View Full Version : 1984 about 20 years late

01-16-2003, 01:01 PM
Ever read Orwells 1984?

You should, he may have predicted our future.

salon.com (http://www.salon.com/tech/wire/2003/01/16/aclu/index.html)

Quick JK clips (http://briefcase.yahoo.com/bc/griffmanco/lst?.dir=/JEDI&.view=l)

01-17-2003, 06:47 PM
Back when I hung out on these Wheel of Time message boards, my sig actually read, "1984 comes 18 years late". And it does seem that some of the things Orwell predicted are beginning to come true, with total information awareness, and this war against terrorism that even Washington admits may never end--afterall, perpetual war is something vital for a dictatorship to maintain power. The people will accept anything if it is for their own protection, even forsaking their hard-fought freedoms. War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength.

01-18-2003, 10:26 AM
What I find to be most interesting in 1984 (yes, I have read both 1984 and Brave New World), is that, in an attempt to take totalitarism to the very brink of what is possibly imaginable, he created an almost exact copy of the Catholic Church of the 11+ centuries...

Food for thought.

Seriously, though, I think that the rulers of civilized countries will find their standard of living dropping uncomfortably low, should they decide to abolish democracy.

BTW: Nice quote in your sig, Monk.

01-18-2003, 07:14 PM
is that, in an attempt to take totalitarism to the very brink of what is possibly imaginable, he created an almost exact copy of the Catholic Church of the 11+ centuries...
What exactly do you mean by that?

01-18-2003, 07:19 PM
Well, what I say, of course.

Thinkpol=The Inquisition (not abolished even today)

Newspeak=Prayers, psalms, and whatsnots


Religious ceremonies (of any kind and religion)=Two minutes hate



Total sex ban


And so on. In fact I dare you to find any Catholic institution that doesn't have a parallel in 1984.

01-23-2003, 12:49 AM
Well, what I say, of course.

Thinkpol=The Inquisition (not abolished even today)
The Office of the Inquisition was created because secular authorities were using heresy as an excuse to persecute their rivals. But more to the point, the Inquisition itself began because of the danger posed by the Catharism heresy, a group that did have a total sex ban, refused to honor oaths (something vital to feudal society at the time) and encouraged ritual suicide called the Endura. This Inquisition died out as Catharism did.

The infamous Spanish Inquisition was more a case of secular lords using the Church to pursue their own ends. While in the beginning Pope Sixtus IV consented to Queen Isabella's request for the establishment of this Inquisition in Spain to "preserve order in the kingdom", the very next year, this same Pope issued a Bull against the inquisitors when the Jews complained to him of the severity of the Inquisition.

In the Bull, the Pope "rebuked their intemperate zeal and even threatened them with deprivation," and also wrote to Ferdinand and Isabella that "mercy towards the guilty was more pleasing to God than the severity which they were using." When the Pope wasn't successful at convincing the Spanish monarchs to cease the excesses of the Inquisition, he granted asylum to the persecuted in Rome. In two years, he harbored 450 of these refugees in Rome where they were given all the rights of citizens, and protected the children of those whose property had been confiscated in the Inquisition. The Pope even excommunicated some of the Inquisitors!

Later in the Inquisition, Bartholomew Caranza Archbishop of Toledo was arrested on charges of heresy by the Inquisition. At the time, the Council of Trent was in session--and not even an order of that Council and Pope Pius IV could secure Archbishop Caranza's release!

To prove the nature of the Spanish Inquisition, I'll quote from The Ottoman and Spanish Empires by Ranke (a German Protestant historian):

"In the first place the Inquisitors were royal officers. The Kings had the right of appointing and dismissing them... The courts of the Inquisition were subject, like other magistracies, to royal visitors. 'Do you not know,' said the King (to Ximenes), 'that if this tribunal possesses jurisdiction, it is from the King it derives it?'

"In the second place, all the profits of the confiscations by this court accrued to the King. These were carried out in a very unsparing manner. Though the fueros (privileges) of Aragon forbade the King to confiscate the property of his convicted subjects, he deemed himself exalted above the law in matters pertaining to this court... The proceeds of these confiscations formed a sort of regular income for the royal exchequer. It was even believed, and asserted from the beginning, that the Kings had been moved to establish and countenance this tribunal more by their hankering after the wealth it confiscated than by motives of piety.

"In the third place, it was the Inquisition, and the Inquisition alone, that completely shut out all extraneous interference with the state. The sovereign had now at his disposal a tribunal from which no grandee, no archbishop, could withdraw himself. As Charles knew no other means of bringing certain punishment on the Bishops who had taken part in the insurrection of the communidades (or communes who were struggling for their rights and liberties), he chose to have them judged by the Inquisition...

"It was in spirit and tendency a political institution. The Pope had an interest in thwarting it, and he did so; but the King had an interest in constantly upholding it."

There were excesses in these Inquisitions, but let me ask you a question: how many people have been put to death by our own secular American government? And what percentage of these people were probably innocent of their crimes? Secular groups are certainly not blameless of fatal excesses.

Newspeak=Prayers, psalms, and whatsnots
I'm at a loss for how these have anything in common besides the fact that some prayers and spoken. Newspeak was an attempt to progressively simplify the English language; prayers, even prayers that are made up spur-of-the-moment, are often archaic, and are petitions to God or patron saints.

Confessions are sealed; a priest who tells anything that he heard in the confessional can be defrocked or even excommunicated. What you confess is forgiven, and will not come back to bite you--the same cannot be said for something that you say in front of a Telescreen.

Religious ceremonies (of any kind and religion)=Two minutes hate
The sort of things that are promoted at Mass are far from what the Two Minute Hate is meant to elicit. While both are about bringing people together, one encourages peace, love and forgiveness, and I have never heard a Priest, from the pulpit (or elsewhere), speak intolerance of any race or religion.

As far as I remember, Goldstien was as much of a myth as Big Brother--he might have existed in the past, but now he was just something used by the state. His purpose was to unify traitors who might otherwise have gone off and done damage on their own so that they could more easily be rounded up by the State. Once again, do not underestimate the danger of some of the heresies like those that were being rooted out in the Inquisition. They were cults as dangerous as Heaven's Gate and those founded by Jim Jones and David Koresh.

Eurasia and Eastasia were interchangeable; sometimes you were at war here, sometimes there--the only thing that mattered was for the war to continue to unite the people. While part of the political reason for the Crusades was to unite warring Feudal Europe, you cannot deny that the Turks were a threat to the Western world, just as you can't deny that Osama bin Ladin and his followers are a threat to the West. They are (or were) both fanatical groups that believe in converting by the sword.

Total sex ban
Whatever you say :rolleyes:

And so on. In fact I dare you to find any Catholic institution that doesn't have a parallel in 1984.
Let's also try this, just for a lark:

Thinkpol=The War on Drugs (Nixon's "war on drugs" seems to still be used as an excuse to persecute minorities, historically Democratic voters, and is also used to discredit political rivals); Right-Wingnut pundits calling anti-war "peacenicks" un-American and even traitors in an attempt to stifle dissent.

Newspeak=Political Spin

Telescreens=Total information awareness

Two minutes hate=CNN's Showdown Iraq with Wolf Blitzer

Goldstein=Saddam Hussein (not a real threat to the US, but one that's hyped by the Media as being the most dangerous person alive).

Eurasia/Eastasia=Iraq and the War on Terror.

Those fit much better I think. I won't pretend to know what George Orwell intended, but regardless most of the analogies between the world of 1984 and the Roman Catholic Church are ludicrous, and don't fit at all without a lot of imagination and twisting of the facts. More likely, Orwell, a Socialist, intended the novel as a vision of what the world would be like were it taken over by the USSR, and that the absence of the Church and other religious groups was because the Communists had wiped them out as they attempted to do in Russia.

02-07-2003, 08:46 PM
Ah, but you forget that no one knew if it was actually 1984, it could very well have been 2002. But the date is irrelevant, as it is in the book. The problem here is that it is coming truer, day by day. Go take a look at the "Patriot" Act. Any person thought by the government to be a terrorist on any grounds can be held without trial. Hmmm. George Bush hates the constitution, he plays on america's fears, and wants nothing more than for him to be our Big Brother. But not all poeple are willing to be fed bull**** and propaganda, so I still hold out hope for those, who are descendants of men who crafted the constitution, to continue to believe in it and not let it become a relic.

Darth Talliusc
02-08-2003, 12:45 PM
i read that book. i can honestly say it scared me. orwell was a genius but i really wish he had kept his stories to himself. i dont like being frightened in that manner, give me a horror movie with crazy stuff that just wouldnt happen in life. fine, anything realistic and scary gives me the jitters.

Luke Skywalker
02-08-2003, 03:35 PM
Jedi_Monk, your examples are in today's world... what ShadowTemplar was trying to say (although not successfully in my opinion) was that its basically a part of human nature... and proving this by saying that religion, one of the fundemental human aspects, is made up of mostly power hungry mongrels... but either way, you presented a very well thought out arguement...