Dystopian Doublethink

doublethink

I saw this ripped and fading poster on an old hoarding along some railway arches this morning, and the topical poignancy of the Orwellian reference was not lost on me: ‘War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength’.

We read 1984 at school, and I remember finding the whole concept of doublethink really confusing to get my head around – how could two diametrically-opposing, conflicting or contradictory ideas both be accepted as being true at exactly the same time? It simply didn’t make sense, and yet here we all are in 2017, in danger of being bombarded and bullied and brainwashed into submission as  doublethink has apparently become the new political norm…

Oceania as imagined by Orwell in 1948 may well have been a fictional futuristic dystopia – he could presumably have plucked any year rather than simply transposing the date to give 1984 – but ominously it feels increasingly not only that Big Brother is indeed watching every move we make on either side of the ocean, but also that doublethink is fast becoming the new alt-truth.

It worries me greatly that in democratically-dysfunctional societies such as ours, based on elitist illusion and fuelled by fear and division, suspicion and mistrust, the potential reality of each of us sooner or later coming face-to-face with the horror of our own personalised torture in Room 101 may be growing far too close for comfort…

 

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