From 1984 to 2022

The gap is actually decades wider because, as readers in the USSR and the Soviet Bloc understood, 1984 was all about 1948, and Orwell was on record that the book was anti-Stalin. The Stalinist conditions of 1948 are now going on, big time, in the United States of America. 

Under Ingsoc, English Socialism, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. As Winston Smith observes, only the Thought Police are efficient. The subjects of Oceania must not only follow Party orthodoxy but show the requisite level of enthusiasm, lest the Thought Police arrest them for facecrime or ownlife, living in any way at odds with Party orthodoxy. 

“Orthodoxy means not thinking, not needing to think,” Orwell explains. “Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.” Children had been “systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations.” This is a reference to Pavlik Morozov who denounced his father to Soviet authorities.

In Oceania, “the family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police.” Children were “ungovernable little savages” with “no tendency whatever to rebel against the discipline of the Party.” They harass Winston Smith, who has memories of those old fashioned loyalties.

His mother, “had possessed a kind of nobility, a kind of purity, simply because the standards that she obeyed were private ones. Her feelings were her own and could not be altered from outside. 

Smith recalls a time “when there was still privacy, love, and friendship, and when the members of a family stood by one another without needing to know the reason.” Smith now finds “fear, hatred and pain, but no dignity of emotion, no deep or complex sorrows.”

Big Brother supposedly watches over all, but goods are in short supply and the people must queue up for everything. As Smith knows, “statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version.” Under Ingsoc, things were as good as they could be, and since the Party controlled the present, it also controlled the past. 

“Centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of value. One could not learn history from architecture any more than one could learn it from books. Streets, inscriptions, memorial stones, the names of streets—anything that might throw light on the past had been systematically altered.” In other words, “history has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

The appendix to 1984 quotes the entire U.S. Declaration of Independence and as Orwell explains, “in Newspeak the Declaration could only be crimethink.” True to form, under English Socialism, “purges and vaporizations were a necessary part of the mechanics of government.” 

Winston and his lover Julia pledge to fight the Party but are quickly uncovered, arrested and tortured. As Party inquisitor O’Brien explains: “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only pure power.” As Winston Smith learns:

Power is not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?

In 2022, embattled Americans are beginning to understand the parallels. 

America’s liberty and prosperity have drawn immigrants from around the world. When liberty and prosperity were thriving as never before, Governor Andrew Cuomo countered that America was “never that great,” but for the political class there was more to it. 

From the start, they contend, America was nothing more than a bastion of racist oppression, founded to preserve and expand slavery. Like the Party’s take on capitalism, America had never produced anything of value. So down came the statues, inscriptions and “anything that might throw light on the past.” As in 1984, America’s founding documents are pure crimethink. Teacher unions now force feed this propaganda in the schools and when parents object, the Department of Justice calls them domestic terrorists

The January 6 protesters are held without bail and without trial. Embattled Americans now face shortages of basic goods, surging energy prices, and rampant inflation. Remember what O’Brien told Winston Smith in 1984: “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake,” he said. “We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.” 

As embattled Americans understand, runaway government spending ramps up inflation. A ban on drilling and cancellation of pipelines increases the price of oil and gas. An open door for criminals, plus restrictions on law enforcement, increases crime. That constitutes evidence that the Biden Junta is not interested in the good of others, and pursues only power. O’Brien, who broke the news to Winston Smith, was a member of the Inner Party, and under Ingsoc, the Party is always right. That brings up another parallel with 1984

In Conrad Black’s phrase, Joe Biden is a “wax-works effigy of a president,” but also the face and voice of the Inner Party, those really calling the shots. That would be the composite character David Garrow described in Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, Rip Van Winkle communist Bernie Sanders, and the AOC squad. These leftists and their allies are the Inner Party of Amsoc, American Socialism, now taking a toll on the people. 

Under Amsoc, the past is falsified, statistics are meaningless, and the Party is always right. The Biden Junta cares only about power, and in his January 19 press conference, Joe had that covered. As he told reporters, the 2022 elections “could easily be illegitimate.” As in 1984, the way things are unfolding now is the way it will be moving forward, and any change would be wrong. Do you now begin to understand? 

“If you want a picture of the future, O’Brien told Winston Smith, “imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” Imagine too the angry face of Joe Biden, and the current disaster going on forever. 

From 1984 to 2022. From a free and prosperous republic to a dreary Stalinist Covidistan. All across America, the clocks are striking thirteen. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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