Orwell that ends well, or not - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FeelTheLove
First off, it was three states, not one "becoming global".

The book was not an attack on communism or socialism, it was an attack on totalitarianism. Orwell himself was an ardent socialist at this time in his life, and much of his thematic effort was on revolutions lost to totalitarianism. He wished one in England, and his book is a warning of how his own envisioned revolution could go wrong, as it did in Russia, in fact "Ingsoc" is Newspeak for his own political theory, which he called "English Socialism". The debate amongst his intellectual circle was whether or not England could keep her empire and maintain her relationship with the US as it revolutionized into a socialist state - Orwell was against England maintaining its colonies in this argument, and he saw the US as the ultimate capitalist state and that England needed to leave the US orbit so it could become the leader of a new socialist state formed from post-war Western Europe that would be idealogically opposed to the US. His point in the book is that a corrupting of the ideal, in this case the socialist anti-colonialist ideal, corrupts revolutions - in this case, a socialist England that attempted to maintain an empire would simply mestastisize into a fascist state. There are many, and I am one, who would define Russia under Stalin as a fascist state - a failed socialist revolution corrupted by a Cult of Personality. Germany under Hitler could be seen the same way. The author pulls inspiration from both the Nazi and Soviet regimes. He pictures a world divided between three fascist states who have put the world into a state of endless war, a central tenet of Nazism, for the purpose of keeping their regimes in power. Mr. Bush would fit right in.

Using his own political movement as an example, Orwell shows his vision of how English Socialism becomes Ingsoc as Oceania emerges as a united US/English state that continues to maintain it's empire, in much the same way Russia metasizes into the Soviet red fascist state. As Americans, we have a lot to think about thanks to Mr. Orwell. Under Bush one can see much of what Orwell is trying to say - that good ideas like US democracy can be bastardized and corrupted into something totally different, supported by their bleating sheep fool people all along the way, eventually ending up as some type of totalitarian apparatus that serves The Party -whatever party that might be. My own personal feeling is that American Corporatism is driving the same bus.

Wikipedia has an excellent entry on it:

Nineteen Eighty-Four - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
OK, thanks for the linky FTL.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 07:01 AM
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-06-2007, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by maine_coon
OK, thanks for the linky FTL.
It's been misunderstood in the US - when it came out, the McCarthyites jumped on it and pushed it as an anti-Communist screed. But what it really is, is an obiturary of Europen Idealism in the Between-the-Wars period. Both those on the Left and the Right in European intelligensia were engaged in a massive debating society over the various utopian idealogies in the '20s and '30s. Those on the Right, especially the French and the Italian intellectuals, saw fascism as a way to stabilize societies racked with unrest and looked at it idealistically as a way to incorporate scientific thinking into government - in fact up until WWII Mussolini was not a half bad guy and Hitler had done great things for relieving the massive economic crisis in Germany. The right saw Hitler as a hero. On the left, the idealists saw Communism as a noble experiement. In between were all kinds of shades of various other ideaologies, all wishing to push a revolution somewhere. In the end idealists on both sides were shattered - on the right by the truth of Nazism and on the left by the truth of Stalin and his Gulag. 1984 was an attempt to axiomate why this happened - that there are men among us who only seek power, and they corrupt idealism and give us societies that are nightmares. Orwell wrote it as part of his argument to fellow socialists that attempting to maintain empire and ties with the US would lead to the same thing if a socialist revolution took place in England. His nightmare country was Oceania, the union of Great Britain (now known as Air Strip One), the US and Austrailia. It was in a forever war with Eurasia, the Soviet Union's nightmare state, and with the Maoist nightmare state of EastAsia, all who had failed revolutions where the powerful destroyed the idealists (Goldsteins - and you are right, Trotsky and Stalin are excellent examples, the murdered idealist and the fascist dictator), giving us a nightmare world. IMO, Bush and the corporatists are in the same process, attempting to subvert American Democratic Republican Idealism and replace it with a corporate state that governs for the rich and powerful, once again aided by foolish shitheads who think they are serving an ideal. They are almost there.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

Last edited by FeelTheLove; 02-06-2007 at 09:29 AM.
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