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Lessons from George Orwell’s ‘1984’

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 13:06
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What 1984 Can Teach Us About 2017 - 1

February 23rd, 2017

By Ethan Indigo Smith

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell

Some fictional literature is so profound as to be relevant for decades. George Orwell’s timeless 1984 is one such literary work. One of the most influential books of our time, its message resonates today as much as it did when it was first published over 65 years ago — as shown by its recent surge to the #1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller list.

So what can 1984 teach us about the modern day?

At its core, 1984 is a post-WWII interpretation of the relationship between individuals and institutions. It changed the course of social history by spawning new language relating to the structure and mechanisms of our society, expanding the scope of human language and thought, and therefore, humanity’s understanding of itself. And that legacy seems perfectly fitting, for in the story of 1984, the world is controlled by so many restrictions that even the expressiveness of the official language, “Newspeak”, is deliberately narrowed by the ruling institutions in a way that limits the ability of individuals to express “thoughtcrime” — that which is deemed illegal by the “Inner Party”, the State

As a work of fiction, 1984 provides a stark view of a burgeoning culture of totalitarianism. As a work of symbolism, however, it stands as a reflection of modern fact in The U.S.A. and the world today. Within its narrative, the five freedoms of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution were infringed and removed; in particular, the freedom of speech was so restricted that there was only one source of news operated by the official governing body and an entire branch of government was dedicated to steadily eliminating language deemed detrimental to the State.


Recommended reading by Ethan Indigo Smith:

Individuality and Spirituality in the Age of Institutional Rule
Guardians of the Earth Unite! American Indian Prophecy, The Medicine Wheel, and The Four Sacred Directions
A Little Green Revolution: the Rainbow Warriors will Heal the Earth Mother
Why “Alternative” Media is the New Mainstream
Tibetan Rites of Rejuvenation: a Guide to Meditation and Breath
The Common Origins of Religions and Theology
Understanding Ascension: The Geometry of Energy
11:11 – A Call to the Indigos
The Mandala: The Sacred Geometry of Meditation
The Seed of Buddha Meditation
The Big “If” – What If Marijuana and Hemp Had Never Been Prohibited?
Mutually Agreed Peace: Ending The Doctrine of Perpetual War
The Dangers of Institutional Thinking – Lessons from 1984, The Matrix, and The Allegory of The Cave

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