Each year, I like to pick a book or two as my summer read on the beach. A few years ago, I decided to re-read George Orwell’s classic, 1984. Like most folks in my age bracket, I was forced to read the book in high school. It was just another assignment. But when I re-read it a couple of years ago, I was astounded by how prophetic Orwell was in his warning of a socialist dystopia.
In high school, I thought the story was mere fantasy, but as I was reading it a second time a few years back, I was shaken to the bone as to how his warnings were coming to pass and how government overreach and “groupthink” were being experienced in real time.
Take, for instance, the fact that the job of the main character, Winston, is that of a government employee who rewrites history on behalf of the totalitarian government in power. He literally was assigned to erasing any facts that were not complimentary to the government’s narrative.
In high school, I thought this could never come about, especially in America. But today, we see that’s exactly what is happening. Just last year, President Biden was seriously considering creating a “Disinformation Governance Board.” It sounds eerily similar to the wording of the “Ministry of Truth” that was propped up by the authoritarian regime in Orwell’s book.
The Ministry was an arm of the government created to spy on the populace, as to not only what they did and said, but what they even thought. Many believe Biden’s commission on misinformation was designed to do the same thing. If you were to post something on social media that the Disinformation czars themselves deemed to be inaccurate, you would be silenced. And now, if legislation promoted by Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas becomes law, you can be prosecuted if it’s deemed your words somehow inspired another person to engage in violence against minorities.
Orwell’s dystopia was based on gaslighting phraseology such as up is down, freedom is slavery, and two plus two equals five. Ingrain these lies in a subject’s mind enough times and ultimately they start to believe it.
Is it any wonder why today’s Marxists ban the term “illegal immigrant,” to be replaced by “migrant” ( to remove any reference to the illegal nature of the border crossing), or the word “terrorist” to be replaced with “combatant”? Or how they now claim that police are the bad guys and criminals are the good guys? Or that, according to the 1619 project, America was founded not in 1776 to break free of a tyrannical British king, but more than 150 years earlier in order to establish a haven for slavery?
In Orwell’s factionalized nightmare, all communications were controlled by the authoritarian state. Today, they are controlled by authoritarian private monopolies.
We can still reverse this scary trend. The more people who re-read Orwell’s classic warning to us, the faster that reversal can kick in.