The resurgence of Orwell's 1984

larkin

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
3,698
There has been a resurgence of the 1948 George Orwell book, 1984
9500% increase in sales has brought it to the top of the best seller list.
In a New York Times article, They seem to lay it at the feet of Trump, but is that really the sum of it?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/books/1984-george-orwell-donald-trump.html

In contrast to the brief Times article, this New Yorker piece is a much deeper and more thoughtful assessment.
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/so-are-we-living-in-1984

I re-read this book long before the Trump candidacy and saw startling parallels.
In the 6th grade we were specifically taught that this book was about Stalin and Russia.. Perhaps it was, but the communist monolith is long gone. Why the spike in sales?
 
Oct 2015
367
Belfast
George Orwell wrote 1984, intending it as warning. Today, some would regard it as an instruction manual.

Orwell's prophecies (yes, I will call them that!) have come true in many ways.

Winston Smith on the speakwrite makes up a story about Comrade Ogilvy who sacrificed himself by throwing himself out of a helicopter to evade capture - Fake News.

Fond of programmes like the X Factor and the Voice? Orwell predicted manufactured pop music for the proles.

CCTV surveillance 24 hours a day.

Orwellian Newspeak. He wrote of thoughtcrime and facecrime. How many times have you heard the word "hatecrime"?
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
In many ways we are already living some of the aspects of Orwell's work. However, some of the ideas he introduced in that work have been around for far longer.

This is what F. William Enghdal wrote in his book, Century of War Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order:

Well before Karl Marx ever conceived of his notion of class warfare, British liberalism had evolved a concept of a society polarized into what they termed the ‘upper classes’ and the ‘lower classes.’ The essence of the nineteenth-century liberal free trade policies of Adam Smith and David Ricardo, which led to the abolition of the protective Corn Laws in Britain after 1846, and which opened the fl ood gates to ruinous cheap grain imports, led, as noted earlier, to the predictable impoverishment of the greater majority of British citizens, and to the concentration of the wealth of the society into the hands of a small minority, the so-called ‘upper classes.’ The political philosophy of what was called British liberalism was the justifi cation for this economically inequitable process.
As the most infl uential American publicist of nineteenth-century British liberalism, the aristocratic Walter Lippmann defi ned this class society in a modern framework for an American audience. Society, Lippmann argued, should be divided into the great vulgar masses of a largely ignorant ‘public,’ which is then steered by an elite or a ‘special class,’ which Lippmann termed the ‘responsible men,’ who would decide the terms of what would be called ‘the national interest.’
This elite would become the dedicated bureaucracy, to serve the interests of private power and private wealth, but the truth of their relationship to the power of private wealth should never be revealed to the broader ignorant public. ‘They wouldn’t understand.’
The general population must have the illusion, Lippmann argued, that it is actually exerting ‘democratic’ power. This illusion must be shaped by the elite body of ‘responsible men’ in what was termed the ‘manufacture of consent.’ This was described by Lippmann, several decades before Paul Volcker ever set foot in Washington, as the ‘political philosophy for liberal democracy.’ In its concept of an elite specialized few, ruling on behalf of the greater masses, modern Anglo-American liberalism bore a curious similarity to the Leninist
concept of a ‘vanguard party,’ which imposed a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ in the name of some future ideal of society. Both models were based on deception of the broader populace.
More and more, following the turning point of the 1957 U.S. economic recession, the enormous power of a small number of international banks and related petroleum multinationals, concentrated in New York, defi ned the contents of an American ‘liberalism,’ based on adaptation of the nineteenth-century British imperial model. The American version of this enlightened liberal model would be shaped from an aristocracy of money, rather than the blue-blood aristocracy of birth. But increasingly, as a consequence of the economic policy decisions of the American East Coast liberal establishment—so-called because its center of power was built around the New York fi nance and oil conglomerates—the United States became transformed. America, once the ideal of freedom for much of the world, became, step-by-step, transformed into the opposite, and at a quickening pace during the 1970s and 1980s, while she retained a rhetorical facade of ‘freedom and liberty.’
F. William Enghdal Century of War Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, p. 178
 
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Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,410
Albuquerque, NM
No partisan politics after 1991, is the rule, and this thread is headed for violations and closure. In members want to discuss Orwell's book and ideas, they should be very, very careful not to violate the rules.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,919
The economical (rationing and shortages of even basic necessities) political (one party and one dear leader) and military (constant war between 3 major coalitions) situation in 1984 is completely different to our world today

However the societal aspects are relevant... The use and abuse of language, rightthink, twisting of facts and even of the past out of recognition are some of the aspects that are valid today.
 

Valens

Ad Honorem
Feb 2014
8,308
Colonia Valensiana
No partisan politics after 1991, is the rule, and this thread is headed for violations and closure. In members want to discuss Orwell's book and ideas, they should be very, very careful not to violate the rules.
If you were referring to my post, the quote I put deals with events prior to 1991 so it cannot be considered current partisan politics.
 

larkin

Ad Honorem
Sep 2009
3,698
Keep the current political aspects out of your discussion.
These are not partisan issues.
I would appeal to you, Mr. Asherman.
A discussion of this book should be allowed as long as no specific politician, no political party or specific war or country is mentioned.
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In "The Principles of Newspeak", the appendix to the novel, [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]George Orwell[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]explains that Newspeak usage follows most of the English grammar, yet is a language characterised by a continually diminishing vocabulary; complete thoughts reduced to simple terms of simplistic meaning[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Newspeak is also a [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]constructed language[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], of planned [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]phonology[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], grammar, and vocabulary, like [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Basic English[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], which Orwell promoted (1942–44) during the Second World War (1939–45), and later rejected in the essay "[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Politics and the English Language[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]" (1946), wherein he criticises the bad usage of English in his day: Dying metaphors, pretentious diction, and high-flown rhetoric, which produce the meaningless words of [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]doublespeak[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], the product of [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]unclear reasoning[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]. Orwell's conclusion thematically reiterates linguistic decline: "I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this may argue that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development, by any direct tinkering with words or constructions."[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif][7][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Some examples, more can be found here.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]https://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp[/FONT]

Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations: Numbers & Characters

Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations: Numbers & Characters

?
I have a question
?
I don't understand what you mean
?4U
I have a question for you
;S
Gentle warning, like "Hmm? What did you say?"
^^
Meaning "read line" or "read message" above
<3
Meaning "sideways heart" (love, friendship)
<3
Meaning "broken heart"
<33
Meaning "heart or love" (more 3s is a bigger heart)
@TEOTD
At the end of the day
.02
My (or your) two cents worth
1TG, 2TG
Meaning number of items needed for win (online gaming)
1UP
Meaning extra life (online gaming)
121
One-to-one (private chat initiation)
1337
Leet, meaning 'elite'
143
I love you
1432
I love you too

I have all ready heard discussions where it is used in person to person speech
 
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Port

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
2,092
portland maine
These are not partisan issues.

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]In "The Principles of Newspeak", the appendix to the novel, [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]George Orwell[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]explains that Newspeak usage follows most of the English grammar, yet is a language characterised by a continually diminishing vocabulary; complete thoughts reduced to simple terms of simplistic meaning[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Newspeak is also a [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]constructed language[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], of planned [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]phonology[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], grammar, and vocabulary, like [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Basic English[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], which Orwell promoted (1942–44) during the Second World War (1939–45), and later rejected in the essay "[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Politics and the English Language[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]" (1946), wherein he criticises the bad usage of English in his day: Dying metaphors, pretentious diction, and high-flown rhetoric, which produce the meaningless words of [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]doublespeak[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif], the product of [/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]unclear reasoning[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif]. Orwell's conclusion thematically reiterates linguistic decline: "I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this may argue that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development, by any direct tinkering with words or constructions."[/FONT][FONT=Arial, sans-serif][7][/FONT]

[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Some examples, more can be found here.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]https://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp[/FONT]

Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations: Numbers & Characters

Text Messaging & Chat Abbreviations: Numbers & Characters

?
I have a question
?
I don't understand what you mean
?4U
I have a question for you
;S
Gentle warning, like "Hmm? What did you say?"
^^
Meaning "read line" or "read message" above
<3
Meaning "sideways heart" (love, friendship)
<3
Meaning "broken heart"
<33
Meaning "heart or love" (more 3s is a bigger heart)
@TEOTD
At the end of the day
.02
My (or your) two cents worth
1TG, 2TG
Meaning number of items needed for win (online gaming)
1UP
Meaning extra life (online gaming)
121
One-to-one (private chat initiation)
1337
Leet, meaning 'elite'
143
I love you
1432
I love you too

I have all ready heard discussions where it is used in person to person speech
Off Topic 1984 may be selling again but the Sinclair Lewis novel "It couldn't happen here" has been made into a 2 act play. I wonder in what ways does history effect literature
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,354
There has been a resurgence of the 1948 George Orwell book, 1984
9500% increase in sales has brought it to the top of the best seller list.
In a New York Times article, They seem to lay it at the feet of Trump, but is that really the sum of it?
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/books/1984-george-orwell-donald-trump.html

In contrast to the brief Times article, this New Yorker piece is a much deeper and more thoughtful assessment.
https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/so-are-we-living-in-1984

I re-read this book long before the Trump candidacy and saw startling parallels.
In the 6th grade we were specifically taught that this book was about Stalin and Russia.. Perhaps it was, but the communist monolith is long gone. Why the spike in sales?
1984 is a comment on the logical conclusion of Soviet totalitarianism, specifically a manifestation of Orwell's disappointment with Stalinism, just as Animal Farm is an allegory for the Russian Revolution.

And yes, polictial correctness is a fine parallel to Newspeak and thoughtcrime.

I have always thought Goldstein was a stand in for Trotsy, just as is Snowball in Animal Farm.

You are the wrong side of this one my friend.
 
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