I have often marveled at how spot-on George Orwell’s vision of the future was in his novel 1984. So much so, I have often considered him to be a technocratic prophet. In terms of the ultimate fulfillment of the dystopic future society he envisioned, he missed the year by a bit, but little else.
Among the many predictions were concepts of Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2+2= 5, prole, and memory hole.
Written in 1949, the prediction of a world subjugated of freewill through “beer, gambling, and football”- is an uncanny description of the methods and results of the technocratic New World Order we see today.
“Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer, and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult…. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working hours or shorter rations. And when they become discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontentment led nowhere, because being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.”
In 1984, there was a character that symbolized the “Enemy of the State”- and thus the default “enemy of the people”- Emmanuel Goldstein.
Society was conditioned to have a prescribed response to Goldstein: hate. This psychological operation was reinforced daily with a phenomenon known as “Two Minutes Hate.” Everyday, a short film depicting Goldstein and his followers was shown, and the citizenry was conditioned to react with extreme hostility to this “enemy.”
The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.
The purpose of the Two Minutes Hate was to unite the people against a common ‘enemy’. Unity in this common hatred prevented the populace from considering the deeds of Big Brother.
1984 is a good book. Both George Orwell and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) ran in circles that offered insight into the type of future the elites were planning and envisioned. If you haven’t read it yet, it is worth the time.