Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Never Ending War


When will we wake up.

It is 1984 redoblé...

Nineteen Eighty-Four (also 1984), by George Orwell, published in 1949, is a dystopian novel about the totalitarian regime of the Party, an oligarchical collectivist society where life in the Oceanian province of Airstrip One is a world of perpetual war, pervasive government surveillance, public mind control, and the voiding of citizens' rights.

In the Ministry of Truth (Minitrue), protagonist Winston Smith is a civil servant responsible for perpetuating the Party's propaganda by revising historical records to render the Party omniscient and always correct, yet his meagre existence disillusions him into rebellion against Big Brother, which leads to his arrest, torture, and conversion.

[edit] Doublethink

The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this. But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is known in Newspeak as doublethink. Doublethink is basically the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

Living standards
In 1984, the society of Airstrip One lives in squalid poverty; hunger, disease, and filth are the norms, and ruined cities and towns the consequence of the civil war, the atomic wars, and enemy (possibly Oceanian) rockets. When travelling about London, rubble, social decay, and wrecked buildings surround Winston Smith; other than the ministerial pyramids, little of London was rebuilt.

The standard of living of the populace is low; almost everything, especially consumer goods, is scarce, and the available goods are of low quality; half of the Oceanian populace go barefoot — despite the Party reporting increased boot production. The Party defend the poverty as a necessary sacrifice for the war effort; "the book" reports that as partly correct, because the purpose of perpetual war is consuming surplus industrial production.

The Inner Party upper class of Oceanian society enjoy the highest standard of living. The antagonist, O'Brien, resides in a clean and comfortable apartment, with a pantry well stocked with quality foodstuffs (wine, coffee, sugar, etc.), denied to the general populace, the Outer Party and the Proles, who consume synthetic foodstuffs; the available liquor, Victory Gin, and cigarettes are of low quality.[24] Winston is astonished that the lifts in O'Brien's building function, and that the telescreens can be shut off. Moreover, the Inner Party are attended by slaves captured in the disputed zone; O'Brien's manservant, Martin, is Asian.

Despite the Inner Party's high standard of living, the quality of their life is inferior to the pre–Revolution standards. The Party treat the Proles as animals — they live in squalid poverty, and are kept sedated with cheap beer, pornography, and a national lottery; however, the Proles are relatively freer than the members of the Party, and are less intimidated than the middle class Outer Party; they jeer at the telescreens.

Furthermore, "the book" reports that the state of things derives from the régime's theory that the middle class, not the lower class, usually started revolutions, therefore, tight control of the middle class penetrates their minds in determining their quotidian lives, and potential rebels are politically neutralised via promotion to the Inner Party; nonetheless, Winston Smith believed that "the future belonged to the proles".


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