1984 - George Orwell

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by KneD, Jan 14, 2003.

  1. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    I am reading the great novel of George Orwell, 1984. (I have read it before btw) And I was wondering.

    For the people who read this book:
    Does it seem possible for you to create a regime like this in any time?
    With the main question, is it possible for a regime to eliminate all human instincts, like love, and opinions; by controlling there lives and watch them whereever they go?

    Can you eventually control someone's mind/thinking that the one moment he knows 2+2=4. But when you tell him 2+2=5, he believes it, and believes he always knew 2+2=5. ????

    The regime described by george Orwell will certainly drive me totally crazy... but killing my own opinions, control my thinking...

    Any thoughts about this?

    (This is a little preparation for my oral exam about this novel coming thursday)
    (I was not sure in where to post it... so I hope human science was the right option)
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  3. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

    It does seem to me possible to create such a scenario, although you have to change some things around:
    • Minipax becomes Department of Homeland Security.
    • Rather than place your own surveillance gear everywhere in public life, allow the public to do it for you. Bank machines, shops, street corners, home security systems, et cetera. Then introduce legislation allowing Minipax to access those recordings.
    • Change Emmanuel Goldstein to Osama Bin Laden.
    • Stage a war without end against an indefinite enemy, creating global polarisation.
    • Change enemies and friends every few years, such as Iraq, Iran, Panama, Libya, and others.

    You can indeed alter someone's thoughts. In the navy they only really told us two things about this:
    • If they're going to brainwash you into thinking something, it takes for ever (this was backed up in my psychology classes on conditioning and such).
    • These days they probably won't bother torturing you. It's quicker and easier just to jab someone in the arm with a needle. And you won't be able to resist.

    Getting someone to believe 2+2=5 is difficult. However, getting someone to say it just to stop the pain is, I would think, much easier.

    Note that the system only crushes love and opinions out of the Party members, not the proles. The Party monitors the Party; it does not monitor the proles, does not control them outside two things: supply and distribution of necessities; and shaping political beliefs by being the only source of information.
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  5. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    I was thinking about truly believing, maybe the example was wrong, but let's say the sudden change of enemy, like the newe enemy has always been the enemy: can you create people swallowing that?
    And as far as I know about 20% of the oceanian people belong to the party, and from the party-members, they try to annihilate all instincts... possible?

    Another thought of 1984: you are not able to think certain things, when you don't have the words to think it with. For example: you can not think about hate, when 'the words to describe hate don't exist.
    I must say I disagree with this view, in my opinion your mind will create certain 'images/words' to think certain things, but it is an interesting thought though...any comments?

    Adam, I really like your comparison of Goldstein with Bin Laden!
    Could you think of Bush as a Big Brother: he certainly is the 'face of america' and americans follow him pretty much, since he is their president.... ok, maybe not a good comparison.

    If anyone has any other resemblances between 1984 and the present: pls share them with me

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  7. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I always had a hard time believing the scenarios put forth in books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, etc. There's simply no way to maintain a technologically advanced society in which all the people are mindless zombies. You may be able to convince someone that 2+2=5, but you'd better not expect that person to be able to design a communications satellite or fix your xerox machine. The sort of questioning, skeptical, analytical mind that is required for scientific advancement would seem to preclude the bind acceptance of government that Orwell portrays. Of course it's certainly possible for a government to lie to everyone and spread so much propaganda around that the citizens don't have any idea what's really going on in the world, but I don't think it could ever be taken to the extremes that people like Orwell fantasized about. Even the Soviet Union, for all it's oppressiveness and misinformation, still strongly valued knowledge, science, learning, and culture. Even if you could turns everyone into the brainless droids of 1984, you would quickly find yourself unable to compete with other nations that allowed some degree of free though. For examples of what happens when you try to prevent people from thinking, look at Europe during the dark ages.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2003
  8. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    i should say its not actully to hard

    i mean that artical adam posted said everyone had forgotten osam and now belived that sadam was responcable for 9/11
  9. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member


    How many Americans:
    • recall that Iraq was once an ally?
    • recall that Iran was once an enemy?
    • recall that China was once a friend?
    • recall that Noriega was once a friend?
    • recall that he USA supported and trained early Taliban and Al Quaida?

    Even in a land as technologically advanced as the USA, people just believe the Party line and whatever is on TV.
  10. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    Oceania doesn't need science, on the contrary, they want to annihilate science: newspeak doesn't even have a word for science.
    Science will lead to thinking, and will need teaching, all stuff which the party wants to annihilate.
    The whole world in 1984, Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia, have regimes like Ingsoc, and all fight the same war:
    not to win, but to give the people hate, will to fight, and do something with the surplus. So none of the regimes will ever want science, cause they want an everlasting war.
    since science is not needed, people may believe 2+2=5. (or that black is white)

    And about Russia, they controlled culture, speech, art, money, everything: but they couldn't capture the mind. That is why they needed science, plus the fact america used science.

    Another thought occured to me, Iraq is Oceania, america isn't.
    I once saw this documentary on dutch television. Saddam Hussein has pictures hanging on every corner of every street. He has his picture in every living-room or bedroom. He controls the facts of the national production. He has complete control of television broadcast, and this way only positive messages about his country are aired. He controls their present.

    And most scarying: children do not learn our history-lessons. Saddam Hussein alters history. I saw this small girl, of about 10, saying in front of her class that Saddam Hussein has won the gulf-war. That thanks to the strength of Iraq, and the love of Saddam they were able to defeat america and let america heal their wounds for almost ten years, up until now.
    Now THAT scares the hell out of me. Those kids LOVE Saddam, he controls their past.

    And remember: "Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past"
  11. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Re: Nasor

    Uh...Adam, virtually every american who's ever had a high school history class knows all of those things. Contemporary american history (AKA post WWII history) is a required class in public school. Although I suppose you aren't really required to pass the class. You could also pick up all of that by watching any of the better television news programs, or reading any of the better newspapers. It's not as if american news agencies are simply propaganda mouthpieces for the government. Television news programs regularly air news stories where experts in various fields criticize the government for its handling of the economy, the environment, or whatever. Questioning the government's treatment of the alleged terrorists that are being detained in cuba is a popular theme at the moment. The same is true of newspapers, magazines, and pretty much all other forms of media.

    In any case, you will notice that I never contested a government's ability to distort the truth with propaganda. My point was that you can't reduce society to the anti-thought extremes that seem popular in novels like 1984. I don't think that a society of that sort would be sustainable. Maybe for a little while, but not long term.
  12. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member


    I certainly hope people there do recall such things, I hope you're right.

    A question: Say the people do know that the USA government changes friends and enemies often, as in 1984... Do they care? The government does it still, so I wonder if people care, and if they do care, if it matters at all that they care.
  13. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by 'friend' and 'enemy.' Most Americans are aware that the US government makes alliances of conveniences with other governments or groups when our interests coincide. Most do not consider this to be 'friendship' in the conventional form. Consider the Northern alliance in Afghanistan. We wanted the Taliban government gone because it supported a terrorist group that attacked the US. The Northern Alliance wanted the Taliban gone because they didn't want to live in an oppressive theocracy. Since our interests coincided, we work together to achieve a common goal. Does this mean that we're friends? If the US later fails to help the Northern Alliance with some other problem, does this mean that we have 'turned our back on our friend?' Most people don't look at it this way. You can't allow emotions about who you 'like' or 'dislike' to interfere with your political decisions. Iran was once our enemy because they nationalized billions of dollars worth of US industrial equipment and took a bunch of our embassy workers hostage, but if our interests happen to coincide with their about something else then we wouldn’t refuse to work with them because 'you were mean to us and we don't like you anymore.'

    On the other hand, everyone is still a human being with morals. A politician couldn't get away with something that most people considered to be really morally outrageous, and politicians sometimes do things for humanitarian reasons even though it creates a big hassle for the United States. So if we're going to invade some other country (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or where ever) then people will want to feel that the military action is justified. To put it another way, while we don't have a responsibility to remove Saddam from power in Iraq merely because he is an evil tyrannical ruler, his evil tyrannical nature makes it morally acceptable for us to remove him should it be in our best interests. I'm really not trying to turn this into a debate about Iraq, so please don't take it that way, I'm just trying to describe the attitude of most americans.
  14. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member


    adam you see NOW why i dont trust any goverment except ours, east temor and NZ?

    when the USA fails to help US over something it wont be them betraying a friend it will just be our interests dont coinside
  15. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

    Heck, I don't trust the Australian goverrnment. Our government is nastier and sneakier than the USA's, just with a smaller bodycount.
  16. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    was more a case of our goverment isnt going to say sorry were busy if someone is going to invade australia
  17. Nasor Valued Senior Member

    Do you seriously believe that the australian government would do something to help the united states simply out of 'friendship' if it was seriously against the interests of the australian people?
  18. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Yes after 1982 I read F451 that’s a good book to... knowledge is power and if knowledge is taken away and replaced with propaganda then you can make people believe anything ANYTHING!!!

    Without thought there is no questioning!
  19. KneD Le Penseur Registered Senior Member

    F451??? I never heard of it.
    Who is the author? Than I can get the book in my library.
    I would like to read it.
  20. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

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