George Orwell's "1984" already a reality?
Kremlin spokeswoman rages about "fantasy world" of the West
Created: 12/19/2022, 5:28 p.m
By: Patrick Freiwah
Close-up of George Orwell's 1984 novel: is dystopia already a reality?
© UJ Alexander/Imago
At an event, Kremlin spokeswoman Zakharova claimed that things in the West would be like George Orwell's dystopia "1984".
It's the opposite of the local narrative.
Who is right?
Moscow/Munich - The novel is considered one of the most important literary works in terms of vision of the future: "1984" by British author George Orwell (1903 - 1950).
At an event, Kremlin spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented on an explosive question from one of those present: How do you react as a Russian citizen when relatives or acquaintances in the West compare Russia with the dystopian world from Orwell's novel?
The Russian diplomat, who regularly comments on the events of the Ukraine war, responded emotionally to address the alleged misconduct of Western, democratic countries: "George Orwell did not write about the USSR.
The man wrote about the society in which he lived and the collapse of the ideas of liberalism.” Zakharova said that Russians should tell their acquaintances: “You in the West live in a fantasy world where a man can be canceled just like that.”
George Orwell's 1984 novel: That's what the writer's work is about
The dystopian classic "1984", published in 1949, describes a totalitarian society organized by an authoritarian state power with perfect surveillance.
The resulting slogan "Big brother is watching you" became known.
The novel is also about propaganda, through which the population is made subservient and which also likes to distract from domestic political problems - for example a dilapidated infrastructure and inadequate supplies.
Parts of this description fit political structures in countries like Russia, China or North Korea.
The narrative from Russia shows the opposite picture.
In George Orwell's novel, freedom of the press and freedom of science do not exist because the government's course is strictly followed and those who think differently are hounded.
In Orwell's dystopia, people lead sparse lives without realizing that the basic necessities are lacking, and those who protest are caught and punished by the "thought police".
Incidentally, China is regarded as the pioneer of “total surveillance”.
The Middle Kingdom introduced a social credit system that scares many people - but is also suitable as a future scenario for our society:
"1984": George Orwell's novel conquers electronic bestseller lists in Russia
A few days ago it was announced that the novel was the most popular fiction download in Russia in 2022 on the platform of the online bookseller LitRes, as well as the second most popular download overall, according to the state news agency Tass.
Because in Russia, too, people are being put on a war course.
Another point of "1984" (aka "Nineteen Eighty-Four") that people around the world see as a grim prophecy: A specially designed "Ministry of Truth" is falsifying the story, telling it only in parts and targeting one at a time suitable enemy of the government.
In this system, totalitarian rulers take away any freedom of choice from their citizens, also to maintain support for senseless wars.
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The propaganda serves as a brainwashing, as a result of which the citizens of a state no longer even believe what they could see with their own eyes or what is scientifically proven - when in doubt, simply follow the government line without questioning right and wrong.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, will address British author George Orwell's dystopia "1984" at an event.
© Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs/imago-images
"1984" by George Orwell: The model was the personality cult surrounding dictator Stalin
When Orwell's "1984" came out, Nazism had just been defeated and the West's "Cold War" was germinating with its one-time ally Joseph Stalin and the Soviet communist bloc he led.
Until 1988, "1984" was completely banned in the Soviet Union, in 2022 a new edition appeared in Russian.
Like Maria Zakharova, translator Darya Tselovalnikova said in early summer: “Orwell, in his worst nightmares, could never have guessed that the era of 'liberal totalitarianism' or 'totalitarian liberalism' was coming in the West and that people would become – separate, quite isolated Individuals – behave like an angry herd.” Even if Russia means the development of countries like Germany, Great Britain or the USA: The model for Orwell's idea of “Big Brother” was the personality cult of dictator Stalin, whose ideology the population “War means peace “ trimmed.
Many people today see parallels in the rule of President Vladimir Putin, who in two decades in power has almost eradicated the political opposition in Russia and critical media.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to new laws making it a crime, among other things, to publish information about the Ukraine war that contradicts official statements.
However, instead of using the term “war”, the Kremlin continues to use the phrase “military operation” in the crisis-ridden neighboring country.
Meanwhile, a chilling picture shows what humans might look like in less than 1,000 years.