Yesterday was the 70th anniversary of George Orwell publishing Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984). The anniversary didn't get the media coverage that it deserves. Possibly because it happens to be two days after the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Possibly because the mainstream media doesn't want to give too much attention to the extremely prophetic first dystonia novel. Lets look at just how prophetic Orwell's last work really is.
Big Brother is the state-run surveillance system in the novel. There is no doubt that we do live in a surveillance society. Time.com argues that it is a surveillance capitalism. The article points out that big tech companies like Google and Facebook have been tracking us for years. Even Orwell couldn't have predicted many of us even inviting the modern Big Brother into our homes as Alexa and Google Assistant. Of course government sponsored programs still exist thanks to the Patriot Act but the tech companies seem to be leading the way.
Newspeak surely prevails today. Again, Orwell may have misjudged the source, so far. Today's newspeak seems to come from our progressive society in the form of political correctness. Why the idea of newspeak should be concerning is simple. As stated by BBC:
Tyrannies attempt to make understanding the real world impossible: seeking to replace it with phantoms and lies.
Most of us would agree with the old statement "the whole world has gone crazy." Is the world really crazy or has newspeak just confused us and made the real world impossible to understand?
The Thought Police couldn't be working harder today. Never before in America could an individual be descended upon by an angry mob because of how they voted. Facebook and Twitter seem to be censoring out ideas that they don't agree with. Main stream news media sources don't just report news, they interpret it for us the way they want us to see it. If you dare to disagree you risk being labeled racist, sexist, fascist, or some other -ist. It may not be the government, per se, but Orwell's thought police are definitely part of progress.
In 1984 the Ministry of Peace waged what seemed to be an eternal and distant war. The American war to bring peace to the Persian Gulf is the first war in our history where someone fighting now could have been born before the war began. Just like in the novel, consistent news reports keep telling us that we are winning the endless war.
Orwell's Novel-Writing Machine cranked out pornography by Julia's had. Many today would say that much of today's television and movies would qualify. Don't forget about video games. Nudity, sex, and even rape are common in many video games today. Pornography is freely available at any time from anywhere with an internet connection. Sex and sexuality have become mainstream and social progress is still pushing. Some are even suggesting that pedophilia is acceptable. Orwell himself couldn't have imagined that.
George Orwell may not have been a prophet, but 1984 is certainly prophetic. His novel may have misjudged the year by twenty years or so, but the imagery it contains is definitely relevant today. This book is a warning to all free people of all free nations. This dystopia is not only possible, it seems as if it is coming soon.
Inews.co.uk points out that Orwell skipped vital medical care to finish 1984 not as a work of fiction and died eight months later. It was his warning after seeing Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia.
How did these tyrannies take root and could something similar – or even worse – emerge elsewhere, in countries that assumed their institutions and liberties were safe?
Ask yourself, are our liberties safe?