The Unheeded Message of ‘1984’
George Orwell meant his novel to be a warning, not a prediction—and that warning is relevant in new and unsettling ways.
"What is needed is the right to print what one believes to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail from any side." Orwell. Atlantic essay on the anniversary of 1984.
This essay by George Packer is absolutely brilliant.
"This willing constriction of intellectual freedom... corrupts the ability to think clearly, and it undermines both culture and progress. Good art doesn’t come from wokeness, and social problems starved of debate can’t find real solutions."
Powerful retrospective on Orwell’s 1984 by George Packer
George Orwell meant his novel to be a warning, not a prediction—and that warning is relevant in new and unsettling ways. George Packer writes
"We have met Big Brother and he is us." George Packer on what 1984 means today.
Refraining from tweeting every review but I’m over the moon that George Packer likes The Ministry of Truth. The review’s a wonderful essay in its own right.
“Nothing is gained by teaching a parrot a new word,” Orwell wrote in 1946. “What is needed is the right to print what one believes to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail from any side.” A great piece, please read ever word.
While many on the right and left lash out at those who critique illiberalism on their side by insisting that the other side is worse, George Packer, like George Orwell, sees the common threads in their mutually reinforcing illiberalisms
Packer on Orwell: "[W]hen I recently read the novel again, I wasn’t prepared for its power. You have to clear away what you think you know, all the terminology and iconography... to grasp the original genius and lasting greatness of 1984."
"An authoritarian president who stood the term fake news on its head, who once said, 'What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening,” has given 1984 a whole new life.'" -- George Packer, in
We face “a new kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time. It combines hard nationalism - diversion of frustration & cynicism into xenophobia & hatred - with soft distraction & confusion: a blend of Orwell & Huxley, cruelty & entertainment.”
"When I recently read the novel again, I wasn’t prepared for its power."
Every paragraph in this George Packer review cum essay of Dorian Lynskey’s “bio” of Orwell’s “1984” packs a wallop
"Today the problem is too much information from too many sources, with a resulting plague of fragmentation and division—not excessive authority but its disappearance, which leaves ordinary people... at the mercy of their own prejudices and delusions."
"The crucial issue is not that Trump might abolish democracy but that Americans have put him in a position to try. Unfreedom today is voluntary. It comes from the bottom up."
George Packer on Orwell, 1984, and “progressive doublethink” is one of the finest essays I’ve read in the Trump era.
Has "1984" Just Arrived Late ...?
Anna Gát ✨
Orwell is becoming a cliche when he shouldn't. But popularity has this double edge, weakening the effect of the very things it chooses to elevate _for_ their strength, through the very act of elevation. (Isn't information fascinating?) In any case, read
'We are living with a...kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time... combin[ing] hard nationalism—the diversion of frustration & cynicism into xenophobia & hatred—w soft distraction & confusion: a blend of Orwell & Huxley, cruelty & entertainment.'
Great, on target essay from the terrific George Packer. 1984, by George Orwell: On Its Enduring Relevance - The Atlantic
Like George Packer, I also read George Orwell's 1984 recently (just a month ago while on vacation). I suggest reading his powerful essay on the unheeded message of this novel.
“This willing constriction of intellectual freedom will do lasting damage. It corrupts the ability to think clearly, and it undermines both culture and progress.” —George Packer
The fact that George Orwell's _1984_ has been back on the bestseller lists in recent years tells us much both about what's right and about what's wrong with our country right now. So does this fine essay from George Packer.
Read. "Many on the left now share...[a] common assumption that a good work of art is made of good politics and that good politics is a matter of identity. The progressive view of a book or play depends on its political stance...even its subject matter..."
The Ministry of Truth is Facebook, Google, and cable news. We have met Big Brother and he is us. 1984, by George Orwell: On Its Enduring Relevance - The Atlantic
(((Christian JB))) 🐌
George Packer on the doublethink of the left and the right.