1984 by George Orwell

“Orwellian State” is a term often used to describe a government trying to control & monitor what it’s citizens think. The term is more relevant now, given the surveillance state of the digital extension of the world.

Winston Smith is an outer party worker. Party is almighty and Big Brother is the symbol & seat of all power. And thinking against the party is a crime.

If the party says two and two is five. It is five. Thinking otherwise is a crime. The party constantly rewrites its history. And anyone who remembers it otherwise is a criminal.

Thinking is a crime. The utmost crime.

All other technologies have died-out. The only useful one has become the centre of power — control what people think.

Trouble stirs when Winston finds love. The passion of love fans his flame of rebellion. Party cannot tolerate that. And no thought-crime goes unpunished. Everyone must be cured.

The story is just alright, even crappy at times. In consistent in it’s pace, details and focus. But George Orwell‘s strength isn’t in storytelling; it’s in his ideas & insights.

George Orwell, in my opinion, is a genius political thinker more than a novelist. In 1984, he captures the self-defeating core ideology of the most modern forms of the government:

Humans have the ability to hold two contradicting facts in their mind at the same time—doublethink, which rationality might not permit. And that’s what makes 1984 even more relevant than just the surveillance part.

There is a lot to appreciate about 1984, the story isn’t one of them. It’s a must read for it’s ideas & insights. Brilliant work of a brilliant mind.