alright..i know this is a POETRY site...but i've tried several different forums for idea and most people dont take it seriously and give me answers that dont help in any way...
so i need some help with george orwell's 1984, my teacher's assignment was: "write a paper on how to defeat big brother." I have spent hours on end thinking about it and cannot come up with an answer. i would appreciate ANY help at all...
Chris, I'm being as serious as I can be about this suggestion. If you buy the premise of the book, you cannot defeat big brother. It's almost as if the government is all knowing and all powerful. But if you are dreaming and can visualize an escape, the only way to defeat big brother on a personal level would be to escape from the society in which big brother exists. This could be done by going to an island, or primitive land where no organized political regime is in power.
Good luck with your assignment.
yeah...that's along the lines of what i was thinking, but i know if i ask my teacher if i'm on the right track he'll say, "oh, YOU think so, huh." and then walk away... heh, i love this teacher, but he can be so frustrating.
Chris, some people can't be pleased. Don't lose any sleep over it. Just do the best you can and move on.
The way to defeat Big Brother is to work within the system
The way to defeat Big Brother is to work within the system
Johnny politicians always tell you that: "If you want to change the system, become part of it." But from a purely psychological stance why would any power structure allow its members to destroy it?
That's the fallacy of law schools. Many young lawyers enter the political arena at a relatively young age thinking that they WILL change the system. But once the paychecks (and political contributions) start rolling in, their attitude begins to change.
And those who stick to their guns and really do try to push through radical legislation find they can't get it done alone. Catch-22, they need the system to stay in power.
I'm sticking with the Gilligan solution on this one.
Merely a suggestion for a n approach
The way to defeat Big Brother is to work within the system
Not a bad one, it's just that I'm a bit skeptical these days about what changes can take place in large organizations.
"you cannot defeat big brother" Fortunately that was true only in fiction.
It's no good, if you can't eat it.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2006 02:57PM by Veronika.
It's no good, if you can't eat it.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2006 02:58PM by Veronika.
How to defeat big brother:
Become a real fan of the system, become a technical expert, climb the hierarchy, put through some technical bug, which eventually will make the whole system crumbling down without anyone knowing it was you. As you are a trusted person in the hierarchy by now, you take control, and slowly put through some changes. (nothing is impossible in hollywood stories)
Hey, it's your story, you can defeat the system any way you wish! Your teacher probably does not have a real idea either. He just wishes to be pleasantly surprised by your imagination. Also, don't forget to put in some remarks and clues referring to the book to show you actually read it. That will certainly give bonuses.
The way to defeat Big Brother is to continually battle against the corruption of language. That was Orwell's message in "1984" and just about everything else he wrote.
Gordon Smith, the protagonist in "1984," worked in the government's Ministry of Truth (talk about corrupted language!) and his job was to eradicate words banned by the government from all publications, current and historical, and to replace them with the accepted terminology of Newspeak.
Through the corruption of language, the government was able to stifle innovative thought and thereby reduce the possibility of conflict from within. And they were very effective since Smith's attempt to defy the totalitarian state was eventually crushed. This really underlined Orwell's central premise that to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political rebirth. But when the language has been corrupted and tailored as severely as it was in "1984," clear thought is virtually impossible. Thus, totalitarian states thrive.
How to defeat big brother.
I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you. No, not really. The real answer is to join up with Emmanuel Goldstein’s group, the Brotherhood.
Not than anyone needs to actively defeat them, of course. They will self destruct, as witness the recent demise of the Soviet Union. China still survives, you say? And Cuba as well? See me later on that.
After completing an American History class, and doing some research on the Glorious Revolution in England, I'm optimistic that Big Brother can be defeated. It just seems so impossible in our current lethargic generation that takes what is handed to them and most don't even bother to vote. But I believe that revolution is possible. Look at the situation in Slovakia (was it Slovakia?). We just need something worth fighting for.
He doesn't like to be ignored or discredited; bin the telly; laugh at his vanities.
I think what joseph r. torelli pointed out is key:
"But when the language has been corrupted and tailored as severely as it was in "1984," clear thought is virtually impossible. Thus, totalitarian states thrive. "
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/13/2006 02:59PM by Veronika.
Oops, my apologies - the protagonist in "1984" is Winston Smith. Gordon Smith is my dentist.
so what name does he use to register at short-stay motels?
One other note on Orwell: His essay, "Politics and the English Language," though written nearly 60 years ago, is still the quintessential statement (I think) on the importance and necessity of using clear and precise language. If you are interested in reading it, go here:
Thanks, Joseph, for that link.
Here's part of the conclusion:
I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don't know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits... [George Orwell, 1946 essay, "Politics and the English Language"]
NOTE - Orwell started working on the novel "1984" after writing this essay,* so it's not too much of a stretch to say that he was continuing to think about the frightening implications of the decay (and the deliberate disabling) of language.
From there, it's not too far to jump to the idea that this essay presents HOW ORWELL THINKS YOU CAN DEFEAT BIG BROTHER. But of course you have to start generations before the arrival of Big Brother per se.
Thus - it is for US, NOW to defeat Big Brother, and not wait until we can see the whites of his eyes.
* I don't just KNOW things like that. I look them up in order to SOUND as if I know everything.
Yeah, Marian, knowing how to find information is almost as important as having internalized such.
Back to Orwellian society. The idea he was fostering is that we'd better do something in the 50's to prevent 1984. Looking back on it, I'd say the powers that be are too entrenched for anything but a wholesale turnabout to change the order of things in the developed countries of the world.
To me the whole topic of language control is one that strikes a chord. What did Charles Manson do to his charges, besides fill them with drugs? He made them speak his praises with no dissention, whatsoever.
We needn't look very far here in the US to see how language gets corrupted. Our President just returned from a 60-day whirlwind tour to tout his plans for saving Social Security. When he started the tour, his plan was known as "privatization" of accounts. Finding that word to be in disfavor with the public (after several polls), it was changed overnight to "personal accounts." Worse, members of the press are now severely criticized by the White House if they dare use "privatization."
I'm sure we have a Winston Smith somewhere in the bowels of a Washington bureaucratic office building, a gallon white-out in hand, busily going about eradicating "privatization" from all literature and replacing it with "personal accounts."
That's just one example. Can anybody think of others? They needn't be governmental or political in nature, or limited to the US, but it would help in emphasizing Orwell's point.
There's the term "nuclear option" regarding the senate filibuster being changed to the "constitutional option" because of negative polling.
What about "pro-life" and "pro-choice"?
What about "pro-life" and "pro-choice"?
neither of them are
The best true story I know about the deliberate manipulation of language for political gain is about a 1950 election between Claude Pepper and a man named Smathers, who were running for ... I forget what.
The race was looking very close. Smathers made a speech ACCUSING Pepper of being an "extrovert" and of practicing celibacy before marriage.
Nobody knew what the words meant, and opinion swung against Pepper.
Don't take my word for this:
That's a good one, Marian. I guess it's ok to be an extrovert unless you do it in front of people. Many priests have been accused of celibacy lately!
I thought it was Earl Long (Huey's Brother)
and that he called his sister a thespian, and that she matriculated when she was in college
I'll check the link
still looking ! the journey's better than the destination!
Wrong about Long, though eh DID say some pretty funny stuff
he also went nuts
Post Edited (04-29-05 21:16)
I like this one the best:
"Now what shall we say about the man himself?"
I would still say: one mind at a time.
I have read several very good and entertaining historical novels by Parke Godwin who suggests that the fall of feudalism began with the Saxons in England. They defied their Norman conquerers by insisting that they had some rights that their lords had to respect. These Saxons were big on rights. They even had a code that gave their slaves certain rights that their masters could not interfere with. Since the Saxons were really tough to subdue the first time around, and since they had the English longbow---a fearsome weapon in the eyes of the Normans with great penetrating power---their Norman lords didn't push for total domination, but conceded them their rights.
Feudalism sounded like about as tough an institution to overcome as Big Brother's government in 1984. The high-born---the lords---had all the money and all the power. The low-born were serfs and were pretty much considered as property. The lords had an army of mounted knights in armour---professional fighters with equipment no ordinary person could afford---to quell any serf uprisings.
But, somehow, those stubborn Saxons, with their insistance on certain rights, (and their longbows) gradually eroded the powers of the lords and broke the power of feudalism.
Avoiding work as usual
Very interesting, thanks.
I just had a discussion here about the tendency in Europe to imitate the US with granting huge salaries and enormous bonuses to top managers.
A couple of weeks ago, I read in a Dutch newspaper that the government (a liberal government) is looking into making a law against this, as it is not in line with the Dutch culture. I don't think they'll ever manage, but I do think it true. Somehow germanic culture tends to be more egalitarian. (The saxons were germanics too). And all excesses are frowned upon. So, we don't hold for excessive poorness, or excessive richness (and if you are, you are supposed not to show it. The most popular Dutch saying is : doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg, i.e. just act normal, it is strange enough).
The term, "constitutional option" is hadly less ominous to me. It means, Oh, we can always mess with the constitution to get our way.
There is also the "Healthy Forest Restoration Act" that allows the logging of national forests to prevent forest fires. Yup! That's one way to prevent forest fires!
Avoiding work as usual
Here is an exercise for chris: imagine you (Windston Smith) are living today in North Korea, and Kim Jong Il is Big Brother. What do you do? First and foremost is to survive the experience, of course. Beyond that, how do you defeat the Big Jong? Or, do you merely find a way to get the hell outta Dodge?
The final nail in the coffin was the Black Death- when you've got a worker shortage, your workers have to be granted more rights, or they're going to go elsewhere.
I'll take, Reasons For The Decline Of Feudalism for $400, Alex.
Many thanks Veronika for posting 'All The Birds'. It is very sinister, and haunting, I've now read it several times and will look for more of his writings. Also, it's interesting what Desi says about the Dutch government considering making a law against 'huge salaries'. This would probably be a good example of the germanic cultures' tendency toward state control over the individual. There is a valid argument that smaller government and fewer laws tend to allow more freedom for the people.
Re Hugh's "WHAT IF" problem:
I'm replying as an activist, not as a poetry forum-goer.
ONE WAY OF RESPONDING: How do I defeat BIG BROTHER? It would be great if I could join with other like-minded people and strike a blow, but with or without that, what I must do is discover inside myself WHAT I AM CALLED TO DO. My action may be "within the system," or devoted to the well-being of one other person (my child?), or it may be a great symbolic act of martyrdom... but whatever it is, it has to be chosen by me and a deep level. Otherwise I'm just trading one big brother for another.
ANOTHER WAY OF RESPONDING: Hugh's "WHAT IF" is a hypothetical, the stuff of discussion but not action. Change the question. "WHAT IF" you are living in the United States (or Europe, or Australia...) and you know what's happening in North Korea, and you believe that Kim Jong Il is Big Brother?
"If not me, who? If not now, when?"
Little Brother is watching you
and getting into your stuff as well!
There are two points which are the deciding factor as to if Big Brother wins or loses. The first, being language, and the second, the past. In addition to emphasizing the importance of not forgetting the language which allows us to communicate and express our feelings, thoughts, and personality, George Orwell put great emphasis on how if the past is deleted there is no future either. Only the present; a fake, synthetic present. So really there is no present, past, or future. The past is where all the "lessons" lay, where reason is. What is the point of doing anything today, if it means nothing tomorrow? The only way Big Brother wins is if you "love Big Brother." If you forget your language, your past (basically your life), then you love Big Brother because you are stagnant. The only way to over come this is too ask questions, learn from the past, and maintain your own mind.
I agree. Past or memory is almost as important as language.
Personal experiences/memories can be kept safe from the "Big Brother". But history is another matter. Facts may be objective, but the interpretations can differ cosiderably. So the state doesn't even have to lie, make up facts (as in 1984), its historians just leave certain things out. And the offical history taught in schools becomes the past for those who do not question the knowledge from authoritiy.
Glad you liked the poem. I find Zajc' work just too dark, wonderful but terrible at the same time. If you need any help finding more of his work let me know, I'd love to help if I can.
The question is, as Orwell I am sure meant, was to prevent Big Brother, because I believe as the rest, if the society was that way here or there in this day, then who could possibly argue effectively? When is the question due to be answered, I would love to know what the teacher has said on the matter.
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. Is not life a hundred times too short for us to bore ourselves?
You become that which you detest most often without realising it.
I didn't read all the other replies (too late for so much reading) so if I'm repeating someone I'm sorry.
One of the biggest problems with Big Brother's control over the people was that most accepted it too readily. One major trick to not falling for the government's pretty words is to question everything and accept nothing that they say to be true. As for the Gilligan idea: I dont think that there is any way to defeat Big Brother by running from him. You need to look him in the eye and say I REFUSE! When enough people do this, revolution will begin!
"most accepted it too readily"
I think you are on to something. The reasons why people accept such a social order/system are very different.
Safety is a powerful reason. So is economic prosperity. Then there is fear. And propaganda.
It is also very comfortable to have somebody take the burden of responsibility and freedom off your shoulders.
Post Edited (05-08-05 05:01)
It's no good, if you can't eat it.
See the dilemma here is that you are speaking as the people should have before Big Brother came to power. The question was how to defeat him, now that being said, how could one go about its destruction after the fact that B.B. has already arrived?
A preventive approach is far better than a curative one.
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."
(Kurt Vonnegut - Mother Night)
Veronika, you missed what I was saying, I know that a prevention method would be better. The problem is that was not the question asked!
Dear Satirical, what is the relevance of your tag line? You've now appended it three times! Are you trying to say something? What has it got to do with this thread?
My feeling, in earnest, has always been that a wide-scale education of both a liberal arts nature and a classical depth would defeat any would -be Big Brother and his organization. I take this to be the optimistic streak in my thinking, but without some kind of optimism we are condemned to allow others to make our decisions for us.
Funny, I think the opposite. It's because my natural character is pessimistic that I don't trust anyone to make decisions for me. Especially anyone paid a lot of my money to do it, and with no personal interest (ie government)
"a wide-scale education of both a liberal arts nature and a classical depth would defeat any would -be Big Brother and his organization"
YES - BUT!!!
That's precisely why pre-fascist movements always try to control school boards, school librarians, and so forth. "Education of a liberal arts nature" is under attack by the forerunners of Big Brother.
People who sincerely believe in freedom of information do not feel threatened by the teaching of evolution, CATCHER IN THE RYE, etc.
The great divide applies to WHAT EDUCATION MEANS. Is it meant to give students a broad base of knowledge and confidence in their own ability to evaluation information and form opinions? Or is it meant to "protect" students from ideas and information that might make it difficult to mold their minds on a particular model?
BIG BROTHER IS ALIVE AND WELL AND RUNNING FOR THE SCHOOL BOARD.
Evolution for the Halibut
(by Kilgore Trout)
Fanaticism from either side is the true danger
I am certainly open to the suggestion of Intelligent Design
Why the hell not?
Hear! Hear! Yet, here in NJ at least, less than 15% of voters bother to turn out for the typical school board election - a dismal figure. Apathy like this is exactly what nurtures totalitarian governments; it's what gives them encouragement to continue.
I've never seen the US as apathetic as it is right now. We are involved in a war in which the objective (the overthrow of the Iraqi government), ostensibly, has been met; yet hundreds of soldiers have died since we saw the "Mission Accomplished" banner waving in the breeze. Millions continue to be slaughtered in Sudan, more than half the world lives in poverty, and here at home, the distance between the middle class and a new "elite" class of citizens continues to widen.
Does this bother us? Apparently not. The Michael Jackson trial gets far more coverage than any news of when the Sadam Hussein trial might actually take place. We are more concerned over which apprentice Donald Trump will fire next than with why dozens of corporate executives continue to hold their jobs while their companies flounder. We'd rather have our news tainted with the opinions of those presenting it, whether liberal or conservative, than to bother forming our own opinions after carefully considering balanced and objective reporting.
Big Brother has already gained a foothold and nobody seems to have noticed.
"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."
Absolutely. And don't forget the health care crisis, plus I'm sure you've seen the numbers for the SS plan and public schools. I wish I knew what to do besides alienate my conservative friends and be pissed off all the time. I've voted, I've campaigned, I've worked hard, but down here in The Great State OF Texas those who think like me are in a definite minority. But BY GOD those cheerleaders are going to act right! Geez, I'm in need of a soothing poem.
Don't give in; continue to fight the good fight. It really doesn't matter, though, whether those in power are conservative or liberal. I attended many demonstrations in the 60s and early 70s protesting everything from the VietNam War to runaway inflation...and that's when the government was way more liberal than it is today. As Lord Acton proclaimed: "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." It doesn't matter who is at the helm.
it's all right
now is not the time to fight
do you say?
maybe soon, but not today
what to do?
just sit back enjoy the view
when will all?
when our backs against the wall
as is what you said Joe
Some here will be relieved to know that it's not just us Americans who fear Big Brother.
Some people fear Barney Google:
It does too matter who is at the helm now, nationally, state-wide, or locally. I was around during the 60's and 70's, but it's a whole new ball game this time. One thing is for sure. I'm damn sure scared for people who aren't extremely wealthy who will be around when I'm long gone.
Thanks for the contribution, Johnny. I can't say I'm too soothed.
The State of the State of Texas
Sis boom bah
Watch this cutie.
for shaking her booty.
Hey old man
who fought in the war,
Buy your own meds.
Look at my car.
Take this baby
that's been thrown away.
We'd like to have you help but
Wait! Aren't you gay?
You say you've been raped?
That's really a shame.
No 'script for you
In Jesus' name.
Come to my church.
Agree at all cost
If you can't see our point
You're certainly lost.
Glenda....I DID say "there there"
Best I can do in the soothing dept.
Lots of passionate intensity here, that's fer sure. Soothing poem?
I slept the whole blessed morning away
And it was heavenly, sublime --
Just think, if I hadn't slept half the day
I might have wasted all that time.
- May Richstone
Thank, Hugh. Maybe all I need is a good nap.
What do you mean by "independednt"? There are plenty of "left/liberal" opinions weaved into those articles. Fine if that's what you want to read, but that is not "independent".
Fair enough, Talia, I meant independent from the global media barons, but I didn't mean to push any particular political line. There are all shades of opinion in the blog world. In any given day I veer randomly across the political spectrum ending up somewhere north-west of whimsy. Well, as Pogo says "I have seen the enemy and he is us". We'll carry on regardless. Good luck.
Become part of the system; submit, acquiesce to the system; fight the system, physically; try to change the system; leave, as someone above wrote, and island, or a distant primitive land...
Orwell was only off by about six years. True 'big brothership' seems to have arrived by about 1990. Now, post 9/11, we are in the thick of it; a paranoid planet for sure...