Yeah, so everyone
's always talking about how 1984
was an example of how things AREN'T supposed to be
. Well, I don't quite know what's so bad about it. There are a lot of things in the book that we could learn from
, there are a lot of things that are actually better than they are here. And here I go...
First of all, Newspeak isn't so bad for these reasons:
A: The fox from The Little Prince said, "Words are the source of all misunderstanding." In Newspeak there are fewer words, and more ideas bound to single words. Good, well-done, fine, pretty, acceptable, excellent, marvelous, beautiful, bad, shitty, fucking terrible, horrendous...all have their root in the ideas and emotions that they conjure. In Newspeak you can take all of these words and sum them up in the range of double plus ungood, all the way up to double plus good. One word and it's prefixed words, in-fact one word, can sum up without misunderstanding, countless emotions.
B: There's a concept in linguistics that says that if I try, in English, to explain an emotion to a person who speaks German, and there is no German word for it...then that emotion doesn't exist to the listener. If there is no word for something abstract...it simply isn't. Therefore, if all people simply spoke Newspeak you'd gain the advantages of point 1, as well as the ability to be universally understood. This could lead to some simple, though astounding poetry.
Second, they were efficient:
A: They had a clear delegation of power. The Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the proles. You knew, in that world, where you stood, and who you stood above (or beneath). You knew, without political bullshit, your position for your life. This would lead to an easier acceptance of the unalterable truths of life.
B: They didn't wait for enemies to appear, they created enemies in a controlled environment. Through active dissemination of Goldstein's Manifesto they discovered, in a controlled sense, those people who had the potential to become traitors rather than allowing that potential to be spent in uncontrolled action against Big Brother.
C: They were efficient in destruction of the offenders as well. Unlike the Inquisition, which tortured and killed the disagreers, the Party sought to destroy ideas. The methods used by the Party were heinous to the extreme, but they got the job done. They molded people into things that were not able to be called martyrs, but were still made "inactive."
Thirdly, they were in many ways, more honest than our government. The Inner Party actually sought security for the Party and the "advancement of their culture." The Party actively fished out people who, if even subconsciously, opposed them. They also organizedly sought to perfect Newspeak. Our government officials, however, claim to seek security for the nation and claim to want the advancement of culture. We, however, are all too familiar with officials cutting throats and breaking backs for the scent of power and the grace of the almighty dollar.
Finally, the book shows a horrible time in the transition from one cultural norm to another. Transitions are painful and a few eggs have to be broken in order to make an omelette. Look at the Inquisition or the Revolutionary War, the Bolshevik Revolution or even things like animal testing. These are things in our history that, at the time, the practicioners thought were right and in some cases lead to a great betterment of society even though they were painful for society as a whole. Anything, if made absolute and followed to an end, leads to perfection.
The country portrayed in 1984 is just like our country, or any other civilization during its birth. The Party is guilty only of seeking perfection, just like any other government, and in many ways, sought perfection more efficiently than we do.
Remember, ours is not the only right way.