politics and culture Essay

Submitted By dannhaley
Words: 974
Pages: 4

In 1984, the government dictated every aspect of a person’s life. They used drilled propaganda

of the mind to the point that everyone was brainwashed. Even if the propaganda is

unbelievable, the people of Oceania readily go along with it.

This reminds me Hitler, of course, because of his use of propaganda. Actually, any dictator had

to use propaganda to rise to power. So really, the tactic of any dictator of the world can be

related to the dictatorship in 1984.

I’ll just use Hitler as a general example. His ideals and goals were crazy, to put it simply. He

wanted to wipe out an entire race. Any human with the slightest bit of morals, or even a

conscience, would realize that he was evil. When I first learned about Hitler, I couldn’t

understand why so many people supported him. How did he get away with so much? I soon

came to realize that the majority of people supported him out of fear. If anyone’s actions were

suspicious (e.g. they didn’t apply to the Nazi Party) the Gestapo would investigate them.

Everyone feared the secret police and, ultimately, death. This is the exact situation those in

Oceania had to deal with. The Thought Police were the most feared, as they came in the

darkness of the night to arrest those who thought anything that opposed the Party. Everyone

knows that once arrested by the Thought Police, death is inevitable. This was also true when a

person was arrested by the Nazis. In both situations, fear is induced so as to gain support for a

dictator.

Readers sometimes write saying they think Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein are the present-day versions of 1984's Emmanuel Goldstein. In thinking this way they are missing the mark, in my opinion.

Bin Laden and Hussein could more accurately be compared to Eastasia or Eurasia - Oceania's ever-changing enemies as described in Reality Control. "The enemy of the moment was always represented as absolute evil and any past or future agreement with him was impossible". During festivities in Hate Week the leader of the enemy is burned in effigy; photographs are faked and atrocity pamphlets are handed out. Patriotic songs are written, marches are organized, films are created and telescreen programs show the funerals of victims killed by rocket bombs supposedly launched by the enemy. The enemy is either Eastasia or Eurasia or any members from within.

Orwell tells us - through the character O'Brien - that Emmanuel Goldstein is the leader of Big
Brother, not the friend of the proletariat he pretends to be.

1984, like its predecessor Animal Farm, is a symbolic portrayal of Communism, only this time further advanced.

A combination of Marx's book "The Communist Manifesto" and Lenin's "Testament" could be what Orwell represents in 1984 as the book written by Goldstein - "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism".
Orwell's description of Goldstein as having "a lean Jewish face, with a great fuzzy aureole of white hair" is a combination of the faces of Lenin and Marx.
Orwell says Goldstein is full of "clap trap" when he spouts oratory about "freedom of speech, freedom of the Press, freedom of assembly, and freedom of thought". His revolution for "a new and better life" for the Proles means, in reality, their enslavement and death. This is synonymous with the lie perpetrated by Marx and Lenin's devotees who, once in power, conduct themselves in the manner of Stalin in the Soviet Union and Mao in China, to name a few. Under Communism there is no "workers' paradise".

That, in a nutshell, explains the plot of Orwell's two last books - both of which he said he wrote to expose totalitarianism. They were written during a time in history when the spread of
Communism was a real and present danger, and when writing about it…