Stone Washington
July 15, 2017
What Orwell's "Big Brother" teaches us about America's Shadow Government
By Stone Washington


"Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a Revolution; one makes the Revolution in order to safeguard the dictatorship."

~
George Orwell, 1984

"Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love. In a modern economy it is impossible to seal oneself off from injustice."


~ Julian Assange, Founder of Wikileaks

The widely regarded dystopian classic entitled, 1984, by famous English author George Orwell, begins with this quote: "It was a bright, cold day in April [1984], and the clocks were striking thirteen." Winston Smith arrives at his apartment in London's Victory Mansions where he finds that the elevators are out of order again. A frequent issue during this day in age, occurring in England, now called Airstrip One, and is part of the province known as Oceana. It is one of the three great powers alongside Eurasia and Eastasia, perpetually at war with one another. Each power is dominated by its own leader, with Oceania being controlled by the leader known as Big Brother, the Party whose slogan is: "Big Brother is watching you," as seen on posters throughout the province.

Winston is aware that the television screens in every apartment are watching his every move and evades the cameras into a corner of a room, where he secretly writes in his diary. This is a crime punishable by death because it inspires freedom of thought, going against how the Party conditions everyone to think a certain way in Oceania, being governed by the rules of Ingsoc (English Socialism) and language of Newspeak. Big Brother repetitively conditions all of Oceania these ubiquitous untruths:

War is peace.

Freedom is slavery.

Ignorance is strength.

Winston reluctantly works daily as a writer in the Ministry of Truth, which rewrites history in books, newspapers, and other texts that predate the Revolution, the period in which the Party assumed dominance. Winston harbors a strong sense of anger and dissatisfaction toward Big Brother, feelings of which may lead to future rebellion.


There remains a hierarchy in the society, with a lower-class called prole (i.e. the proletariat) who are viewed as inferior because they show the most human reactions (being spontaneous and maintaining a link to the past before the Party). Members of the ruling class are known as the Inner Party, which are the largest segment of society vs. the Outer Party, whose members (including Winston, white collar workers, and civil servants) are programmed by thought control. Winston refrains from his writing temporarily as he thinks of the "Two-Minutes Hate" period at his work, where workers are encouraged to scream violently at images of Emmanuel Goldstein, who was a former member of the Party but later a revolutionary at conflict with Big Brother.

In the morning, Winston catches a glimpse of a beautiful woman he hadn't ever seen before named Julia and an Inner Party member named O'Brien, whom Winston imagines feels the same rebellious hatred toward Big Brother as he does. Winston later scribbles in a diary "Down with Big Brother," along with furious protests against the regime. That night, Winston dreams about his mother and sister drowning in a sunken ship and worries that they are suffering because of how rebellious he acted toward them in the past. Wintson awakes in the morning to the telescreen ordering him to do his physical jerks, forcing him to do so at a faster pace. Winston longs for the days as a kid when Big Brother did not exist and later the times when the Party was at war with Eurasia, but are now allies. He wonders if the Party really created such innovative inventions such as the airplane, or did it exist prior.

At work, Winston speaks with a researcher named Syme who states that it is the aim of Newspeak to eliminate old words in order to "narrow the range of thought," eradicating the knowledge of Oldspeak by the year 2050. Another instance of the Party's meddling is when Winston hears an announcement about chocolate being raised 20 grams a week when last week he heard that it would be secretly reduced 20 grams week, a manipulative tactic known as doublethink to deceive the masses. Winston believes the only hope of revolution lies with the proles and later ventures to London where he speaks with an old man who mentions that he only has fragmented memory of pre-Party History in the past. Winston revisits the shop owned by Charrington, where he bought his diary, and the owner shows him his upstairs furnished by antiques from before the revolution, void of any telescreens.


Later, Winston meets Julia, the woman he had seen from the Pornsec division of the Ministry of Truth. The two speak about their connection with Big Brother, prompting Winston to at first perceive that Julia is not actively rebelling against the Party. But as they walk together, Julia trips, prompting Winston to help her up and receives a letter from her with the message: "I love you," signifying that she doesn't actually follow the Party rules, since no emotions, other than fear or hate, are allowed in Oceania. From that day on, Winston begins dating Julia in secret tree-enclosed areas where they remain hidden from cameras or heard by microphones, and begins a series of sexual encounters with almost animal-like energy. Winston recounts how his former wife only sought sex to produce a child, and left him when they failed to do so, leaving Winston to be celibate ever since. Winston and Julia rent a room over Charrington's shop so that they can enjoy their love making in private, and Winston reveals his horror of rats as one scurries across the floor.

O'Brien later pays Winston a compliment on his knowledge of Newspeak and gives him a copy of the latest Newspeak dictionary. This prompts Winston to suspect that this unusual gesture is a sign of a conspiracy against the Party. Winston remembers his child-hood days when he was an 11-12 year-old youth in his Family after his Father disappeared to fight in England's civil war. Winston recalls how he pushed his poor Mother to give him more food than she could provide. One day when the Family stumbled upon a piece of chocolate, Winston seized it and ate it all without sharing it among his sisters, before running away and later never seeing them again, as they were likely abducted and sent to a concentration camp. He realizes that the Party suppresses Family relationships and insists to Julia that the two promise to never betray one another.

Winston and Julia visit O'Brien at his home one day, who is relaxing and eating good food with a servant, even capable of turning off his telescreen that links to Big Brother. Winston toasts to news of Goldstein's supposed revolt with O'Brien while confessing his opposition to Big Brother. Along with Julia, the pair confess that they are willing to commit suicide in order to defeat the party. O'Brien promises to give Winston a copy of Goldstein's new book entitled: "The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism," but is referred to merely as "the book." Later that afternoon, as Winston reads to Julia aloud from Goldstein's book about how the Party keeps power by forcing everyone into a state of ignorance and poverty, there is a voice at the door yelling "you are the dead!" It is Charrington, who turns out to be a double-agent for the Thought Police, having monitored the pair since they rented his room, followed by a rush of uniformed police officers that kick down the door and take Julia away.

Winston is also abducted and transported to Minluv (the Ministry of Love) where he observes other prisoners, such as a father who was betrayed by his own daughter after she heard him say "Down with Big Brother" in his sleep. He also sees a terrified man who yells to be freed, after admitting that he would allow his own children to take his place when carried to the mysterious room 101. Winston is placed into an electric chair for questioning by O'Brien, revealed to have been a double-agent and fanatic for Big Brother. Winston admits to the many fabricated crimes against him by the Party. O'Brien holds up four fingers while asking how many fingers he is holding up, to which Winston states "four," but receives an electric shock every time he doesn't say five like the Party demands him to, according to O'Brien. The electroshock deadens Winston's mind, and O'Brien tells him that Big Brother does indeed exist and that Julia betrayed him. O'Brien admits that he wrote the fictitious book under Goldstein's name while stating that the Party desires power for its own sake, not for the well-being of the people.

Winston surrenders to the Party but refuses to abandon his love for Julia. O'Brien then transports Winston to room 101, and places two rats on Winston's head (having known his major fear of rats), which forces Winston to lose his composure and yell: "Do it to Julia!" Later, when the two are released, Winston is seated in the Chessnut Tree bar, a broken man drinking gin and confused of the past. He sees Julia, and the two admit to having betrayed each other, as the tune of the telescreen plays "Under the spreading chessnut tree/ I sold you and you sold me." Now Winston is left a shell of his former self, believing 2+2=5, while only displaying a love for Big Brother instead of Julia.


Modern Day Big Brother

There are many undeniable truths and parallels between George Orwell's dystopian classic 1984 and 21st Century America. Perhaps the greatest similarity between the two worlds lies in Big Brother's totalitarian surveillance state in the story vs. America's shadow government, in-part within the form of multiple rogue intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and most notably the CIA, surveilling American's private affairs via personal devices. Similar to Big Brother manipulating all telescreens and microphones to see and hear virtually everything occurring in Oceania, so has the CIA been secretly surveilling and collecting private data from hacking into millions of Americans' cell phones, laptops, computers, televisions, and etc. According to a revelatory series of leaks by Wikileaks, titled Vault 7, "Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation." This data allows the possessor to potentially control all of the CIA's hacking technology, and along with "zero day," is capable of sprouting weaponized exploits against a broad scope of American and European tech giant company products, including: Apple's iPhone, Microsoft's Windows, Google's Android, and even Samsung TVs and phones, which are turned into covert microphones.

How can the CIA's hacking be so effective and widespread you may ask? Vault 7 reveals how since 2001 the CIA has developed budgetary and political dominance over the NSA, which has allowed the CIA's hacking division the liberty of not having to disclose its often contentious findings to the National Security Agency. This correlates to how Big Brother developed an invasive syndicate of surveillance technology within every citizens' "private" telescreen and microphone to essentially analyze their every movement and encounter 24/7 to ensure they always remain servile to the Party. A key segment of Vault 7 that describes the CIA's newly developed surveillance powers are as follows,
    "By the end of 2016, the CIA's hacking division, which formally falls under the agency's Center for Cyber Intelligence (CCI), had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, trojans, viruses, and other "weaponized" malware. Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its "own NSA" with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified."
Julian Assange, the Founder of Wikileaks, personally expressed deep concerns of the CIA's breach of power in their expanded hacking capacity, downplaying the legitimacy of the intelligence agency in a chain of statements within Vault 7's extensive revelations. But the CIA and NSA aren't the only rogue entities comprising America's shadow government. The State department is another major example of an American entity imposing Big Brother-like dominance in the political realm, as seen when Wikileaks released classified documents on Patrick Kennedy's illegal quid pro quo cover-up of Hillary Clinton. The State officials who controlled the release of Kennedy and Clinton's emails even called itself "The Shadow Government." Another instance involves Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa) openly accusing former President Obama of running a Shadow Government from his new home in Washington to undermine the new Trump Administration.


Evidence of modern day Shadow gov. double-agents can be seen by the dozens of often unnamed government officials leaking classified information to private individuals, including most notably former FBI Director James Comey (whom President Trump personally called a "leaker" and "nut job"), and former head of the DOJ Loretta Lynch, who secretly met with Bill Clinton just days before the FBI would release information on their investigation of Hillary Clinton's email leaks and also told the FBI to refer to the Hillary Clinton email probe as a "matter," not an investigation. Info Wars even revealed information about Democratic and Republican officials in defense of the Globalist movement, having met in secret to plot a violent coup to overthrow President Trump in his emergent Administration. The Deep State stretches its expansive tentacles all throughout multiple sectors of U.S government to promote corruptible acts and ensure elitist officials remain uncompromised for the illegality of their breach of power, just like Big Brother harboring a hidden network of Inner Party double-agents, such as O'Brien and Charrington, ready to sprout a trap upon any unsuspecting Party member, such as Winston and Julia, suspected of revolt.

In conclusion, America must be aware of the growing danger of the prospect behind the threat of a Shadow Government in Washington. As Wikileaks continually exposes controversial leaked documents such as Vault 7 documents, Info Wars revealing instances of Congressmen speaking in private about undermining Trump's Administration, and certain Congressmen like Rep. Kelly warning of the threat of Obama's hold-over Shadow Government derailing Trump's Presidency before it even establishes itself. The threat of a 1984 Orwellian Shadow Government existing in America is evident in these and multiple other instances of corrupt political officials exercising their own form of power from behind the scenes, to ensure their intentions are carried through, even long after they exit the political spotlight. To conquer this shadowy threat from within the nation, America would be wise to follow in the many ground-breaking revelations made by such entities as Info Wars and Wikileaks, while remembering the wise words of the modern-day prophet: Julian Assange:


*N.B: This essay is based in part on a synopsis of Orwell's dystopia: 1984, contained in, Dr. W. John Campbell, Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics (Fall River, 2000), pp. 553-560.

© Stone Washington

 

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Stone Washington

Stone Washington is a Junior History Major at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina, home of the 2016 College Football National Champions. Stone is a five-year alumnus of Envision Leadership Conferences, an exclusive program built around inviting the most accomplished students from across the World and establishing America's next generation of leaders through academic programs designed to foster a readiness in multiple sectors of society, including: politics, law, business, medicine, and economics.... (more)

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