We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, July 4, 2019

No Longer Fiction: Orwell’s 1984 is the Reality of Our Times

Click here to access article by Robert Bridge from 21st Century Wire.

Because Orwell, a British veteran of the Spanish Civil War, finally realized the reason why the "democratic" Western nations did not come to the aid of a democratically elected government in Spain while fascist nations were attacking it, and wrote about his awakening in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the warnings were tragically ignored. We are now living in the world he imagined in the late 1940s. Could it be that the ruling classes of Western "democratic" nations wanted their own empire? Could it be that WWII ended up as a kind of civil war between ruling capitalist classes of the fascist countries of the Axis and the Anglo-American wannabees?

Do you think that Bridge learned the lessons of this prescient book when he asks questions like these?
The book ends with the words, “He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” Will we too declare, like Winston Smith, our love for ‘Big Brother’ above all else, or will we emerge victorious against the forces of a technological tyranny that appears to be just over the horizon? Or is Orwell’s 1984 just really good fiction and not the instruction manual for tyrants many have come to fear it is? [my emphasis]
Yes, indeed, time is running out for all of us because most people, like Bridge, have consistently asked the wrong questions ever since Orwell wrote the book. What are the "forces of technology"? Technology are essentially sophisticated tools, whereas capitalism is a system that privileges owners of economies over the rest of us, and thus capitalist ruling classes have used technology to secure and protect their system of privileges and power.