Posted by: johnhourihan | January 4, 2015

1984 is deeper and more true than you thought

There are little-known and seldom-quoted passages from George Orwell’s 1984 that we choose not to remember because they are too close to reality, and getting closer. They have become even closer and more frightening since the lies and half-truths that big money PACs dominate social media. They are even closer to current reality and more unsettling than:


The first passage tells of how, in the book, an ultimate outcome was achieved by the Party, or in our case could be achieved, and the second tells of what that outcome was, or in our case what is coming dangerously close to what the outcome could be.
The first part:
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word “doublethink” involved the use of doublethink.”
That was how the world in 1984 was manufactured, according to Orwell, with doublethink. That was what he expected to happen in his future. It may have taken longer, but we have just witnessed the infancy of “doublethink” in the obvious lies mouthed as truth every day on behalf of the GOP.

The blatant lies spewed over and over by people who know that what they are saying are lies, but who seem to believe in them wholeheartedly, have so far covered our political and social landscape like a soothing balm for those who know they are wrong.

All you have to do to feel better to is believe what you know is false.

It is frightening because of where this could lead, according to Orwell. And since we have over the years adopted much of what he said as an honest forewarning, I think we should read the second part of this. The part that explains how our lives could end up if we do that.

The second part: (Please understand that the mainstream public are “the proles.” You are the proles)
“… according to the principles of doublethink, the Party taught that the proles were natural inferiors who must be kept in subjection, like animals, by the application of a few simple rules. In reality very little was known about the proles. It was not necessary to know much. So long as they continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina. … They were born, they grew up in the gutters, they went to work at twelve, they passed through  a brief blossoming period of beauty and sexual desire, they married at twenty, they were middle aged at thirty, they died, for the most part, at sixty. Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer, and, above all, gambling, filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them under control was not difficult. A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumors and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous; but no attempt was made to indoctrinate them with the ideology of the Party. It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. 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.”

There are hard times coming, says the Republican party, times that will need to administered to with “tough Love” (they will do the administrating and we will be administered to) and of course love of American might with anyone who defies our idea of how they should live.
God Bless America, they say
But I’m starting to hear whispers that sound more like:



Before, in 1963 when I first read this book, I identified with Winston, a party member who worked a tedious job changing history.
Now I am understanding that Orwell meant we were not that high up on the food chain, what he meant was we were to become the proles.
If we believe lies because it is easier than to understand the truth, we are well on our way.



  1. John,
    you are CRAZY… but crazy is NORMAL like the rest of us, so just keep plugging away… like the rest of us…


  2. What if I said that I believe “War is peace”-“Ignorance is strength”-Freedom is slavery”-“God is power”, But also equally believe ” War is power”-“Ignorance is slavery” – “Freedom is strength”- “GOD is peace”. Would I be a member of the proles – the agents of the party- or a perfect candidate for the thought police? Or All The Above? Or None Of The Above?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: