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Big Brother watches and listens

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webmaster | 06/20/13

There is a society which exists in a world of perpetual war. It is controlled by an omnipresent governmental surveillance system, which also enforces public mind control and persecutes people for “thought crimes.” This society is not examined in any modern books, op-ed articles, or documentary movies. Our information about this place comes from a novel, “1984,” written by George Orwell in 1949.

Orwell started working on the basic concepts of the book shortly after World War II. He imagined a world that was divided into three intercontinental super-states, like the First World (U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and western European allies), the Second World (U.S.S.R. and its possessions), and the Third World (all of the countries that were left out of the two economic transformations: Capitalism and Communism). This “three-world” analogy might have been the perception of most people who looked at the geopolitics of the post-war world. In Orwell’s own mind, however, the third super-state was east and Southeast Asia, which may be closer to modern reality.

In particular, he writes about “Oceania,” a super-state that is divided into three social classes: the Inner Party (a ruling elite), the Outer Party (essentially a small middle class that works on behalf of the ruling elite), and the Proles (the 85 percent of the population that is composed of an uneducated working class, the proletariat). The entire system is watched over by Big Brother, an amorphous presence that monitors the public and private lives of the populace.

The government’s control of the population depends on four departments, usually identified by their Newspeak designations...


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