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1984 – Georges ORWELL

I read for you the 1984 George Orwell

Written in 1948 by George Orwell, 1984 denounced the totalitarianism of the twentieth century.

Using the form of the black novel, George Orwell described OCEANIA, an imaginary totalitarian society, which has built and surpassed the tools of oppression invented by his illustrious elders that were Nazism and Communism.

OCEANIA achieved near-perfection in the art of post crowds.

1984 George ORWELL

Winston Smith is an official of the external party. This party is a kind of intermediate class between:

  • Internal party (the brain of Oceania);
  • and the proletariat (the slaves).

Winston Smith works in the Ministry of Truth, whose primary function is to lie to the people by falsifying history to make it compatible with the doctrine of the Party.

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Big brother is watching you – 1984 George ORWELL

Monitoring crowds

Like everyone, Winston Smith is under the inquisitive eye of Big Brother, the dictator that nobody has ever seen (except on screens). « Big Brother is watching you! « . Big Brother used for this purpose telescreens that invade the private sphere, as the public sphere.

The end of the ideals

Winston subversive thoughts (and therefore dangerous) allow us to understand the purpose of the internal party: we learn (at the end of the book), that power is for the party the only end. It is not a means to achieve some ideal. The party wants power for what it is and nothing else. Happiness, equality, all  ideals that a Democrat is ready to fight for, have no place in the party program.

To achieve its goal, the party is hiding under the Big Brother mask whose face appears on all the walls. It is thus the focal point, the embodiment of the Party.

Rewriting history

All achievements, such as winning against a mysterious enemy, are attributed to Big Brother. Any failure is erased from the archive by Winston and his staff of the Ministry of Truth. The Party constantly rewrittes history and the fact, using terror as a political instrument.

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Ministry of Truth – John HURT 1984

1984 George ORWELL

The widespread denouncement

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John HURT – 1984

Children are trained, from an early age, to denounce. We can not trust anyone, neither to its neighbor nor his wife and even less to his own children.

As during the Soviet regime, there is no guarantee total immunity: even a Party member, even a zealous official working hard for the success of the party are not completely immune to denunciation, libelous or otherwise, whatever. The sentence is then prison and torture! The Nazi regime did not go so far: be a member of the Nazi party guaranteed some security. This was not the case under the Soviet regime. Fear is thus the best party insurance to remain in power.

We have cut the links between child and parents, between man and man, between man and woman. No one dares trust a woman, a child or a friend. But later, there will be neither wife nor friend. Children will be at birth, abducted mothers, as one takes eggs to chickens. 1984 George Orwell.

1984 George ORWELL

Torture as an instrument of power (the Thought Police)

How a man he assures his power over another, Winston? Winston thought: By making him suffer! He replied. Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. How, if he does not suffer, can we be sure he obeyed not his will but yours? Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is tearing human minds to pieces, which then brings in new forms that we have chosen. Are you beginning to see what kind of world we are creating? This is exactly the opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that had imagined the old reformers. A world of fear, betrayal, torment. A world of crusher and crushed, a world that, as and when it is refined, become more ruthless. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. 1984 George Orwell.

1984 George ORWELL

Rewriting history

For that power is total, the party removes all references to the past: critical thinking must be erased. With no historical reference, man longer perceives it is in a state of complete submission, total obedience. For him, there is no alternative, no other system, no possible comparison. This is what La Boetie criticized in his Discourse on Voluntary Servitude.

We already crush the habits of thought which have survived the Revolution. 1984 George Orwell.

Suppression of critical thinking

Of course, the education of children is essential. We find the recipes used by the Nazis (Hitler Youth) or by the Islamic State (DAECH), in the way of indoctrinating children. Uncritically, with only one truth in mind (of the Party), children are not as obedient automatons able to denounce their own parents (or blow themselves up in a school).

Loss of language

The party also works to the impoverishment of the language so that the individual can no longer make complex idea, contrary to dogma. The Newspeak allows not to express an opinion, just the facts.

the monad

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John HURT – 1984

Individuals are isolated from each other: the isolated individual is weak, unable to develop a strategy to undermine the legitimacy of power.

In its Article II, French Declaration of Human Rights and Citizen of 1789 evoked the right to association. It recognizes it as a way to preserve the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. Without association, no freedom. Big Brother has understood.

1984 George ORWELL

Suppression of individuality

As was among the Nazis or the communists, consistency is one of the party instruments. There is of course the uniforms. OCEANIA but goes far beyond. SEX is thus banned, as object of desire and diverts people from the Party. Sexuality should have only one function:, mechanical, asexual, without pleasure.

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John HURT – 1984

The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of the power board. We shall abolish the orgasm, our neurologists now work there. There will be more loyalty than to the party, there will be more love than the love felt for Big Brother. 1984 George Orwell.

It also prohibits individual small pleasures: laughter, joy. Every emotion has to be turned exclusively to the party:

There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent, we will not need science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of life. All the pleasures of emulation will be destroyed. But there will always be, do not forget this, Winston, there will be the intoxication of power ever increasing, which will refine more. There will always be, in every moment, the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling a helpless enemy. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face … forever. 1984 George Orwell.

1984 George ORWELL

The unifying external enemy

Nothing better to silence a people that an external enemy: Big Brother appears as a protector, as the last rampart before the chaos. Hate is turned outwards, towards the imaginary enemy, beyond borders. Big Brother becomes a unifying element behind which the people groups. All totalitarian systems have invented such an enemy:

  • Hitler: the Jews, the Communists or the Slavs threatened the German blood;
  • Stalin: the great American Satan was
  • kim jong for one: the whole earth is the enemy;
  • for DAECH: this is the west and Shiites.

There will be laughing that laugh of triumph caused by the defeat of an enemy. 1984 George Orwell.

Work to chain people

People, brutalizing  through work, is tired enough to take away any hint of rebellion. It can be monitored by hierarchy. The work is an efficient police

1984 George ORWELL

Conclusion

1984 is a small practical manual for apprentice dictator. It offers the best recipes for a perfect oppressive system, which has no other purpose than to survive himself. There is something absurd in this society, where everything is organized for the success of a party which is only a virtual entity, certainly made up of individuals, but which are drained, washed, prisoners of themselves; a system in which individual happiness is prohibited where the only acceptable ideal does not apply to men.

The ancient civilization claimed to be based on love and justice, ours is based on hatred .. In our world, there will be no other emotions as fear, rage, triumph and humiliation. We will destroy everything. 1984 George Orwell.

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