September 2, 2020
Orwellian Memes and Modern Mobocracy
There are some great literary works that give us a glimpse into a future where history is replaced, or even expunged, culminating into a horrid existence for the populace. But even when you read some of the most profound, like Fahrenheit 451 to The Giver, or even Logan’s Run to Brave New World, the fiction is not nearly as bad as some of the world’s real-life drama. Without even going deep into the past, we can easily find examples of governments going awry and making life miserable for millions of people. Many of these morsels of history are ripe with erasure or alteration of true records in order to control the masses. Real history teaches us this ends in loss of life, limb and property, not to mention Liberty.
One of my favorite novelists who made a living describing such dystopian societies is George Orwell. Interestingly enough, he was known to be a socialist even though he foretold of devilish paths paved with socialist ideas. I would love to learn more about his thinking and if his own works, like 1984 or Animal Farm, changed his ideas. Too bad he died young. Maybe, since he wasn’t American, he just didn’t quite have a grasp on the Liberty principles enshrined in our foundation and was confused as to where socialism leads. He was spot on, however, on how altering or erasing information is a key tactic employed by an authoritarian state to maintain power. If we blot out the knowledge of our American heritage, the light from our torch of freedom will go dark.
In Orwell’s 1984, the main character, Winston Smith, is tasked with destroying any information the government wants gone and disseminating what they want the people to believe. Here are some telling excerpts:
“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became truth. “Who controls the past,” ran the Party slogan, “controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. “Reality control,” they called it: in Newspeak, “doublethink.”
The interesting thing about what’s happening in America today is that we have groups willing to impose this unthinkable existence upon themselves. The problem is they’ll end up taking us all down with them. The mobocracy being fueled by those more influenced by memes than by history are driving us closer to anarchy – a road which will quickly turn towards the turbulent path of tyranny. Those yelling for “social justice” are only a symptom of the disease. Socialism is not even the disease, but a transport system for a very malignant design. The never-ending chaos that results from those who allow such ideas to take root in the mind will bring us to the final destination of despotism. Friends don’t let friends get infected with it. As crazy as it sounds, the fictional future described in Orwell’s 1984 is nothing compared to the painful reality it can become. America, don’t let it happen.