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April 17, 2009



Great points but then we're all slightly arrogant in assuming, in our semi-rational bubble, that capitalism has overcome repression for good. North Korea is a real live example of Orwell actually telling ageless truisms about the nature of power - it's certainly not a question of getting it "wrong". As Jeb says its a contemporaneous commentary relating to fascism. And we're also all forgetting that circumstances can change very quickly, so I wouldn't discount the totality of the prophecy just yet. I enjoyed Mr Glasman’s alternative viewpoint but did think the assertions relating to surveillance and advertising were far too flippant. Have we been forgetting our Adam Curtis-flavoured nuggets of wisdom?


Could it not be argued that 1984 is such a powerful, widely read and influencial book that it may have helped to prevent the development of the society Orwell envisaged?

Also not sure that Orwell assumed capitalism had been beaten. Glasman equates capitalism with freedom. As Glasman notes, Orwell feared an "entirely monopolistic state, a supreme leader leading a single party through the repressive apparatus of a dominant State with collective coercive power over all its citizens", it is freedom and democracy Orwell fears the loss of, not capitalism.


Glassman misses the point in treating 1984 as a work of prophecy. The book was much more a commentary on the issues of Orwell's day.

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