Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Anniversary of Orwell's 1984

I found this article posted at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada's website the other day and was really impressed with its insights into George Orwell, the Fabians, and other tidbits which make up the background for the book 1984. It is a a few years dated, as it celebrates the anniversary(ies) of the date of the book and was originally published over at New American back in 2009.

It is well worth the read and helps to give a greater understanding of what has happened to us over the years:

"Sixty years following its first publication and twenty-five since the fateful year, George Orwell’s 1984 remains a mystery to the experts. They convene often in exotic places to agree that Orwell wrote a dystopia on the communist take-over of Britain and America. They concur how he reversed the final two digits of the year he wrote the book — 1948 — to arrive at the title 1984. They write that Orwell was not a prophet and few predictions fill his volume. These consensus beliefs on 1984 by the experts still shape the views of tens of millions of citizens who read Orwell’s work in the public schools and colleges.

Experts can often befuddle. They sold the banking world on using derivatives. Experts in real estate failed to warn about the consequences of zero-down mortgages sold to non-qualified home purchasers. Again and again experts lead us to believe they are more competent than they really are. They want us to stand in awe of their pronouncements and never to challenge them. But following steep declines in the domestic economy and the mortgage industry, few people today doubt that the experts can be fallible, and never more than when collectively they agree about the facts pertaining to the Orwellian masterpiece.

What better time than now, twenty-five years since the fateful year 1984, to correct the errors of the consensus experts? Do not the media provide copious coverage of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the terrorist explosion killing 237 marines in Beirut? Then why not celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Orwell’s fateful date to provide a retrospective, and answer whether or not Orwell wrote about the future conquest of Britain and America by the Soviet Union under Josef Stalin? Or whether Orwell arrived at his title by reversing the final two digits of 1948, the year when ostensibly he wrote 1984? Or whether we can confirm that the book contains no predictions?" (Read more here)

Orwell's entire works are available online from the University of Adelaide, including his essays.

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