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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

George Orwell quotes applicable today in 2014

In reading today's dreary economic and military-related news, we came upon an interesting topic on another site that we thought would be educational for people to read..

It is a collection of quotes that renowned author George Orwell of 'Animal Farm' and '1984' fame once said which could easily be applied to us in 2014

Before we get into that, interestingly and sadly Orwell only lived for 46 years (1903-1950) dying of tuberculosis and buried in London.  Most people also don't know Orwell was a fictitious name.

His real name was Eric Arthur Blair.
On to the quotes with commentary by us as needed...

1)  “In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”

Certainly it is easy enough to avoid all political discourse if you figuratively and literally turn the volume of one's iPod up and have an HDTV that is large and pristine-clear enough..

But everyone ultimately is effected especially on economic issues whether its via gas pump prices, higher food costs or receipt of a pink slip even if your head is buried in the sand, between your legs or someone else's..
2)  “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”

It used to be when nations waged war, the King would actually lead the army and engage in the fighting, as did his higher ranked subordinates; the titled gentry of the land..   In fact the last true national leader who actually traveled with his military to face combatants was Napoleon in the early 18th century.

Now leaders direct war from safe distances, sometimes in comfy-cozy bunkers so if there's nuclear attack that kills hundreds of millions of us, he and his precious family will survive..

And those that report the news, either safe n' sound in their NYC studios or embedded with the troops snugger than a $3 prostitute on a cold night and very very few journalists experience true risk or have the guts to report honestly even if it means putting such troops at risk...
3)  “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”

It’s pretty self-explanatory and while it may be hard to swallow, it’s certainly true.

This is also the case when it comes to civil wars including a specific one fought in the 1860s under the guise of liberating people from bondage..

That war was fought for economic concerns and many in the North made a financial killing off it vis a vis war profiteering and investing in the good ole' stock market
4)  “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

History is written by the victor, and the victor will never be asked if he told the truth.

We go back to the "US Civil War" as a great example..  We call it that today because the victors chose to call it that.

It was also referred to back then as the "War Between the States" and "The Second American Revolution" but this conflicted with how the victor wanted the war to be perceived

It needed to be looked upon by generations after as a rebellion which is why for decades afterward, history books referred to the Confederacy and southern fighting men dismissively as 'rebels'.
Also during that War, whenever there was a big battle near water, the Union army would refer to it by the river or creek's name.  The Confederate army would refer to the battle by the town.

This is why we are conditioned to refer to the 1st and 2nd battle of Manassas (VA) as 1st and 2nd Bull Run and the battle of Sharpsburg (MD) as Antietam

The victor can distort history and the true reasons for fighting wars and generations later are left clueless to the truth of things..
5)  “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Even without commentary, the reader is probably picturing Edward Snowden or Chelsea Manning. The revolutions of the future will not be fought with bullets and explosives, but with little bits of data traveling around the world destroying the false narratives with which governments shackle their citizens.

And populations are so scared of truth, the truth-tellers become villains for not staying loyal and blind to the 'company' line...
6)  “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”

If an article or blog does not anger someone, it is nothing more than fluff.   Most of what passes for news today is little more than an official sounding advertisement for a product, service, or belief.

This is why we do not write cheery, happy pieces touting a 'recovery' that doesn't really exist.. And if we make any readers upset, then that really isn't such a bad thing..

It leads people to question and do more research on their own..
7)  “In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer…”

In every conflict, it is not the side that can inflict the most damage, but the side that can sustain the most damage that ultimately prevails.

History is full of situations in which a military “won the battles but lost the war.”

Think Vietnam..  How many bombs did we drop?  How many soldiers and civilians did we kill?

Who ultimately won?
8)  “The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

No nation is 100% good and no military fights with 100% morality and ethics.. ever.   Whether it be rogue individuals or sanctioned by the state, all sides do evil and immoral things in time of war..

Personally we understand this so we don't get horrified when one side does terrible things to us because we know we've done terrible things in return and so on..

Its those who live in naivety who often are most shocked to find out we do bad things with our military just like the enemy..
9)  “Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial in isolation, are cumulative in their effect and, unless checked, lead to a general disrespect for the rights of the citizen.”

Everyone lives taking pride in living in grey-areas.  In other words, that the notion of absolutes are not realistic in society.  There is no 'good' or 'bad' but we're all variances of both, etc..etc..

When it comes to censorship and personal freedom of expression, it is pretty cut and dry..  You support an open and free society or you don't.

Some people for instance do not want the word 'Nigger' spoken or written openly and willingly wish to crush others' ability to express it..   So it is publicly censored and recently treated as offensive as the 'F' and 'C' word
Others think the term 'African American' is completely utterly foolish, divisive and downright egotistical because it implies a separated and exalted status which is really undeserved and 'black' is a perfectly acceptable term

So who has power over language in this society?  Who gets to dictate to who?  Who has control over knowledge and 'truth' and who may or may not have access?

If no one is ever allowed to offend or upset in terms of word choice, how does that not ultimately slippery-slope down to blocking/censoring all information and political perspectives that offend or irritate the masses' sensibilities?
10)  “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

Once the people are indoctrinated with nationalistic beliefs, and the infrastructure to protect them from some constantly-changing and ever-expanding definition of an enemy is in place, there is no ability for the people to regain liberty.

This is how love of Big Brother occurs..   Love of system and need of the apparatus to always protect them from something..