George Orwell’s 1984, Part 2: Crash Course Literature #402


Hi I’m John Green, this is Crash Course
literature, and today we’re going back to the future–that is now past–to George
Orwell’s 1984, which imagines a terrifying world in which every human activity is recorded
and monitored. How unpleasant would that be, he said staring
into a camera lens. So, as mentioned in our previous episode,
the Newspeak language created in the book was intended “to make speech […] as nearly
as possible independent of consciousness” (319). In an episode of Crash Course Psychology,
my brother, Hank, defined “consciousness” as “our awareness of ourselves and our environment.” I would add that consciousness also explains
our ability to experience life and to feel emotions. So can the structure of a language actually
be “independent of human consciousness.”? Well, today, we’ll explore whether language
is imposed on us from the outside or whether it’s an innate feature of humanity. I’m also gonna talk about how this novel
was perceived, when it was published, in the actual 1984, and how people think about it
today. And we’ll go ahead and make some connections
between Orwell’s novel and our current society’s really confusing relationship with truth and
surveillance. Yeah, we can still criticize surveillance
society. that’s not a thoughtcrime. Yet.. INTRO
In 1984, Orwell’s protagonist, Winston Smith, works in the Records Department of the Ministry
of Truth (in Newspeak, known as “Minitrue”). He adjusts financial and weather forecasts
so that “Big Brother’s” predictions are always retroactively correct. He also removes references to “unpersons,”
or “vaporised” political dissidents. And he rewrites history so that Oceania appears
always to have been at war with EastAsia. Or with Eurasia. It changes, depending on shifting allegiances. The “central tenet” of Ingsoc (the version
of English Socialism practiced in Oceania) is that the past is “mutable,” that it
has “no objective existence,” and it exists only in “written records and in human memories.” Orwell writes:
The past is whatever the records and the memories agree upon. And since the Party is in full control of
all records and in equally full control of the minds of its members, it follows that
the past is whatever the Party chooses to make it” (219). So, Winston mainly writes in Newspeak–a version
of English with grammar and vocabulary designed to “narrow the range of thought.” The idea is that, without the language to
express dissent, political crimes, in thought or deed, will become impossible. But quickly, before we get to the chicken
and egg problem of language and thought, though, I want to pause to ask you to think about
this novel’s relationship to memory. Now, we know from neuroscience that each time
a memory is accessed, you’re remembering it anew–there’s no, like, spot in your
brain containing a memory; it is formed each time you have it. And that means that your memories are shaped
by your now–and that at least to some extent, the Party is right when it says that telling
people what they remember does change their memories. So, the Party is manipulating a real, structural
feature of the human brain–as we learned in our discussion of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s
One Hundred Years of Solitude, “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what
you remember and how you remember it.” OK, so with that noted, let’s turn to thought:
Many experts have explored to what extent our ability to think is dependent on language. In the late 1920s, the ethno-linguist Edward
Sapir began talking in academic circles about his theory that the structure of the language
a person uses determines how they perceive and categorize experience. When his student, Benjamin Whorf, published
his writings in the 1950s, this theory became known as “the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis.” Then, in the 1960s, Noam Chomsky questioned
the premise of this theory, arguing that humans are born with an innate knowledge of grammar
that forms the basis for language acquisition. And in 1994, Steven Pinker argued that language
is a basic instinct, and that the ability to understand, manipulate, and add to it based
on one’s own experiences is an expression of one’s humanity. In fact, he wrote a book called The Language
Instinct. But before any of these theories were published,
Orwell was also thinking about the relationship between instinct and language. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The word “instinct” appears 31 times in
1984. Winston is a creature of instinct, and his
strongest instinct is to survive: “To hang on from day to day and from week to week,
spinning out a present that had no future, seemed an unconquerable instinct, just as
one’s lungs will always draw the next breath so long as there is air available” (emphasis
added, 155). Winston understands that his society is inhumane:
“It MIGHT be true that the average human being was better off now than he had been
before the Revolution. The only evidence to the contrary was the
mute protest in your own bones, the instinctive feeling that the conditions you lived in were
intolerable and that at some other time they must have been different” (emphasis added,
76). So to Orwell there are human instincts toward
generosity and survival and liberty, but Orwell is also aware how dangerous human instincts
can be, particularly when manipulated by a totalitarian state. For example, the Party transforms an innate
fear of death into mob violence: “For how could the fear, the hatred, and
the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch,
except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force?” (emphasis added, 136). It also transforms the survival instinct into
a form of self-repression: “Crimestop” is the ability to cut off one’s ideas, “…as
though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought” (217). Thanks, Thought Bubble. But of course, those thoughts are only dangerous
because the government might kill you for having them. But — and I think this is critical — writing
in Newspeak and participating in Party rallies alone does not alter Winston’s consciousness,
and it doesn’t seem to change his instincts — he’s still able to love Julia, and in
little ways to live his “ownlife” life. But then, eventually, Winston does betray
his girlfriend, Julia, and he comes to believe that he “should” repress his thoughts. So ultimately, he loses his sense of self. But not, I would argue, entirely because of
Newspeak. Mostly because of torture. In the end his consciousness can’t survive
being threatened with having his head put in a cage with hungry rats. It is then that Winston breaks down and wishes
that Julia receive this punishment in his place. And by betraying Julia, he loses his ability
to love. He loses faith in his own humanity. And after Winston is psychologically broken,
he starts to think in Newspeak. Consider his stream of (non-) conscious narrative:
“The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. CRIMESTOP, they called it in Newspeak” (emphasis
added, 288). So initial use of Newspeak might be part of
Winston’s journey toward the lack of consciousness, but it’s the physical and psychological
torture that really take him there. And with that in mind, we can turn to the
question of whether words actually matter. I mean, can ‘good’ language or ‘good’
books enhance the human experience? I believe so. And I think Orwell must have believed so,
too, or else he wouldn’t have written 1984. And as we talked about in the last video,
we know that free expression survives within the logic of the novel, because the appendix
is written in Standard English It also refers to the totalitarian government
in the past tense. So we know that humanity eventually triumphs
over oppression and oppressive language! Free thought and free speech endure! Great, but Orwell doesn’t tell us how those
victories were won. One minute, Winston is in love with Big Brother,
the next minute, Appendix in Standard English. But that hasn’t stopped readers from trying
to use 1984 to diagnose (and solve) problems unique to their times. Like, when 1984 was first published, Time
Magazine claimed that “any reader in 1949 can uneasily see his own shattered features
in Winston Smith, can scent in the world of 1984 a stench that is already familiar.” Other early reviewers at the time read 1984
as an attack on British Socialism. In a letter to a friend, Orwell explained
that the novel: “…is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism
or on the British Labor Party (of which I am a supporter) but as a show-up of the perversions
to which a centralized economy is liable and which have already been partly realized in
Communism and Fascism.” In the years after the book was published,
readers began associating Orwell’s name with the forms of oppression that he critiqued. Surveillance? “Quite Orwellian!” Propaganda? “Also Orwellian.” But actually anti-Orwellian! In 1983, a Time Magazine journalist tried
to reappropriate the term “Orwellian” to make it signify, “the spirit that fights
the worst tendencies in politics and society by using a fundamental sense of decency.” Of course, that was a failure. If you Google “Orwellian,” you’ll find
a long list of ways it has been applied to various misuses of government power. Poor Orwell. Not since Dr. Frankenstein has someone so
often been inappropriately alluded to. And then of course there is the question of
our today, and whether it resembles the Oceania of 1984. In terms of politics, neither the U.S. nor
the U.K. look much like Oceania. Whatever you think of our elected officials,
they are just that. Elected. In fact, a higher percentage of people on
Earth today live in democracies than did in 1949, or for that matter 1984. So it’s actually been a pretty good seven
decades for democracy, but, there are some similarities between contemporary life and
the future that Orwell imagined: For instance our time has some serious issues
with the dissemination of objective fact. There’s a good reason that Stephen Colbert’s
word “truthiness,” meaning “a truth that wouldn’t stand to be held back by fact”
was chosen by the American Dialect Society as the word of the year in 2005. Propaganda, both subtle and overt, continue
to distort social and political discourse around the world. And then there’s the issue of surveillance…
in Oceania, the government places microphones and telescreens in public spaces and private
homes. And the telescreen is an addictive content
provider–broadcasting news, weather reports, and interactive exercise videos. It detects sounds above a whisper and movement
within its field of vision. In Winston’s apartment, it can be dimmed,
but not turned off completely. Creepier still: there was, “…no way of
knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment” (3). Today, we, too, have audio and video surveillance
in shops, and airports, and public parts of big cities, and also in our homes–alexa,
can you make sure not to spy on me? {[[Alexa, off-screen]] I’m sorry, John. I’m afraid I can’t do that.} I have to say, I don’t find that answer
terribly comforting. And this loss of privacy is the trade-off
that we make for increased security and convenience. But also, think about how much of your ownlife
and consciousness also exists out there in the personal information you willingly post
online. We have Snapchat, and Instagram, and Twitter,
and Pinterest, and Tumblr, and WhatsApp, and LinkedIn, and YouTube, and I think we still
have Google Plus. And if you’re waiting for me to denounce
social media, I’m not gonna. These are amazing ways to broadcast pictures
of yourself being cool and to publish your thoughts from the sublime to the ridiculous. We indicate our preferences by liking, swiping,
reposting, and commenting. We tag all the wonderful places that we visit
and show everyone what we ate while we were there. Social media is fun! It’s awesome! I’m in favor of it. But have you read the privacy policy of each
service you use? There’s no question that something is lost
when you choose to make any part of your ownlife public. Winston can’t turn off his telescreen. Many of us choose not to turn ours off , exposing
a lot of our ownlives to surveillance, and I believe that does ultimately shape our lives. It’s certainly not a 1984-level control
of the private self–but it is worth considering. In our era, for those of us lucky enough to
live in democracies, Big Brother is not a totalitarian government, able to alter the
consciousness of its citizens through various forms of torture. Instead, Big Brother is each of us. We are watching each other–in the best ways,
and the worst ways. Does this distract us from our physical bodies,
our animal desires, our bonds with real life family and friends, our impulses to help others
(you know… that business of being conscious and human)? Or does it ultimately enhance our humanity? I don’t know. But I don’t think time spent considering
those questions is wasted. And that’s Orwell’s true genius: The questions
that he asked in 1949 about a hypothetical 1984: they’re timeless. What is the nature of humanity? Which social orders best allow humanity to
flourish? Which oppress it nearly beyond recognition? And what is the role of language and literature
in liberating the oppressed? Keep asking those important questions and
you will be “Orwellian” in the most heroic sense of the word. Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time.




Comments
  1. Whatever these words mean whatever is is or not is not people have given up their so-called privacy and their freedoms voluntarily people want this people don't want privacy people wanted to show the world everything about that myself I don't go on social media and Facebook and stuff because I find it boring I don't care what you had for dinner I don't care where you been I have my own life to live with my family

  2. 8:56 Republic = a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch.

    Democracy = 2 Wolves and a Sheep wondering what's for dinner.

    Sure there are democratic aspects to a republic, but they come with limits. Even tho some people act as if this does not apply.

  3. 5:00 I'm pretty sure that this quote was referring specifically to the Party's attempt to destroy the sexual urge and use the resulting frustration for their benefit. It wasn't to do with a fear of death.

  4. Jezzzzz ok! FFS! I think I already talked to the Feline lady. I am Smith. We can watsup if the Archangel allows it. Or just Vulcan meld it.

  5. Democracy? HA! There is essentially one party….the corporate party.
    This is nor exclusive to the US what so ever.

  6. Does anyone care to comment on the book that Winston was reading with Julia before he was taken by the government? The information that ignorance is strength, War is peace? There were a lot of good points that were made there…

  7. It's interesting to examine the similarities between the book and our reality today but I don't think it's particularly productive to assume that we live in a dystopia. The world isn't that easy to define and I think John did a good job making that clear.
    How it is and how it should be will always be two separate things for people who desperately want to see it like that.

    It's on us to make the world better that's true but I don't think that this can be achieved by only seeing what we don't want. We have to see our victories too and I agree with Orwell in that sense. Everything that supports better living conditions for people is ultimately worth striving for.

  8. I don’t understand the problem here. When you say Orwellian you’re saying something is like a Orwell dystopia. Not that Orwell would like this

  9. So there is a group of people who want to actively modify language and make orwellian a positive word instead of the negative one that it has organically become… I'm sure I have read a book about that kind of thing.

  10. The close-to-the-end part of the video did get me and crept me out for thinking about how we, ourselves, are actually Big Brother 😱

  11. Gorge Orwell and Alex Huxley were both members of the Fabian Society. Their books were warnings of what the elite have had planned.

  12. Main reason I don't like Trump is he tries to change history. Claiming credit for things that happened before he took office and labeling everyone that investigates something he said or did as the enemy.

  13. 10:09 "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both"  to answer what you said…

  14. News has become one sided, and debate has become virtually non existent. This is the precursor to a 1984 scenario. You eluded to this in part 1 when you said The real issue is that their experience has become so limited that they lack the perspective and the language to differentiate between major concepts. It also is strikingly similar to what see in the propaganda of climate change. In the book as you said as part of his job is to censor and adjust the weather to fit retrospectively. The IPCC via the UN are doing the same as political governments continually depict global warming adjust models to suit and have done so for decades and the younger generation have heard nothing but the one sided perspective so they are driven by fear and hysteria. The UN also have agenda 21 and agenda 2030 with some disguised beliefs and socialistic ideals it wants to promote. Very similar to 1984 and George Orwell's predictions. Youtube, facebook and social media including google and apple are now censoring comments which is ant free speech done under the guise of preventing hate speech and platforms like Patreon are removing business because they might have said something in public which is controversial. ( remove the non person – just like Winston was doing his job .

  15. So was he shot on the last page? Or was it a metaphor? I know at one point he expected to be brainwashed but be able to anticipate the bullet and return to hating the party right before he died. I know he basically loses by loving big brother but is he also literally dead?

  16. Governments are made up of people, like us. It is not made up of monsters like alex jones says… or david icke… checks and balances protect us and enforce rules on them too

  17. We are all being watched. We secretly live in the dystopian world of 1984. We all have cameras on our phones or computers. We are all being watched. We all willingly bought these mediums for propaganda because they are the “thing” to buy. We are all cyborgs.

  18. . Big Brother is stealing us blind .

    Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook.
    All four need to be broken up for Anti-trust and Monopoly
    violations. Not to mention the monetization of personal data
    without explicit consent and or renumeration.
    Business & Contract Law 101.

  19. .quack. that was/is Obama, Gore, Hillary and Bill
    "the vast right wing conspiracy" "hate speech"
    "robo signed low income housing"
    "back of the queue, globalism"
    "New World Order"
    "open borders"
    "Free College"
    "Free healthcare"
    "Guaranteed lifetime work"
    and "ISDA Casino Banksters United" crony capitalism
    with bigger racially integrated ghettos(aka Democratic Socialism)

  20. Please do a crash course literature episode on animal farm!! It’s one of my favorite books of all time😁😁😁

  21. Why didn't you highlight the fact that Orwell was describing what a socialist-communist society would look like, and that it was pretty much how real life was everyday for people in the Soviet Union? He was not talking about the west, my friend. Also, the hope in the appendix and the "past" tense, I think you're reading way too much into it. There is no evidence to claim that Orwell had a hopeful view of a socialist-stalinist world. None at all. That's subjective wishful thinking on your part as readers. That aside, amazing video!

  22. 4:59 The volume on this portion of the video (the “thought bubble”) is all wonky. The narration is being drowned out by the background sounds.

  23. One should allways think and judge for youself to make your own opinion. Do not accept everything as told. Try to be aware and read up, investigate and try to understand. The writers tend to want to deliver a messsage, but also accept whats really goinging on, that not might be written in clear text. And try be respectful to others, even if you do not have the same opinion. This are in my opinion greate thought to keep in mind, as we all go threw our daily lives.

  24. A very nice video, I think the part that stands out to me was "Winston can't turn off his telescreen, we however choose not to."

  25. My dear friend you may read this book but believe me, we live in this book in IRAN….. So please note to following items:
    1st. You may think Iranian leader is Khamenei but You are wrong, our main ruler is Emam Zaman (means the Owner of the Time he is more than 1400 years old ) , same as Big Brother nobody knows where is he, does he even exist or not? All success in Iran is due to Emam Zaman,
    2nd, we feel the poverty in our life, but Our leader and newspaper write we are in good economic condition.
    3rd Our parents remind us that we had better condition when Shah was our king…… so many other items

  26. Social media is great and all, barring, like you said, the privacy policies that aren't so private, but now that it has existed long enough that it can be used for social archeology, people have been misusing it.

    For instance, when I was a kid and first used Facebook, I had what are now pretty controversial opinions that are pretty demonized. Ten years later I've liberalized quite a bit, but what stops anyone from dredging up the past and saying "back in 2009 he said gay marriage was a sin"? Nothing. Its not even the government that's watching our every move: its society as a whole, and in the court of public opinion, you don't stand a chance.

  27. You can win a small battle within. Find comfortably in this new of technology. Use it to your advantage. Manipulate your way towards your equilibrium. Do something. Anything really. Just don’t stand around and do nothing, my good friends.

  28. How did you fail to draw the parallel between the current "Political Correct" language police and Newspeak? There are more parallels there than there are in terms of the surveillance state. For example, the current trend of labeling free speech as "hate speech" is Orwellian; because "hate speech" is a subjective term best defined as "anything I personally disagree with." Attempts to ban "hate speech" amount to an attempt to limit communication of ideas and thus to limit thought. There is free speech and there is "not free speech." Any society that accepts the mere idea of hate speech is a society that does not and cannot have free speech.

  29. If you live in India, right now, you know how Orwell's hypothetical 1984 has been realised in the almost-authoritarian government is all set in altering the consciousness of its citizens.

  30. 1:58 History is written by the victors
    4:25 Are we better off? Or are we being brainwashed with newspeak [and shiny toys]?
    6:26 citizens should be trained to stop vagrant socially counterproductive thoughts instinctively [and stop those of others too, using labels like "communist", "denialist", "unscientific" and "conspiracy-theorist".]
    7:57 centralised economies eventually express perversely as totalitarian.

  31. When I first read 1984, my twelfth grade mind was floored by the ending, but also super fascinated by the Appendix. I mean, I was so invested in the logic and possibility behind the concept of language governing thought. The Appendix stuck in my mind. Whenever someone would ask me about a book recommendation, I'd always end up gushing about 1984's Appendix. I acknowledge that, to most people, the Appendix was probably boring as hell, but 1984 was the first book — actually, the first thing — that made me interested in the study of language. Nearly 3 years later, I've declared my Bachelor's in English language with an added minor for teaching ESL. It seems really weird that I have to thank a essay-type extra in a dystopian fiction written nearly 70 years ago for helping me along my post-secondary path.

  32. Political correctness is Newspeak. If someone says something that I find offensive, I will debate them. I don't want them silenced. I can show people that might want to become a follower of that person that he or she is not only wrong, but ignorant. But the political side that loves socialism loves censorship too.

  33. Huxley better predicted our future in Brave New Word by explaining that we would 'choose' to give up our freedoms.

  34. Can you really understand what it would be like without words..?

    You may think you can…However, you can't place yourself in a your own never known wordless existence…

    Words / language may not be an advancement for human communication as it is generally thought to be…

    In fact words may have limited the true potential of communication…

    What if humans never exposed to words simply communicated by thought..?

    This would be considered a super power by those tainted by the use of words.. :8)

  35. The Masters(Big Brother) Have programmed people. All the media, phones and something bigger. Something even Orwell never imagined. Supercomputers that have artificial intelligence that observe, sort, associate and Store all this digital information that is out there! Orwell could only imagine that someone was watching you…Not something. Granted it's 35 years after 1984. I guess we're in 1984 version 3.2!

  36. "How many fingers am I holding up Winston?" The most chilling thing I have ever read. The truth brings pain to the body. The lie brings pain to the mind.

  37. I think that the fact that the appendix is written in Standard English and in the past tense does not necessarily imply that the dystopian society will be overthrown. I believe that Orwell was just using the standard conventions of English. If he had written a in Newspeak or using the future tense it would not be comprehensible to his readers. In all Science Fiction works I have ever read, the narrative is mainly in the past tense even when set in the distant future.

  38. actually what he described in his book is very similar (in a bit more realist way) the reign of Saddam Hussain which I have wittnessed in Iraq

  39. Frankenstein was actualy surname of Dr. Frankenstein, thus the monster he created would have the same Surname.

  40. Criticizing a surveillance state might be ok but dont mis-gender me or deny me your tax money and we will be good.

  41. I challenge the notion that democracy is good. We live in a constitutional republic where 51 percent of people cant seize from the 49. That's not a democracy.

  42. To not denounce social media is like to not denounce nuclear war. Unlike the tele screens, corperations reserve the rights to the content its users share and can choose to provide essential evidence to the government or not, giving the corperation more power than the government in this regard. Using your real name and sharing real facts about you to social media, or to the internet in general is a instant contract of your soul comprised of "User Policies." Anyone can own you now, if they so choose. There is no one to protect you because the corperation legally owns you. See you in line.

  43. Social media a sublime way to publish thought. Google and YouTube and Facebook have it truth speak approved first.😉 Don’t worry they are getting better too. They won’t let 2016 happen again.😊

  44. " democracy is doing pretty well ?". Our demo has just re elected a bunch of criminals, solely due the Murdoch media. It's obvious to those who reason. The attitude of the press is reflected by public, Sir politics is absolute folly, I would of thought you would know better, and the internet has enabled the spread words an ideas. Like the great Gnome said, the information is all there, but it's ignored, Warhammer and cat videos rule the data.
    ENJOY your shoes.

  45. Also another similarity between us and 1984 which often is forgiven is that terrorist organisations that today we oppose were ones we previously supported and funded but there's no discussion or acknowledgement of because we've always been against them.

  46. So, if LOVE is HATE…then would that not mean that Winston means he "Hates" Big Brother when he says he Loves him?

  47. Am I only one that thought Winston died at the end of the book?
    I thought I they broke his spirit and then killed him once he was brainwashed like the rest of society.

  48. I think Orwellian in it's current use is accurate. It works well as meaning, "Resembling the world of an Orwell novel."

  49. I think Winston was right and the way the Party would be overthrown was by the Proles. The mass – even if only knowing newspeak after 2050 – would not be possible to control enough to maintain just newspeak. The language would evolve and with it their desire to live different lives and seeing the ruling party as incredibly stupid.

    From history – it was the lowly mass that performed the defenestration in Prague because of a lowly priest John the Goose who became the martyr.

  50. When it was first published, Nineteen Eighty-Four received critical acclaim.

    V. S. Pritchett, reviewing the novel for the New Statesman stated: "I do not think I have ever read a novel more frightening and depressing; and yet, such are the originality, the suspense, the speed of writing and withering indignation that it is impossible to put the book down."

    P. H. Newby, reviewing Nineteen Eighty-Four for The Listener magazine, described it as "the most arresting political novel written by an Englishman since Rex Warner's The Aerodrome."

    Nineteen Eighty-Four was also praised by Bertrand Russell, E. M. Forster and Harold Nicolson.

    On the other hand, Edward Shanks, reviewing Nineteen Eighty-Four for The Sunday Times, was dismissive; Shanks claimed Nineteen Eighty-Four "breaks all records for gloomy vaticination".

    C. S. Lewis was also critical of the novel, claiming that the relationship of Julia and Winston, and especially the Party's view on sex, lacked credibility, and that the setting was "odious rather than tragic".

  51. Would you say Political Corectness / Words getting restricted to use in universities is a form of Newspeak in its early stages?

  52. First George Orwell never wrote 1984, 1984 is a movie script based on the George Orwell book 1948 by Ralph Gilbert Bettison and William Templeton. That book your waving around read the cover first nowhere does it say BY George Orwell.

  53. I think Fahrenheit 451 got a lot right about how our life-choices and oppressions are often self-inflicted. Yes, we could, 'choose' to turn our smart devices off, but in a world where everyone else doesn't, or won't (or can't, because these devices are actually addictive) to say no and turn them off, would be to distance ourselves so much from the herd that we look like recluses, or cultists or something. I wonder if governments (and especially big companies) aren't subtly smart enough to build this situation and induce this response in us to participate with the herd.

  54. 11:26 – 11:39 – " I DONT KNOW ??!!" Well we have bought into smart-devices and social media so much that, if we were to ever find out that they were ultimately destructive or damaging to society, we have already sold ourselves to them so wholly that it would be too late. We already said yes. It is a 'technology trap'… We already 'Crimestop' ourselves all the time for fear of being 'offensive' or being 'something-phobic'. We already limit our own capacity to wield and understand subtle speech with text lingo and emojis. Like Emmanuel Goldstein's manual in the book, it already seems like they are finding a way to make the pendulum stop swinging.

  55. The internet is the one thing that will save us all. Google, Amazon, and Facebook despite their money hunger, is actually protecting our freedom in that because to them our free choices turn into valuable data, these huge companies have a vested interest in protecting it.

  56. Elected leaders? Trump with minority of citizens votes, trying to overthrown Venezuela's President? Teresa May in UK chosen by her party as Prime Minister followed by Boris chosen again by own party as leader of the country? What sort of democracy we're talking about? It's nice to live in the bubble.

  57. It's true that more people have been given the right to vote, but Gerrymandering, putting conditions on actually voting (ID cards) and the Electoral College it's easy for Democracy to be side-stepped.

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