Today’s meeting is under dark clouds, read again Nineteen eighty-four Rather, it shows how scientist George Orwell was wrong in thinking that people had to be tortured into submission. Half of America (still psychologically locked down, angry and frustrated) wouldn’t have it any other way.
The world Nineteen eighty-four 2022 is understandably terrifying. Orwell’s future people want to control. They have come to prefer it. Freedom of choice makes them feel safe. People accept surveillance and censoring of their media. They think about all this with a sense of inevitability—the only way to stay safe, if they think at all. All-seeing TV screens in their homes and spies and spies infiltrating their lives are really for good. Language itself is changed not only to stifle dissent, but to make it impossible.
In Nineteen eighty-four, the government controls and manipulates all media, sending past events down the memory hole where they are no longer politically correct. Today, we have the legacy media to do this. We can no longer read a newspaper or watch a documentary without any part of it being true. Americans enjoy fake news. To give just one example, the truth is that there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. It’s a double entendre that’s all made up, laced with ridiculous “details” like pee tape, they couldn’t have made it into a B-movie script. Michael Cohen has never been to Prague. The FBI had to lie to get a FISA warrant to spy on Trump associates. Yet large numbers of Americans still believe all of this to be true and look to the media to cling to the edge of the story. 2+2 can equal 5, if you can believe that.
For another example, Hunter Biden benefited financially from selling his father’s position. He made millions by selling his influence in China and Ukraine. Yet the media, with the full support of roughly half of Americans, worked to destroy the story and influence the 2020 election. Once submerged, the story never came back in time, and it probably won’t in the 2024 contest.
When I Google Hunter’s name, I find heartwarming stories about his struggles with various addictions. Most Americans welcome sleight of hand. They don’t want any more sensational management. They want censorship to clean it up. The government doesn’t need to police it; In America, when journalists are out of the news, it requires suspending other journalists’ First Amendment rights based on ideology.
Whether Orwell’s Two Minutes Hate made sense or not, the public was told to express hatred for the enemies of the state. The Brett Kavanaugh hearings were a widely accepted version of this, using a combination of mediagen victims, politicians and the MSM whipping up the mob. Social media, particularly Twitter, serves a similarly enduring purpose: We loved Andrew Cuomo as an anti-Trump fighter until we were told to hate him as a sexist. Is Dr. Fauci a good guy or a bad guy this week? Your family will also be targeted, because send a message to your white allies to “Tell your relatives and loved ones not to visit or answer their phone calls until they take significant steps to support black lives.”
In Nineteen eighty-four, Criticizing the Party is the worst sin, punishable by loss of status, job, and self-excommunication (cancellation). Although America has yet to include the physical torture part (in Newspeak, enhanced interrogation). Nineteen eighty-four-cancel the style, the rest of the tools are active. Party orthodoxy is replaced by the sin of criticizing diversity and denouncing it as racist. Entire industries—academia, media, entertainment—are controlled by issuing badges of dual and benign racism. Much of the media we consume and what our children learn in school is filtered, judged and censored by ideological mobs.
If you want to continue your work in these and other fields, you need to embrace Big Diverse Brother, and many are happy to do so. Those who are dissatisfied with the party 1984 become “impersonal” and all evidence of their existence vanishes. In 2022, they will be deplatformed. Institutions do not punish dissent because they seek to make dissent impossible.
Orwell envisioned the need for a huge Ministry of Truth to exercise control over society, in reality calling Covid-19 the “Chinese flu” would be silly to call it racism or a dash of articles falling from the sky. Fear the problem and strengthening the defenders becomes the solution. The message worked: you have to give up everything for a safe society. If not, you are selfish; you have committed a crime against your neighbors.
When Orwell wrote Nineteen eighty-four, he could imagine no organization more powerful than a government backed by a secret police and an army. He could not imagine the global media and its canine companion, social media, providing the means to screen and undo what we read. He failed to foresee the end point of global capitalism, when a handful of people with almost all the money would buy the laws and social changes they wanted.
Instead of adapting to this reality and pushing back, progressive Americans are supporting it. They roll like dogs in mud over the idea that while the government can’t censor Dr. Seuss, a corporation can. They enjoy pretending that such censorship is not censorship because, for now at least, only things they don’t like are being censored. They enjoy pretending that it doesn’t matter if a private person does it.
In 2022 America, we not only voluntarily accept tracking, we want more of it because it makes shopping easier. We spend thousands of dollars to buy and maintain 24/7 devices that track our location, record our communications, and learn and analyze our personal habits, from porn preferences to fashion choices, so that Amazon can recommend products to us. possible Surveillance of us was sold first as a way to protect us from terrorist attacks that never happened, then to catalog our associations to protect us from the simmering Covid-19 crisis for as long as possible. We want Big Brother to know where we’ve been so he can warn us not to associate with the “sick” people there. Vaccine passports to mark and reward compliance? Yes, please, if it means we can go to ball games.
We love it when surveillance technology helps arrest the “right” people. We fetishize how cell phone data was used to locate people during the Capitol riots, as well as face recognition against social media footage with the help of loved ones to arrest them. There is also a self-executing version of facial recognition progressives used to aid in law enforcement riots. The goal was to put people in jail if possible, but most loyalists seemed equally happy if it could cause someone to lose their job.
When I was young, I visited Soviet Eastern Europe. I lived under a dictatorship in China and Taiwan. I interviewed survivors of the Cultural Revolution and victims of torture during the years of Seoul’s military rule. I’m much older now and I know I’ve seen things before. Orwellian? Orwell was an amateur.