1984 by George Orwell is commended by many intellectuals (unfortunately some of the one’s I admire) as the most insightful dystopian novel to have ever been written. The people that say this are either just following the crowd, haven’t read the book, or have just cherry-picked bits out of the book that can somewhat be applied to what we have today. And the bits people cherry pick out aren’t even thought-provoking concepts. The usual concepts picked out are doublethink, which is just people holding contradictory opinions, while Big Brother is just mass surveillance. These concepts would be what a class of 14-year olds would come up with if they were told to think of what a totalitarian state would look like.
Having read the book and understood Orwell’s beliefs and background, I can safely say that his 1984 dystopia will never come about. I’m not saying some concepts like doublethink and mass surveillance won’t happen – these are already present nowadays to a massive extent – but the whole organisation and implementation of this dystopia won’t happen.
The main reasons being is that the states totalitarianism is so obvious that it could have been designed by an imbecile, and the extreme unnatural obedience that the citizenry are under makes it seem that this dystopia was set in a sims world that programmers have hacked to make people act in an unhuman way. The lies of the Party are so obvious that Winston job consists of altering the government archives so that they don’t contradict with what the Party are exclaiming in his present day.
And it seems by reading the novel that having friends is outlawed and the mass surveillance is so extreme that even they even track your heartbeat and every twitch of the face. This level of totalitarianism would make the Black and Tans look like teddy bears in comparison. The population are so brain dead that Winston vaguely remember his age and can’t even recall recent history. It is laughable to think that this level of control is sustainable, practical or even necessary.
Some may say that it doesn’t have to be realistic, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a dystopian novel. A dystopian novel is supposed to warn the present or future population of their fate if they follow a certain path. If the dystopian world created is unrealistic, it defeats its purpose.
To understand how Orwell got this dystopia horribly wrong, we must first understand Orwell’s background. Contrary to the opinion of some (who aren’t intellectually honest), Orwell was not an anti-Marxist. Orwell was on one side of the Marxist spectrum – anarchism/Trotskyism, in contrast to the other side of the spectrum being Stalinism. Orwell being an anti-Stalinist Marxist (this distinction is very important to these people) is a very important fact to acknowledge. Knowing this fact opens a whole new aspect to how the world of 1984 was crafted in his mind. Orwell was so dedicated to the cause of Marxism that he joined an anarchist militia to fight in the Spanish Civil War. This was all documented in his book Homage to Catalonia.
There are many overlaps to what Orwell, as an anarchist, believes and what Stalinists believe. They both believe in the abolishment of class, religion, family, and the nation state. These four power structures should be destroyed so that all loyalty and dependence will go towards the Party. The deal is that the revolutionary leaders will raise the status of the low-status (i.e. the proletariat), so as to create ‘equality’, in exchange to the people giving totalitarian power to these revolutionaries. Where they differ is in how the society will be managed. Anarchists believe that there should be no state as it is a hierarchical structure, and therefore, against the Marxist belief in equality.
Stalinist believe in the state having absolute power, or as they would describe it in their Marxist jargon – a dictatorship of the proletariat. Both anarchists and Stalinists both want their utopian ideas to be exerted through the barrel of a gun, but the Stalinists are more honest with themselves as they acknowledge that their revolutionary militiamen are the new government. Since organised power beats disorganised power, Stalinists will always win in a battle against anarchists.
And this is exactly what happened in Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War. Orwell, fortunately enough for himself, escaped persecution by the Stalinists to tell the tale. Anarchism was always supposed to be the carrot that would seduce the proletariat into giving them power. Stalinists always stated how the dictatorship of the proletariat was only supposed to be temporary. But once the Stalinist gained power, they purged all anarchists. Leon Trotsky fell for this, as well as Orwell himself. Their minds were too clouded by Utopia to ever understand the true intentions of Marxism.
Once the purge happened, revolutionary change involving religion, the family, and the nation was halted and eventually brought back, as Marxist revolutionary change is unstable to a nation and leads to societal collapse. The communists during the Spanish civil war campaigned heavily for halting the revolution for this reason. Under Stalin’s rule, policies like introducing additional taxes on people who were childless and ending no-fault divorce were implemented. If any politician today promoted these policies, they would branded as an ultra-Christian, even though Stalin himself, who sent Christians off to the gulag, implemented them.
Nature of Dystopian Novels
Another aspect we must look at to understand Orwell’s dystopia is to recognise the nature of dystopian novels. All dystopian novels are written through the lens of the author. The author imagines the worst imaginable world they can think of in contrast to the ideology they espouse. They aren’t even constrained by the laws of believability or reality. The protagonist is generally a portrayal of them in that dystopian world; the author has the same beliefs and doubts as the protagonist, and (if they are generous to themselves) envision themselves as braver than they actually are, fighting the oppressive forces that are at play. These characteristics can be seen in the dystopian novels of 1984, The Handmaid’s Tale, Anthem, and Brave New World.
As Orwell is an anti-Stalinist Marxist, his idea of a dystopian world is heavily influenced by his hatred of Stalinism. Even though the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War was the enemy he was fighting, the Stalinists were the ones that betrayed the revolution and had him on their kill list. He saw revolutionary Barcelona, that he so admired when he first set foot in the city to enlist in the anarchist militia, being destroyed not by the Nationalist but by the Stalinists. During the days after his service in the anarchist militia in Barcelona, he was horrified by the Bourgeoise atmosphere that had re-emerged all under the banner of Marxism.
This betrayal of what he envisioned Marxism should be would be the cornerstone of the dystopia. Orwell’s dystopia makes sense when you understand this dynamic. The world envisioned by him can be seen as Stalinism if Stalin kept on rolling back the revolutionary policies implemented by the early anarchists. The dystopia would describe themselves in Marxist jargon but be diametrically opposed to the classless anarchist world, free from all forms of hierarchy and oppression, that Orwell so dreamed about. This can be seen in the ideologies of the different states. The Ideology of Oceania is ‘IngSoc’, short for English Socialism. The two competing superstrate’s ideology in the dystopia are basically the same as IngSoc but are called ‘Neo-Bolshevism’ in Eastasia and the ‘Obliteration of the Self’ in Eurasia.
No international working-class solidarity
The world of 1984 is strictly divided into three superstates: Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. Workers of the world aren’t united, instead racial hatred between nations is heavily encouraged. The nations are basically ethnostates, the populace have zero interaction with the other nations. Cross border travel is banned and communicating with citizens from another country is impossible. The only time the protagonist, Winston, was in the vicinity of a foreigner was when a convoy of Eurasian prisoners were passing by.
There is also a pronounced class divide, which is maintained by prohibiting trade between the proles and the Party. Keeping with Marxist language, the working-class are described as the proles, which constitute 85% of the population. They are generally left alone by the party as they are too distracted by alcohol, gambling, sport, sexual promiscuity, and the debased media they consume to ever have the intellect to understand the true nature of the world. Above the proles in this class hierarchy is the Party. The Party is divided into the inner party, which makes up about 2% of the population, and the outer party. The inner party are the people that are in control and understand the true nature of the state.
The outer party can be described as the ‘useful idiots’, they believe in the propaganda of the system and work the States administrative jobs. As the outer party possess the intellect to understand the system, they are heavily watched by the inner party through the telescreens that are present everywhere. The telescreens are a very overt way of spying on the population. In the real world, surveillance is done without the populace knowing. Our current ruling-class know this, that is why the mass surveillance done by the NSA and other agencies went unnoticed for decades. Even when the population do figure it out, they are just too distracted by mass media and indulging in their vices to care.
Winston throughout the novel mentions – unsurprisingly enough considering Orwell’s a Marxist – how he believes that the only hope they have for toppling the system is in the proles violently overthrowing the party. His bloodthirsty revolutionary fervour comes out in other places too. Winston discusses with his mistress Julia about how he regretted not pushing his wife off a cliff because he was sick of how she was so indoctrinated by the Party. On another occasion, he confessed to Julia that he initially wanted to rape and kill her as he suspected she was a member of the thought police (this dreaming of bloodthirsty revenge of their enemies is noticeable with all Marxists, as their whole ideology is based on resentment of the strong and good).
The orgasm is banned
As we are all well aware, revolutionaries see indulging in promiscuity and deviancy as a liberating act for them. They claim this is freedom. Freedom to them means being free to not follow the moral law, instead of its truer meaning of being free from your carnal desires. As Winston is a mirror of Orwell in many ways, it is no surprise that Winston says to his mistress Julia “I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bone”.
Going with this upside-down view of morality, it is no surprise that Orwell’s dystopia takes sexual restraint to an extreme that makes 16th century Puritans look like decadents; Orwell’s dystopia bans the orgasm. The reason given in the novel for this banning is that it makes people burst with energy so that it can be turned into war hysteria and leader worship. This prohibition is only really meant for the Outer Party, while the proles are given free rein to indulge in their sensual desires. This double standard makes no sense.
Orwell understands that making a population slaves to their carnal desires is an effective way of controlling the populace, but he also holds the view that indulging in your carnal desires is liberating. Therefore this inconsistency of the Outer Party not being subjected to the methods of control used on the proles is because Orwell’s dystopia has to involve extreme sexual restraint.
Religious element of the Party
To someone with a keen eye, you would notice that the Party uses Catholic words like heresy, orthodoxy, and doctrine. This is Orwell’s anti-religion bias coming out through his work. It’s anyone’s guess if this was intentional or just subconscious. The Party teaches the populace to view the philosophies of Eurasia and Eastasia as “barbarous outrages upon morality and common sense”. This is clearly the language a (based) cleric would use to describe an uncatholic population. Orwell again knows that atheism being pushed onto a population is a form of control as worshipping God is a threat to the Party’s authority. Therefore the Party must be anti-God, but since this is Orwell’s dystopia, they must use religious language.
What Orwell got right
Even though this dystopia is tainted, as it is written by an anarchist, there is still one insightful way that the 1984 ruling class use to control the population that parallels with today’s society. That is the deliberately superficial entertainment, known as prolefeed, produced by the Party that is used to dumb down the population so that they will never possess the intellect to rebel against their rule. This prolefeed contains almost nothing but “sport, crime, astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs which were composed entirely by mechanical means”. If we look around at our media today – which is suspiciously controlled by a handful corporations who are all involved in the same globalist organisations – what do we see?
For women there are trashy magazines that tap into a woman’s vice for gossip, superficial programmes like ‘Love Island’ that are all about engaging in transient sterile relationships, and salacious novels like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and ‘Normal People.’ For men there is 24/7 sport that is suspiciously getting more and more politicised like the ongoing UEFA ‘No to Racism’ campaign, the most debased and degenerate pornography, and trashy newspapers that revolves mainly around scandal, crime, sport and soft-core pornography.
Then there’s young people’s prolefeed which consists of either stripper-inspired dances of minors (something only experienced by Epstein on his plane not too long ago), attention-seeking fuckboys, or some quick gag that provides no social value – except to make our young eternally depressed – on TikTok. I don’t want to even get into vain ‘make-up tutorial’ youtubers or ‘I’m 25 and still watch Disney films’ bugmen. I’m sure we are all aware of these types.
Why is 1984 so popular if it’s so unprophetic?
Hopefully I have convinced you that 1984 is not a prophetic book but an irrational dystopia contrived by a delusional Marxist. In this lies the reasons why the book has been promoted by the elites so much. The beliefs of Orwell and the current ruling-class align in some ways. They both are anti-Stalinist Marxists. Orwell seeks a classless world, whereas the elites of today seek an economy controlled by a handful of international conglomerates. A lot of the underlying ideas of ‘sexual restraint and nationalism being used as a method of population control’ in the novel are ideas the elites of today want you to have, as they use the exact opposite of these to control you.
The elites today promote sexual immorality to distract you and promote demographic changing immigration to increase the number of ‘oppressed’ people in your country. In other words, mass immigration increase the amount of people in the coalition of fringes. Year by year, what Marxists view as the oppressors in society – straight white males, dwindles in morale, numbers and positions of authority.
It is the exact same strategy used in the Soviet Union 100 years ago, but the oppressors of that time were anyone of landowning lineage or anyone suspected of being religious. The threat of the Orthodox Christian landowner coming back and oppressing them was always hung over their head to make them loyal to the Party. Nowadays it’s the threat that the Catholic patriarchy will come back and oppress them is hung over their head so as to maintain loyalty to the regime – even if they describe themselves as a socialist while the regime believes in international corporatism.
Another reason why 1984 is promoted so much is that it gives people the impression that all forms of control are overt. As the readers envisions the world of 1984 in their mind, they think to themselves how if they were citizens of Oceania, they would be the enlightened ones who would be able see past the lies of the Party. This notion feeds into their ego and heightens their self-worth. It blinds them to the possibility of covert forms of control being used on a population. In the modern world, covert forms of control are the ONLY ones being utilised.
The elites learnt from the failures of one-party totalitarianism in controlling the populace. They would have saved a lot of time if they read Matthew 10:28 ‘And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.’ The elites of today desire to control the perception of reality and by extension, controlling the way people behave. Gone are the days that dissenters will be thrown into concentration camps.
A dystopian novel that is more thought-provoking and prophetic is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.