There is much post-election speculation about a new direction for our nation and how conservative ideas should prevail. We might be wise to re-examine the similarities between our situation today and the world created by George Orwell in his brilliant novel, 1984. First published in 1949, the book may be read or downloaded free from several sites on the Internet or purchased inexpensively from most bookstores, new and used.
Orwell saw the danger of totalitarian governments that would use information to control and repress ordinary people in order to serve the interests of the ruling elite. Corporations today have bought our government and put corporate minions in Congress. That may not work well. Elite corporate owners may be less tolerant of obstruction and incompetence than voters. Big Brother may cut off money and put the squeeze on politicians who don’t express genuine love for free markets. Contrarian politicians won’t gain the notoriety of being impeached. They’ll just fade away into irrelevance.
Today we have mind-numbing television ads, social media clutter and various approved and unapproved drugs to keep the People pliable. In 1984, “Proles,” had a substance that made them temporarily happy. It was called Victory Gin and was even less palatable than bad moonshine.
As we grow toward energy independence, the production and consumption of oil and coal exerts influence over with whom we go to war. Major world powers in 1984 were in endless war, much as we are today. The military expands under a conservative government. Our heavy dogs of war would likely be unleashed. The IED makers could wake up with tactical nukes under their beds and bad things crawling in their turbans. Not a pleasant thought. There would be many unpleasant repercussions.
Orwell imagined eavesdropping by ubiquitous television systems to keep the population suppressed in 1984. Today, Twitter and Facebook collect trivia and pictures for viewing by anyone who might want to manage or censor underdeveloped minds. With sufficient capital, taking over social media accounts shouldn’t be very difficult by something similar to the 1984 Ministry of Truth. There is a love story in 1984, but not like those we hear of in our country music. Even lovers do not escape the supervision of Big Brother in 1984.
A modern Ministry of Truth might have a religious base. Future rewards could be freely promised, with no accountability. Chicken soup and yachts for everyone and dozens of nubile young women awaiting the martyrs’ pleasure in paradise could be guaranteed over and over without an accounting.
At least our own political feather-merchants (whose affinities for fantasy greatly exceed their grasp of facts) would disappear. The Constitution would be completely erased from the Fox News Archives of Truth. And, idle complaints about the government would not be a wise topic for dinner conversation with Big Brother watching…everything!
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This column represents alternative thoughts to other published columns in the Crossville Chronicle. “We the People” is published each Wednesday. Opinions expressed in “We the People” columns are not necessarily those of the Crossville Chronicle publisher, editor or staff. For more information, contact John Wund, coordinator, at email@example.com.