ignorance is strength

I just finished re-reading Orwell's 1984, and am stuck by several thoughts. I haven't read this book since junior high, in my politics class where we were required to read all of the "big three" dystopian fantasies (1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451), and devise our own utopian society. My thoughts on this influencial horror story have changed dramatically since then. The writing is far inferior to Animal Farm, is the most superficial of them. Second, it seems that Orwell is a crappy futurist in the end, the tripartite war state never emerged, the pervasive government thought control has never occurred (arguable, but more on this later), loyalty is not required, or recommended, the list can continue. He also, sadly was right in many aspects, but not in motivation, only in motivation. 1984 becomes true, only with the precept "there is no enemy, anywhere".

I think that Stanislaw Lem was more correct with his obscure, and out of print, paranoid surreal masterpiece Memoir Found in a Bathtub. Big Brother is dead, all there is, is mindless bureaucracy, and all of the nefarious controls of B.B. are instigated by... ourselves, in our limitless ignorance and passivity. The Party is accidental, we cannot ever find the mythical mastermind (much as Big Brother seems as mythical as Emmanuel Goldstein), the conspiracy is happenstance existent only in an evolutionary form of power, existing only to propagate itself. Doublethink, reality-control, and constant surveillance are only the most stable form of mindless-self-propagating tyranny we can latch onto. Think of it as an Orwellian (or Foucaultian) meme.

The worst part of the game, is that we bring it on ourselves. Our ignorance is only because we buy into ignorance, and we are ignorant because we let society (as extension of 'ourselves') force it upon us. It propagates. As long as we are down, we will never be up, but we force ourselves to be down. There is no blame, anywhere.

This can be expanded. The media serves as a distraction, the media serves the power. Partisan politics are a distraction. Interminable ethico-philosophical issues are a distraction. Religious and moral fervor are a distraction. The millions of minor political scandals are a distraction. Sports are a distraction. The intermittent media waves of kidnapping, rape, murder, inner-city violence, sharks, weather, are a distraction. And most of all, WAR is a distraction. When you hear someone call George W. Bush a moron, or refer to Clinton's infamous blow-job, you know they bought the distraction. The real issue is structure behind the silent and invisible tyranny. To think that George Bush (or Hillary Clinton, or the Jews, or Muslims, or... me) are the cause of anything is to be ignorant. The insidious power has won.

Orwell was right, but it isn't the bright, identifiable evil that is doing it. It is a murky headless... momentum, that is. He was wrong in the same way that Christians think that they can name Satan as the root of evil. The root of evil is rootless. It is mindless. Evil exists for its own sake, it needs no head, no conspiracy, no reason. We all play our part in it, guided by the invisible, and rulerless structures of power.

It is more frightening to have no head (other than mindless momentum) behind your conspiracies, than to be able to point at one very human victim. Perhaps thats why we shy away from it?

We need only to look at the "big issues" to see the distractionary values. They all boil down to two sides, both quoting the same, age old rhetoric at each other, neither will a single tenable argument. Both sides are angry... AT WHAT? Or more importantly, WHY?

We are at fault for all of our issues. Not any of us singly, but all of us equally. This is the problem with democracy, life can never be as simple as pointing your finger at anyone, or any group. The neo-cons, and George Bush are as much at fault as the most frothing liberal environmental feminist among us. Those who don't talk are as guilty as those who spread the most inflammatory propaganda. We are society. We are our own problem.


While I'm ranting, let me, step out for a second, and be pissy towards anyone who wants their personal ideology to hold sway over everyone else (meaning everyone). Shut the hell up until you are 100ertain that you are right, until then, live with it and shut up. Why should Christian ethics rule my life, I don't believe in your fantasy, though I am capable of respecting it, ditto with these odd muslims breaking their own religious laws by blowing up the innocent, etc...

The only evil is ideology, especially when ideology (of any sort) takes precedence over humanity.


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