Amazingly enough, I’d never actually read 1984 prior to this week. Someone at work suggested during a general discussion about current events that I do so. I figured it was about time, so I purchased a copy from the iBookstore.
Don’t worry — I don’t have any deep political point to make, and I’m not going to talk about the news any further this week. But there is one passage in the story regarding a group of people known as the proles that I found interesting:
“All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism which could be appealed to whenever it was necessary to make them accept longer working-hours or shorter rations. And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances.”
How familiar does that sound? I’ve always maintained that populace control requires little more than long work hours, credit card debt, and TV and/or Internet.
I’m up to chapter 7 right now, and aside from the obvious technological differences in how text communications would be edited and revised, it’s hard to believe this is a tome that’s 65 years old.
I realize I’m over six decades late to the party, so to speak, but 1984 does make for interesting reading given the revelations of the past year. If nothing else, reading it now means I won’t have to profess ignorance of this particular classic any longer.