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Essay on Comparing Orwell's 1984 to Today's Government

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1984 has come and gone. The cold war is over. The collapse of oppressive totalitarian regimes leads to the conclusion that these governments by their nature generate resistance and are doomed to failure. The fictional world of George Orwell's novel, 1984, is best described as hopeless; a nightmarish dystopia where the omnipresent State enforces perfect conformity among members of a totalitarian Party through indoctrination, propaganda, fear, and ruthless punishment. In the aftermath of the fall of capitalism and nuclear war, the world has been divided among three practically identical totalitarian nation-states. A state of perpetual war and poverty is the rule in Oceania. However, this is merely a backdrop, far from the most terrifying aspect of life in 1984; a total loss of individual freedom, thought, and privacy in exchange for false security and obedience to a totalitarian government.
Was Orwell describing something which he saw in his own lifetime, or, was he projecting a warning of things to come? How relevant is 1984 to modern society?
Most Americans don't want to live in an Orwellian society under the heavy surveillance of Big Brother, but we do. Like it or not, we live in a society that accepts virtual strip searches at airports; surveillance cameras; "discount" cards that record our buying habits; bar codes; "cookies" and spywear on our computers; on-line access to satellite technology that can image our back yards; and microchip radio frequency identification devices that are already implanted in our family dogs and soon to be integrated into our groceries, our credit cards, our cash, and our new underwear. It is feasible that, in the not too distant future, our newly born will be "micro-chipped" before leaving t...


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... The fact is that the trend of violence is only growing stronger, and we are becoming blind to the injustices committed by our government in the name of freedom. So as we focus on Iraq and our adversaries become more ambiguous and indiscriminate, we must ask ourselves, "Who is the real enemy?"
Yes, 1984 has come and gone. Big Brother may not really exist, and it has been said that 1984 fails as a prophecy because it succeeded as a warning; Orwell's terrible vision has been averted. Is America gradually slipping into an Orwellian society? Maybe not, but no nation is indestructible. It is imperative to note that his name is everywhere. Big Brother isn't really watching. He doesn't need to. We're watching him. This is the reason that George Orwell's 1984 remains a relevant work of social and philosophical commentary more than fifty-five years after its completion.


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