1984 is essentially a novel warning people about the dangers of totalitarian control. With a strong standpoint on the ideals of Communism (and real life firsthand experience), author, George Orwell, writes about about a future in which London is being ruled with an iron-first by the Party and its anonymous leader, Big Brother. While the novel mainly focuses on the social and economical impacts of a totalitarian government, Orwell does delve into another area that suffers: the environment.
Orwell uses his setting, a disintegrating London, to comment on the the Party’s neglect of the upkeep of the city. In this dystopian version of London, citizens experience extreme hungry, poverty, a lack of electrical and plumbing services, and rundown buildings. The Party, instead, wastes all of its energy and fuels into technology that is used to watch over everyone. This regime parallels the real life twentieth century Communist regimes that were so focused on gaining power that they disregarded all other aspects of government.
So why is 1984 relevant now? Why today? Why are we writing about a book that was written in 1949 in 2016? Well, these nuances convey to readers just how correlated politics and environment are. In today’s world, power hungry organizations that put money before the environment still persist (a perfect example is last week’s blog about the Alberta mines and the preservation of the Canadian boreal forest). With the 2016 elections right around the corner, it is important for us to recognize just how correlated these two things are in order to make a vote that helps us and helps the environment.