By Richard Cirulli – It was the author’s intention to have this article in the hands of the editor before the holidays – a bit of wishful thinking to say the least on my part. I had hoped to address those readers who still look upon this time of year as one of honest and sincere self-introspection.
As we come to celebrate the close of another year, some of us use this time to reflect upon the events we have experienced for the purpose of applying these life lessons. Sometimes we find our internal conflicts are at odds with the external world. For the more existential and spiritual minded, this can prove to be a painful reconciliation of contradictions that exist between inner core values and the need to survive in a harsh world. For those adverse to an existential/spiritual view of life, they are favored with little or no self-contradictions, since the self is united in seeking happiness only for itself. The baggage of assisting a humanity in distress is jettisoned.
For those kindred souls who struggle to maintain possession of their core beliefs and freedom in the face of being overloaded with fake and filtered news that espouses a new ‘materialistic manifest destiny’, this article is dedicated to you. You are the stalwart true freethinkers bold enough to live lives with an open and expanding mind rather than succumb to the mass disinformation that appeals to the egocentric lower self. You seek truth and are confident enough to cut the strings of our governing oligarchy puppeteers.
This independent view should hold much weight especially for us Baby Boomers who were raised on the anti-Utopian books of 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, and Erewhon, to name just a few.
In Orwell’s, classic 1984, set within the country Oceania, a totalitarian society is controlled by the Thought Police via Newspeak. The goal of Newspeak is to make Thought Crime an impossibility. It involves the “the mutability of the past.” The governing oligarchy, Big Brother, achieves this by abolishing the past and altering history to suit the agenda of the ruling class. The book’s protagonist, Winston, is persecuted as a traitor for having attempted to establish contact with the past. Newspeak also uses fake news to report on its ongoing war with Eurasia, a means to secure the populace’s codependency on its government.
Orwell was quite astute in his assessment of the close relationship in the English language between the words advertising and propaganda. In Oceania, the Ingsoc maximum is, “He who controls the past controls the present, and he who controls the present controls the future.” Orwell’s premise is that society can be controlled through its children, suggesting children will ultimately betray their parents to the Thought Police. We can see now why schools might want to seek a larger say in the parenting of children.
What we have read about in Orwell’s Oceania is here today in America. Our new totalitarian oligarchy will not come in the form of goose-stepping Nazis, or the pogroms of communism, along with it gulags. Rather, by feeding the masses a delusional dessert to quench their appetite, there is no room for the main course of truth. A casual look around today will clearly prove the relationship between Newspeak and political correctness, and how our nation’s monuments to the past are being brought down for the purpose of denying the past’s reality.
Our traditions, heritage and faiths are being dismantled by a few, who want to speak for all. And, like Oceania, discourse is no longer tolerated in America. It is no surprise or secret – America has been at war longer than Oceania and Eurasia. As we blind ourselves with egocentric views, enflamed by never-ending “selfies” and mindless reality TV shows, the oligarchy continues to tighten the radius of our ever-diminishing mind, and intellect.
In essence, we have outsourced our thinking to the ruling oligarchy, and with our inability to think we now defer to the government to enact laws to tell us how to act and behave. The wise know that one becomes a fool when he is no longer willing or able to think and therefore act for himself.
We should ask ourselves what our teacher’s taught us to ask, “Am I wise enough to know if what is being imparted is true?”
Dr. Richard Cirulli is a retired professor, business consultant, writer, columnist, and innocent bystander at large. He welcomes your comments at Profirulli@optonline.net.