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Showing posts from September, 2015

What is 'Orwellian'?

Ever since the Snowden leaks – and even before them – we've been hearing the word ‘Orwellian’ to describe the state of surveillance we're living under. But what exactly does the word ‘Orwellian’ mean? What was George Orwell so afraid of and that he cautioned us against?Reading two of his definitive books – ‘Nineteen Eighty-four’ and ‘Animal Farm’ – I cannot believe that Orwell was afraid of increasing surveillance. I believe that Orwell was afraid of something more. In the world described in ‘Nineteen Eighty-four’, constant, never-ending surveillance is only tiny part – a means to an end. The end what is scarier.Moreover, I refuse to believe that the word ‘Orwellian’ should be used to describe just one tiny component of one novel written. No, I believe that the description should apply to a broader concept.I believe that to understand the term ‘Orwellian’, one must look to the earlier story – ‘Animal Farm’. Indeed, I think that ‘Animal Farm’ really sets the stage for the ideas…