Reading this novel (George Orwell’s 1984, I was simultaneously enveloped by two conflicting feelings and sensations: first, joy, an ever-growing sense of joy and happiness from the fact that we and I all live here, and not there, now, and not then, and most importantly – as it is now, and not otherwise, not as described in the novel.Especially reading it to the end, you feel a taste for life, for freedom, you feel much more free than it seemed before .
And secondly, a sense of horror, misunderstanding, misunderstanding of why, why, how could this happen? How, seemingly normal people, could allow THIS, how did what is described in the novel happen? A strange, devastating trance fear embraces, captures you more and more deeply with each page read … and worst of all, it is the terrible, deepest, endless horror of hopelessness at the very end of the book.
This is a dystopia. No, this is more than dystopia. This is a warning, a warning to us all – people of the twentieth century. This is a monstrous phantasmagoria about the possible future of mankind. Monstrous – by virtue of its harsh and cruel realism, and even more so – surrealism. Despite the fact that this is only a fantasy of the writer.
The book describes a totalitarian society. The place is London. Totalitarianism is described as an ideal type, totalitarianism in its purest form, in all its universality, totality, and the enormity of its manifestation. George Orwell wrote it in 1947-1949. more precisely, in 1947 he came up with the idea to write this novel, and he himself was published in 1949. Orwell wrote it, drawing on the realities of Nazi Germany Hitler and the Stalin era in the USSR. That is, they were taken as a basis, for the prototypes of the USSR, Stalin and Hitler Germany – states with totalitarian regimes. All this was embodied in his novel, but in a much more hypertrophied form. That is, all the elements, mechanisms, techniques, methods, methods, principles of the totalitarian regimes that existed at that time, but in a much more pronounced form and form, were taken and described. And the scene – the capital of England London – was taken in order to show that a totalitarian regime can be established everywhere, regardless of the country and despite its “advancement” in ensuring democratic rights and freedoms. That is, it is possible everywhere, the whole thing is only the time that will be required to establish it.
Orwell’s great scientific merit is that, despite the artistic genre of his work, he essentially anticipated precisely the scientific, analytical understanding and study of totalitarianism as a phenomenon of the twentieth century; that is, he became a harbinger of introducing this very term into a scientific political science discourse and an analytical study of totalitarianism as an objective category of political science, as an ideal type (pure type) of a political regime, as one of three ideal types. Indeed, in fact, the phenomenon of totalitarianism began to be thoroughly investigated precisely in the 40s – 50s of the last century in the works of Hayek, Popper, Arendt, Friedrichs, Brzezinski, Russell, Mussolini, later Aron, etc. but they mainly had purely scientific works, while Orwell in England, and Zamyatin earlier in Russia, gave an artistic vision of the totalitarian regime, writing a kind of dystopia. Although, at first glance, the apparent similarity between “We” Zamyatin and “1984” (year, time of action in the novel) by Orwell – these two novels are very different – and in general, but mainly – in details, in reasoning, in spirit, in the nature of what is written. But comparing these two works is not the goal of this work (this will require a whole separate work).
Despite the apparent grayness and monotony of the presentation, the text carries a huge charge of emotions, feelings, feelings (as mentioned above – often contradictory), tension and surprises. The novel is written very vividly, vividly, as if the writer himself survived everything described, he himself was in the shoes of the main geor, experiencing with him all the ups and downs of the plot, and most importantly – it seems that the author himself saw the described, lived there, felt … – that’s all believable, realistic, sometimes even excessive. Just amazingly described all the experiences, feelings, emotions, thoughts of reasoning of the protagonist (Winston Smith). Moreover, they are described in such detail that sometimes it leads to the idea that the author himself experienced the same way.
In this novel, Orwell proved to be a pretty good psychologist, well-versed in the dark labyrinths of human consciousness (and even the unconscious), as an excellent observer and analyst; logician and philosopher.
But let us move on to a brief description of the technique itself, the methods of totalitarianism. The state regime of Oceania (the country in which the described events unfold) can be defined as totalitarian – as totalitarianism in its developed form. Why? Because this regime has the whole complex of characteristics and characteristics typical of totalitarianism and later identified by Friedrichs, Brzezinski, and Aron, etc. Firstly, there is one mass party, it is completely dominant and it holds monopolistic political power. Secondly, there is a one-man head of state who has neither a name nor a surname, only a universal denomination – the Elder Brother, who is the peak of the pyramidal structure of power. He is infallible, omnipotent; all successes, achievements, victories, scientific discoveries, plus everything cognition, all wisdom, all happiness and all valor come directly from his leadership and are inspired by him. No one has ever seen the Big Brother (hereinafter – SAT); his face (with a black mustache, behind which you can easily recognize the portrait of Stalin) is everywhere on huge posters with the inscription (everywhere): “Big Brother is looking at you.” His face is on posters, his voice is on the television screen. No one knows when he was born, and it is not known whether he is alive at all. Most likely, such a person does not exist at all, since the Security Council is not a person, but rather the image in which the party appears before the country, this is the personification of the party. Its purpose is quite simple – to serve as a focus for love, fear and reverence – feelings that are easier to turn to an individual than to an entire organization. Under the SB – the inner party (brain), below – the outer party (hands). Under these two socio-political strata, at the very bottom are “gaps” – the proletarians, the largest (about 85% of the total number of inhabitants of Oceania) and, naturally, the poorest. There is no capital in Oceania, and no one knows where the nominal head of state (abstract Security Council) is located. Thirdly, it is armed with, as a banner, IDEOLOGY, to which it gives the status of the only authority, official state truth. It is determined by the Security Council (or rather, the party). This state is purely ideological, i.e. the role of ideology is not just dominant, but overwhelming; and she herself is not just the only true truth, but she is the essence of the religion of this regime. Well, its function is the same as in other regimes, only in the totalitarian it is manifested brighter – to be a means of legitimacy of power, the existing state system; it serves as a tool for frank zombies of people, for washing, cleaning, correcting and setting brains, for turning people into a dumb, thoughtless, blindly obeying mass that absolutely agrees with everything. Fourth, complete party monopoly control not only over the country’s political, social, and cultural life, but also over the spiritual and economic. That is, monopoly control of production and the economy, not to mention education, the media, (especially!). Thus, most types (or even all) of the economic (planned economy) and professional activities are subordinate to and under the control of the state apparatus and become part of it. Well, since the state is inseparable from its ideology, it means that official truth leaves its mark on absolutely all types of activities. No sphere of life is free from total ideological, political and police control.
But along with the nationalization of economic, economic, professional activity, there is a nationalization of all other spheres of life, including private, personal, family. In this regard, any sin in the economic, professional, personal spheres of life automatically turns into an ideological sin. And as a result – politicization, ideologization of all possible sins of an individual person. Well, after this natural, final and final consequence comes (or rather, acts) police ideological and political terror.
Fifth, terror. Naturally, in order to support the legitimacy of the existing political and state system, dogmatic ideology is needed, but more naturally, in order to maintain the functioning, functionality, vitality, correctness and legitimacy of the ideology itself, total police control (terror) is needed. For direct external control, there were special devices – television screens that were installed absolutely everywhere, in all places, cities, even in every house, they cannot be turned on. A television screen is a creepy and strange hybrid of two devices simultaneously: a video camera that takes everything that happens around (and all) and transfers the image somewhere, where it is unknown. But for every slightest movement, for every expression on your face, facial expressions, for every sound, gesture, word, – be sure – all of this is perfectly seen, tracked and studied somewhere. And not for a second that the radio does not stop talking, constantly broadcasting either a summary of the constant military operations, or naked SB, or the joy of the next (very doubtful in fact) overfulfilment of the three-year plan, or some (often military and synthetic) music. It can not be turned off – just turn down the sound. He can constantly interfere with privacy. Seeing something unusual, with a sharp, loud and tough voice, like a shot, make a remark, order, pull, etc. You can’t get rid of it anywhere, even outside the city, since there may be built-in portable microphones.
But he observes and listens to all this – not some KGB or the NKVD or the Gestapo – but the so-called thought police – a special huge police institution with a huge number of full-time and non-staff employees. Its function is to monitor everything and everything, to sniff out, identify, arrest, interrogate, kill objectionable; burn heresy; “Spray” (on Newspeak). The police of thoughts combined the police as an organ of law and order (although no, there was nothing illegal because the laws themselves did not exist, because they were successfully replaced by ideology), and the so-called Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the so-called KGB – i.e. with the possible exception of the army. The peculiarities of the work of the police of thoughts is that they arrest and disperse not those who have already committed an ideological crime (and thought crime), but often those who, in principle, can potentially commit, but have not yet committed it. But, of course, they’re not just arresting them – for this one false or suspicious word, one gesture, one unusual facial expression can serve. The cherished desire of the police of thoughts is to learn for themselves, or, using TV screens, to read and recognize the thoughts of a person without his knowledge. And the worst thing is not a crime of action (although the back also betrays), but a crime of thought, that is, the so-called mental crime, for which the punishment is much worse than physical, because it happened not in practice, but in the head. After all, a person has absolutely nothing there, except for a few cubic centimeters of gray matter in the skull. Physical crime is less frightening in its consequences and punishment. For such a crime they simply arrest, interrogate, a person confesses, they will kill him and all for a thought crime, which is an absolute crime, containing all the others, the punishment should be much more strict and painful. Many days (maybe many weeks, many months – who knows?) Of torture, interrogation, terrible, debilitating torture by hunger, cold, lack of sleep, bringing a person to utter exhaustion, turning him into a half-dead, half-dead creature, somehow able to move and speak (yes and think too), similar to a skeleton covered in pale gray skin – this, in fact, is only the beginning. During these tortures, a person confesses to all conceivable and unimaginable sins and crimes with pain, batons, fists, boots, electricity, but, what is important, this is not enough for the police to think. A man betrays everyone and everything – but this police is also of little interest – for her the main thing (hence the name) is not even to kill him, but to kill a person in a person, making him a resigned zombie, to clean, rinse, and to direct a person not only his brains, but also penetrate into his soul, into his very nature. The police of thoughts through their hardest and hardest tortures kills their human essence in people – squeezes, scratches, burns out all feelings from a person – joy, laughter, bitterness, sorrow, love (for children, for the opposite sex), i.e. everything is bright, and when a person is completely, absolutely empty, when there is nothing spiritual left in him – only one body, a shell with innate instincts and reflexes – then this existential vacuum is completely filled with two unnatural for a person, planted violently from the outside, contradictory feelings – absolute love and devotion to the Security Council and also absolute hatred of enemies: external – to those with whom Oceania is fighting; and internal – dissenting. These two feelings fill the person to the brim, but although they filled this so-called existential vacuum, – nevertheless, these are not the feelings that were before, they are not the same person. The main task of a person who finds himself in the dungeons of the Ministry of Love is to remain a person and not to stay alive, because quite a few people were not killed, not scattered, and then released. Yes, they remained alive, but they ceased to be people – they ceased to feel, love, became the same as everyone else. This is the difference between this type of totalitarian regime and those of its real types that existed in the USSR and Germany. If in these countries “thought criminals” and “enemies of the people” were also interrogated, arrested, and either sent to a camp or to be shot, – i.e. the task is to physically destroy the apostates, then Oceania, physical destruction is not the goal, the goal is just the moral-sensual, spiritual, “brain” remake of a person, it is his internal correction and teaching – and only then – either to freedom or to be shot.
In such a state, absolutely anyone needed to be afraid – from a baby-to-old to an elderly. In fact, surveillance was total in the sense that every person followed every other, i.e. one after another, and, which is natural for such a time, they constantly informed each other; even their children should be afraid, because they also monitored each step of the parents and reported thoughts to the police, which did not neglect a single denunciation. She brought up children as the so-called scouts, i.e. even the children were all the same as everyone else – “fanatical partisans, swallowers of slogans, voluntary spies and sniffers of heresy,” only more zealous. The main dogma of antsoc – the variability of the past – is expressed in the slogan: “Who controls the past – that controls the future, who controls the present – that controls the past.”
What’s the point? The past was constantly redone, customized to the present, i.e. there was a constant alteration of history and the past.
This is necessary for two reasons: the first is preventive: both party members and proles (in particular) endure these conditions because they have nothing to compare with. People should be completely cut off from the past, because they need to believe that they live better than their ancestors, and that their standard of living is constantly rising, i.e. simply not knowing about another life. The second – more substantial – to maintain faith in the infallibility of the party. Speeches, documents, statistics – everything should be customized for today to prove that all party predictions are always true. Not only that: no changes in the doctrine and political line should be recognized, for to change one’s view of politics, at least, means to admit weakness, and this is unacceptable. If the facts of the past contradict the party line, then they need to be changed. This daily cleansing of the past, which is occupied by the Ministry of Truth, is just as necessary for the stability of the regime as the repressive and espionage work carried out by the Ministry of Love. It is argued that the events of the past objectively do not exist, but are saved only in written documents (i.e., in records) and in human memories (i.e., in the minds of people). And since the party completely manages the documents, constantly correcting them, and the minds of people constantly correcting them, it means the past of what the party wants to make it. And each new version of it is the past. At every moment, instant, the party has absolute truth, and the absolute is what is now.
This is the reason for the absolute stability of the party, since the future is unknown, the past is what the party wants to see, that is, people are largely cut off from the true past and are doomed to live in this, endless, infinite present, where the party is omnipotent, indestructible and always right. And the gaps will never rebel, because they do not know the past, and therefore the other, different from the present life. Riot is impossible; self-presented, proles from generation to generation, from century to century will still work endlessly, multiply and die, without even thinking about rebellion. T. about. history and time have stopped, which means that the party will always be omnipotent, and the regime is unshakable. Everywhere facts cannot be trusted (in the sense of their truth). Even in the names of the four ministries (the entire state apparatus) – shamelessly overturning the facts: the Ministry of Peace is in charge of war; Ministry of Love – torture and repression; Ministry of Truth – a lie; Ministry of Abundance – starving. These contradictions are not accidental – this is a double mind in action, and reconciliation of the contradictions allows you to hold power for an unlimited time. In another way – the eternal cycle cannot be interrupted. The dominant state of mind is controlled insanity. The mind control technique is quite simple. Firstly, this is newspeak, an official language whose vocabulary is constantly being reduced. In Newspeak, all words were cleared of all secondary meanings. And if, for example, there was no freedom of speech, it means that there were no such words in the dictionary either. This is so that people can think only in one sense. Secondly – this is “self-stop” – the instinctive ability will stop at the threshold of a dangerous thought. Thirdly, it is “black-and-white” – a word with two meanings: as applied to the opponent – this means the habit of claiming that black is white, contrary to obvious facts; but it also means a willingness to call black white itself, to believe in it and to know it. Thirdly – this “doublethink” – means the ability to simultaneously adhere to two opposing opinions.
The party’s goal is not the well-being of citizens, not a normal life, but power, power – an end in itself, perpetuation of oneself and one’s power. The task is to control people even more, not only actions, but also thoughts, and the unconscious.
WAR IS THE WORLD
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE – STRENGTH