One of the basic precepts of Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-four‘ is that individuals should not think for themselves, and that everyone is subservient to the State. It’s accomplished by reprogramming how people think, a reversal of logic and that which was known. Only through accepting these illogical reversals is someone “allowed” to exist:
“WAR IS PEACE;
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY;
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”
These three basic slogans of the Party were everywhere. Even questioning them was tantamount to a Thoughtcrime, and was punishable as such.
But was ‘Nineteen Eighty-four‘ just a book, merely a dystopian fantasy to be discussed in an English Lit class? Because more and more, I’m getting the distinct impression that someone decided it’d make a pretty good “How-To” instruction manual.
Here’s an excerpt from the original article, via the Baltimore Sun:
“…The format of the forum did not allow the public to stand and ask a question. Instead, those who wanted questions answered had to write them on a piece of paper. Dance read the questions and had members of a panel, which included state schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery, answer them…”
“…The officer pushed Small and then escorted him into the hall, handcuffed him and had him sit on the curb in front of the school. He was taken to the Towson precinct and detained.
Small was charged with second-degree assault of a police officer, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to 10 years in prison, and disturbing a school operation, which carries a fine of $2,500 and up to six months…”
I don’t care on which side of the Common Core discussion you are: doesn’t this seem several miles beyond excessive? Sure, he stood up and asked questions when the “rules” dictated that he was supposed to submit his question in writing, but still: arrested? And possibly facing fines and prison?
Prison!?? For what at worst is speaking out of turn?
Welcome to the new Ministry of Truth, gang. And FYI: the Ministry doesn’t appreciate being questioned.
For Example #2, we’re going directly to a college campus itself. Hearkening back to the days of Thomas Paine, a young man decided to be a pamphleteer for the day, handing out copies of the ultimate rebellious document: our nation’s Constitution.
Any guesses how THAT turned out?
The irony of preventing a kid from handing out a United States Constitution, which includes the Amendment protecting Free Speech, on a campus of higher education, …seems to be utterly lost on our new Statist masters.
There’ll be more examples: tomorrow, next week, and next month, until we no longer question our rights. That’s because we’ll no longer recognize them as being “rights” at all.
The pity of it is that we’ll have surrendered them with barely a whimper of protest. We’ll have given them up of our own free will, and many will congratulate themselves on their new enlightenment.
Hmmm, …where have I read about that before?
You will have the rights that WE say you can have and will only exercise those rights WHEN we tell you to!
And still they persist in saying that they don’t MEAN to do what they’re so obviously doing.
I’m beyond frustrated right now…
It’s just so much more sophisticated and intellectual, not to mention cool to be a statist. Can’t have any of those horrifying patriots thinking they can think for themselves.
You got it, Sally. We can’t see the wisdom in all this ’cause we’re just not smart enough.
I do so love being condescended to by these jerks…
The pitcher lays a hanging curve ball over the outside corner……the batter’s reaction is instantaneous…… SMACK!
As he approaches first base he glances up…
…and JTR hits another one out of the park.
GREAT POST MY FRIEND.
I’m honored, partner. Orwell is one of my favorites, but I never dreamed that this novel would become this true to life.
And it scares the tar out of me…
We should all be scared brother.
Reblogged this on libslayer2013.
Thanks for the re-blog, Slayer!
my pleasure friend… 😀
“There’ll be more examples: tomorrow, next week, and next month, until we no longer question our rights.” … I fear no truer words have recently been spoken. p/s: I own a first edition hard back of Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty-four‘! 😀
I’m envious, Teach! I still have the old paperback that I got back in High School. It’s a bit dog-eared at this point…
I don’t want to be right, but denying reality won’t help us: this is indeed what we’re dealing with right now.
Great post and unbelievable examples. I have always love dystopian fiction, and I agree with you that Orwell seems eerily prescient.
As my kids read the Hunger Games trilogy, I read an article that I would recommend that discussed Orwell and Huxley’s differing views of dystopia – totalitarianism of the other vs of the self, all in reference to modern society and the Hunger Games. http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2013/04/hunger-games-and-dystopia
Worth a look. And if you like dystopia – I suggest reading Orwell’s inspiration, Zamyatin’s “WE” from 1921 Soviet Union.
Gracias, Greg! I just bookmarked your link and will read it tomorrow morning. And I’ve never even heard of Zamyatin, but just requested it from the library (online ordering is awesome…).
Your grasp of relevant history is staggering, partner, and hugely appreciated.
Haha thank you…like PGH I love good nuggets of info. Just an ol’ history major stuck in the body of a lowly retail manager. If you get a chance, tell my kids that its actually cool and not to roll their eyes next time I launch into a story!
Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.
Thanks for the re-blog, my friend!!!
Reblogged this on Natural Conservatism & Common Sense.
Thanks for the re-blog, CT!!!
At first I wished that the crowd at the parent/teacher meeting would have backed the man up against the security guard; but on reflection, a swat team would have come in to break up the lawless riot. No witnesses would have survived; but the media would have said they were all armed w/ AR-15s.
If he was on his chair, screaming, I’d still say that he should have simply been escorted from the room.
And that’s it.
Remember when the Code Pink folks snuck into Dubya’s speeches? Were THEY arrested-and-fined??
I don’t think so…
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