This post is a spin off of WordPress’ daily prompt 1984 – you’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.
The year is 1984. I am a member of the Outer Party and spend my time in the Records Department as part of the Ministry of Truth, rewriting and distorting history to best serve my master. I work for Big Brother out of fear, not because I believe in His brainwashing tactics to direct human morals, values and freedoms. But I just can’t fight the system.
Cameras live among us, as conspicuous as the morning blue jay. Drones in the sky. Traffic monitoring. GPS tracking. Human chipping. And more. Oh, there’s so much more, all of which record daily routines in public and private places alike, right outside our homes and inside our bathrooms. A disapproving stare from the neighbor reminds me that if I step out of line, even once, Big Brother will know. No place is private. No place is safe. No place is home.
Peace, justice and acceptance have been replaced with order, tyranny and distrust. Freedom of individuality, speech and religion have vanished with my right to vote, protect my family and choose. Hunger, forced labor and the threat of mass execution control citizens. I’m held captive in a state of propaganda and political control.
I search for an outlet, a window of hope to mask despair. I begin to journal, an outward act of treason that’s punishable by torture or even death. Soon I am discovered by an underground Brotherhood that’s bravely fighting against our powerful political regime that rules with iron-clad groupthink dominance. After years of dedication to the cause, I discover the Brotherhood is nothing more than a sham, an underground human telemonitor reporting back to Big Brother base and exposing any plans of revolt.
Escape is impossible and conformity is inevitable. I am broken. I am 1984.
Sound familiar? Although exaggerated, it should. This daily prompt is meant to elicit discomfort and induce anger… even fear, the kind of uncomfortable response George Orwell desired from readers of 1984, Oceania and Animal Farm. A true literary genius, Orwell used his published works as a political pulpit to reveal the ugly truth about the concept of societal utopia, repression of the human spirit and the evanescence of identity. While 1984 was written post World War II with Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union as muses of destruction, many of the controversial platforms unveiled, examined and deemed unfit for the preservation of humanity are deeply rooted all around us, including societies that hide behind an illusion of democracy.
Government and religious fanatics rule by the hand of fear. Refugees seek freedom. Disease, poverty and violence rape our nations. Sexual orientation and gender rights are suppressed by church and state. Racism runs deeper than ever. There is a complete disregard, abuse, sexual exploitation and demoralization of women and children. Unrestrained hate, evil and terrorism turn friends, families, neighbors and entire communities against each other in civil and world war. Children are kidnapped from their villages, torn away from their families then brainwashed, trained and expected to carry out the duties of a child soldier.
Has societal evolution created a perfect storm for invasion of privacy and rights, the advancement of hate, complete control and inevitable demise?