Trump and 1984

eyeI can’t believe it!

Two or three weeks ago I started reading 1984 again, which I read 20+ years ago in high school and have been meaning to read again for years.  And as I got through the very first chapter (and am only at chapter 4 now — shows how much reading time I get), that I wanted to blog/tweet about how much 1984 sounded like 2017.  And now it seems i missed the boat!

I just saw on Amazon that 1984 is the #2 ebook right now.  Number 2, out of gazillions!  That’s amazing!

And that theatres are going to play the old movie as a form of protest.  Unbelievable!  Awesome!  And I’m overseas, so I’m going to miss it!

What are some of the similarities, you might ask?  Here’s a few:

The Ministry of Truth is basically in charge of shaping history, media, and public perceptions to match The Party’s politics.

The mantra is (always in all-caps):

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

There are Thought Police, thought crime, and doublethink.

They’ve always been at war with their current enemy (even though Winston clearly remembers it was the other way around just a few years ago).

And the one that struck me most: the Two-Minute Hate.  Everyone must gather around the telescreen and scream their hatred at images of “the enemy”.

Sounds an awful lot like the state of things now.

1984 or 2017?

And here I thought I was a “clever clogs” discovering this.  And now it’s a big thing!

…That big eye up there, by the way?  It’s mine. 🙂 

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2 thoughts on “Trump and 1984

  1. I’m not sure I like the Trump 1984 comparison. 1984 requires a competent and coordinated state and media apparatus. The current administration is at war with the State Department and certain factions in intelligence. Being born in Ceausescu’s Romania I don’t buy the Trump is a dictator. When everyone from the common teenager to the reporter can go on twitter and insult the president without being disappeared, you are not living in a dictatorship.

    But, the Trump administration, and the political climate does remind me of 19th century politics. Andrew Jackson style, yellow journalism, bad mouthing each other, and a complete lack of class and scruples. From all sides that is. American will survive.

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    • Good points, Alex.
      The biggest connection for me is the idea of “doublethink,” which is basically saying something official and the opposite being true. But you’re right. Thankfully, we live in a society where the people can speak their minds and call out officials who they think are full of poop. And hopefully, we mere citizens can still have an impact and prevent power from being absolute.

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