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Response to freshwest (Reply #17)

Sat Oct 13, 2012, 05:36 PM

118. George Orwell

It reminds me of 1984 in a big way.

Now, I know people throw "Orwellian" around a lot, and half of them have absolutely no idea what it means. And what they're usually missing is the bit of speech from O'Brien near the end of the novel. Big Brother and The Party don't want power as a means to an end, they want power as the end.

The GOP has completely trained their followers that power is the end, not the means. It's far more important that their guy is in the White House instead of the other guy, even if they -hate- their guy.

My in-laws live in Houston (I'm Canadian). I was in Houston just before W got elected for the second time. I had the opportunity to ask a bunch of people why they'd be voting for W. Most of them -hated- W, but their answer was always the same: It's better than the alternative. They didn't mean Kerry, of course, they just meant "the other guy." It could have been a cross between Jesus and Einstein, but if he had a D after his name, better to have our guy in there.

This is the defining quotation from 1984:

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?


It has nothing to do with constant surveillance or freedom of speech or starting false wars. Those are all just symptoms. Those are just the ACTIONS that are taken in order to reach the GOAL, which is power.

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