Archive » September 6, 2012
It's just my opinion
By Harris Sherline, Contributing Writer
George Orwell wrote two books 67 years ago in which he predicted the future of society with remarkable prescience: Animal Farm and 1984. Many of his observations can easily be applied to the political situation in America today. Consider the following quotes from Animal Farm, which was written in 1945:
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
“To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” Note: This has become increasingly difficult in America today because of the failure of our media to meet its responsibility of “speaking truth to power” rather than submitting to it.
“Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Note the growing trend in today’s America to label people as un-American when they disagree over policy.
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.” Note: We need only to listen to the representations of our politicians today to recognize the truth of this observation.
“Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” (Including the current generation of Americans).
“All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.” When the animals take over the farm, they think it is the start of a better life. Their dream is of a world where all animals are equal and all property is shared. But soon the pigs take control and one of them, Napoleon, becomes the leader of all the animals. One by one the principles of the revolution are abandoned, until the animals have even less freedom than before. Note how this applies to the situation in America today.
“The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.” Note: Iraq and Afghanistan are current examples of this observation.
“Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” Note how this applies to the political class in America today, who increasingly talk with the appearance of authority yet say nothing of any significance or meaning. “Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.”
“Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.” Note the naked pursuit of power by politicians at all levels in America today.
“War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.” Consider the waste of resources that is taking place in America today.
Following are some of the many cogent observations that George Orwell made in his second book, 1984: “Big Brother is watching you.” Note the massive intrusion of government in our lives today. This is perhaps best exemplified by the federal income tax code (now estimated to require over 72,000 pages to document) and the power of the IRS to define and enforce tax regulations and collect taxes.
“The best books . . . are those that tell you what you know already.”
“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
“But the proles (the people), if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet –!” Note the fierce, largely spontaneous resistance that has recently developed to the massive deficit spending and expansion of government in the lives of Americans.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” Note: As the size and reach of government continues to grow beyond all expectations, the power of the United States’ government has become increasingly oppressive. As Lord Acton (1834-1902) famously said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
George Orwell’s observations about the future of society were made 67 years ago, and they are proving to be remarkably accurate in today’s America. It’s more than a little scary to contemplate. My fear is that if the American people do not take their government back from their politicians, our nation’s future will look increasingly like Orwell’s 1984.
Note: You can read 1984 at: http://msxnet.org/orwell/print/1984.pdf Read Animal Farm at: http://msxnet.org/orwell/print/animal_farm.pdf
© 2012 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved