I read 1984 a couple of weeks ago, and I’m still a little shocked. I’ve read a lot of theories about the New World Government, oppression of the masses, trilateral commission and so on, but 1984 is unbelievable. It’s correct about a lot of things in society, and what makes it even worse is that it was written in 1949; in short, Orwell either saw our future back then, or society is exactly the same as it was 60 years back.
Initially, 1984 was banned as it makes reference to the Soviet’s bloody history at a time when the west was anxious to keep the Soviets appeased . After WW2, 1984 was allowed to see the light of day, and immediately drew a lot of attention. The entire story is riveting, harrowing, unbelievable, and despite containing several “info-dumps” which usually spoil a story, it’s done well and so doesn’t distract from the overall tale. The aspect of the story which worries me is the use of class, specifically the prole.
A prole is short for proletariat, a term originating from the roman era. A prole is someone who’s only wealth is their ability to create children, something that comes naturally and “free”. Even worse is that in 1984, proles are given the impression of freedom, progression, and hope, yet they are kept within their station; a lottery that is near-impossible to win (or that the prizes are so low that it makes no difference whether someone wins or not); encouragement to partake in base pleasures such as drinking and gambling to inhibit the possibility of rising above the ruling class; the impression that you can rise above your peers with material possessions, yet are still a prole. Think about it; how many people spend years trying to own their house, or a BMW, or the latest smartphone, yet what is the net result? Nothing. No matter how hard we work or learn, we will still be within the masses, controlled by those who need us to graft away within our closeted areas of life, unable to affect the world.
Now this also made me think of other things going on in the world at the moment. One of the info-dumps in 1984 is the struggle for the High class to remain in power, which means that they can (and will) do anything to stop anyone toppling their position. Let’s think about some of the biggest events to happen in the past decade or so; Princess Diana’s death; 9/11; global financial crisis; Wikileaks, (or more specifically the war against information and the Internet) to name a few. Bearing in mind that the small details, the humanity behind stories and people, are actually worthless in comparison against the need to retain power over the world (in which I refer to money and control on a country/global scale), all the mad conspiracy theories which we immediately debunk, solely on the basis that it would be utterly crazy for anyone to do such things, suddenly take on a more sinister twist. Turn it on its head; imagine that you had control over an entire multi-billion pound corporation, able to buy all the cars, food, property, luxuries you wanted, and also give your loved ones whatever they wanted for the rest of their lives – including medical care – would you actually care about a handful of people who were beneath you, who you would never know or meet, and who could potentially rob or kill you if given the chance? Would you care? Or would you agree to whatever needed doing, and try to forget about it?
Anyway, back to being a prole. I think about how people worry about the car they drive, about whether to pick the Audi or the BMW – it doesn’t matter. I think about how people go to war about the size of their neighbour’s hedges, how their garden looks – it doesn’t matter. I think about how people cram themselves into subway trains every morning, sit in traffic every day, work 12 hours in one shift trying to complete a project that no-one will care or even remember about in a year’s time – it doesn’t matter. I hear about how people go to horse races, or pop concerts, or go to DisneyWorld on holiday – it doesn’t matter. I see people queuing up outside Apple stores to be the “first” to get the new iPad so they can tell their friends that they have an iPad – it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter because they are people running corporations and countries allow us to revel in our own consumer filth in order to keep us from looking too hard in their direction. We’re allowed to have our dreams of winning or earning millions, because without those dreams, we might get a bit punchy, and that simply isn’t allowed. Cure for cancer or HIV? Secondary. Preventing money being lost via media sharing on the Internet? Priority. Militant groups targeting religious opposites in Ireland? Heroes. Militant groups targeting capitalist operations? Terrorists. Carbon dioxide from millions of households simply living? Rise fuel prices and force people to recycle. Carbon dioxide from millions of lights on in Las Vegas? Ignore – Vegas is run by the Highs.
So whenever you put trust in those drugs to stop an ailment, or the faith that corporations and governments are duty-bound to look after your interests as a human with rights, think again. To those with everything, we are nothing. We are the proletariat, allowed to have whatever the High class want us to have. Sure, some people might get lucky, or rich, but in comparison, even the Prime Minister or president is a prole when compared to the immeasurable wealth and influence of, for example, The Bush family or the Rockefellers. It’s a matter of perspective.