On This Date in 1949 – IOTW Report

On This Date in 1949

1984 was published.


21 Comments on On This Date in 1949

  1. I find the prologue, discussing the formation of Newspeak, the most chilling. In short, by reducing the vocabulary, the state destroys the ability for citizens to revolt, since they can no longer articulate their inner sense the government is oppressive to others. To me, that’s exactly what public education has been doing for decades.

  2. This sums it up fairly well:
    “Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  3. Too bad this novel went from being a warning, to becoming a blueprint. Remember, you can vote your way into socialism, but you have to shoot your way out of it.

  4. You can say Orwell was prescient. but truth be known he was a student of history. All he did was update and retell the story of history.

    Now, full disclosure here. I have never read the book, so there may be more to the story and his being prescient, but my general understanding is that he told a story that has been around since the beginning of mankind.

  5. When I was in high school in the late 1960s students were encouraged to read 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, and other similar books. I read them all and they made a lasting impression leading me to later read Atlas Shrugged and all the works of Ayn Rand. My political beliefs were greatly shaped by these books. At what point did these books become ignored by the public schools?

  6. @Billy Fuster:

    My political beliefs were greatly shaped by these books. At what point did these books become ignored by the public schools?

    You make your point, but I suggest you have the sequence of events backwards in a way. The sociopolitical content of those books was being ignored before they disappeared from schools, and they disappeared when the ever more left-leaning educationist indoctrinators finally realized what was in them and got rid of them for the danger to their ideology they represent.

  7. Enjoyed the sequel, 1985, a whole lot more.

    That’s the one where dinosaurs escape their enclosure and run amok.

  8. I remember in elementary school the principal played the cartoon movie Animal Farm to the entire school in the cafeteria. This was a public school in the peoples republic of montgomery county maryland. Even as a child I understood the message and it stuck with me.

  9. I had a world literature class wayyyy back in 1986(sophomore). Loved my teacher, she was quite the foxy lady! 1984 was a required book for the class. To this day, it is still one of my favorites of all time. I used to believe the things that happened in the book could never happen in real life. Oh to be young & dumb again. Preferably in a relationship with my hot teacher!

  10. I spend December and January in Manhattan, living in a tiny, old, walk-up, apartment at 2d Ave. and 23rd Street, the other side of the country for me, and had a ton of down time. The city was miserable, as were the majority of people, it seemed to me. Anyway, I re-read 1984 while there. The zombie look in the eyes of people I saw on my daily outdoor excursions, bus rides (Covid, so It was usually just me, the driver, and one or two winterized, masked up, cold people, to whatever stop seemed interesting, on the street reminded me of commoners in the book. On one hand, I was very glad to read and compare to the present day, on the other hand, it could have been depressing, but if my many decades have taught me anything, worry and situational depression do not get a room in my head. Serenity Prayer.

  11. one of many English Books I read in “English lit” 62 years ago. In ’60 I said, “IT can not happen in America”.

    In ’63 I said, ” It is here in America!”!

    The “Memory Hole” has beanery active the last 62 years!

  12. I graduated from high schooling 1964. We were required to take a course which was aimed at evils of communism.
    Required reading included:
    Animal Farm
    Brave New World


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