Happy birthday, Eric Blair

On this day in 1903, Eric Blair was born in India.

But the year for which he is most noted is 1984, even though he died in 1950.

Under the pen name George Orwell, Blair penned the novels “Nineteen Eighty-four” and “Animal Farm,” as well several other semi-autobiographical books and numerous essays.

When Orwell wrote “Nineteen Eighty-four” he wasn’t forecasting a particular date, he simply transposed the last two digits in 1948, when he wrote much of the book. Though a life-long socialist he despised the totalitarian and despotic nature of communism, fascism and Nazism.

Microfilm image of article I wrote in 1983.

Microfilm image from article I wrote in 1983.

He added to the lexicon: Big Brother, thoughtcrime, newspeak, doublethink, Room 101, as well as the painted slogans WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

In “Nineteen Eighty-four” the warring nations kept changing enemies, just as we were at peace with Islamist a few weeks ago we are now at war, if you can remember.

If you don’t think freedom is slavery, consider the “Life of Julia.” Julia, by the way, was Winston Smith’s girlfriend.

Ignorance is definitely strength, not for us but for politicians who the ignorant keep electing.

As for newspeak and doublethink, consider that our one-worlder president says we are not fighting a war against terrorists but trying to prevent man-caused disasters. His Defense Department (They don’t call it the War Department anymore.) sent out a memo saying: “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’” And a man standing on a table, firing a gun, shouting Allahu Akbar is merely workplace violence.

How can there be any thoughtcrime if we are not allowed to use certain words. People aren’t in the country illegally, they are merely undocumented. And this too changes over time. Once the word negro was the preferred and politically term, but now it is a slur.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” Orwell wrote in “Nineteen Eighty-four.” “In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Back in 1975, David Goodman wrote in The Futurist magazine that 100 of 137 Orwell predictions in “Nineteen Eighty-four” had come true. With the advance of computer surveillance and drones, how many more have come true?

Here are some previous Orwell references from this blog:

It’s not Orwellian, it’s Randian.

Orwell as a prophet.

Orwellian comments of Harry Reid.

Orwellian newspeak from Harry.

Schools take Orwellian concept to ‘logical’ conclusion.

Ignorance is strength for Democrats.

The more things change

Revisiting ‘1984.’

AP Stylebook change written in ‘1984.’

The man from ‘1984.’

Harry replies to certain run-out-of-town editor.

Has ‘1984’ come and gone?

Orwell explains blogging.

Harry course reversals defy the laws of physics.

Newspeak prevents thoughtcrime.

31 comments on “Happy birthday, Eric Blair

  1. Mo Karas says:

    How often I think of those two books…. Great piece, Thomas.

  2. Nyp says:

    Oddly, you left out “enhanced interrogation techniques. “

  3. Consider it added.

  4. There were 137 predictions.

  5. Steve says:

    Got to wonder what he would think of the current US government.

  6. Vernon Clayson says:

    He was describing, therefore thinking, of the current government. He might have been surprised that the legislative branch of government would have been stripped of its equal powers and rendered useless.

  7. Athos says:

    Where’s Winston?

  8. Steve says:

    I wonder, Vernon. He was a socialist. HE might have been happy with the current state of affairs in the USA today.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Socialism is a dream, Steve. A dream that just doesn’t work, given the nature of man. Lord Acton’s famous quote, don’t you know.
    Looking at the theme of “1984”, I can’t help but feel Orwell would not have been happy with the results of the direction our government has taken over the last 50 years, do you?

  10. Steve says:

    Anon, I believe the US government has become socialist…not a dictatorship or tyranny…though the steps are not many from either of those at this point in our socialist system of government.

  11. Rincon says:

    If it’s such a socialist country, why do the rich keep getting richer?

  12. Steve says:

    Really Rincon?
    You have to ask?

    Look at socialist communist China. Tell me those leaders are NOT wealthy and have houses that would make Bill Gates envious.

  13. Winston Smith says:

    Sorry, did ya miss me? Not much to add here, except that we also have some aspects of Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 being mainstreamed also.

    And now, back to the vain and superficial…

  14. Rincon says:

    News flash Steve: China is highly capitalist these days and their income inequality has grown dramatically in recent years. Even so, while their GDP and ours are nearly equal, their richest man is #87 in the world. I would guess that there are probably are 40 or more U.S. citizens that outrank him. The 15 richest in China all seem to be associated with businesses. Perhaps you can tell me if any are state owned.

    And I don’t believe that the house of anyone in the world can make Bill Gates envious.

    Almost all political leaders, socialist or capitalist, are wealthy . The most outrageous wealth though, usually comes from private enterprise. I’m not against capitalism, but I don’t believe in ignoring facts.

  15. Athos says:

    Rinny, you’re “outraged” by wealth derived through the fruits of enterprise, and capitalism, eh? How do you feel about wealth derived by rulers, kings, sultans, sheiks, princes, etc, etc, at the point of a sword?

    And how can you neglect Robert Mugabe? He’s got stacks of TRILLION $ BILLS!! Of course, he got his the old fashion way, didn’t he?

  16. Rincon says:

    Numerically, that makes him the richest man in the world 🙂 Realistically though, Mugabe is a piker compared to our elite. His net worth is estimated at 10 million. Bill Gates is 5400 times richer. Mugabe though, is worth about 1% of his country’s GDP. Bill Gates, on the other hand, has only managed to fleece our country for about 1/2% of GDP. I think Mugabe works harder at it.

  17. Steve says:

    Did China’s government change or did ours?

    That is the question. The answer is obvious. We became the thing we were fighting to destroy. Because to destroy it we had to learn to be like it….we have not learned from the experience…..yet.

  18. Winston Smith says:

    “Bill Gates, on the other hand, has only managed to fleece our country for about 1/2% of GDP.”

    I used to work at Microsoft, and I don’t recall “fleecing” any customers, though sometimes a product sucked and was overpriced. Yeah, MS is not usually considered one of the “nice” global corporations, in spite of Bill’s recent largesse around the world. Whatever money Bill has made, along with the hundreds of other MS millionaires that have been spawned, I have no problem with, but Gates apparently has pretty strong ties with certain global elitist groups, which is far more disconcerting that being filthy rich, IMHO.

    When I hear that Gates or whomever is the richest person on the planet, it cracks me up, since the Rothschilds and other banksters have been screwing over the entire globe with their central banks and currency manipulations for centuries, but the MSM doesn’t shine any lights on them, lest the hoi polloi get a clue. Easier just to complain about the Gates and Buffets of the world when demonstrating the “evils of capitalism”.

  19. Argos says:

    “Shine the light”

    Does anyone remember Ron Brown, Commerce Sec under BJ, late 90s?

  20. Winston Smith says:

    Whose plane crashed under odd circumstances?

  21. Rincon says:

    Welcome back Winston. I’m surprised that you point out that the Rothschilds, etc. are screwing over the globe since you yourself were outed as a “klepto-republicrat minion of fascist/globalist banksters” (what a great title!). Perhaps you could put it on some business cards so unsuspecting liberals can be warned of who they’re dealing with 🙂

    The Rothschilds are in the same group as Gates; however, much of their power and wealth have been handed down from generation to generation. Conservatives support this means of preserving family power as evidenced by their opposition to estate taxes. The Rothschilds also made and maintained their fortune through power politics and donating money to the proper politicians – something Conservatives also support. Although Conservatives don’t support the central banks, they support the means by which they were created.

  22. Steve says:

    “Conservatives support this means of preserving family power as evidenced by their opposition to estate taxes.”

    Liberals do too,,they just couch their support in riddles and hide their transfer of family wealth behind loopholes they make sure are well hidden and hard to use. But liberals are sure not letting any money or power leave their family hands, Rincon. I appreciate the honesty of an asshole over the subterfuge of the backstabber.

    “power politics and donating money to the proper politicians” Is by no means limited to conservatives,,,again its conservatives who are only telling the truth of the state of politics…contrary to the sneaky lies of the modern day liberal establishment. Hope and Change anyone?

    Conservatives will accept the inevitable while fighting to prevent it but liberals have become the very establishment they claimed to be fighting for the last 50 years.

  23. Athos says:

    The Kennedy name came to mind in regards to your comment, Rin.

    And how many more generations will flourish after Paris Hilton?

    Bill Gates is an American Success story, not the schemes of World Order Wizards! If it’s intrigue you want, look to the son of a Kenyan communist, coupled with a bougioise 17 year old idealist! All clothed in mystery, with no back trail the establishment cares to search.

  24. Winston Smith says:

    The ultra-rich families, no matter which flavor of the false left/right paradigm they prefer, have long protected their wealth from the tax man by setting up trusts. They aren’t stupid. The federal income tax was sold to the populace as a “soak-the-rich” scheme, because the PTB could see that the hoi polloi was starting to catch on to their machinations, and wanted to placate them. Of course, most of those families knew to create their trusts before the questionable ratification of the 16th Amendment was announced, so they wouldn’t suffer.

    Like with the planned 1929 stock market collapse, the bankster inner circle knew what to do ahead of time to protect themselves.

    BTW, apparently the Gates family had some money and connections before MS…

  25. Rincon says:

    Please reexamine my words. I said that Conservatives (generally)support eliminating the estate tax. This means that they support the handing of wealth and power from generation to generation as in the case of the Rothschilds. Anything said about Liberals does not affect the truth of the statement.

    The elimination of the estate tax was a Republican project supported by Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and most other Conservatives. You guys have also shown support for it.

    Once a critical mass is reached, the operating platform of personal computers is a natural monopoly. Having two, three, or 4 different major and incompatible operating systems would be impractical. By getting there first, Gates’ success was practically guaranteed. The burden for anyone wanting to challenge Windows is overwhelming for all who would try.

  26. Winston Smith says:

    Ahhh, Rincon, your words about Windows have reminded me of the operating system wars of the 1980’s, when the low-tech MS/PC-DOS was slugging it out with all comers and winning, since IBM had anointed it. Corporate America embraced it simply because of IBM’s market dominance, certainly not because of any technology advantages.

  27. Steve says:

    And along came techs wanting to build their own PC’s. Reverse engineering the BIOS made Windows was the ticket. Custom PC’s became possible.
    Now MS is the IBM of today and Techs are looking to Linux to make their stuff work better for custom uses and even business’s are adopting Linux over Windows in a lot of cases.

    Crapple has lost its innovator and will be relegated to the dustbin of Sun Microsystems in a few years, even tho Larry is alive and rich to this day. Then we have the conspiracy theorists of the computing world like Mikko Hypponen and Steve Gibson but the Internet is still stubbornly alive and well in spite of all their predictions and John Mcaffee (who must have believed all the “Hyp”) and lost everything. Now trying to get a bit of that back by going all “Hollywood” He’s pushing a movie about his life story don’t ya know. He should stay in Canada.

    Ahh the fun of the PC world if you pay attention!

  28. Winston Smith says:

    McAfee was recently on Infowars, plugging his new app: http://www.infowars.com/john-mcafees-new-cognizant-app-puts-an-end-to-spying/

  29. Steve says:

    SCOTUS took a nice bite out of Government invasion in private life by requiring a search warrant before police can go through your cell phone.

    I believe this has strengthened the 4th.

    Mcaffee is nuts.

  30. […] apropos that the King v. Burwell ruling came out on the birthday of Eric Blair, who was born on this day in India in […]

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