altered newspaper

I only read 1984 very very recently, and while I understand why the Big Brother/surveillance state stuff caught on in greater pop culture, it was the State’s systematic denial of history and reality that really struck a nerve with me.

It wasn’t just the “We’ve always been at war with Eurasia” business. It was the constant altering and realtering of newspapers down to the most minute details. Purging people’s existence out of print should they fall out of favor with the State. Making a negative announcement only to immediately follow it up with a ‘positive’ spin (e.g. “Chocolate ration reduced from 50g to 30g” to “Chocolate ration increased from 20g to 30g, thanks Big Brother”). The State’s relentless rewriting of reality also served as a tool for filtering out dissidents- anyone who spoke up was signaled out and arrested, and so everyone just 'naturally’ accepted and repeated what they were told. And that’s before we get into thought crimes too.

I know there’s already enough historical precedence with all this with Nazism and Stalinism (since obviously that’s what George Orwell based IngSoc on), and I know there’s sadly no shortage of other totalitarian dictatorships controlling the flow of information with an iron fist.

But now seeing the extent that Trump, his Nazi-base, and the Republicans are going to antagonize the media and anyone who dares speak out, I see just how damaging and effective that denial of reality really is. Even something as simple as deleting tweets from his account gives Trump the ability to deny having ever said a thing; he’ll just say that anyone passing around said tweet 'clearly’ made it up to make him look bad. Even stuff that isn’t outright denied is still ignored or cast aside in favor of convenience- see how quickly the Republicans turned on Ukraine and Taiwan.

How effectively we’ll be able to combat whatever reality-denying propaganda the Trump regime churns out remains to be seen, along with how vicious his administration/Nazi followers will be in stomping out dissent.

But long story short, I have a much greater appreciation and fear of what Orwell tried to warn us about in 1984.