George Orwell betrayed all of us. The utopia of his novel “1984” is an insult to the real utopia within which we are now privileged to live.
This is not intended as an exhaustive examination. One could go on for days about the many errors and the deep shortsightedness of Mr. Orwell’s work, except that one’s phone keeps pinging.
Though that’s not a bad place to start. Take Orwell’s “Telescreens”. The Telescreen was a device found in the homes of a vast number of persons; it was a huge screen which constantly both broadcast propaganda, and likewise was a television camera / microphone which might, at any time, be observed by the powers-that-be. Mr. Orwell notes,
“You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized.”
Who among us would desire the unpleasant state of being unmonitored for significant periods of time? How would our corporations know which new delights to offer us, catered carefully to our tastes and interests, if they were not able to, not simply look at us or listen to us from time to time when we’re, but rather observe us essentially wherever we are and whatever we do? Certainly, humans can’t store and process that kind of information, but computers certainly can. Likewise, they can analyze it all. Mr. Orwell failed to take into account the incredible inventiveness of the human spirit. and thus, his technologies were incredibly lacking. Why, they couldn’t even record us.
And take that tired trope, that of the confiscation of books and other historical or creative media. This ancient and unworthy idea could be traced back, at a minimum, to Plato. Sure, we all know that unrestricted access to knowledge and art are the death-watch beetles of destruction of all things appropriate and correct; who could or would ever question the benevolence of the censorship which keeps us from the infinite terrors of being corrupted by wrongthink. But it’s ridiculous to suggest that we need the physical removal of those items. I have long built a library of used books, and not only are they subject to decay, their bindings breaking, their pages crumbling over time―but also, they have the weakness of being unchanging.
And, indeed, for a while, I was quite upset to note that, for example, the Internet had rewritten words in ways which so differ from their prior meanings that they are essentially new words, and that it had done so without ever noting that there were older and more challenging meanings. But quickly I found: it is okay. I need not be upset, because nobody will believe me. Were I to bring up these things, I would be, quite rightly, recognized as an adversary of all things which are suited and seemly. Therefore, I am taught to withhold these things, and thus is our society enriched by unity and harmony.
I could go on, but as my time is limited, I would like to spend the last of it on this infamous idea, once again from “1984”:
“We do not merely destroy our enemies; we change them.”
This is utter nonsense, because we have no enemies.
You might think this an odd statement, since, obviously, we are beset on all sides by those of fouldness so great that we cannot speak of it―and, indeed, we are forbidden from doing so in any real detail, lest it infect us.
But in truth, in general, we know that our enemies are just pictures on a screen. They are not human. After all, we cannot and must not reason with them, speak with them, or for a moment consider (and pray hold back your justifiable loathing at this idea) make any sort of peace or compromise with them. They are not like us in any way, and though they appear to speak our languages, and, deceitfully, they sometimes look and act in ways which are similar to our own, they are simply malevolent forces of nature. They aren’t real. And it is this modest idea that I must add to current understandings:
Only we are human.
So, I abjure you: do not be fooled by the traitor Orwell. His visions of a glorious Future did not match the beauties of our kindly and benevolent Now.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities and create things. Every year, I put on Evil Expo, the Greatest Place in the World to be a Villain. I also write a lot of fantasy and science fiction.. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order “I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.