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Thread: Forget Orwell

  1. #1

    Default Forget Orwell

    Most people believe that Orwell issued the dark and depressing 1984 as warning. If this is so, why, with such great popularity, did the novel only bring resignation and acceptance? The fact is, George Orwell was a political insider who stood to gain from the totalitarian world he was prophesying. We can reasonably conclude therefore that he wanted people to accept what was coming.

    To effectively warn against an unwanted future a novel must be uplifting, hopeful and the heroes must win.
    Last edited by Meritocrat; 03-13-2017 at 05:58 AM.



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  3. #2

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    "The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it." -- George Orwell

  4. #3

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    i've always viewed that book as a metaphor for his oppressive childhood. Read in biography and you'll understand.
    If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meritocrat View Post
    Most people believe that Orwell issued the dark and depressing 1984 as warning. If this is so, why, with such great popularity, did the novel only bring resignation and acceptance? The fact is, George Orwell was a political insider who stood to gain from the totalitarian world he was prophesying. We can reasonably conclude therefore that he wanted people to accept what was coming.
    I have seen this before. It may well be true.

    To effectively warn against an unwanted future a novel must be uplifting, hopeful and the heroes must win.
    I do not accept the premise. Firstly, I never took 1984 as a warning. I took it as a vision of a possible future resulting from the brands of murderous tyranny that were certain to arise with the corresponding rise in technological capacities. It is a run to the logically extreme conclusion, describing the potential of the combination of human political proclivity and ever lengthening technological levers.

    Secondly, since when does a warning of this sort have to end happily? I would counter argue that the happy ending is the precise means by which a warning may fail to have its intended effect. Consider an alcoholic or other addict. If you tell such people that there is even the slimmest chance that their consumption may work itself out, they will cleave to that hope and use it as the excuse to keep right on abusing. The only sorts of warning I have ever known to have even the thinnest chance for affect are the ones that show the addict he is heading for death or grotesque disfigurement. Not sure where you're getting the need for happy outcomes where warnings are concerned.

    My purpose in writing Progress was not to foretell the future or promote presidential politics as a means of change. I simply put forth the most plausible way that an economic collapse could be prevented.
    If it is Theire design not to have an economic collapse, then there almost certainly shall be none, and vice versa.

    One plausible explanation for that which we are witnessing is the goal of beating the people of the "developed" world so down into the dirt, that when the great global tyrant arises, that even the only people who would have once raised the least whimper in non-adoration will remain silent in grateful relief at the prospect that "it" is now over and that life may actually become worth living once more. All the talk of a global cull, while plausible, does not strike me as strategically sound since such abrupt and extreme change tends to carry great risk, not to mention the tremendous disruptions to everybody's lives, including Theire's. Why be impatient when two more generations could see a large reduction in the human population with the benefits of continuing technological advancement to one's own advantage?

    Killing off 93% of the global population (assuming the 500MM goal set on the Georgia Guide Stones is to be taken as the actual objective) also kills off a lot of the potential human brain trust. I would also point out that the more technologically complex we become, the more people we need to maintain and advance the race. Why? Because there is so much knowledge to be maintained that sufficient population must be available to carry it forward, generation over generation. Until the day comes that we have self-maintaining automatons that can reproduce and repair themselves such that they could and would go on even if every last human disappeared from the earth, we will need lots of people to steward the totality of human knowledge for future generations, such as they may turn out.
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


  6. #5

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    1984 puts you in the position to identify withthe protagonist, Winston Smith who is fighting against totalitarianism. Then it has you suffer his very awful defeat. He is ultimatelytortured and brainwashed. The message is that this future is coming andyou are powerless to stop it so don't even try. If Orwell really wantedto stop the rise of Big Brother he would have had Winston Smith win. Andif he had, I don't think you would see the novel covered in government schoolsand government controlled universities as it is now.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meritocrat View Post
    1984 puts you in the position to identify withthe protagonist, Winston Smith who is fighting against totalitarianism. Then it has you suffer his very awful defeat. He is ultimatelytortured and brainwashed.


    You appear to have forgotten the part where, as he sat in a room at the funny farm, or wherever it was, he still scribbles "2+2=4". He was NOT defeated.

    The message is that this future is coming and you are powerless to stop it so don't even try.
    If there was any warning, it was that the sorts of men, backed with the power of sufficient technology, the blind obedience of avaricious cowards and, most importantly, the vast leverage of competently wielded psychological ruse, not only can wreak endlessly deadly havoc upon men's lives, but will reduce those lives, including their own, to wrack and ruin. It is the nature of those who seek such position to do so, human history being littered with the proof. Expecting Themme to do otherwise is even less indicative of intelligence than tugging at the tail of a timber rattler, expecting it not to bite.

    If Orwell really wanted to stop the rise of Big Brother he would have had Winston Smith win.
    Presumption of facts not in evidence.

    Andif he had, I don't think you would see the novel covered in government schoolsand government controlled universities as it is now.


    I don't think 1984 remains on high school reading lists in too many places, nor Brave New World or Animal Farm. Am I mistaken?
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


  8. #7

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    "You appear to have forgotten the part where, as he sat in a room at the funny farm, or wherever it was, he still scribbles "2+2=4". He was NOT defeated."

    This is a nice stoic sentiment, but writing 2+2 = 4 is not enough to inspire the average reader. It doesn't erase the torture that they lived through.

    "Presumption of facts not in evidence."

    There's no presumption of fact. I gave the evidence. Orwell was a paid propagandist for the BBC. He was an avowed socialist. The novel reached as many people as it possibly could have. I can conclude that it was not a successful warning against totalitarianism and suspect that it wasn't intended to be.

    As far as the influence of winning. You might take a look at the Donald Trump campaign.

    "I don't think 1984 remains on high school reading lists in too many places, nor Brave New World or Animal Farm. Am I mistaken?"

    Yes you are mistaken. All three books are on the government's schools summer reading lists and still covered in college classes.
    Last edited by Meritocrat; 12-16-2015 at 09:04 AM.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meritocrat View Post

    This is a nice stoic sentiment, but writing 2+2 = 4 is not enough to inspire the average reader.


    Who said anything about the average reader? The average man is a willfully blithering imbecile. He and those below him on the Gaussian don't count for much of anything. It's the upper three sigmas that the smart man seeks to address... and not even all of those.

    It doesn't erase the torture that they lived through.
    Readers live through torture? OK, now that I think about it, I suppose they often do, what with books by the likes of Oprah Winfrey.


    There's no presumption of fact. I gave the evidence. Orwell was a paid propagandist for the BBC. He was an avowed socialist. The novel reached as many people as it possibly could have. I can conclude that it was not a successful warning against totalitarianism and suspect that it wasn't intended to be.


    Perhaps. Nothing would surprise me.

    As far as the influence of winning. You might take a look at the Donald Trump campaign.


    I didn't write that winning has no influence. I wrote that happy endings were not a requirement for getting people to act. Bribery with sex and drugs usually accomplishes that. Oh, and food. People like to eat.
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


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  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meritocrat View Post
    "You appear to have forgotten the part where, as he sat in a room at the funny farm, or wherever it was, he still scribbles "2+2=4". He was NOT defeated."

    This is a nice stoic sentiment, but writing 2+2 = 4 is not enough to inspire the average reader. It doesn't erase the torture that they lived through.

    "Presumption of facts not in evidence."

    There's no presumption of fact. I gave the evidence. Orwell was a paid propagandist for the BBC. He was an avowed socialist. The novel reached as many people as it possibly could have. I can conclude that it was not a successful warning against totalitarianism and suspect that it wasn't intended to be.

    As far as the influence of winning. You might take a look at the Donald Trump campaign.

    "I don't think 1984 remains on high school reading lists in too many places, nor Brave New World or Animal Farm. Am I mistaken?"

    Yes you are mistaken. All three books are on the government's schools summer reading lists and still covered in college classes.
    Unless I'm totally mistaken these were required reading in Jr.High........

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by tod evans View Post
    Unless I'm totally mistaken these were required reading in Jr.High........
    And 125 years ago third graders read Milton and understood.

    So much for "progress".
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


  13. #12

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    Works like 1984 and A Brave New World (and I can probably add Paradise Lost) are working on a subconscious level. They are associating values such as reason, truth and morality with undesirable feelings. Read this letter Huxley wrote Orwell:

    "…May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals — the ultimate revolution? The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution — the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual’s psychology and physiology — are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.

    “Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth-century philosophers and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government. Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations. Another lucky accident was Freud’s inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism. This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years. But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.

    “Within the next generation I believe that the world’s rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency…”

    I agree that happy endings are not a requirement to get people to act. There will always be a minority of people like you and me who are able to analysis a work rationally, and take a novel like 1984 as a call to action. They are, however, a requirement to get the mass of people to act. The majority of people are driven more by subconscious feelings than they are by conscious thinking. The question I asked was what if a novel worked on both levels?
    Last edited by Meritocrat; 12-20-2015 at 06:51 AM.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meritocrat View Post
    ...the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied...
    Theire lust for power can never be completely satisfied.

    If Theye achieve utter dominion over the rest, what then shall they do? I assure you that Theye will never be satisfied with what they have. So I put it to you - to everyone - what will Theye do after they achieve complete dominion such that there will be no individual that they cannot summon for rape or murder, dismemberment or caging? What will Theye do once Godlike power is achieved over their lesser brethren? How will that future unfold?
    Through lives and lives shalt thou pay, O' king.

    Pray for reset.


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