Sure, 1984 is about totalitarianism, but, on a more subtle level still, Orwell's prophetic novel is about ideology in all its forms.O'Brien:It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.Winston:How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four."O'Brien:Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.
I never thought about it in that way before so thanks to you for pointing that at (confirmation bias makes it easy for me to believe )Sure, 1984 is about totalitarianism, but, on a more subtle level still, Orwell's prophetic novel is about ideology in all its forms.
For instance, when applied to the world religion, that of humanism, we can re-read O'Brien:
"it is impossible to see reality the way everyone else sees it unless you believe the central tenets of our creed; the first and foremost of these being:
1. human life is the ultimate explanation for why everything is here
2. human life is sacred, no matter what state of degradation or decrepitude
3. human consciousness is a privileged point of view by means of which we comprehend - in the fullest sense of the term - the cosmos, comprehend and hold sway over, as if by divine right (read: "natural law")."
All three articles of faith are no more than that: questionable, dubious at best, ridiculous and obviously and outlandishly false at worst.
All three are hardly ever questioned by hardly anyone.
Behold, ideology at work, no less insidious, no less pervasive than that depicted in the dystopian vision of 1984.
Thanks for the thought-provoking excerpt, Super Sonic, from one of last century's towering intellects.