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A philisophical essay pertaining to the novel 1984 by George Orwell

Updated on March 17, 2010


            People enjoy the idea of Big Brother watching us, but in reality it is just not true. People are by nature paranoid and even like being paranoid. They find it to be amusing. In a philosophical sense George Orwell predicted a totalitarian society ruled by the government. Today we see a country ruled by its people. George Orwell’s predictions of the future have not been realized today. In the United States today, not one person controls all the information, individuality is praised, and the government is not in control of its people.

It is true as Orwell says, “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.”, but Orwell did not anticipate the world wide web. In today’s world information is spread rapidly through the world wide web. Orwell did not envision the power of information flowing freely across the planet. Information can be spread through blogs, mini blogs, websites, Facebook, Myspace, and forums. People never get bored and never stop learning and creating new ideas. Today, unlike Orwell’s world, intelligence is revered. Information is not controlled by one individual, but by many different individuals. The government does not rewrite information and history the people do. 

            Today more than ever individuality is the gateway to innovation. George Orwell foresaw a future of collectivism, where thinking and creativity was forbidden. Those who were intelligent and individualistic were vaporized because they were seen as a threat to the government.  Today people of this inclination are seen as an asset to the government. In the novel Orwell writes, “ It had long been realized that the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism”. But a society like the one in 1984 cannot exist because individuality is the stimulus that drives society towards change. Without that stimulation society will fail. When one feels individuality, one has a sense of purpose and a reason to progress and grow.  Knowledge gives individual people more power than ever. 

            In the novel, 1984, the government watched over and ruled over the people.  But, now , today in the United states we, the people, are in control of our government. We do not fear the government the government fears us. The totalitarian society of 1984 was enforced by police of all kinds for all types of crimes. In that world there were no laws to break; so in a sense your were free ,but in another sense all together you were a slave because the law enforcement of 1984 could charge someone with any crime they wish. Today there are set laws and regulations the government has to follow. Our forefathers created these values to protect the people from tyranny. Our forefathers once wrote, “ The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”( The Declaration of Independence). Our forefathers spoke here of tyranny, and took action. The government cannot rule its people for long and a corrupt government will be overthrown.

Our country was founded on the exact opposite ideals that are predicted in 1984.  Our government is anti communism, anti fascism, and somewhat anti socialism( this does not include socialized law enforcement, school systems, and mail). We as Americans have experienced corrupt and unjust acts and have learned from these acts. The people of the United States do not forget, and will not forget to remind the government to whom it belongs. The government belongs to the people.

            Today in the United States information is wide spread and easily manipulated by a vast majority of the population. Individuality prevents a society from becoming stagnate. Humans desire a feeling of purpose and innovation; without this feeling the human species will die out. The fictional dystopia in the novel, 1984, cannot exist because it relies on an interdependent strategy to continue its existence. The government does not control its people, in the United States, the people control the government. People enjoy the concept of paranoia because they find it amusing. George Orwell’s predictions of the future have yet to be realized.


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    • profile image

      skwereres 7 years ago

      Thank you for reading my essay. I completely agree with you and look forward to reading some of your works

    • Andy101 profile image

      Andy101 7 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      A great philosophical argument and you are absolutely spot-on. However, one should never become complacent about the power of individualism and the power of the people over governments. History teaches us that this can change almost overnight with a fertile mix of fascism and charisma in a (perceived)leader coupled with the collective vulnerability of the masses to indoctrination and conditioning.

      Organised religion worldwide and throughout the ages, without it having any rational substance, bears testimony to this reality and threat.