“WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
As I revisit the writings of George Orwell, a bit older and wiser than when I first read his prose at the age of 14, I’m saddened by our present and our future. I feel the same unease in the similarities I found between the world of Newspeak and our world of Newsweek. I could, as many have before me; write a novel on the implications of 1984 in modern times, but for the time being I’ll trim it down.
“Ignorance is strength,” is perhaps the most apropos statement made in Orwell’s master-work. The phrase is a part of “the party’s” motto. For the Party in 1984 and for many corporations globally today, the general public’s “ignorance” is ultimately playing into their “strength.” Everyday, worldwide, humanitarian and ecological atrocities take place. Sometimes, these events are on the news; but, how can we trust the news, when it is often misreported or watered down and treated with extreme legal scrutiny in the favor of the news agency and its parent company. For the “real” story, one has to do broad research, find patterns or lack there of, to find the true facts. I feel that if more people took time to really research the state of our earth, we may be able to find wide-scale positive change. However, this is far easier to say than do.
We live in an egocentric age. Society has put a positive spin on the ideas of selfishness, and greed. So, how does one escape the cycle, and be an individual force for positive change? I think that practicing empathy, and being educated are the strongest weapons against our real-world “Big-Brother.” We are all living a more complex version of 1984 today; all members of the class of ’84. Will our fates be like that of Winston Smith, or can we find a way out of the impending trap? Detest ignorance and find strength in knowledge and compassion, be like our universe: infinite and one.
“Rage, rage against the dying of the light”