September 26, 2005

'1984': Sound Familiar part 2

I've found the most outstanding quotes from George Orwell's "1984" are in the book that the main character, Winston, reads in the story. Its by a character named Emmanuel Goldstein who is seen by "The Party" as their ultimate enemy. This is from the third chapter of the book, specifically the part that addresses why even as society becomes more and more technologically advanced, poverty still "has to" remain.

"But it was also clear that an all-round increase in wealth threatened the destruction--indeed, in some sense was the destruction--of a hierarchical society...It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small priviledged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty...would sooner or later realize that the priviledged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance."

"Goods must be produced, but they need not be distrubuted. And in practice the only way of achieving this was by continuous warfare."

My emphasis, of course.

Orwell wrote this in 1949!

I think everyone in the Bush administration has read this book, but is using the knowledge from it in the opposite manner in which was intended by Orwell. Crazy stuff. More of it later.

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