“1984” is about an authoritative government, “Big Brother,” that punishes free thought, rewrites history and eliminates privacy. In this dystopian novel, which is seeming less and less imaginary these days, citizens can be punished for “thought crimes,” or critical thinking. Citizens are forced to use “Newspeak,” the language enforced by the oppressive government, which eliminates all words that are considered rebellious.
You know, like when Hamilton actor, Brandon Victor Dixon, peacefully articulated his concern and alarm? When he said that the Trump/Pence administration would not “protect us, our planet, our children, our parents or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” to which Trump tweeted as a reply, “Our wonderful future V.P. Mike Pence was harassed last night at the theater by the cast of Hamilton, cameras blazing. This should not happen! The Theater must always be a safe and special place. The cast of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!”
I’m sorry, but are we no longer allowed to peacefully address or criticize elected public servants? There are already way too many similarities to “1984” within this administration.
Here are five of George Orwell’s quotes from the book that are frighteningly reminiscent of our current administration.
1. “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
Like the Trump administration, George Orwell’s depiction of an authoritative government offered up “alternative facts.” Side note: Just to be crystal clear, “alternative facts’’ are not facts. They are lies. For example:
2. “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power.”
…When our highest governmental officials are business crooks using their power to add to their personal wealth.
3.“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four. If that is granted, all else follows.”
Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s insistence that Trump’s inauguration was not only larger than Obama’s, but was the largest in history and that we can “disagree with the facts” kind of makes you feel like our very basic freedoms of logic and reasoning are being challenged.
4.“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
This one is for us. We the People. The Resisters. It is not okay to claim ignorance when so many atrocities and injustices are happening. Standing Rock Activists are fighting for clean water. Water! A necessity of life. This and so many other injustices make it a fight for us all. We must be conscious and rebel together.
5.“It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same—everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same—people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.”
Let’s not let “walls of hatred and lies” dictate our future. “A person is a person,” might be a Dr. Seuss quote, but you get the point. It’s the ability to connect, empathize and resist together that will change the world.
While there is no doubt that our government has always been plagued with corruption and injustice, this Trump era has definitely added its own very special twist to things by turning our country into an official “flawed democracy.” Orwell’s novel that we admired as a literary masterpiece has suddenly become our very own reality for the next four years.