Opinion: Long after studying Orwell’s novel, 1984 has arrived | Opinion

“What you are about to read is a vision of the future,” the teacher told her class.

“If you’re expecting to read a space travelogue…or a story centered on happy, prosperous people living in a bright, sparkling city of tomorrow, you should prepare for something completely different.

“Jimmy Jones, if you could develop an appreciation for books that rivals your love of the Beatles, you could get into an Ivy League school.”

The teacher combined her warning with a plea: “JJ, I assure you that you won’t find ‘Flying Circus’ in the pages of this novel, but the author is British, and given your view of the world, that should count for something.”

The tall young man grabbed a box of 40 books and put one on the desk of each of his 35 classmates.

Then she said, “Class, there are three goals that we should all strive for. We must think clearly, speak clearly and write clearly.

“We all know that words have a meaning and that some words have several different meanings. But what if a government sought to control its citizens through the deliberate distortion of language?

“Prepare to encounter ‘Newspeak’ and discover the consequences of calculated and confusing communication designed to discourage independent thought and action.

“George Orwell’s book is called ‘1984,’ and it’s only 10 years away. You’ll read about a pretty distressing future. A future based on language control, thought control, and collective control through a monitoring state.

“Could something like this happen here? Read this book and decide for yourself.

For the next two weeks, the class immersed themselves in Orwell’s dystopian tale, discussing the ominous and disturbing future presented in the text.

And then the future arrived.

JJ actually became a lawyer and Big Guy eventually became a federal lawmaker.

Both marveled that the United States in 1984 was nothing like Orwell’s “1984”. Ronald Reagan swept every state except Minnesota en route to his second term.

It was the same 10 years later. Big Guy became part of a large class of conservative congressmen – over 70s – who won a Republican majority in the House for the first time in 40 years.

Almost 30 years have passed.

What happened?

A terrorist attack on our soil and a decision that collective security must take precedence over individual freedom.

A computer revolution that encouraged surveillance and enriched technology companies, which in turn pledged allegiance to the company and the bottom line rather than the county that made their success possible.

The election of a president, heralded as “post racial”, who has become our “most racial”, inserting questions of race and other issues into virtually every public debate.

A system of public education transformed into a system of political indoctrination, populated by leftist grievance mongers who promote “wokeism” – a political movement designed to intimidate by shutting down debate and insisting on uniformity.

And the “pandemic panic,” where sound science trumped political science and the government restricted our freedom of movement as well as our right to work.

Through it all, echoes of “Newspeak…”

Ignorance is strength…

Uniformity is diversity…

War is peace…

Equity — not equality!

Two weeks to flatten the curve.

Unfortunately, it became clear… 1984 is finally here.

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