Tuesday, March 29, 2011

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four: Perpetual Warfare

"The 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell was written from the viewpoint of a citizen of one of three fictional world-dominating superstates. These nations are in a state of perpetual war with each other. The state of war is used by each of the states to justify the control of their populations using Stalinist or other methods. By artificially creating fear and hate of an enemy, the actual existence of which is never made completely certain, the governments provided an excuse for their failures and, in the case of Oceania, enforced obedience to Big Brother. Moreover, eternal war formed the bedrock of the economy, as people could be kept busy manufacturing goods that would not improve their living standards, but would instead be destroyed on the battlefields. Thus perpetual war not only kept the population busy, it also encouraged a "siege mentality" in which hatred of the enemy and love for the government's protection were social norms." (Source:Wikepedia)

If you thought that George Orwell was writing about the U.S.S.R. you are wrong. Orwell was a very strong anti-fascist and he fought with the International Brigades against the fascists of General Francisco Franco, and wrote his Homage to Catalonia, which chronicles his experience in the Spanish Civil War.

From 1948 to today's military adventure of Barack Obama in Libya, it is the United States that is always in a state of perpetual warfare. Today's enemies are the Muslim Arabs; in the 1950's it was the communists, both domestic and foreign. We keep giving the people techie gadgets like the iPhone and the iPad to keep their minds off the perpetual wars that the U.S., Britain and France spread throughout the world. The mountains of debt, a consequence of the USA's perpetual warfare mentality keep piling up. That house of cards will come tumbling down one day.


Charles said...


Good post about Orwell although I think you must also mention that he was a strong believer in "democratic socialism" while being anti-fascist and opposed to the Soviet Union. This may be obvious to you and I but a lot of people don't seem to understand that socialism and communism are NOT the same thing.

Regards from Canada.

Why I Write (1946) by George Orwell:

"Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism, as I understand it."

Cuba Journal said...

Thanks for your excellent comment, and for the link to Orwell's "Why I write."