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The terrors of totalitarian government presented in orwells 1984

In 1936 he travelled to the depression-hit areas of the industrial North of England in order to research a long essay.

It was during his healing behind the lines after being shot in the throat, that the POUM was formally accused of being pro-fascist, by the Stalinist Government forces, and its members thrown into jail and shot. Orwell escaped and returned to England, but the experience turned him into a lifelong anti-Stalinist.

In 1943, he became editor of the Tribune, a weekly left-wing magazine. Orwell had already set forth his distrust of totalitarianism and the betrayal of revolutions in Homage to Catalonia and Animal Farm.

Throughout history tyrants have enslaved people; but remained unable to enslave the mind.

With modern mass media and government, Orwell thought, it might be possible to enslave minds. This was the central theme of his final novel, which for a title he chose the year he wrote it, with the last two digits swapped. The world of 1984 is a futuristic description of life in England after a socialist revolution, in a state of constant war, no one is free, and everyone is ignorant.

The slogans embody the Party. Through constant war, the Party can keep domestic peace; when freedom is brought about, the people are enslaved to it, and the ignorance of the people is the strength of the Party. And through their constant repetition, the terms become meaningless.

Therefore, if it is to remain powerful, the Party must also create dissidence, if only to destroy it. As Orwell explains in the book, the Party could not protect its iron grip on power without exposing its people to constant propaganda. Yet knowledge of this brutality and deception within the Party itself could lead to disillusioned collapse of the state from within.

Newspeak was the method for controlling thought through language; Doublethink was the method of controlling thought directly, to champion belief over rational thought.

Through doublethink, the Party was able to not only bomb its own people and tell its citizens that the bombs were sent by the enemy, but all Party members — even the ones that launched the rockets themselves — were able to believe that the bombs were launched from outside. The Thinkpol were the secret police of the novel whose job it was to uncover and punish thoughtcrime.

The Thought Police used psychology and omnipresent surveillance to find and eliminate members of society who were capable of the mere thought of challenging ruling authority Some believe governments may be currently enforcing laws that implement a de-facto kind of thoughtcrime legislation. Hate crime laws that mandate harsher penalties for people who commit crimes out of racism or bigotry.

Simplification of language But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. The appendix chapter describes the development of Newspeak, and explains how the language is designed to standardise thought.

  • They argue that reality can only become reality when it is believed; additionally, the believed reality is the only reality;
  • Unquestioned power just creates a greater sense of power, unleashing untold terror through abuses of that power;
  • How fast would you like to get it?
  • In that essay, he provides five rules for writers;
  • If Big Brother could convince all of the citizens to believe that, it would have complete and utter control over them;
  • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

One question raised by this is whether we are defined by our language, or whether we actively define it. In that essay, he provides five rules for writers: Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech that you often see in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do.

Because Creative Journalism is Like Creative Accounting

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: This indisputably happened in Maoist China when the communist party actually changed the language — officially to improve the literacy rate, but also to reduce power that bourgeois intellectuals held.

Ideology and Terror Hannah Arendt argues that all forms of pre-totalitarian terror; tyranny, despotism, dictatorship, revolutionary and counter-revolutionary movements, have a clear goal, and usually cease once the objectives have been achieved.

For example, a tyrant exercises terror in order to eliminate his opponents and thereby secure and consolidate his power whereas the chief goal of revolutionary terror is to establish a new order.

George Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Hannah Adrent’s ‘Ideology and Terror

The totalitarian dictator, on the other hand, only commences his rule once the regime has eliminated all its real enemies. The totalitarian state is a movement. No winding down, no stability, no return to the past can be allowed, or the whole regime will collapse as its need will be constantly questioned. Everything must be kept in motion — including the secret police, whose members are constantly being shifted and are never allowed to stay in one area too long.

This is the reason why Arendt argues that ideology and terror are essential to totalitarian rule. Totalitarian states collectivise the people who live under it in order for them to serve the state, but because of our individuality, most people are not too happy to give up their freedom.

So two methods are used to create an atmosphere of fear to convince the people to willingly hand it over: The purpose of terror is not to kill vast numbers of people — but to instil fear into the survivors and remove their ability to resist against the government whether premeditated or not — not just in action, but even in thought.

Ideology compliments the policy of terror, by eliminating the capacity for rational thought by those who carry out the orders of the government, ensuring no potential opposition can come from within the government itself. To Arendt, totalitarianism is the total domination of a particular people through a combination of simplistic ideology and constant terror.

All traditions, all values, all political institutions are destroyed and all behaviour, public or private, is controlled directly by the state, or indirectly through fear of punishment. In Nazi Germany there were no acquittals. To be arrested was to be convicted — and to be convicted was to be removed from the face of the earth. That is the difference between dictatorial and totalitarian terror.