AFTERWORD to George Orwell’s 1984

by Erich Fromm George Orwell's 1984 is the ex ressio! o" # moo$% #!$ it is # w#r!i!g& The moo$ it ex resses is th#t o" !e#r $es #ir #bo't the "'t're o" m#!% #!$ the w#r!i!g is th#t '!less the co'rse o" history ch#!ges% me! #ll o(er the worl$ will lose their most h'm#! )'#lities% will become so'lless #'tom#to!s% #!$ will !ot e(e! be #w#re o" it& The moo$ o" ho eless!ess #bo't the "'t're o" m#! is i! m#r*e$ co!tr#st to o!e o" the most "'!$#me!t#l "e#t'res o" Wester! tho'ght+ the "#ith i! h'm#! rogress #!$ i! m#!'s c# #city to cre#te # worl$ o" ,'stice #!$ e#ce& This ho e h#s its roots both i! Gree* #!$ i! Rom#! thi!*i!g% #s well #s i! the -essi#!ic co!ce t o" the Ol$ Test#me!t ro hets& The Ol$ Test#me!t hiloso hy o" history #ss'mes th#t m#! grows #!$ '!"ol$s i! history #!$ e(e!t'#lly becomes wh#t he ote!ti#lly is& .t #ss'mes th#t he $e(elo s his owers o" re#so! #!$ lo(e "'lly% #!$ th's is e!#ble$ to gr#s the worl$% bei!g o!e with his "ellow m#! #!$ !#t're% #t the s#me time reser(i!g his i!$i(i$'#lity #!$ his i!tegrity& /!i(ers#l e#ce #!$ ,'stice #re the go#ls o" m#!% #!$ the ro hets h#(e "#ith th#t i! s ite o" #ll errors #!$ si!s% e(e!t'#lly this 0e!$ o" $#ys0 will #rri(e% symboli1e$ by the "ig're o" the -essi#h& The ro hetic co!ce t w#s # historic#l o!e% # st#te o" er"ectio! to be re#li1e$ by m#! withi! historic#l time& 2hristi#!ity tr#!s"orme$ this co!ce t i!to # tr#!shistoric#l% 'rely s irit'#l o!e% yet it $i$ !ot gi(e ' the i$e# o" the co!!ectio! betwee! mor#l !orms #!$ olitics& The 2hristi#! thi!*ers o" the l#te -i$$le Ages em h#si1e$ th#t #ltho'gh the 03i!g$om o" Go$0 w#s !ot withi! historic#l time% the soci#l or$er m'st corres o!$ to #!$ re#li1e the s irit'#l ri!ci les o" 2hristi#!ity& The 2hristi#! sects be"ore #!$ #"ter the Re"orm#tio! em h#si1e$ these $em#!$s i! more 'rge!t% more #cti(e #!$ re(ol'tio!#ry w#ys& With the bre#*' o" the me$ie(#l worl$% m#!'s se!se o" stre!gth% #!$ his ho e% !ot o!ly "or i!$i(i$'#l b't "or soci#l er"ectio!% #ss'me$ !ew stre!gth #!$ too* !ew w#ys& O!e o" the most im ort#!t o!es is # !ew "orm o" writi!g which $e(elo e$ si!ce the Re!#iss#!ce% the "irst ex ressio! o" which w#s Thom#s -ore's /to i# 4liter#lly+ 05owhere06% # !#me which w#s the! ge!eric#lly # lie$ to #ll other simil#r wor*s& Thom#s -ore's /to i# combi!e$ # most e!etr#ti!g criticism o" his ow! society% its irr#tio!#lity #!$ its i!,'stice% with the ict're o" # society which% tho'gh erh# s !ot er"ect% h#$ sol(e$ most o" the h'm#! roblems which so'!$e$ i!sol'ble to his ow! co!tem or#ries& Wh#t ch#r#cteri1es Thom#s -ore's /to i#% #!$ #ll the others% is th#t they $o !ot s e#* i! ge!er#l terms o" ri!ci les% b't gi(e #! im#gi!#ti(e ict're o" the co!crete $et#ils o" # society which corres o!$s to the $ee est lo!gi!gs o" m#!& .! co!tr#st to ro hetic tho'ght% these er"ect societies #re !ot #t 0the e!$ o" the $#ys0 b't exist #lre#$y 77 tho'gh i! # geogr# hic $ist#!ce r#ther th#! i! the $ist#!ce o" time& Thom#s -ore's /to i# w#s "ollowe$ by two others% the .t#li#! "ri#r 2#m #!ell#'s 2ity o" the 8'!% #!$ the Germ#! h'm#!ist A!$re#e's 2hristi#!o olis% the l#tter bei!g the most mo$er! o" the three& There #re $i""ere!ces i! (iew oi!t #!$ i! origi!#lity i! this trilogy o" /to i#s% yet the $i""ere!ces #re mi!or i! com #riso! with wh#t they h#(e i! commo!& /to i#s were writte! "rom the! o! "or se(er#l h'!$re$ ye#rs% '!til the begi!!i!g o" the twe!tieth ce!t'ry& The l#test #!$ most i!"l'e!ti#l /to i# w#s E$w#r$ 9ell#my's :oo*i!g 9#c*w#r$% 'blishe$ i! 1888& Asi$e "rom /!cle Tom's 2#bi! #!$ 9e! ;'r% it w#s '!$o'bte$ly the most o 'l#r boo* #t the t'r! o" the ce!t'ry% ri!te$ i! m#!y millio!s o" co ies i! the /!ite$ 8t#tes% tr#!sl#te$ i!to o(er twe!ty l#!g'#ges <1=& 9ell#my's /to i# is #rt o" the gre#t Americ#! tr#$itio! #s ex resse$ i! the thi!*i!g o" Whitm#!% Thore#'% #!$ Emerso!& .t is the Americ#! (ersio! o" the i$e#s which #t th#t time "o'!$ their most "orce"'l ex ressio! i! the soci#list mo(eme!t i! E'ro e& This ho e "or m#!'s i!$i(i$'#l #!$ soci#l er"ectibility% which i! hiloso hic#l #!$ #!thro ologic#l terms w#s cle#rly ex resse$ i! the writi!gs o" the E!lighte!me!t hiloso hers o" the eightee!th ce!t'ry #!$ o" the soci#list thi!*ers o" the !i!etee!th% rem#i!e$ '!ch#!ge$ '!til #"ter the First Worl$ W#r& This w#r% i! which millio!s $ie$ "or the territori#l #mbitio!s o" the E'ro e#! owers% #ltho'gh '!$er the ill'sio! o" "ighti!g "or e#ce #!$ $emocr#cy% w#s the begi!!i!g o" th#t $e(elo me!t which te!$e$ i! # rel#ti(ely short time to $estroy # two7tho's#!$7ye#r7ol$ Wester! tr#$itio! o" ho e #!$ to tr#!s"orm it i!to # moo$ o" $es #ir& The mor#l c#llo's!ess o" the First Worl$ W#r w#s o!ly the begi!!i!g& Other e(e!ts "ollowe$+ the

betr#y#l o" the soci#list ho es by 8t#li!'s re#ctio!#ry st#te c# it#lism> the se(ere eco!omic crisis #t the e!$ o" the twe!ties> the (ictory o" b#rb#rism i! o!e o" the ol$est ce!ters o" c'lt're i! the worl$ ? Germ#!y> the i!s#!ity o" 8t#li!ist terror $'ri!g the thirties> the 8eco!$ Worl$ W#r% i! which #ll the "ighti!g !#tio!s lost some o" the mor#l co!si$er#tio!s which h#$ still existe$ i! the First Worl$ W#r> the '!limite$ $estr'ctio! o" ci(ili#! o 'l#tio!s% st#rte$ by ;itler #!$ co!ti!'e$ by the e(e! more com lete $estr'ctio! o" cities s'ch #s ;#mb'rg #!$ Dres$e! #!$ To*yo% #!$ e(e!t'#lly by the 'se o" #tomic bombs #g#i!st @# #!& 8i!ce the! the h'm#! r#ce h#s bee! co!"ro!te$ with #! e(e! gre#ter $#!ger 77 th#t o" the $estr'ctio! o" o'r ci(ili1#tio!% i" !ot o" #ll m#!*i!$% by thermo!'cle#r we# o!s #s they exist to$#y #!$ #s they #re bei!g $e(elo e$ i! i!cre#si!gly "right"'l ro ortio!s& -ost eo le% howe(er% #re !ot co!scio'sly #w#re o" this thre#t #!$ o" their ow! ho eless!ess& 8ome belie(e th#t ,'st bec#'se mo$er! w#r"#re is so $estr'cti(e% w#r is im ossible> others $ecl#re th#t e(e! i" sixty or se(e!ty millio! Americ#!s were *ille$ i! the "irst o!e or two $#ys o" # !'cle#r w#r% there is !o re#so! to belie(e th#t li"e wo'l$ !ot go o! #s be"ore #"ter the "irst shoc* h#s bee! o(ercome& .t is recisely the sig!i"ic#!ce o" Orwell's boo* th#t it ex resses the !ew moo$ o" ho eless!ess which er(#$es o'r #ge be"ore this moo$ h#s become m#!i"est #!$ t#*e! hol$ o" the co!scio's!ess o" eo le& Orwell is !ot #lo!e i! this e!$e#(or& Two other writers% the R'ssi#! A#my#ti! i! his boo* We% #!$ Al$o's ;'xley i! his 9r#(e 5ew Worl$% h#(e ex resse$ the moo$ o" the rese!t% #!$ # w#r!i!g "or the "'t're% i! w#ys (ery simil#r to Orwell's& This !ew trilogy o" wh#t m#y be c#lle$ the 0!eg#ti(e /to i#s0 o" the mi$$le o" the twe!tieth ce!t'ry is the co'!ter oi!t to the trilogy o" the ositi(e /to i#s me!tio!e$ be"ore% writte! i! the sixtee!th #!$ se(e!tee!th ce!t'ries <B=& The !eg#ti(e /to i#s ex ress the moo$ o" owerless!ess #!$ ho eless!ess o" mo$er! m#! ,'st #s the e#rly /to i#s ex resse$ the moo$ o" sel"7co!"i$e!ce #!$ ho e o" ost7me$ie(#l m#!% There co'l$ be !othi!g more #r#$oxic#l i! historic#l terms th#! this ch#!ge+ m#!% #t the begi!!i!g o" the i!$'stri#l #ge% whe! i! re#lity he $i$ !ot ossess the me#!s "or # worl$ i! which the t#ble w#s set "or #ll who w#!te$ to e#t% whe! he li(e$ i! # worl$ i! which there were eco!omic re#so!s "or sl#(ery% w#r% #!$ ex loit#tio!% i! which m#! o!ly se!se$ the ossibilities o" his !ew scie!ce #!$ o" its # lic#tio! to tech!i)'e #!$ to ro$'ctio! ? !e(ertheless m#! #t the begi!!i!g o" mo$er! $e(elo me!t w#s "'ll o" ho e& Fo'r h'!$re$ ye#rs l#ter% whe! #ll these ho es #re re#li1#ble% whe! m#! c#! ro$'ce e!o'gh "or e(erybo$y% whe! w#r h#s become '!!ecess#ry bec#'se tech!ic#l rogress c#! gi(e #!y co'!try more we#lth th#! c#! territori#l co!)'est% whe! this globe is i! the rocess o" becomi!g #s '!i"ie$ #s # co!ti!e!t w#s "o'r h'!$re$ ye#rs #go% #t the (ery mome!t whe! m#! is o! the (erge o" re#li1i!g his ho e% he begi!s to lose it& .t is the esse!ti#l oi!t o" #ll the three !eg#ti(e /to i#s !ot o!ly to $escribe the "'t're tow#r$ which we #re mo(i!g% b't #lso to ex l#i! the historic#l #r#$ox& The three !eg#ti(e /to i#s $i""er "rom e#ch other i! $et#il #!$ em h#sis& A#my#ti!'s We% writte! i! the twe!ties% h#s more "e#t'res i! commo! with 1984 th#! with ;'xley's 9r#(e 5ew Worl$& We #!$ 1984 both $e ict the com letely b're#'cr#ti1e$ society% i! which m#! is # !'mber #!$ loses #ll se!se o" i!$i(i$'#lity& This is bro'ght #bo't by # mixt're o" '!limite$ terror 4i! A#my#ti!'s boo* # br#i! o er#tio! is #$$e$ e(e!t'#lly which ch#!ges m#! e(e! hysic#lly6 combi!e$ with i$eologic#l #!$ sychologic#l m#!i 'l#tio!& .! ;'xley's wor* the m#i! tool "or t'r!i!g m#! i!to #! #'tom#to! is the # lic#tio! o" hy !oi$ m#ss s'ggestio!% which #llows $is e!si!g with terror& O!e c#! s#y th#t A#my#ti!'s #!$ Orwell's ex#m les resemble more the 8t#li!ist #!$ 5#1i $ict#torshi s% while ;'xley's 9r#(e 5ew Worl$ is # ict're o" the $e(elo me!t o" the Wester! i!$'stri#l worl$% ro(i$e$ it co!ti!'es to "ollow the rese!t tre!$ witho't "'!$#me!t#l ch#!ge& .! s ite o" this $i""ere!ce there is o!e b#sic )'estio! commo! to the three !eg#ti(e /to i#s% The )'estio! is # hiloso hic#l% #!thro ologic#l #!$ sychologic#l o!e% #!$ erh# s #lso # religio's o!e& .t is+ c#! h'm#! !#t're be ch#!ge$ i! s'ch # w#y th#t m#! will "orget his lo!gi!g "or "ree$om% "or $ig!ity% "or i!tegrity% "or lo(e ? th#t is to s#y% c#! m#! "orget th#t he is h'm#!C Or $oes h'm#! !#t're h#(e # $y!#mism which will re#ct to the (iol#tio! o" these b#sic h'm#! !ee$s by #ttem ti!g to ch#!ge #! i!h'm#! society i!to # h'm#! o!eC .t m'st be !ote$ th#t the three #'thors $o !ot t#*e the sim le ositio! o" sychologic#l rel#ti(ism which is commo! to so m#!y soci#l scie!tists to$#y> they $o !ot st#rt o't with the #ss'm tio! th#t there is !o s'ch thi!g #s h'm#! !#t're> th#t there is !o s'ch thi!g #s )'#lities esse!ti#l to m#!> #!$ th#t m#! is bor! #s !othi!g b't # bl#!* sheet o" # er o! which #!y gi(e! society writes its text& They $o #ss'me th#t m#! h#s #! i!te!se stri(i!g "or lo(e% "or ,'stice% "or tr'th% "or soli$#rity% #!$ i! this res ect they #re )'ite

$i""ere!t "rom the rel#ti(ists& .! "#ct% they #""irm the stre!gth #!$ i!te!sity o" these h'm#! stri(i!gs by the $escri tio! o" the (ery me#!s they rese!t #s bei!g !ecess#ry to $estroy them& .! A#my#ti!'s We # br#i! o er#tio! simil#r to lobotomy is !ecess#ry to get ri$ o" the h'm#! $em#!$s o" h'm#! !#t're& .! ;'xley's 9r#(e 5ew Worl$ #rti"ici#l biologic#l selectio! #!$ $r'gs #re !ecess#ry% #!$ i! Orwell's 1984 it is the com letely '!limite$ 'se o" tort're #!$ br#i!w#shi!g& 5o!e o" the three #'thors c#! be #cc'se$ o" the tho'ght th#t the $estr'ctio! o" the h'm#!ity withi! m#! is e#sy& Det #ll three #rri(e #t the s#me co!cl'sio!+ th#t it is ossible% with me#!s #!$ tech!i)'es which #re commo! *!owle$ge to$#y& .! s ite o" m#!y simil#rities to A#my#ti!'s boo*% Orwell's 1984 m#*es its ow! origi!#l co!trib'tio! to the )'estio!% ;ow c#! h'm#! !#t're be ch#!ge$C . w#!t to s e#* !ow #bo't some o" the more s eci"ic#lly 0Orwelli#!0 co!ce ts& The co!trib'tio! o" Orwell which is most imme$i#tely rele(#!t "or the ye#r 19E1 #!$ "or the !ext "i(e to "i"tee! ye#rs is the co!!ectio! he m#*es betwee! the $ict#tori#l society o" 1984 #!$ #tomic w#r& Atomic w#rs h#$ "irst # e#re$ #s e#rly #s the "orties> # l#rge7sc#le #tomic w#r bro*e o't #bo't te! ye#rs l#ter% #!$ some h'!$re$s o" bombs were $ro e$ o! i!$'stri#l ce!ters i! E'ro e#! R'ssi#% Wester! E'ro e% #!$ 5orth Americ#& A"ter this w#r% the go(er!me!ts o" #ll co'!tries bec#me co!(i!ce$ th#t the% co!ti!'#tio! o" the w#r wo'l$ me#! the e!$ o" org#!i1e$ society% #!$ he!ce o" their ow! ower& For these re#so!s !o more bombs were $ro e$% #!$ the three existi!g big ower blocs 0merely co!ti!'e$ to ro$'ce #tomic bombs #!$ store$ them ' #g#i!st the $ecisi(e o ort'!ity which they #ll belie(e will come soo!er or l#ter&0 .t rem#i!s the #im o" the r'li!g #rty to $isco(er how 0to *ill se(er#l h'!$re$ millio! eo le i! # "ew seco!$s witho't gi(i!g w#r!i!g be"oreh#!$&0 Orwell wrote 1984 be"ore the $isco(ery o" thermo!'cle#r We# o!s% #!$ it is o!ly # historic#l "oot!ote to s#y th#t i! the "i"ties the (ery #im which w#s ,'st me!tio!e$ h#$ #lre#$y bee! re#che$& The #tomic bomb which w#s $ro e$ o! the @# #!ese cities seems sm#ll #!$ i!e""ecti(e whe! com #re$ with the m#ss sl#'ghter which c#! be #chie(e$ by thermo!'cle#r we# o!s with the c# #city to wi e o't 9F er ce!t or 1FF er ce!t o" # co'!try's o 'l#tio! withi! mi!'tes& The im ort#!ce o" Orwell's co!ce t o" w#r lies i! # !'mber o" (ery *ee! obser(#tio!s& First o" #ll% he shows the eco!omic sig!i"ic#!ce o" co!ti!'o's #rms ro$'ctio!% witho't which the eco!omic system c#!!ot "'!ctio!& F'rthermore% he gi(es #! im ressi(e ict're o" how # society m'st $e(elo which is co!st#!tly re #ri!g "or w#r% co!st#!tly #"r#i$ o" bei!g #tt#c*e$% #!$ re #ri!g to "i!$ the me#!s o" com lete #!!ihil#tio! o" its o o!e!ts& Orwell's ict're is so erti!e!t bec#'se it o""ers # telli!g #rg'me!t #g#i!st the o 'l#r i$e# th#t we c#! s#(e "ree$om #!$ $emocr#cy by co!ti!'i!g the #rms r#ce #!$ "i!$i!g # 0st#ble0 $eterre!t& This soothi!g ict're ig!ores the "#ct th#t with i!cre#si!g tech!ic#l 0 rogress0 4which cre#tes e!tirely !ew we# o!s #bo't e(ery G ye#rs% #!$ will soo! ermit the $e(elo me!t o" 1FF or 1FFF i!ste#$ o" 1F meg#to! bombs6% the whole society will be "orce$ to li(e% '!$ergro'!$% b't th#t the% $estr'cti(e stre!gth o" thermo!'cle#r bombs will #lw#ys rem#i! gre#ter th#! the $e th o" the c#(es% th#t the milit#ry will become $omi!#!t 4i! "#ct% i" !ot i! l#w6% th#t "right #!$ h#tre$ o" # ossible #ggressor will $estroy the b#sic #ttit'$es o" # $emocr#tic% h'm#!istic society& .! other wor$s% the co!ti!'e$ #rms r#ce% e(e! i" it wo'l$ !ot le#$ to the o'tbre#* o" # thermo!'cle#r w#r% wo'l$ le#$ to the $estr'ctio! o" #!y o" those )'#lities o" o'r society which c#! be c#lle$ 0$emocr#tic%0 0"ree%0 or 0i! the Americ#! tr#$itio!&0 Orwell $emo!str#tes the ill'sio! o" the #ss'm tio! th#t $emocr#cy c#! co!ti!'e to exist i! # worl$ re #ri!g "or !'cle#r w#r% #!$ he $oes so im#gi!#ti(ely #!$ brilli#!tly& A!other im ort#!t #s ect is Orwell's $escri tio! o" the !#t're o" tr'th% which o! the s'r"#ce is # ict're o" 8t#li!'s tre#tme!t o" tr'th% es eci#lly i! the thirties& 9't #!yo!e who sees i! Orwell's $escri tio! o!ly #!other $e!'!ci#tio! o" 8t#li!ism is missi!g #! esse!ti#l eleme!t o" Orwell's #!#lysis& ;e is #ct'#lly t#l*i!g #bo't # $e(elo me!t which is t#*i!g l#ce i! the wester! i!$'stri#l co'!tries #lso% o!ly #t # slower #ce th#! it is t#*i!g l#ce i! R'ssi# #!$ 2hi!#& The b#sic )'estio! which Orwell r#ises is whether there is #!y s'ch thi!g #s 0tr'th&0 0Re#lity%0 so the r'li!g #rty hol$s% 0is !ot exter!#l& Re#lity exists i! the h'm#! mi!$ #!$ !owhere else &&& wh#te(er the H#rty hol$s to be tr'th is tr'th&0 ." this is so% the! by co!trolli!g me!'s mi!$s% the H#rty co!trols tr'th& .! # $r#m#tic co!(ers#tio! betwee! the rot#go!ist o" the H#rty #!$ the be#te! rebel% # co!(ers#tio! which is # worthy #!#logy to Dostoye(s*y's co!(ers#tio! betwee! the .!)'isitor #!$ @es's% the b#sic ri!ci les o" the H#rty #re ex l#i!e$& .! co!tr#st to the .!)'isitor% howe(er% the le#$ers o" the H#rty $o !ot e(e! rete!$ th#t their system is i!te!$e$ to m#*e m#! h# ier% bec#'se me!% bei!g "r#il #!$ cow#r$ly cre#t'res% w#!t to esc# e "ree$om #!$ #re '!#ble to "#ce the tr'th& The

le#$ers #re #w#re o"% the "#ct th#t they themsel(es h#(e o!ly o!e #im% #!$ th#t is ower& To them 0 ower is !ot # me#!s> it is #! e!$& A!$ ower me#!s the c# #city to i!"lict '!limite$ #i! #!$ s'""eri!g to #!other h'm#! bei!g0<I=& Hower% the!% "or them cre#tes re#lity% it cre#tes tr'th& The ositio! which Orwell #ttrib'tes here to the ower elite c#! be s#i$ to be #! extreme "orm o" hiloso hic#l i$e#lism% b't it is more to the oi!t to recog!i1e th#t the co!ce t o" tr'th #!$ re#lity which exists i! 1984 is #! extreme "orm o" r#gm#tism i! which tr'th becomes s'bor$i!#te$ to the H#rty& A! Americ#! writer% Al#! ;#rri!gto!% who i! :i"e i! the 2ryst#l H#l#ce <4= gi(es # s'btle #!$ e!etr#ti!g ict're o" li"e i! # big Americ#! cor or#tio!% h#s coi!e$ #! excelle!t ex ressio! "or the co!tem or#ry co!ce t o" tr'th+ 0mobile tr'th&0 ." . wor* "or # big cor or#tio! which cl#ims th#t its ro$'ct is better th#! th#t o" #ll com etitors% the )'estio! whether this cl#im is ,'sti"ie$ or !ot i! terms o" #scert#i!#ble re#lity becomes irrele(#!t& Wh#t m#tters is th#t #s lo!g #s . ser(e this #rtic'l#r cor or#tio!% this cl#im becomes 0my0 tr'th% #!$ . $ecli!e to ex#mi!e whether it is #! ob,ecti(ely (#li$ tr'th& .! "#ct% i" . ch#!ge my ,ob #!$ mo(e o(er to the cor or#tio! which w#s '!til !ow 0my0 com etitor% . sh#ll #cce t the !ew tr'th% th#t its ro$'ct is the best% #!$ s'b,ecti(ely s e#*i!g% this !ew tr'th will be #s tr'e #s the ol$ o!e& .t is o!e o" the most ch#r#cteristic #!$ $estr'cti(e $e(elo me!ts o" o'r ow! society th#t m#!% becomi!g more #!$ more o" #! i!str'me!t% tr#!s"orms re#lity more #!$ more i!to somethi!g rel#ti(e to his ow! i!terests #!$ "'!ctio!s& Tr'th is ro(e! by the co!se!s's o" millio!s> to the slog#! 0how c#! millio!s be wro!g0 is #$$e$ 0#!$ how c#! # mi!ority o" o!e be right&0 Orwell shows )'ite cle#rly th#t i! # system i! which the co!ce t o" tr'th #s #! ob,ecti(e ,'$gme!t co!cer!i!g re#lity is #bolishe$% #!yo!e who is # mi!ority o" o!e m'st be co!(i!ce$ th#t he is i!s#!e& .! $escribi!g the *i!$ o" thi!*i!g which is $omi!#!t i! 1984% Orwell h#s coi!e$ # wor$ which h#s #lre#$y become #rt o" the mo$er! (oc#b'l#ry+ 0$o'blethi!*&0 0Do'blethi!* me#!s the ower o" hol$i!g two co!tr#$ictory belie"s i! o!e's mi!$ sim'lt#!eo'sly% #!$ #cce ti!g both o" them& &&& This rocess h#s to be co!scio's% or it wo'l$ !ot be c#rrie$ o't with s'""icie!t recisio!& 9't it #lso h#s to be '!co!scio's% or it wo'l$ bri!g with it # "eeli!g o" "#lsity #!$ he!ce o" g'ilt&0 .t is recisely the '!co!scio's #s ect o" $o'blethi!* which will se$'ce m#!y # re#$er o" 1984 i!to belie(i!g th#t the metho$ o" $o'blethi!* is em loye$ by the R'ssi#!s #!$ the 2hi!ese% while it is somethi!g )'ite "oreig! to himsel"& This% howe(er% is #! ill'sio!% #s # "ew ex#m les c#! $emo!str#te& We i! the West s e#* o" the 0"ree worl$%0 i! which we i!cl'$e !ot o!ly systems li*e those o" the /!ite$ 8t#tes #!$ E!gl#!$% which #re b#se$ o! "ree electio!s #!$ "ree$om o" ex ressio!% b't we i!cl'$e #lso 8o'th Americ#! $ict#torshi s 4#t le#st we $i$ #s lo!g #s they existe$6> we #lso i!cl'$e (#rio's "orms o" $ict#torshi li*e those o" Fr#!co #!$ 8#l#1#r% #!$ those i! 8o'th A"ric#% H#*ist#! #!$ Abyssi!i#& While we s e#* #bo't the "ree worl$% we #ct'#lly me#! #ll those st#tes which #re #g#i!st R'ssi# #!$ 2hi!# #!$ !ot #t #ll% #s the wor$s wo'l$ i!$ic#te% st#tes which h#(e olitic#l "ree$om& A!other co!tem or#ry ex#m le o" hol$i!g two co!tr#$ictory belie"s i! o!e's mi!$ sim'lt#!eo'sly #!$ #cce ti!g them c#!% be "o'!$ i! o'r $isc'ssio! #bo't #rm#me!t& We s e!$ # co!si$er#ble #rt o" o'r i!come #!$ e!ergy i! b'il$i!g thermo!'cle#r we# o!s% #!$ close o'r mi!$s to the "#ct th#t they might go o"" #!$ $estroy o!e thir$ or o!e h#l" or most o" o'r o 'l#tio! 4#!$ th#t o" the e!emy6& 8ome go e(e! "'rther> th's ;erm#! 3#h!% o!e o" the most i!"l'e!ti#l writers o! #tomic str#tegy to$#y% st#tes% 0&&& i! other wor$s% w#r is horrible% there is !o )'estio! #bo't it% b't so is e#ce% #!$ it is ro er with the *i!$ o" c#lc'l#tio!s we #re m#*i!g to$#y to com #re the horror o" w#r #!$ the horror o" e#ce% #!$ see how m'ch worse it is0 <G=& 3#h! #ss'mes th#t thermo!'cle#r w#r might me#! the $estr'ctio! o" sixty millio! Americ#!s% #!$ yet he "i!$s th#t e(e! i! s'ch # c#se 0the co'!try wo'l$ reco(er r#ther r# i$ly #!$ e""ecti(ely%0 <E= #!$ th#t 0!orm#l #!$ h# y li(es "or the% m#,ority o" the s'r(i(ors #!$ their $esce!$#!ts0 <J= wo'l$ !ot be recl'$e$ by the tr#ge$y o" thermo!'cle#r w#r& This (iew hol$s+ #6 th#t we re #re "or w#r i! or$er to reser(e e#ce% b6 th#t e(e! i" w#r bre#*s o't #!$ the R'ssi#!s *ill o!e thir$ o" o'r o 'l#tio! #!$ we $o the s#me to them 4#!$ i" we c#!% o" co'rse% more6 still% eo le will li(e h# y li(es #"terw#r$s% c6 th#t !ot o!ly w#r b't #lso e#ce is horrible% #!$ it is !ecess#ry to ex#mi!e how m'ch more horrible w#r is th#! e#ce& Heo le who #cce t this *i!$ o" re#so!i!g #re c#lle$ 0sober0> those who $o'bt th#t i" two millio! or sixty millio! $ie$ it wo'l$ le#(e Americ# esse!ti#lly '!to'che$ #re !ot 0sober0> those who oi!t to the olitic#l #!$ sychologic#l #!$ mor#l co!se)'e!ces o" s'ch $estr'ctio! #re c#lle$ 0'!re#listic&0 While this is !ot the l#ce "or # le!gthy $isc'ssio! o! the roblem o" $is#rm#me!t% these ex#m les most be gi(e! i! or$er to m#*e the oi!t which is esse!ti#l "or the '!$erst#!$i!g o" Orwell's boo*% !#mely th#t

0$o'blethi!*0 is #lre#$y with 's% #!$ !ot merely somethi!g which will h# $ict#torshi s&

e! i! the "'t're% #!$ i!

A!other im ort#!t oi!t i! Orwell's $isc'ssio! is closely rel#te$ to 0$o'blethi!*%0 !#mely th#t i! # s'ccess"'l m#!i 'l#tio! o" the mi!$ the erso! is !o lo!ger s#yi!g the o osite o" wh#t he thi!*s% b't he thi!*s the o osite o" wh#t is tr'e& Th's% "or i!st#!ce% i" he h#s s'rre!$ere$ his i!$e e!$e!ce #!$ his i!tegrity com letely% i" he ex erie!ces himsel" #s # thi!g which belo!gs either to the st#te% the #rty or the cor or#tio!% the! two l's two #re "i(e% or 08l#(ery is Free$om%0 #!$ he "eels "ree bec#'se there is !o lo!ger #!y #w#re!ess o" the $iscre #!cy betwee! tr'th #!$ "#lsehoo$& 8 eci"ic#lly this # lies to i$eologies& @'st #s the .!)'isitors who tort're$ their riso!ers belie(e$ th#t they #cte$ i! the !#me o" 2hristi#! lo(e% the H#rty 0re,ects #!$ (ili"ies e(ery ri!ci le "or which the soci#list mo(eme!t origi!#lly stoo$% #!$ it chooses to $o this i! the !#me o" soci#lism&0 .ts co!te!t is re(erse$ i!to its o osite% #!$ yet eo le belie(e th#t the i$eology me#!s wh#t it s#ys& .! this res ect Orwell )'ite ob(io'sly re"ers to the "#lsi"ic#tio! o" soci#lism by R'ssi#! comm'!ism% b't it m'st be #$$e$ th#t the West is #lso g'ilty o" # simil#r "#lsi"ic#tio!& We rese!t o'r society #s bei!g o!e o" "ree i!iti#ti(e% i!$i(i$'#lism #!$ i$e#lism% whe! i! re#lity these #re mostly wor$s& We #re # ce!tr#li1e$ m#!#geri#l i!$'stri#l society% o" #! esse!ti#lly b're#'cr#tic !#t're% #!$ moti(#te$ by # m#teri#lism which is o!ly slightly mitig#te$ by tr'ly s irit'#l or religio's co!cer!s& Rel#te$ to this is #!other ex#m le o" 0$o'blethi!*%0 !#mely th#t "ew writers% $isc'ssi!g #tomic str#tegy% st'mble o(er the "#ct th#t *illi!g% "rom # 2hristi#! st#!$ oi!t% is #s e(il or more e(il th#! bei!g *ille$& The re#$er will "i!$ m#!y other "e#t'res o" o'r rese!t Wester! society i! Orwell's $escri tio! i! 1984% ro(i$e$ he c#! o(ercome e!o'gh o" his ow! 0$o'blethi!*&0 2ert#i!ly Orwell's ict're is excee$i!gly $e ressi!g% es eci#lly i" o!e recog!i1es th#t #s Orwell himsel" oi!ts o't% it is !ot o!ly # ict're o" #! e!emy b't o" the whole h'm#! r#ce #t the e!$ o" the twe!tieth ce!t'ry& O!e c#! re#ct to this ict're i! two w#ys+ either by becomi!g more ho eless #!$ resig!e$% or by "eeli!g there is still time% #!$ by res o!$i!g with gre#ter cl#rity #!$ gre#ter co'r#ge& All three !eg#ti(e /to i#s m#*e it # e#r th#t it is ossible to $eh'm#!i1e m#! com letely% #!$ yet "or li"e to go o!& O!e might $o'bt the correct!ess o" this #ss'm tio!% #!$ thi!* th#t while it might be ossible to $estroy the h'm#! core% o" m#!% o!e wo'l$ #lso i! $oi!g this $estroy the "'t're o" m#!*i!$& 8'ch me! wo'l$ be so tr'ly i!h'm#! #!$ l#c*i!g i! (it#lity th#t they wo'l$ $estroy e#ch other% or $ie o't o" sheer bore$om #!$ #!xiety& ." the worl$ o" 1984 is goi!g to be the $omi!#!t "orm o" li"e o! this globe% it will me#! # worl$ o" m#$me!% #!$ he!ce !ot # (i#ble worl$ 4Orwell i!$ic#tes this (ery s'btly by oi!ti!g to the m#$ gle#m i! the H#rty le#$er's eyes6& . #m s're th#t !either Orwell !or ;'xley or A#my#ti! w#!te$ to i!sist th#t this worl$ o" i!s#!ity is bo'!$ to come& O! the co!tr#ry% it w#s )'ite ob(io'sly their i!te!tio! to so'!$ # w#r!i!g by showi!g where we #re he#$e$ "or '!less we s'ccee$ i! # re!#iss#!ce o" the s irit o" h'm#!ism #!$ $ig!ity which is #t the (ery roots o" Occi$e!t#l c'lt're& Orwell% #s well #s the two other #'thors% is sim ly im lyi!g th#t the !ew "orm o" m#!#geri#l i!$'stri#lism% i! which m#! b'il$s m#chi!es which #ct li*e me! #!$ $e(elo s me! who #ct li*e m#chi!es% is co!$'ci(e to #! er# o" $eh'm#!i1#tio! #!$ com lete #lie!#tio!% i! which me! #re tr#!s"orme$ i!to thi!gs #!$ become # e!$ices to the rocess o" ro$'ctio! #!$ co!s'm tio! <8=& All three #'thors im ly th#t this $#!ger exists !ot o!ly i! 2omm'!ism o" the R'ssi#! or 2hi!ese (ersio!s% b't th#t it is # $#!ger i!here!t i! the mo$em mo$e o" ro$'ctio! #!$ org#!i1#tio!% #!$ rel#ti(ely i!$e e!$e!t o" the (#rio's i$eologies& Orwell% li*e the #'thors o" the other !eg#ti(e /to i#s% is !ot # ro het o" $is#ster& ;e w#!ts to w#r! #!$ to #w#*e! 's& ;e still ho es 77 b't i! co!tr#st to the writers o" the /to i#s i! the e#rlier h#ses o" Wester! society% his ho e is # $es er#te o!e& The ho e c#! be re#li1e$ o!ly by recog!i1i!g% so 1984 te#ches 's% the $#!ger with which #ll me! #re co!"ro!te$ to$#y% the $#!ger o" # society o" #'tom#to!s who will h#(e lost e(ery tr#ce o" i!$i(i$'#lity% o" lo(e% o" critic#l tho'ght% #!$ yet who will !ot be #w#re o" it bec#'se o" 0$o'blethi!*&0 9oo*s li*e Orwell's #re ower"'l w#r!i!gs% #!$ it wo'l$ be most '!"ort'!#te i" the re#$er sm'gly i!ter rete$ 1984 #s #!other $escri tio! o" 8t#li!ist b#rb#rism% #!$ i" he $oes !ot see th#t it me#!s 's% too&
Foot!otes+ <1= The l#test e$itio! w#s 'blishe$ by the 5ew Americ#! :ibr#ry o" Worl$ :iter#t're% .!c&% 5ew Dor*% 19EF 42DBE6& <B= .t sho'l$ be #$$e$ th#t @#c* :o!$o!'s The .ro! ;eel% the re$ictio! o" "#scism i! Americ#% is the e#rliest o" the mo$er! !eg#ti(e /to i#s& <I= 2"& this $e"i!itio! o" oWer i! Erich Fromm% Esc# e "rom Free$om& 5ew Dor*+ Ri!eh#rt K 2o&% .!c&% 1941& Also 8imo!e Weil's $e"i!itio! th#t ower is the c# #city to tr#!s"orm # li(i!g erso! i!to # cor se% th#t is to s#y% i!to # thi!g& <4= Al#! ;#rri!gto!% :i"e i! the 2ryst#l H#l#ce& 5ew Dor*+ Al"re$ A& 3!o " .!c&% 19G9> :o!$o!+ @o!#th#! 2# e% :t$&%

19EF& <G= 2"& ;& 3#h!% O! Thermo!'cle#r W#r& Hri!ceto!+ Hri!ceto! /!i(ersity Hress% 19EF% & 4J% !& 1 <E= .bi$&% & J4& <J= .bi$&% & B1& <8= This roblem is #!#ly1e$ i! $et#il i! Erich Fromm% The 8#!e 8ociety& 5ew Dor*+ Ri!eh#rt K 2o&% .!c&% 19GG&