commentary / Forecast / Perception

Forecast Friday: 1984, Anyone?

The Ministry of Truth had an easy time of it in George Orwell’s 1984. They could destroy the printed word when necessary, and the past became something new – whatever was needed to justify their latest agenda. Those who were involved in changing the past were sworn/intimidated into loyalty, and didn’t just SAY that the new version was truth – they didn’t just BELIEVE it – they KNEW the latest version was the way it had always been. (That’s already happening some in our polarized world.)

Still, it’s harder now to accomplish this distortion than Orwell envisioned. With the advent of the internet and all sorts of remote communication tools, those who would control the news AND their populations find that the OFFICIAL version isn’t the only one that is heard. Even in oppressive societies like Iran, North Korea, China, etc., the truth can still be found by those brave enough to look for it.

Still, even in as free a society as we have in the U.S., the distortion has found other ways to take hold. In certain circles, you are frowned on if you listen to any but the accepted news sources. Fascists claiming to be anti-fascist prevent their opponents from being heard. Statues and monuments are torn down by people who don’t even know why they were erected. History is reinterpreted and revised to fit a victimization narrative.

People have become less resilient (maybe because EVERYONE gets a participation ribbon, rather than being forced to earn awards by competing in word and deed) – we have people in universities now who cannot tolerate the existence of conflicting opinions – there is no room for critical thinking. Instead of strengthening themselves to tolerate differing views, they ban what they don’t agree with.

We have given up the ability to remember – and even think – for ourselves to machines and the intelligentsia. If someone says something that contradicts what you yourself have experienced, you should not count on your own obviously faulty memory – or believe your lying eyes.

As with many science fiction authors, Orwell jumped the gun on his timeline. Judging by the results of the last election, the Ministry has succeeded in half its job, and that 33 years after Orwell thought it would be more than complete. Hopefully, his predictions will continue to be more a warning for us to keep thinking for ourselves.

Just saying…

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BaastardsRevengeCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing, including his most recent publication “Baastards’ Revenge” (the fourth story of his Herc Tom series), can be found in many places, including:
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