Orwellian predictions

orwellA recent New York Times piece, titled, Why ‘1984’ is a 2017 Must Read, is a bit much. Of course, we could all benefit from the prescient writing of Orwell. I confess, however, that the opening line elicited a groan of exasperation- “The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar.” Suddenly?

I’ve no problem saying that a Trump presidency could create Orwellian scenarios. The article makes an interesting case for such a possibility. I object to the notion that we are only recently faced with invasive, authoritarian government. President Trump didn’t arise from a political vacuum. Political writers (including a few from the Times) have argued that Trump’s presidency is all the more alarming when you consider that it is following decades of unchecked abuse of the Executive office.

I was introduced to Orwell by the late Christopher Hitchens. I think he would have argued that we’ve been neglecting Orwell for quite some time.

 

Children, our deliverers

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child’s.

George Eliot, in Silas Marner.