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1984 and its impact today in our government Options
drew34
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 11:52:55 AM

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1984, by George Orwell, illustrates the idea of a totalitarian government in which people are under the spell of mind control. In our gov't today, we under the control of Congress and Obama. He wants us to believe that with his massive bills, that our world will poop out sunshine under a iridescent rainbow. What do you think? It's not us, it's them.
Geeman
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 12:05:17 PM

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drew34 wrote:
1984, by George Orwell, illustrates the idea of a totalitarian government in which people are under the spell of mind control. In our gov't today, we under the control of Congress and Obama. He wants us to believe that with his massive bills, that our world will poop out sunshine under a iridescent rainbow. What do you think? It's not us, it's them.

If anything, the previous administration better exemplified Orwell's dystopia than the current one.
Nibbles
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 1:04:46 PM
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If anything, the Taliban and Al Quada exemplify Totalitarianism and mind control to an extreme.

wercozy
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 1:13:56 PM

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drew: The only mind control I am absolutely sure of is that of the Christian Fundamentalists in America and certain holier-than-thou know-it-alls in this forum.

Without government, we are open to attack from all corners of the globe. 'We the people' need to be united, we need to protect our Constitution and protect the rights of everyone.

George Bush, Jr. did more to weaken our Constitution, weaken our standing in the world, and weaken the middle class on down than any other president in the history of the United States. President Obama's team of rivals is the first such team since Abraham Lincoln's team of rivals. It's smart, and good for the country...And you Mr. Drew, need to get that straight in your head!
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

NOT LESS GOVERNMENT, NOT MORE GOVERNMENT, JUST SMARTER GOVERNMENT. WORK FOR IT!
MarySM
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 1:52:12 PM

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drew: This country was at the edge of the cliff and the slightest breeze would have sent us over. Obama had to take drastic measures to assure that did not happen. It's far too soon to condemn him for the actions taken thus far.
AJC
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:12:22 PM

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And AWAAAAAAYYYYY we go
paragorillabear
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 2:50:48 PM
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Before we all jump in with our own penny ante of thoughts, I would advise each and every one of you, especially the original poster, to go back and read 1984 (at least, and in particular, the 9th chapter of the second section).
Seriously, when was the last time you read the book? Do you even know what Orwell specifically stated as a recipe for totalitarianism? Judging from these few comments, I gather most of you do not.

Again, go read the book, particularly the 9th chapter of the second section.
Orwell explains very specifically how and why the 20th century gave rise to totalitarianism, and from there you can clearly see whether we are currently in its thrall.

As a teacher, I once chose to do this book with my students. We began the book on September 4th, 2001. Perhaps needless to say, within a week, our analysis of the book had taken on an entirely new level of meaning.

Now, go! and read the damn thing and stop spouting off like ninnies.
drew34
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:00:50 PM

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It's kinda hard to not blame Obama. Have you ever heard of Van Jones, who is a self-vowed Communist? How about John Holdren, who proposed forced abortions and sterilants in our drinking water? Again, he's allowing more people to have power to control us.

P.S. Thank you paragorillabear. It seems like you have some common sense.
Maggie
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:31:14 PM

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[quote=wercozy]drew: The only mind control I am absolutely sure of is that of the Christian Fundamentalists in America and certain holier-than-thou know-it-alls in this forum.

Wercozy, I'm amazed at your total obsession with religion and men. In a HUGE percentage of your posts, you attack them both with a vengeance. It doesn't seem to matter what the thread is. If it were on basket weaving, you'd find a way to blame Christians and men for the canes not matching the weave.

You REALLY do need professional help. But then, as I recall, you have a bone to pick with those people, too.
Good grief.
MarySM
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:36:26 PM

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It's kinda hard to not blame Obama. Have you ever heard of Van Jones, who is a self-vowed Communist? How about John Holdren, who proposed forced abortions and sterilants in our drinking water? Again, he's allowing more people to have power to control us.

It is absurd to compare Obama with the individuals mentioned above! Get a grip!
LeadPal
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:53:40 PM

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The regime in 1984 is unbelievably horrible; it's like the USSR under Stalin, but with less happiness. Any similarities to Oceania in the world today need to be heavily exaggerated, to the point where almost any society could be called "Orwellian".
bugdoctor
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 3:57:37 PM

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MarySM wrote:
It's kinda hard to not blame Obama. Have you ever heard of Van Jones, who is a self-vowed Communist? How about John Holdren, who proposed forced abortions and sterilants in our drinking water? Again, he's allowing more people to have power to control us.

It is absurd to compare Obama with the individuals mentioned above! Get a grip!


Ah...... Obama appointed both of these men as personal Advisers. He knew them well.
Geeman
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:05:25 PM

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Well, to illustrate the point:

The Bush administration set up torture camps all over the world a la 1984's room 101.

The Bush administration rolled back civil liberties so they could perform what had been illegal forms fo surveillance on the civilian population, often without any due process of law, a la 1984.

The Bush administration's views on sexual behavior (abstinance and anti-abortion) compare directly to the attitudes towards sex in 1984.

The Bush administration switched military targets in the middle of a hot war based on a fabricated media presentation and engaged in engaged in policies to make that conflict as unending as possible a la the constant state of war and the way the enemies switch in 1984.

The Bush administration was the darling of Fox news, which is a thinly veiled propoganda machine dedicted to an absolutist worldview a la the constant stream of televised propaganda in 1984. (Though Fox does break for the occasional cartoon....)

The Bush administration suspended habeus corpus so that people could be arrested and kept in secret indefinitely without any recourse to a legal system, which is exactly what happens in 1984.

Granted, it's difficult for an administration to fully implement Orwell's vision in the United States. Americans only put up with so much totalitarianism before we start to complain. But they went as far as they could without getting strung up, though we'll have to see what happens in the next couple of years as their depredations start coming to light....

As for the Taliban and Al Queda representing an example of totalitarianism, I have to take issue with the characterization because it drastically overstates the power and influence of both those organizations. They are really merely warlords. Authoritarian, certainly. Autocratic, yes. But totalitarianism means a central and absolute control over all aspects of life, and though they were often portrayed in such a way in the West, the simple fact of the matter is that they didn't have that kind of power. Both those organizations are made up of loosely associated individual chieftans and strongmen, united for the most part in their desire to maintain their individual authority over their clans. That doesn't quite add up to a centralized, all-powerful government.

The Soviet Union under Stalin or China under Mao are really amongst the few legitimate comparisons to 1984. Using 1984 to describe the introduction of a bill to Congress is, frankly, more than a little odd, and reeks of hyperbole--rather badly formulated hyperbole at that. I know a lot of folks have bought this argument that the storm troopers of the totalitarians wear scrubs and bear stethoscopes, and that a Health Care bill represents the breaking of the first seal of the apocolypse. There's really no arguing with that kind of mindset. But the truth is that Obama is going about things the way our system of government is supposed to work. It's slow, messy and allows for any number of morally-challenged nutjobs to say horrifically stupid things in the media--not to mention on the floor of the House and Senate--but that's the way the Constitution cooks things up. People have grown so used to the way the Bush administration ran rough-shod over the process that I really think a lot of people have forgotten how things are supposed to go and have gone for 220 years.
MarySM
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:27:12 PM

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Oh I realize that Van Jones and John Holdren are the scariest villains the right wing has right now, but when you look at the overall policies of this administration they are not Marxist as Van Jones was 20 years ago and they are not advocating compulsory abortions as John Holdren has been accused of advocating in "Ecoscience."
Geeman
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:42:04 PM

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MarySM wrote:
Oh I realize that Van Jones and John Holdren are the scariest villains the right wing has right now, but when you look at the overall policies of this administration they are not Marxist as Van Jones was 20 years ago and they are not advocating compulsory abortions as John Holdren has been accused of advocating in "Ecoscience."

It should probably also be noted that Van Jones' comment that he was a Communist was a characterization of his visceral reaction to the Rodney King verdict, and how he became emotionally more invested in politics. It wasn't really a statement of his actual social or philosophical beliefs, but his desire to get involved and change things.

Still, that's a pretty amazingly stupid thing to say. It makes me think the guy shouldn't be in that position just because of the number of vulgar comments he made. It makes me wonder who in the Obama administration is responsible for vetting these guys....
MarySM
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:05:45 PM

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I believe he said Marxist-not the same as communist. But I am willing to concede that both appointments are controversial.
bugdoctor
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:26:33 PM

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Geeman wrote:
It makes me wonder who in the Obama administration is responsible for vetting these guys....


You're right Geeman. I've wondered the same thing. Though I'm not an Obama supporter, I do give him credit for being smarter than that. But then........ he did know a lot about some of the other EXTREMELY LEFT people he appointed.
Oh, well. What's done is done.
TYSON
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 6:02:06 PM

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Ive just finished reading 1984 for the first time.
Comparing the land of Oceana and Big Brothwer with the Obama administration is highly innaccurate.

If it were the case, you would've been locked up and shot for even suggesting such a thing. You are not under his control.
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 6:26:18 PM

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Warning your television set is watching you.
Epiphileon
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 6:29:36 PM

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TYSON wrote:
Ive just finished reading 1984 for the first time.
Comparing the land of Oceana and Big Brothwer with the Obama administration is highly innaccurate.

If it were the case, you would've been locked up and shot for even suggesting such a thing. You are not under his control.


come on Tyson don't sugar coat it, first they'd smear your face with bacon grease and then put a cage of starved sewer rats over your head.
paragorillabear
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 6:33:23 PM
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I see everyone is still prattling along.

So... again...
go read the 9th chapter of the 2nd section of 1984.
TYSON
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 6:35:20 PM

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EPIPHILEON SAID: come on Tyson don't sugar coat it, first they'd smear your face with bacon grease and then put a cage of starved sewer rats over your head.


"DONT DO IT TO ME! DO IT TO HER! DO IT TO HER!"

It's still quite fresh in my mind epiphileon. It has just sent shivvers down my spine. Never have I had a book affect me so much for so long after having put it down.
bugdoctor
Posted: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 7:53:33 PM

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TYSON wrote:
Ive just finished reading 1984 for the first time.
Comparing the land of Oceana and Big Brothwer with the Obama administration is highly innaccurate.

If it were the case, you would've been locked up and shot for even suggesting such a thing. You are not under his control.


YET.
Angel
buxton
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 6:41:46 AM

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wercozy: 'George Bush, Jr. did more to weaken our Constitution, weaken our standing in the world, and weaken the middle class on down than any other president in the history of the United States.'

I agree, although I doubt Orwell would spend much time worrying about a government weakening the middle class. After all, it is exactly that sort of aspirational group, trampling on the 'proles', which weakens the rights of the many and establishes the selfish, aggressive rule of the few.

Does anyone else enjoy the irony of the anti-Obama posters suggesting he is a dangerously left wing, totalitarian leader, by referencing the brilliant work of proclaimed socialist George Orwell?
paragorillabear
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 3:11:21 PM
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Again, read the book (specifically, the 9th chapter of the 2nd section).

This chapter definitely mentions the weakening of the Middle Class as a technique of the totalitarian.
AJC
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 4:34:43 PM

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paragorillabear wrote:
Before we all jump in with our own penny ante of thoughts, I would advise each and every one of you, especially the original poster, to go back and read 1984 (at least, and in particular, the 9th chapter of the second section).
Seriously, when was the last time you read the book? Do you even know what Orwell specifically stated as a recipe for totalitarianism? Judging from these few comments, I gather most of you do not.

Again, go read the book, particularly the 9th chapter of the second section.
Orwell explains very specifically how and why the 20th century gave rise to totalitarianism, and from there you can clearly see whether we are currently in its thrall.

As a teacher, I once chose to do this book with my students. We began the book on September 4th, 2001. Perhaps needless to say, within a week, our analysis of the book had taken on an entirely new level of meaning.

Now, go! and read the damn thing and stop spouting off like ninnies.



OK
man in black
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 10:43:20 PM

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I´ve been living under a totalitarian regime myself for 36 years and that goverment has been calling the shots for more than 50 years now, and though the use of sophisticated gadgets is not updated or much in use because of lack of resources, they have a worst weapon which are the informers, the ones who are paid to do it and a more loathesome sort, the rats that do it freely and mostly out of envy to hand over to the police those who fair better in life or get any fringe benefits other than the meagre salary paid. And though our "Big Brother" is no longer delivering his long, rethoric, boring and horrid speeches he is still a big influence, because only death can dispel the fear those in the echelons of power feel for him. Brick wall
buxton
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 5:24:52 AM

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'This chapter [ch.9, section 2] definitely mentions the weakening of the Middle Class as a technique of the totalitarian'

Not exactly, paragorillabear. I'm guessing you're talking about the Goldstein book Winston is given at the rally. The book notes that, prior to the Party and Ingsoc, society had always been formed of high, middle and low classes. It notes that the middle often revolted (with the help sometimes of the low), only to replace the high and create a new system with three classes.

What the Party (which is created by a middle class of teachers/journalists etc) does in 1984 is establish a system where no revolt or reordering is possible: the Inner and Outer party members are chosen by examination for assimilation and the Proles are kept ignorant and oppressed.

I stand by my view that Orwell would not be worried about the middle classes in the US feeling disenfranchised by their government, nor worry about any middle class. If they don't like it they will eventually revolt and become the high class in his view. It is the low classes who never benefit, so Orwell would be more concerned about the continual sapping of power amongst the lower classes. Nowadays, that is achieved through the globalisation of industry, sabotage of unions and persistent PR for consumerist capitalism in the developed world.

And while I too would encourage everyone to read 1984 (it should be on a reading list for everyone in free education), can you actually make some points in relation to the debate please paragorillabear, rather than just advertising the Goldstein book section? I don't mean to be rude, but I reckon people on the forum will point out if someone hasn't read the book, if they make a point without textual evidence to back it.
paragorillabear
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2009 1:53:03 PM
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sorry. point taken.
but i don't have the time.

I just hate to see people discussing a book and using it to prop up their particular political slants, without appearing to have actually read the book.

And I do find the Goldstein chapter particularly illuminating.

Nuff said.
gotta go.
buxton
Posted: Friday, December 18, 2009 6:30:23 AM

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'I just hate to see people discussing a book and using it to prop up their particular political slants, without appearing to have actually read the book.'

I do hope that doesn't include me. In fact, even if it does, it gives me a good reason to go back and read it again I guess - you can't read that book too many times!
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