George Orwell described in his book “1984”, written in 1948, a dystopian world in which government control is close to absolute and even thoughts are regulated. It is accepted, and even common, for politicians to say one thing and mean another (“WAR IS PEACE”) and under the guise of patriotism, the people are made to buy and even participate in their own spoon-fed abuse.
In several ways, our society creeps nearer that “Orwellian nightmare” with every change we accept, but there is one aspect I’ve been walking around in my head with ever since I had a couple of American teachers sleep over in my home. They described how their education system spends years and years describing their civil war to them, while the Vietnam war got little more spotlight than a page in a history book.
Orwell proceeds to describe in his book, how the nation’s only political party fundamentally changes history books and records, up to the point where no one could possibly make out if a certain event occurred or not. Wars are made up, others are silenced. Not a single written source can be trusted anymore, up to the point where newspapers are changed on a day-to-day basis to deny things that obviously occurred, but in retrospect simply believed not to. If the newspapers say a riot did not take place, it did not take place, despite the fact that there is blood on the streets.
My colleagues and I were driving to work earlier this year, and the radio told us that the last, first world war survivor had died. The others in the car didn’t get why I found that a terrible thing. This officially means that as of that day, no one on the planet saw what had happened. From that point on, we would have to trust the writing of someone else and the government’s approval. Original sources will inevitably fade over time, and so will the testimony of one of mankind’s most gruesome events.
God forbid, we will forget.
Have you ever noticed how in movies and computer games, there is a distinction in value of life? How children are never killed, for example. The only beings that can be mindlessly submitted to a full-blown genocide are aliens, robots, and Nazis. Because nothing can be as truly evil as one of these. Right?
It gets my goat a little how people can deeply believe that all Nazis were heartless, because while doing that, they not only assume that such a thing is impossible to re-occur, but also let themselves be told to fundamentally dislike a “competing” regime. It’s a major theme in “1984” and if more people would read that book, maybe they would see how heavily influenced they are by anti-fascism propaganda.
I know this for a fact: the percentage of Nazis that was truly evil does not exceed that of the average country; just like Nestlé employees never asked for their company to pump up source water from underneath native tribes and sell it back to them in bottles.
Try this on for a change: What if the holocaust never happened? What if the Germans were struggling for survival just as any other nation, and got mauled? Wouldn’t it be awfully convenient for our governments today to divert attention from modern infringes of human rights by creating a much more evil, common enemy? Wouldn’t it be practical, to compare your political opponent with Hitler, and obviously down and deeply evil tyrant?
Is there anyone reading this, who can claim otherwise through first hand experience? I didn’t think so.
I would like to point out that I am not denying the holocaust, because oh the irony, it is illegal to do so. Now wait a beat, and think that through.
It is, illegal, to claim history did not happen the way our government tells us.
I seem to be the only one who thinks that is a reason for concern. Now, again, I am not saying it did, because I simply don’t know. I too am in a position where I have no other source of information than state controlled education and approved books. Anyone denying the holocaust would not even get the chance to come up with solid proof.
On the other hand, this does not mean it is all untrue. There are still enough second world war survivors to testify what really happened. And even if there weren’t; a common mistake to make is to assume falsification of information by the government, and then blindly swallow every single shabby conspiracy theory they throw at you. Skepticism should be maintained at all times, including in the search for alternatives. In fact, it is much more counter-productive to call undue bullshit, because it distorts the actual truth all the more.
In Orwell’s book, the protagonist believes, just as I do, that there is a truth “out there” and reality can not be changed to something else. It can however, be rendered irrelevant to today’s situation. If every living soul believes one thing, it simply doesn’t matter anymore if something else happened. If a tree falls in the forest, it certainly makes a sound, but the problem is that no one is aware of it. It could be the very last black oak on the entire planet; if no one cares, it doesn’t matter.
So, care. Know. Remember.
Think for yourself.
Think for yourself.
Lest we forget.
If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, it technically doesn’t make a sound. It does cause vibrations in the air and ground, but these aren’t defined as “sound” until they are perceived and identified as such.
Now you know.
A series of discussions recently have made me reconsider my views regarding the things I fight for, or in this particular case, the things I fight against.
I am an anarchist. It was the political view I found closest to mine when I was still a child, I did not adopt its name and icons because I wanted to be part of some group or other. In fact, in boarding school, it was safe to say it was a very unpopular opinion to have.
Some things within our society are very wrong. I brought them up before and I’m not going to again, but I am soundly convinced that my arguments are not just “cafe politics” and would indeed realistically change our society for the better. If you want to hear them, ask. I will take questions afterward.
I fight for these ideas. I refuse to vote, I support squatters and anarchists where I can, and try to live a lifestyle with a bare minimum of consumerism. But the one thing I don’t do nearly as much as I would like, is protest.
What bothers me greatly is that both those on and off the streets don’t seem to realize what protest is about, what its effects are, and why they are relevant. Countless time I have to hear that it’s not worth it, things won’t change, and today’s society has different interests than idealism. They call us naive, in their ignorance.
In response, I call them blind. They fail to see further than today, or their own porch. They take what they have for granted, without even considering how they got it. If only they would bother to see things into context, they would see how rich in change our history is. If you just consider a brief period like the last 100 years, the amount of change that came to pass across the whole globe is staggering.
Voting rights for women.
Equal rights for every race.
Education in our native language.
Do you think these came with the package? Do you think these rights were obtained by passive observance? Can you, in all honesty, say that today’s society has reached a point in which improvement is no longer necessary, or even favorable??
Here’s your answer: We are the many. We have the power. No tyrant, let alone democratic government can ignore the call of the people who rise. We will have it our way, if only we unite and agree on a cause worth fighting for. It is the first and last step towards the perfect society: a goal that can’t be reached but is still worth striving for. Even those companies supposedly only in it for the profit, will listen. Not because their eyes will be opened and they will spend fortunes on sustainable and ethically justifiable products, but because we are their target audience and they will give us what we ask for. The same goes for the media, who is not out to control us or keep us dumb, but show us what we want to see. Our government cannot ignore the call of its people, not without grave consequences in the next elections, something they won’t risk.
If we want it our way, we will have it our way. Those that rather sit and watch are the naive ones, to think that the whole world will proceed them, and demonstrate how it’s done like a flock of sheep they only have to follow. They are so used to doing as they are told, that they forget to think for themselves and see that this world will not improve or even stay livable, without those raising their voices and igniting public awareness. They are the heroes of tomorrow, and to call them naive is to boast your status of herd animal and render yourself utterly useless in the progress of humanity.
It is not as important to protest, not by a long shot, as it is to realize why protest is important. Public awareness is _everything_. At least realize that before spending time and energy denying the effects of those who sacrificed for your comfort.