“WAR IS PEACEFREEDOM IS SLAVERYIGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”(Orwell, 1984)”Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
” (William Pitt, 1783) . One can argue the existence of a utopia. Argue whether or not a utopia has ever, or will, exist. Webster’s Dictionary defines the term utopia as “An ideally perfect place, especially in its social, political, and moral aspects”. Then we can explore the term dystopia, the mirror image of a utopia, the exact opposite, a world blinded by utter chaos.
However, one does not exist without the other. The majority of politics today is democratic, not to mention the remaining percentage is said to be totalitarian. But what we fail to notice is that there is very little difference amongst the two states, for in both situations the governments and or leaders have absolute power. And according to natural law power leads to corruption. “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”(Lord Acton, 1834-1902) .
So even in the perfectionist living, the slightest bit of corruption destroys any possibility of a utopia. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984 touches this topic, of complete government control in their literary warnings, if not prophesies. The point being, no matter what type of government we live in, it is a place where the politicians are the ringmasters. They then construct reality, a system in which the public lives on, aimlessly, endlessly, and blindly.
They prevail over us using technology, psychological manipulation, and the ability to alter any form of information, including history. The following arguments revolve around Huxley’s and Orwell’s portrayals, as well as focusing on the non-literary world, which we abide.The title Brave New World itself portrays a society, which is perfect. Symbolically, Huxley chose this title based on the stereotypical image of a new object. We tend to presume that it is new, untouched, unused and flawless. But is it? The spine tingling atmosphere begins to concern the reader from the very beginning. A horrific tour of the laboratory reveals the very fundamentals of absolute government domination.
As the tour Director leads through the lab, the sightings are graphic. The students become aware of incubators and other technological mechanisms to fertilize and grow humans. He further explains how the sperm and ova are separated from the human body. “The operation undergone voluntarily for the good of society, not to mention the fact that it carries a bonus amounting to six months salary.” He boasts.
Another point that proves technological control over society is the Bokanovsky Process, the process by which many human specimens are generated from one cell. This sort of brushes the Darwinian theory. The whole notion of genetic regulation triggers the a very terrifying caste system which is broken down as follows; Alphas and Betas which are the higher class, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons. The lower class of Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons are increased in population thus diluting their intelligence. The director further clarifies “This system is one of the major instruments of social stability.” Each embryo’s destiny is pre-determined for it to fit in a destined caste. Even the gender is programmed.
Some embryos are given oxygen deficiencies to imprint mental defects at birth. The lower class, mainly Epsilons is coded to be laborers, while the Alphas and Beta are to be leaders and intellectuals. Another major system of society control is psychological manipulation. Throughout the novel, the citizens of the World State (name of the society, or country) replace the idea of Lord’ with Ford’, named after the early twentieth century industrialist Henry Ford, the founder of the Ford Motor Company. People are continuously reminded that it was Ford who created the first car, not god, and thus they don’t need God.
The whole idea of brainwashing comes in when this information is repeated from time to time. Humans don’t need God, for they too can create perfections. Sleep teaching hypnosis is also used. This is a process of giving subliminal messages to children. These children are conditioned to love their own caste. Beta babies are told, “I don’t want to play with Delta children.
” The director explains, “words without reason,” is “the greatest moralizing and socializing force of all time.” Mustapha Mond, a leader who handles any form of information techniques explains history and other works of writing to the students. Books such as the Bible and other ancient pieces of work are banned.
It is applied that such texts cause extreme thinking and thus cause rebellion and sadness, and any kind of suffering in not permitted in this brave new world. This shows how the society is unaware of the factual events and blinded by a false government cover up which initiates a feeling of trust. The people feel they are cared for and that the government takes initial concern to comfort their lives. Even language is altered. Words such as family’ are forbidden. Mustapha Mond, in the novel also expels the existence of God, stating that society doesn’t need God. “You can only be independent of God when you’ve got youth and prosperity; independence wont take you safely to the end.
Well, we’ve got youth and prosperity right up to the end, what follows? Evidently, that we can be independent of God…You must make your choice.” The idea of parents is expelled from normal usage for science creates humans and the government is their only parents. This warning, if not a prophecy by Huxley triggers thought of how reliant is technology, and further, our government? Orwell reveals a nightmarish society in 1984. A world where there is no existence of freedom whatsoever.
Winston, the protagonist is miserable. He is a prisoner in a false world where he cannot think or act in a way he chooses. This horrendous society is lead by a father figure known as “Big Brother” and his government is referred to as The Party.
The Party has absolute control over the people by means of technology, psychological manipulation and by having complete power over any form of information. The people are kept in complete surveillance with visual components Orwell refers to as Tele-screens’. These screens are modern high tech surveillance equipment, which allows interaction from both sides of the glass cover. Government officials know as the Thought Police’ observes the people. At every street corner, at every coffee shop, even in the very privacy of ones home, lurked tele-screens to assist in government observation.
“Smith!” yelled a voice from the telescreen. “6079 Smith W! Hands out of pockets in the cells!”(Orwell, 1991, 234.) Continues psychological exploitation is seen throughout the novel.
Propaganda being at its extreme, each billboard was covered with signs of Big Brother, “an enormous face, more than a meter wide: the face of a man of about forty-five, with a heavy black mustache and ruggedly handsome face” (p. 3). Further more, plastered on every wall in the city were Big Brother’s party slogans “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength,” constantly remind citizens that their country, Oceania, belongs to the omnipotent, omnipresent Party and that citizens must obey Party rules or face the Thought Police. The Party controls any and all media sources and information centers. They also have full control of the alteration of history. The people are not allowed to keep photographs, documents or any other records of their past.
Thus memories become faint and distorted, and resulting in a bond of blind faith in The Party. By controlling the present, they alter the past. By altering the past, they manipulate the present. So far we have analyzed the authors portrayals of government control in a very fictional essence. Yet how it applies to our society today is still to be proven. Let us begin with the ever so rapid rate of technological developments-which are so easy to use. Major industries worldwide are using such systems to monitor their property and personnel.
The aid of technology has lead to the invention of micro cameras and microphones. Recent news has confirmed that video equipment can be fitted into smoke detectors(). The police use microphones during undercover pursuits. Things are defiantly not what they seem.
Another lethal threat is the ever so growing of the phenomena know as the Internet”, especially when it comes to privacy matters. There is no doubt that any form of information can be accessed with the help of the internet, as if one breaks into private property to gain access to valuable information about a certain event or individual, without out having to leave home. Who ever is watching can easily gain information packets traveling through the system, and thus can rebuild your e-mail, and even alter news flashes. Telephone companies’ monitor who is calling who and where, in order to determine ones telephone bill, how can one be sure they are not in on the conversation? Postal services deliver our mail and packages to their required destination, how can one be sure they are not aware of our private contents? Things are not what they seem. Such fraudulent acts should be concluded, for it will not be long before Big Brother monitors our every move. Most information today is kept on disks. These bundles are further backed up by even more magnetic media, thus can be removed and deleted with a single click of the mouse.
Indicating that any news article, or any essay, e-mail, sound file, video files that are transported around the Internet can be destroyed without the consent of anyone but government agents. Other forms of keeping society under the influence of technology and away from rationalism are countless. Bank machines, metal detectors at airports, x-ray machines, and the list can go onInformation control in our society became more controversial with the appearance of the Social Insurance System. Each individual of the society is given a serial number, as if we were products.
Every situation that occurs begins with the scanning of our Social Insurance Number. Notice how it spells sin. Whether we are applying for college, or receiving health care to purchasing products. Who we are, where we live, what we do, is all accessible with our SIN’s. This cataloguing of citizens may seem innocent, but it is a major privacy crisis, and triggers the notion of government control. Each home across the nation has the Internet, television, and radio.
The three devices the government, along with advertisement agencies throws endless amounts of propaganda at us. Yet we tend to follow it completely. Media has gained so much power that if tomorrow the CNN headlines states that the end of the world is here and that a country somewhere off the coast of Madagascar has disappeared, we will at once believe what we hear and not think twice of checking its validity. During an election, each politician’s political campaign is advertised, in a very biased perspective highlighting all the strengths, as if selling a product. A question I find extremely disturbing; politician change time from time. Laws change time from time.
Presidencies change time from time. But the idea of government control lives on. But who runs things each time a president is changed? Can we be sure? Things are not what they seem.
“Have you ever had a dream Neo, that you were so sure is real? What if you were unable to awake from that dream, how would you the difference between the real world and the dream world?” (Morphius. 1999, Matrix.) In this world today, how can one be sure that whether or not our lives are predetermined? All our existence is based on a system.
We wake up in the morning, go to work, stress through the hustle and bustle of the traffic. We get paid. At the end of the moth we pay our mortgages, pay for our car, pay our taxes. We go to the movies, talk to other people on the Internet. But there is a feeling of incompletion, a feeling, which states why?’ Huxley and Orwell were both concerned about where we are headed. Thus they created such fantasies, to warn us of mankind’s flaws.
But are they fantasies? When observed in detail, one starts to feel the dreads of these fantasies come alive. These fantasies can be to be prophecies arguably. How much control do we really have of our lives. Do we know anything about the people that rule our very lives besides their names and what party they belong to? In world where media is a shield to convey a relentless brainwashing scheme, things are defiantly not what they seem. The government, form time to time, constructs reality, focusing on the figments of out imagination to manipulate our lives and to remain in control.
Using drugs such as technology to get us addicted to its plus points, we are continuously monitored. We could very well be being watched by government surveillance at this very moment, which is very unlikely. But it is a possibility. Lets just hope that tomorrow when we wake up, to face the constructs of reality, 2+2=4.