Friday, June 23, 2017
Trump Equals "1984" ?
A month ago, after having read George Orwell's Burmese Days, I added 1984 to the list of books I'd be reading (or re-reading) this year. Even after reading 1984 a few weeks back, I can't recall if I had actually read the novel in my younger days. I have a vague memory of having read it in the 1970s, but I can't recall if I actually finished reading the book all those many years ago.
I bring up the novel today because of an article I came across on apnews.com, George Orwell’s son says his father’s ‘1984’ was ‘prescient’.
The article states,
One edition of “1984” saw sales jump by 10,000 percent since January, when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway defended incorrect claims as “alternative facts.” It instantly drew comparisons to Orwell’s terms “doublethink” and “newspeak” and to the type of government manipulation the author wrote about nearly 70 years ago.
Of course, we knew that someone, somewhere would be comparing the world under Trump to Orwell's dystopia. The comparison of Orwell's novel and a U.S. President isn't a new phenomenon , however. Life in the U.S. has been compared to 1984 for as long as I can remember - well before the year 1984 came and went.
I'm not saying life isn't becoming more and more like 1984; we can all see that it is. But, this isn't new under Trump's presidency. Governmental surveillance of our daily lives didn't begin yesterday. Orwell could see it in 1948. The problem has been around for ages, but the techniques and methods used by governments today are becoming more sophisticated.
There are some who want to put the problem down to Trump - as in Trumpian equals Orwellian. The situation didn't begin with Trump. If Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize wasn't Orwellian, I don't know what is.
Trump is simply the latest manifestation.