1984 Compared to Today

1984 by George Orwell, written in 1948, is one of the most influential political novels of our century. The novel is Orwell’s warning about what would happen if totalitarian government has too much power. The dystopia society in the novel shows us a horrible living environment where individualism and freedom of thought no longer exist. Compare it to our society today, you would be surprise that many of the things Orwell wrote in the novel actually existed and continue to nowadays, the only difference is that it is done with our consent.

1984 = dystopia

By 1984 the world is divided between these three nations: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. All three of them are in a state of perpetual war over an area called the Equatorial Front.

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Oceania is divided into 3 main classes:

The secret head of the state- the inner party is only 2% of the population.

The outer party, the bureaucratic is 13% of the population and they are the right hand of the inner party.

And then everyone else, the Proles. They’re uneducated, easy to manipulate civilian who lives in poverty and blindly obey INGSOC and Big Brother.

INGSOC, or The English Socialist Party, is the party of the totalitarian government of Oceania. The nations, history, people before INGSOC are simply myths. What’s left is a civilization that exists purely for the party to rule without question. Everything INGSOC did was to make sure the population was loyal and too uneducated to realize its manipulation.

It only has to worry about purging harmful elements, which is individuals or group who are disloyal to the party’s ideology. The ideology is war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorant is strength.

If you commit a thought crimes, which is anything that goes against the policy or ideology of the party, you will just disappear. Every traces or record of your existence will simply gone. If one of your family member, coworker or anybody mentions you, it will be a thought crimes itself. This process go on and on for decades throughout generations until no one question the party.

INGSOC was able to rule the people through Abuse of Power ,Information Manipulation, poverty and class divide, mass surveillance. Science and technology are being regulated to brainwash the society. The truth news, history get rewrite. Individual freedoms and liberties are forbidden.

This dystopian society portrayed in 1984 by George Orwell give us a glimpse of how our lives will be if the government has too much power.

However, in facts, nowadays most people on earth have a higher percent of living in democracies than in 1949, or for that matter 1984. So we actually live a very good life compare to what Orwell imagined. But what did I mean by “the novel has many similarities with our society nowadays, the only difference is that we allow it to happen ?”

To answer this question, let’s move to the second part of my presentation.

Relation to the Real World

INGSOC policy of propaganda, censorship, information manipulation has already happened in the past, especially under WW2 or Stalin regime. Nowadays, these kinds of policy still exist. But the only differences between fiction and reality are that it is done WITH our consent.

Telescreens — in the novel, nearly all public and private places have large TV screens that broadcast government propaganda, news and approved entertainment. But they are also two-way monitors that spy on citizens’ private lives. Today websites like Facebook track our likes and dislikes. Google track our search history and illegally record our conversation. Governments and private COMPANIES can easily get access into our computers and find out what they want to know, and tracking our activities. Every picture, message, and email you sent is stored in the private company and government database. How many of you actually read the private policy of each service you use or the terms when downloading or installing an app, software? I believe the number is very low, almost none. There is no such thing is privacy when you choose to make any part of your life public.

Then there are also surveillance cameras that spy on the average person as they go about their daily routine. But no one question it. Nobody protest to get rid of it. It is part of our lives now. Without surveillance cameras, there would be no safety for us.

Is it right or morale for those policies to exist, even if it has our consent? In my personal opinion, it depends. It depends on what will they, whether if it is big company or the government, do with my private information. And that’s the privilege of being human. We continue to thrive and adapting ourselves to the environment every day. We are able to think and form our own opinion.

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