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Discussion for "1984 is Socialism Gone Right"

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  • This is indeed my own understanding of "nineteen eighty-four" and I do not much like the direction I see in politics these days. I'm not British though, I'm Norwegian.
  • I have the distinct displeasure of watching socialism decisively take root in America. Not that it wasn't here before, just not a prominent. Everytime I watch Obama speak, this quote keeps surfacing in my mind: "So this is how liberty dies, amid thunderous applause."
    • He reminds me very much of our own Tony Blair; similar background in radical politics, similar charisma, similarly devoted followers. But unlike Blair, there is opposition to Obama, in Government, in the population, and in the media. People are suspicious of him, uncertain that his "change" is really for the better. Point to Britain as an example of what a man like Obama could do, given enough time in power, and help that suspicion to grow.

  • I think you're taking some of the parallels too strictly. The Party is not socialism done right because it doesn't serve the interests of the community. Creating artificial scarcity, promoting a "siege mentality," working people up into a frenzy every day, and denying people pleasure isn't in the interest of the society, it's in the interest of the Party.

    Humanity has tried on a whole motley parade of different governments throughout its history. I see 1984 as an interesting case study of a system that hu
    • These are good points, thankyou. You are right that the Party does not pretend to exist to help the people; rather, it pretends its purpose is the defeat of the Eurasians (or whoever). That's an important difference, because both socialism and communism do claim to exist for the betterment of humanity, and seem to continue to claim this. Perhaps I can address this in a future version of the essay.

  • I enjoyed reading your essay though initially I nearly wrote it off as yet another "conservative" wrongly latching on to 1984 to mindlessly push their own authoritarian agenda. I stuck with it though and fortunately I was wrong and see that we are in fair agreement over a great deal. Have you also read Orwells other writings? I really enjoyed My Country Left or Right which is a compendium of his essays, reviews and letters. Gives a great insight into him and the mindset of the times.

    If I can offer you s

    • Oops sorry typo here:

      "Are you aware that Orwell fell in love with Anarchy while we fought against the Fascists for the POUM"

      Obviously I meant he! ;) Though what a time to be alive. Could you imagine what would happen they got home if someone went and signed up to fight in another countries civil war these days??

    • Thanks. These are good criticisms, and very detailed. I'll see if I can make some improvements to it.

      • No problems, I've read it a couple of times and like it better each time. We desperately need more of this sort of discourse getting out there as at the moment there seems to be a monopoly of fringe left ideals running through the west rather unfettered.

        Can I also just add: in the paragraph that you explain why Orwell was opposed to Communism "He didn't want a Socialist dictatorship, like the USSR. He wanted a Socialist democracy, with free elections and candidates who were free and willing to completely op

  • I'm a liberal-leaning American libertarian. I have not read Nineteen Eighty-Four in aaages. Now I want to read it again. I found your essay fascinating. I even read the footnotes.

An algorithm must be seen to be believed. -- D.E. Knuth