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Old May 14th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #11

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I always saw a strong Huxley parallel in our modern western culture. The athletics, mood altering pharma, cultural war on the family and sexual identity. The declining birth rate. Science as a replacement for religion being imprinted on the very young. And as someone mentioned, the Dystopian effect of it.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 01:38 PM   #12

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Originally Posted by okamido View Post
I wonder if this is where the idea of U.S. complicity in 9/11 stems from. I also find Julia's pragmatism much more a vital commodity than Winston's idealism.
One often finds the 'orwellian' nature of the war on terror being written of in the Anti-war journalistic community.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #13

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I would argue that God features heavily in both Orwell's and Huxley's scenarios - both paradoxically marked by their total absence from it, and their replacement by surrogate absolute belief systems. Though of course there is the very well written dialogue between the Savage and Mustapha Mond at the end of Brave New World on the subject of the old world and the old God.

The quote from Brave New World (p. 118, hardcopy edition, p. 59 of the electronic edition linked in the OP) of the Savage's alienation experience and rejection by his adopted tribe, where he meditates on his pain & injury under the moonlit skies speaks to the prime foundation to the Brave New World of Huxley, but so too Orwell's:

Quote:
"He had discovered Time and Death and God."
Time, the passage of, and the awareness of it's passing, is basically non-existent in both Orwell's Oceania and in the world of Huxley. There is only an ever present now, history is non-existent, the future inconceivable as nothing ever changes. Death, and especially an appreciation of such and what it means, is voided from Huxley's dystopia - man and woman, unwaxed and unwaned by the passage of time are unmourned, unmarked, and unremarked by behaviourily conditioned pups who eat chocolate sauce and play erotic games in the Hospitals for the Dying, oblivious to oblivion. Death in Orwell's Oceania is either mere statistics, no connection to reality in the eternal wars, or the exicising of unpersons from the record, into the memory hole, where their deaths are too unmarked and unremarked.

In Orwell's book, the state and Big Brother are the stand-ins for God, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient.
Ford is the diety for all in the Brave New World, the cross of Christianity beheaded, mocked, and replaced by the T in Henry Ford's Model-T.

Both Winston Smith and John the Savage dared approach with temerity the face of Time, Death, And God, and their wings were cut from them, they suffered diminishing in the eyes of those they had force of passion for, even love, and - in the eyes of the totalising regimes they opposed - were made small and made to pay for their sin of individuality, and daring to preach doctrine of the holy trinity of "TDG."

Last edited by Kuon; May 14th, 2011 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Typos.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #14

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Originally Posted by unclefred View Post
One often finds the 'orwellian' nature of the war on terror being written of in the Anti-war journalistic community.
Perpetual War does seem to be eating up the economy currently, and the middles class does seem to be getting worn down. More than anything, a combination of both tales is putting us right where they want us.
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Old May 14th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #15

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I am actually suprised that this thread hasn't received as much play.
Oh how I forgot! Gonna add some more later! This I promised!
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Old May 15th, 2011, 01:16 AM   #16

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The book touches on French philosopher Jean Baudrillard's dilemna that what happens if we create so many lies, for such a long time that the the last person who remembers the real truth dies, all that is then left for future generations have is the fake. Truth is lost forever and people are stuck in the hyperreal never again able to reality.
I think the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four being analogous to Baudrillard's conception of the simulacra is valid, indeed.
Interesting that.

If what okamido says is true (allied to your comments on the postmodern nature of Orwell's vision), then is "9/11 truth" a kind of proxy postmodern movement?
Actually, there may be something in the idea...


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The city of Airstrip One, formerly London was not an outrageous society of comrade, and freedom is has become slavery. Hatred has become the ideology of every human. It is very terrific and creatively done by his wits that he could imagined a world without freedom, a world full of hate, a world full of wars and the world without reason. This is the very end of the negative Utopia that he has in his mind.
Yes, what is held to be the ideal, and of normative behaviour, is turned upside down in Orwell's Oceania. It's almost a kind of through the looking glass world, where everything is reversed according to our outlook. War is peace, ignorance is strength, freedom is slavery.


Quote:
Originally Posted by unclefred View Post
One often finds the 'orwellian' nature of the war on terror being written of in the Anti-war journalistic community.
I think there is something to be said for that. The endless war cycle, the building up of enemies into creatures of mythic and grandiose power and scope has an Orwellian ring to it. War being the driver of social stability seems fit the model of Nineteen Eighty-Four.
I don't think the world we occupy is totally Orwellian or Huxleyian, there are very unsettling comparisons be made with both dystopic narratives. Like I said earlier, I think there is a core Orwellian militarist worldview (for the elite corporate/military-industrial complex in the west, even the rest of the developed world) nestled inside a hedonist's simulacrum for the rank and file to be distracted by trivial nonsense, where truth is a slippery commodity - if, that is, anyone is actually interested in pursuing it.

Last edited by Kuon; May 15th, 2011 at 01:24 AM. Reason: Added text in reply.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #17

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The book 1984 represents the idealistic view of a negative Utopia where everybody is under surveillance from the party and the leader, Big Brother, a contrast to the human belief of freedom and privacy. A thriller combined with fascinating perception of a watchful world where private property is abolished and free-will has vanished.

Orwell gives us a visionary and weak protagonist, Winston Smith. Weak? because of his fear to lose his life as an opposition for the party's government. Visionary? because he dreamt of an society where love, freedom, privacy and individuality is upheld like in his dreams. He though of the a revolution from the proles so to free himself from the hate, disgust and contempt that is vividly portrayed in the book. The idea of freeing himself from this disease was his very ultimate vision, the destruction of the party, the Ingsoc and Big Brother. His dreams of his mother has always attempted to reconcile his perception of the world that family affairs are important unlike what the Party has told the citizens. His love for his mother, although has been erased in history has still an effect for his heart. This struggle between hatred and love are the destructive allegory of the novel.

On the other hand, the part creates a world based on the Ingsoc principles the contemptible control of everything; your actions, property, wants and needs, stories, emotion. But the three most important that the party controlled is history, language and freedom of expression. History is one of the essential characteristics for a human being, being able to remember is something for humans, not by instinct but by emotion. We discover and learn something from history, and learning from the past is a hindrance for the successful political organization inside the party, therefore history has been altered. History is unalterable, but admitting that this is history, change is possible, but only for those who don't have contact with it.

Language, another tool for communication has now reduced to the uncreative rubbish words, Newspeak. The reason is that when people speak very few words, they don't tend to express everything so revolt is almost impossible. If language has been thrown out of the human curiosity, it will be a hemorrhage to the society, a death for free speech, free-thinking and democracy. The importance of language will always be monument for the human civilization, but reducing communication is like watching a static blurred television.

Freedom of expression has now abolished, the importance of expression is the human nature to speak out, to give something to itself, to shout an emotion, to agree or disagree in an opinion, or to question a belief. But all of this conditions are now absolutely out of the world. Fear has threaten the existence of human beings, fear of death and pain is the chain that is unacceptable for every human being. Fear, pain and hatred has been the allegory of the Oceania, the negative Utopia that nobody wants, a disgust for the human civilization.

With all the control of natural law, there would be no opposition. Everything is under the state of unconditional acceptance, camaraderie and hatred. The demolition of individuality has become a power for the party for when everybody treats everybody as not competitive, rather as an organization, thus equality and order is obtain. This collectivism is the very foundation of the communism and socialism which has been improved in Ingsoc (English Socialism)

The very haunting themes of 1984 will always be present in our present society. This omniscient threat will always established in some individual as a visionary element for the Utopia, but to say, it will be always an attempt for no human nature will be altered so easily by torture, death and revolutionary ideas. Defying freedom, love, individualism, faith and hope will always be a theory. Natural law as I believe is omnipresent as long as living things are alive in this world.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 03:52 AM   #18

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuon View Post
I think the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four being analogous to Baudrillard's conception of the simulacra is valid, indeed.
Interesting that.

If what okamido says is true (allied to your comments on the postmodern nature of Orwell's vision), then is "9/11 truth" a kind of proxy postmodern movement?
Actually, there may be something in the idea...

I would say 9/11 Truth is the exact opposite of postmodernism. It requires a group of informed people being in power and able to organise it. Postmodernism rejects the notion there is any truth, any superiorly informed people, the people at the top in post modernism as brainwashed saps as everyone else. Postmodernism rejects all conspiracy theory because their is no real truth the find out behind the lie and no group holding this truth, there is just the lie and everyone has fallen for it.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 04:39 AM   #19

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I would say 9/11 Truth is the exact opposite of postmodernism. It requires a group of informed people being in power and able to organise it. Postmodernism rejects the notion there is any truth, any superiorly informed people, the people at the top in post modernism as brainwashed saps as everyone else. Postmodernism rejects all conspiracy theory because their is no real truth the find out behind the lie and no group holding this truth, there is just the lie and everyone has fallen for it.
I was being mostly facetious, whilst alluding to the notion that 9/11 truth resembles a kind of postmodern parody, I suppose. In that I have the fanciful idea that in an alternative world (for the sake of argument) if a subversive postmodern group wanted to set out a narrative criticising the notion that there is objective truth, would start a 9/11 truth movement, which by its risable nature lampoons the search for objective truth, and makes it farcical. Hence the "proxy postmodern movement."
I've always taken postmodernism as playing with ideas and subverting narratives.

There is a certain perverse parallel between conspiracy theory - in its metanarrative form - and postmodernism. The former's doctrine that there is no objective truth to be found in the proclamations of the establishment (the only true and real stance to take as a conspiracy theorist is to not believe a single word uttered by authority), and that all reality - as they know it - is formed by consensus of the establishment is kind of in the same ballpark of postmodernism's view on objective truth, except the former quests after an ultimate truth just eternally out of their reach, and almost certainly in their heart of hearts, they know such "truth" is unobtainable and relative.
Which is what they fear, most of all.

And movements such as 9/11 truth and similar conspiracy theory groups are the direct result of living in a postmodern world, where "truth" is relative, and there is no master narrative in the post-analogue age - we swim in a sea of simulacra, all noise and not much signal. It's not the only consequence, by far, but it's a consequence.

Last edited by Kuon; May 15th, 2011 at 05:04 AM. Reason: Added text.
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Old May 15th, 2011, 07:14 AM   #20

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Does anyone else think that John the Savage, ostensibly free and wild, is actually as behaviourily programmed as those under the auspices of the World State? John is a hopeless romantic in thrall to the tragedies of Shakespeare, he may believe that to truly feel, doom is the predermined outcome. He's locked into a narrative of star crossed lovers and ships wrecked on alien shores, of splenetic gods and oedipal rage, and his choice to live at the lighthouse in the wasteland that acts as a limbo in the spaces between civilization outside London seems an ill choice. His constant rejection by the Indians may have further predisposed him to acting out the pariah narrative, being always other than what is around him, alienated by the social body, a figure bound for a bad end. Perhaps even wishing for it.
He's actively punishing himself, deathly afraid of sex and the female anatomy, who rejects the quite honest yearning and genuine feeling that Lenina Crowne had for him - despite this being expressed in the conventional upfront sexual manner of her world.
He could not see that she was, in her striving to connect, only trying to express what she felt via the only way she knew how to express it.
Shakespeare indoctrinated and Pope hating (the lover of his mother) was understandably unable to comprehend.
His self flaggelation and insistence on being alone so close to the populous zones of the World state may attest to his desire to be punished, to be martyred, like Jesus on the cross; which he had enacted a number of times. Did he set the scene for his own crucifixion?
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