George Orwell’s dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, published in 1949, describes a world where the population has become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and constant propaganda. Holy shit, did this dude have a crystal ball or something?
Indeed, the word “Orwellian” is an adjective that describes a situation, idea or societal condition that Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It denotes an attitude and a brutal policy of draconian control by misinformation, denial of truth, which he called “doublethink,” and manipulation of the past. Does any of this sound vaguely familiar, especially the “misinformation” part?
The one Orwellian term that has had the most staying power is “Big Brother.” It denotes a form of government that employs the “Thought Police” as a control entity whose job is to know what people are thinking and saying at all times. Of course, some critics at the time thought that Orwell’s ideas were outlandish and far-fetched — but that was before the invention of the Internet, followed soon by the rise of social media.
Now the government doesn’t have to drill down into our brains to know our every thought and action, we willingly put them right out there online for the whole world to see. And to be sure the Thought Police weren’t missing anything, “texting” was invented.
Now your every communication, your every thought that you expressed to someone else, is securely kept in the “cloud” — forever. Not that any of us would ever say anything against the government, even if we one day became the “United States of Trump,” right? Don’t look now, but that just might be where we’re heading.
What if, in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, Trump loses? Will he declare that the vote was rigged against him (he’s been setting the country up for this since he first took office by stating over and over that millions of Mexicans voted illegally) and therefore he’s not going to vacate the presidency?
The scary part is that he might now have a Supreme Court that would back him up on such a move and rule that he can stay in office. One thing for sure, the Congress we now have is too cowardly to raise their voices in opposition.
But that really couldn’t happen here … that’s too absurd, right?
Where, oh where, is George Orwell and his accurate predictions now, when we really need him?
From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier mansfieldfATgmail.com. Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.