Similarities between “1984” and reality

1984 - Big Brother
1984 - Big Brother

George Orwell told us of a contingency in which, the state would gain dictatorial powers, in a very different way than we have known in despotic states in the past. A kind of “scientific dictatorship” in which social engineers programmed a kind of social and psychological control over the population.

In contrast to the dictatorships we have known to date in history, where despite the massive propaganda and personality cult of the dictator applied to the knowledge of the people, the real situation was still more or less visible, as the general population was perfectly aware of being under an authoritarian state, which often enforced its brute force to repress any contestation, the fictional despotic state created by Orwell in the novel 1984 forces its manipulations much more surreptitiously, creating emotional and psychological conditions in people that leave them receptive to and even anxious about the control and false sense of security provided by the state.

The virtual figure called “Big Brother“(Big Brother) that seems to be latent to all state action, in 1984, seems to want to convey to us that aforementioned sense of security. It makes itself presented as being a figure that inspires a paternal feeling, which almost all people long for when they feel insecure, harking back to a childhood nostalgia, even if utopian.

Also in relation to the Big Brother, he is the object of “personality cult”, already so often done in our history in relation to dictatorial figures, often trying to elevate them to the status of a kind of divine representation on earth.

In 1984, the world was supposedly divided into 3 great powers, and there was a vast territory disputed through armed conflict.

World divided into three powers: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.
World divided into three powers: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia.

These three powers were Oceania, Eurasia and Lestasia, the first being where the novel takes place. There is perpetually an enemy in conflict with Oceania, and there is also an ally, with Eurasia and Lestasia reversing each other in those roles more than once.

The existence of a perpetual and virtual enemy, but presented as real, creates the necessary conditions for the state to expand, with the justification of creating security measures, becoming totalitarian.

We have witnessed the same kind of strategy nowadays, where an imaginary enemy has been created, it being terrorism, for example, often by staging attack situations, which are perpetrated by the very promoter of fear towards an enemy.

After the widespread belief in an enemy is created, although it is never truly tangible, but seems real, through a combination of techniques used in the media and information publications in general, even becoming a kind of irrefutable dogma, the state assumes the right to crush more and more human and citizenship rights for the sake of supposedly greater security.

The same ones who promote chaos and insecurity are the ones who subsequently propose to solve them.

We can see this in the wars carried out lately, where a country was overthrown on the pretext that there were weapons of mass destruction, which were never found, and where an imaginary enemy was sought, in caves and caves, and obviously, he never appeared. Nevertheless, a trail of destruction was left behind…

The panic about a general economic meltdown has also been strategically created, first by inflating the bubble of enthusiasm and speculation, where people in general feel confident to get into debt, and where the economy grows rampantly, without, however, having a solid base to support it. Then, when the time is right, certain “triggers” are primed that try to create panic, with a precipitous drop in the value of the economy virtually created.

This will generally allow the economic manipulators to take over another good chunk of the economy previously owned by the unwary asset holders who let themselves go on the speculation wave.

Another consequence already obtained through this type of scheme is the implementation of a banking system where there is a central bank that brings to itself the responsibility of creating a country’s currency, later demanding the interest for the use of that monetary system, thus leaving the state and the country in perpetual debt.

words like “terrorism” and “weapons of mass destruction” were and still are uttered in a repetitive and hypnotic manner.

Certain words lose their original definition and take on another distinct and often opposite one.

In the novel by George Orwell, there are two concepts (“newsword” and “doublethink“) by which the lexicon is reduced and altered. Where associations are promoted between various words so that they are connoted according to the purpose of the state. For example, the state motto of Oceania in 1984 was, “War is peace, Freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.”

This is easily seen today, where to supposedly protect peace, war is waged, killing thousands or even millions of innocents, and to protect the so-called “free world” more and more freedoms of the people are restricted. It is a kind of “doublethink” applied to modern times.

Another interesting concept in the novel is that of “crimideia“, which is an ideological crime or illegal thoughts. This is another concept applied today. Bombarding the population with information that creates a common dogma, such as the existence of terrorists threatening democratic freedom, or the fact that the much-hyped global warming is caused by Carbon Dioxide, even though thousands of scientists disagree with that “fact.” The indoctrination is such that it is almost a crime to disagree with the official versions, on pain of being discriminated against and ridiculed, or worse.

These issues addressed here, in relation to the novel 1984 by George Orwell, make it an always topical work.

George Orwell, a critic of totalitarian systems such as Fascism or Communism, was a keen observer of the techniques used by these systems, having a vision of what might be attempted in the near future.

And here we are, not in 1984, but in 2010, and not with a system of “scientific dictatorship” fully implemented, as in the novel – not least because I think many aspects of the book would not be amenable to implementation – but in a situation where the siege on human freedoms is increasingly tightening, and where, remarkably, many of the techniques mentioned in the book are applied by skilled social engineers.


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