Despotic governments, public welfare, illusions of utopia, despondency, individualism, conformity, protection against foreign invasion, and paranoia are conflicting ideas yet all exist within societies past and present. George Orwell prophetically writes about a futuristic society in his book entitled 1984. He uses hindsight of past and present political authority to illustrate the possibility of additional states imposing oppressed control. Orwell asserts the conflicting ideas with, “…the three slogans of the Party: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength,” (Orwell, 4). In a clever, applicable, and daunting approach, Orwell challenges the so-called pragmatism in London, England. The antagonism of Big Brother opposes humanism and protagonist citizens threaten the very nature of their agenda. To prevent an uprising, Big Brother seeks, tortures, and brainwashes rebellious dissidents. Without a doubt, we see several such states in the world today. Some hide behind the veil of a democratic government and others are in plain sight as communist, socialist, fascist, or totalitarianism regime.
The World Factbook: China, Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of America, lists The People’s Republic of China (PRC) as a communist state (cia.gov). The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has ruled with an iron fist for many years. Is the PRC, controlled by the CCP, a tyrannical political state? The comparative parallels between Big Brother in 1984 and the CCP in the PRC lend credibility to Orwell’s story. A brief analysis of Big Brother and the CCP over the last several decades reveals veracity in Orwell’s writing. Several elements of societal functions are considered to contrast and compare:
• Government / State Policy
• Media / Technology
• Education / Psychology
• Individualism / Collectivism
• Social / Economy
• Class / Caste
The examining of these elements are just a few key points of what make up a complete society and does not reflect a fully detailed comprehensive study. However, it does give us an overview of tyrannical power in societies.
In 1984, the Party controls Air Strip One with rigid state rules and regulations. Government imposed surveillance inhibits the enjoyment of individual expression without fear of being arrested. Citizens must abide by state policy and practice the nationalism forced upon them or suffer severe consequences. Pictures of Big Brother are plastered everywhere as propaganda. Many citizens of Air Strip One suddenly disappear without a trace. Likewise, the PRC has enforced strict policies for the Chinese people. In a Human Rights Watch article titled Walking on Thin Ice, Luo Gan is quoted as saying:
“All law-enforcement should be led by the Party. All reform measures
should be conducive to the socialist system and the strengthening of the
Party leadership…. The correct political stand is where the Party stands,”
(qtd. in "Human Rights Watch" 22).
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