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1984 in 1996: How Orwell's 1949 Classic Describes our Government

by Jonathan A. Khoury

As the Republican and Democratic parties move closer together, we are moving toward a one-party state in which we have no real choice, and Representative Democracy is dead. Is the really a difference between Mr. Dole and Mr. Clinton? Both will make superficial changes, but will not do anything dramatic. The goal of the President has become to perpetuate the rule of the establishment. Democrat or Republican, it doesn't matter. We are ruled by The Party, and the ruler of The Party is Big Brother. The Inner Party consists of CEOs and leaders of PACs. Their campaign “contributions” control both the content and the tone of the debate on Washington. Their campaign “contributions” allow The Party to keep its control. The Party controls the system, and the system keeps The Party in control of the system. In a sense, however, no one can control the system. The power in our government has been divided between so many agencies and departments that no one is responsible for any problems. No one can solve any problems. No one can investigate who is causing the problem, because the system can not be fully investigated. However, the system will not be changed, because The Party is in power only because of the system. The Party, in its attempts to stay in power, alters the past and history, and uses doublethink to selectively remember certain popular legislation, and forget other proposals which should not be mentioned in the election year. Opinions change from pro to con after years of solid support. Oceania is and always has been at war with Eastasia. The truth is constantly changed, as each candidate has a plan which, according to his own numbers, saves people money and supplies people with more. With each new plan, we are going to be richer and better off with no expense. Truth is only in the mind. Two plus two equals five. We are constantly barraged with propaganda about The Party's successes. Day in and day out, we are told that The Party has no failings. We know about every detail of The Party's fight to make our lives better. We can try to be objective, and not to be easily swayed by every emotional appeal, but we can't succeed. You can turn down the telescreen, but you can't turn it off. More and more, the telescreen is becoming a two way instrument, not just feeding us with Party propaganda, but monitoring us as well. Our society is becoming lax in the information we give away. All of our purchases are monitored, our entire life is on a computer database, and new laws, such as expanded wiretap authority, are allowing The Party to literally listen in to our conversations. No one can escape the Thought Police. Goldstein is present more than ever. The Party criticizes him incessantly as he campaigns for The Party to return to the ideals of the founding of the country. Goldstein is Ross Perot as he creates a new political party. Goldstein is the study that uncovers illegal fundraising. Goldstein is the major party candidate who is being attacked in a television advertisement. This is where the hope lies. Goldstein, when he is a major party candidate, is still in The Party. His ideals have not been totally rejected by Big Brother. Some debate still exists in The Party. The fact that first the Republicans portray the Democrats as Goldstein, and then the reverse occurs shows that both parties still do have some difference in principle with the other party. We must, however, not allow apathy to take over, and let The Party gain complete control. IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH is a motto of The Party. Candidates hope for voter ignorance, by avoiding tough questions, and talking around the issues. However, voters still have the resources to find out about the candidates. Our newspapers are not yet changed daily as the future unfolds. Find out about our government. Vote, sign petitions, write letters. Work to make sure that the candidates will remain at least somewhat responsive to the citizens of the country. If there is hope, it lies in the proles. We are the proles, we are the population of this country. Only the people can change what is happening with government. We have a choice. Either we can join the Brotherhood, and push for campaign finance reform and against special interests, or we can be resigned to The Party's eternal rule. Why would we not speak out? Now is the time. Miniluv has not yet been built, and we can change history before it happens. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. Without action now, The Party will have complete control. No one will be able to speak out against the government without being caught by the Thought Police. As soon as freedom and liberty become crimethink, the American Revolution has been lost. We have a choice. Let us not accept Ingsoc and the domination of The Party, but instead work to preserve democracy and the free market. Big Brother is Watching You. Will you stop him? Let's elect a President of the United States, not a President of Oceania.