“Big Brother is watching you.” That particular phrase from George Orwell's 1949 novel “1984” is frequently used in literature, movies and TV to emphasize too much government and political interference. Written just prior to the “Cold War” between the United States and the Soviet Union, the predictions brandished by the book struck fear into the hearts of Americans that were afraid that someday our county would fall into the control of the Communists.
“Big Brother is watching you.” That particular phrase from George Orwell’s 1949 novel “1984” is frequently used in literature, movies and TV to emphasize too much government and political interference. Written just prior to the “Cold War” between the United States and the Soviet Union, the predictions brandished by the book struck fear into the hearts of Americans that were afraid that someday our county would fall into the control of the Communists.
I read the book as a high school student in the late 60s and early 70s after the “Cold War” had become somewhat a thing of the past. At the tender age of 15 or 16, I really wasn’t terribly concerned about totalitarianism and subversive government and more preoccupied with shedding the shackles of oppressive high school principals.
If you haven’t read the book, it deals with a country existing in a world of perpetual war, continual government surveillance and public manipulation. The country is under the control of the privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes individualism and independent thinking, defining theme as “thought-crimes.”
“Big Brother” is the dictatorial party leader with a cult following who may not truly exist. The Party apparently seeks power for its own personal gain and is not interested in the welfare of others. It exists solely for the purpose of power and control.
The novel’s principal character is Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party. He works for Minitrue – the Ministry of Truth, which is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. Smith’s specific job is to rewrite past newspaper articles, so that the historical record supports the party line. In some cases the government does not only actually kill people but their very existence is also removed from public records and documents.
When the year 1984 rolled around I was 31 years old and more concerned about raising a 6-month-old daughter than I was with government intrusion. But I do remember breathing a sigh of relief when the year passed and apparently none of Orwell’s dire predictions had come true. After all, we were still living in the land of the home of the free and the brave.
Thirty-one more years have passed and I feel I am beginning to see the handwriting on the wall. Big Brother finally was able to come up with technology to accomplish the objective. Do any of the scenarios set forth in Orwell’s novel even remotely seem familiar too you? If they don’t they should.
Today, Americans are being told what we raised by God-fearing parents to believe were moral wrongs are now OK. The federal government and corporate America is telling us what we should own or not own and display or not display and people that disagree with the views of elite groups are being discredited in the public eye. Rumors are circulating that there have been or will be attempts to change the content of books that have been considered sacred for ages.
One wise philosopher once stated, “The best government is less government.” We are moving a long way in the opposite direction and that is scary.”
This nation was established partially on Voltaire’s comments, “I disagree with every word you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Ladies and gentlemen freedom of speech and expression is about to slip right through our fingers. Last week in a Letter to the Editor, Patsy Plumley so eloquently stated, “…makes me remember a woman who got prayer removed from schools. How could one person do that? It was over and done with before many of us knew what was happening.”
It’s happening now people. Watch the news and open your eyes. Beware of what the media is telling you as well as what it is not telling you.
“I am offended.” That appears to be the in-statement of those who don’t always get what they want. I too am offended when I feel that the elite party is suppressing my opinion.
If you think “1984” is scary read Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” before it is banned from library shelves. You can only keep your freedom if you speak loud enough to keep it.
Those offended by this column can just get over it.