst excesses of the aristocracy. When Winston acquires a copy of the forbidden “Book”, he learns that “the final phase of Capitalism” ended in the 1940s. How convenient, to exclude one of the most formidable positive influences on Society by claiming it was already obsolete. Ironic, that a device either used by Orwell to show the ignorance of the Party or demonstrating his own short-sghtedness, is so reflective of the modern Liberal mindset.

I also found the re-read interesting, because of the theme on War. In ‘1984’, Orwell’s world exists only as three great Super-states: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia, which exist for practical purposes as oligarchies of equal size, strength, and morality. That is to say, a convenient and completely unreasonable assumption of global development, which ignores the culture, social fabric, and historical track of over a hundred-eighty nations. And again it is fascinating to see how this is reflected in the modern Liberal mindset, which considers all nations of equal moral weight, and every culture identical in character to any other. Although the Liberals borrow from another Orwell classic, and insist that Communists and Socialists are ‘more equal’ than others.

But I also re-discovered something I had forgotten before. Orwell explains that the world of The Party and the war is unending; Orwell implies that the future is hopeless, and survival a quixotic illusion. The strongmen came to power and ordinary people have no effective weapon against them; it was strange to me to read the physical description of Big Brother:

the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome features.”

That, and the fact that Big Brother plasters his mug everywhere, sure reminds me of Saddam Hussein. That, and the way that Liberals had and have so many things to say against his enemies.

I’m sure I don’t need to go into a detailed exploration of how ‘Newspeak’ found its way into Liberal Reality; calling Abortion “Choice”; calling suppression or religious expression “Freedom”; and demanding special rights and advantages for selected minority groups but claiming this is done in the name of “Equal Rights”. All of these tell us where Orwell’s ‘Party' went after his death.

It's enough to make me look a Clinton in the eye and ask them how "O'Brien" is doing.

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