February 13, 2018
Consider the following excerpts when approaching 1984 and its recent resurgence:
The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
“Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”
If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate.
All rulers in all ages have tried to impose a false view of the world upon their followers, but they could not afford to encourage any illusion that tended to impair military efficiency.
The aims of these three groups are entirely irreconcilable. 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 aim—for it is an abiding characteristic of the Low that they are too much crushed by drudgery to be more than intermittently conscious of anything outside their daily lives—is to abolish all distinctions and create a society in which all men shall be equal.
My review is on my 2018 reading page here, as follows:
Shortly after the 45th President was elected, 1984 became a hot commodity, required reading for all concerned citizens. While I agree that there are Orwellian tactics within 45’s repertoire, I am unsure (and will pray daily) that we will ever find ourselves in the distopia that Orwell so deftly crafts. Consider the following phrase when venturing into this book: as depressing as real life.