Orwell’s 1984 and war

By | December 3, 2005

I’ve been (finally) reading Orwell’s 1984, and I am shocked at how relevant some of Orwell’s prose is to today’s worlds, specifically the US and the Bush administration. For example:

War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact.

That sounds scarily lke Bush’s apparent goals for Iraq. It seems obvious that Bush wants to stage a continuous war in Iraq, one that never ends. Why? To keep our society fearful of foreigners, which distracts the American public from noticing that the Administration and its corporate friends are stealing both taxpayer money and oil money from Iraq.

Another scarily accurate quote is:

And in the general hardening of outlook that set in round about 1930, practices which had been long abandoned, in some cases for hundreds of years — imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages, and the deportation of whole populations — not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.

We are seeing people standing up and defending the use of torture to extract confessions from “enemy combatants.” Most notably, Vice President of the United States Dick Cheney is vehemently arguing that the US should be able to use torture.

How long before the Thought Police are a reality?

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