1984 – A dangerous story

If you watched ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ by Pink Floyd, that’s a damn good description of the Ministry of Truth where they dictate 2+2=5 and the people were forced believe it without a doubt. The ministry also deals with news, entertainment, and fine arts. They rewrite history to make it more truthful. If Big Brother’s prediction turns out to be false, the Ministry of Truth rewrites the record and make it accurate. That way Big brother’s predictions are never false.

The fictional totalitarian state not only use propaganda, it also spies on every individual. Imagine a city where there are CCTV cameras on both side of the road, on the entrance to every building, inside the buildings, inside your house (yes inside your house) and inside your bedroom. Now imagine all these cameras are connected to a huge government building where you are being watched 24/7. Everything you speak is heard. That’s the government of 1984. If you say anything against the regime, you will be arrested.

The story is not only about totalitarian government; it is also about large corporations. Imagine the degree of power we hand over to corporations when we give them our pictures, finger prints, and write what we think about different things. Yes, Facebook! If I want to know what kind of person Abdullah is, all I have to do is go to his profile and check his photos. To see his political view, I just have to see his few recent posts. ‘No; I don’t recommend Abdullah marrying my daughter.’

Large corporations use our information to bait us, by manipulating our emotions they sell things we don’t need. Amazon.com deleted 1984 from their kindle. Not without a reason. Orwell talks about the evils of big corporations, their greedy intentions, which makes sense that amazon got offended by it. However, in the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs called it one of his favorite, also recommended to new hires. In the year 1984 he made an ad showing the machine’s rise to power just like it happens in the book.

Because it talks about the dangers of brain washing, control, machines, spying, all dictators and large corporations hate it. It received numerous attacks and was on the list of top 10 most challenged books of all time. It was banned in the Soviet Union for obvious reason. Later a heavily edited version was finally allowed in Russia after 1990. In 2014 airlines warned passengers traveling to Thailand carrying 1984 may get them into trouble with custom officials.

Even after criticisms and challenges, 1984 is still thriving among anti-government protestors, internet freedom fighters and opponents of CCTV in public.

The work is on public domain in several countries. If you are in any of those countries, you are free to download and read it.


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