#4 1984 by: George Orwell

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Honestly this book kept reminding me, as dumb as it is, about all the jokes about everyone having their personal FBI agent that watches them at all times. Which is essentially the concept of Big Brother. You can’t go anywhere, or do anything, without Big Brother knowing. Even when you start to think the character is succeeding in avoiding the all seeing eye you learn that he is in fact, NOT. It’s essentially touching on how life would be in a country where the government has absolute control. Rewriting history as it happens to never be wrong.

 

“The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human nature.”

Yes, war costs human lives. Beyond that it destroys fields where crops can be grown, roads where things are transported, homes that house the people. War impacts all. I thought it was a very accurate quote.

 

“War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence in the long run, too intelligent.”

Part of the concept of this book and the society the character finds himself living in is that when someone learns too much or becomes too aware of the deception of the ruling party they are corrected. Essentially reprogrammed because they know too much. War is a tool that the ruling party has been using to keep the populace in line. They think they are being protected when in reality they are being kept docile like sheep.

The theory of “Big Brother is watching you”, is still a huge topic today. There are a great number of conspiracy theories that link back to this idea.

One being that fluoridation of the drinking water that will slowly but surely neutralize parts of the brain making the subject more submissive and willing to follow the will of those in power. It’s pretty amusing. Also, there are plenty of conspiracy theories centered around the implantation of microchips. There are also many different examples of reprogramming through cinema such as Total Recall where they implant false memories to control the subject.

 

“If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality. For the secret of ruler ship is to combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes.”

This is from Goldstein’s manuscript Chapter 1 titled Ignorance is Strength. One cannot run something or many someone’s without the belief in oneself. If you cannot believe in yourself, how can you expect others to believe in you?

Would any of the world’s past dictators have gotten so far without the belief that they WERE correct and SO convincingly so that others followed, and still do follow their beliefs?

For example, There are the Neo-Nazis who still follow the ideals of white supremacy and still exist to this day along with the Ku Klux Klan. Hitler was so convincing and deluded so many people that his movement still exists today.

 

“I am conscious of my own identity. I was born, and I shall die. I have arms and legs. I occupy a particular point in space. No other object can occupy the same point simultaneously.”

This quote is one that spoke to me most from the book. It reminds me of self affirmation, “I occupy a particular point in space.” It shows that I exist, I matter. Then, “No other object can occupy the same point simultaneously”, no one can take away from me the fact that I exist and matter.

It reminds me of the lines from The Help, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.”

Life can get you down sometimes so a little self affirmation never hurts. I’m in the middle of job hunting and all the negatives get to you sometimes. It’s hard to stay positive when you don’t hear back anything for months after graduating. I just have to keep reminding myself that “Hey, you have a Master’s degree, don’t worry it’ll work out.”

Life eventually works itself out, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. There is a reason for everything that happens.

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