1984 1984 question

Similarities between Oceania and the USA
Nikolas Carraway Nikolas Jan 27, 2015 01:41PM
What parallels can be found between INGSOC and the regime of Oceania and aspects of modern American society?

First off, I think you could compare Oceania to most modernized nations not just the United States. As for your question regarding the Unites States, one of the biggest comparisons you could make to Oceania and the party is the NSA. Thanks to the Snowden articles released back in 2013, the world saw the truth behind one of the United States most mysterious agencies. The world learned that the NSA not only spies and invades on people's privacy but also lied to the world when questioned whether they were doing so. They have no way of actually watching everyone at once but you never know when they could be watching. This could be tied directly into the novel because the people of Oceania don't know whether they are being watched all of the time or not. This doesn't matter because they know its possible; and this possibility keeps them in check because they have no way of telling whether someone is watching or not.

U 25x33
Gieselle Mayoral Keagan, I like how you mentioned that 1984 could be compared not only to the U.S. but also many modern countries. While the current situation in Ameri ...more
Jul 28, 2018 01:31AM · flag

Wow, an entire book could be written on the topic honestly. I first heard about this book back in high school within the context of a discussion dealing with surveillance and big brother. That being said, this has sparked a number of theories on how we in America have now become too similar to the regime. Perhaps a harder argument to tackle is that of an absurd war. The book deals with themes of a war, more specifically, a war that is perpetual. In the novel, the enemy is constantly changing, begging the question of whether war is actively enabled instead of used as a necessity for survival. The aforementioned comment touched on a big component of our lives as Americans in the 21st century that relates back to the perpetual war in 1984. Today, we call war against everything, always changing the enemy: terror, drugs, racism, etc..., in other words, anything that gives one a fright should be fought against violently with no compromise or thought about why it inspires fear. Most times the fears spawns from a deviation of nationalist ways.

There are so many comparisons to what's happening right now. I just re-read the book recently and found it to be absolutely terrifying. I wrote a whole blog about it on my site but my main points were simple.
The War on Literacy - our language is changing rapidly and some would argue for the worst. Text messages and meme culture have reduced the language down to acronyms and jokes and the amount of people who actually value conversation is close to zero.
People don't talk to each other anymore and without that you don't have real education.
The War that'll never end - We've been at war for how many years now? Does anyone even know who we're fighting or what? Who's in charge of this latest terrorist cell? Once we were able to lump all of our enemies into one category - Terrorist - we were granted the ability to attack anyone. Literally anyone. And that war will never stop.
The War on our Minds - Half the country didn't even vote in the last presidential election. Yes, there was meddling and polarizing and neither was a good candidate... whatever you want to say, half the country didn't vote. America has made it so difficult to stay alive and financially afloat and happy in the country that no one cares anymore about the validity of their own democracy.

I'd say you can find similarities with most (all?) modern states, not just the USA...

A simple example is how they fake data: let's be honest, who believes that inflation is 3% or less in the UK? Well, if we listen to government statistics, we should... Problem us most goods have gone up enormously (bread has doubled, so has pasta, so have many other things, house prices go up 3% a month... So, who knows how they expect to be believed, yet the are!)

The creation of socio-cultural amnesia is typical of modern societies...

Now, I've always been in two minds whether Orwell was a prophet or politicians got ideas out of his dystopia. I am leaning towards the latter at the moment....

George Orwell was a true visonary. I read 1984 and Animal Farm as a young teenager and they resonated somehow - albeit that was intangible at the time.
In the following thirty years I have come to believe they encapsulate most of what we need to know about politics, politicians and just about everybody that seeks power.

Not only USA. In São Paulo, Brazil, you can't walk 5 miles without being captured by, average, 40 different surveillance cameras.

Nemo (last edited Jan 27, 2015 02:42PM ) Jan 27, 2015 02:42PM   0 votes
Syria ISIS is the enemy, Syria ISIS has always been the enemy

The UK as an appendix to Oceania, Airstrip One, unfortunately rings true in more ways than one. I saw a documentary a few years that claimed that Churchill had seriously considered asking the US to adopt us as a state during WWII!

No-one gets out of here alive.

And certainly not without a summary report.

hmm... lessee... well, everybody is installing telescreens in their living rooms now - *voluntarily*.

They're called "SmartTVs".

(anybody who seriously believes they can disable the microphone and camera in those things so they can't be turned on remotely, should send for my free investor's packet... .)

The (last edited Jan 28, 2015 06:37PM ) Jan 28, 2015 06:36PM   0 votes
If you want to include the United Kingdom as part of the Oceania topos, we're the most surveillanced country in the world. 1 camera for every 4 people and increasing.

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