In the 1940s, George Orwell published a novel that illustrated a dystopian future. Well, future at the time. (wouldn’t be near future?) In the year 1984, the world has taken an unrecognizable shape. (You mean the world is now a cube?) All remnants of what used to be now destroyed as the 20th century took a horrendous turn. Orwell imagined a world where totalitarianism reigned, (ok) individualism was dead, and reality and history was simply a matter of opinion. (So that means I can change history with my own opinion?) Of course, this never happened, as it was just fiction. (Thank god) But the novel 1984 has resurged in popular culture, because many have made connections between this dark society and our own. (Don’t all governments do this?) Orwell never saw the rise of the internet or the policies of the 21st century, But his novel has been treated by some as almost a foreshadowing. Constant surveillance of every citizen by INGSOC – Constant surveillance by every government against its own citizens – Those sort of connections. ( But don’t all governments do this?) And this has only gotten more popular as more compare this dystopian society and our own. This video isn’t meant to compare our society and Orwell’s – This video is simply a summary of the politics, history, and world in the scenario Orwell crafted. (We’re listening) Unsurprisingly this is going to have some spoilers as this video fully flushes out the world and society of 1984. (Spoiler Alert!) Let’s start off with some history (So I’m in school now?) How does the world become THIS? In Orwell’s novel, the 20th Century is one long tragedy. The potential of humanity and its great path of civilization is entirely squandered in just a few decades. (Wow person who did this must be powerful) Since the novel was published in 1949, it’s not surprising this is where the future begins to go downhill. It all started after World War II and the dawn of the Cold War. (Soviet Union vs USA right?) The precursor division of the world already has begun to be seen. (So people predict the future?) For us, in the 21st century, we know how it ends. Soviet Union falls, nuclear war never happens, etc. But in Orwell’s timeline, there is no decades-long tension of the Cold War between America and Russia. Instead sometime in the early 1950s, World War III breaks out. (Is there a Soviet Union version of Hitler?) Nuclear bombs were used on major cities around the world. (Why wouldn’t Japan be affected? They got nuked, why not again?) Including cole custer, but not London. (Is that a county? City? State?) All we know is Britain was nuked multiple times. (LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN!) This was probably around 1954. During the bombings, the Soviet Union invaded all of mainland Europe, (You see why you don’t invade Russia now Hitler?) as its army swept even into the Iberian Peninsula. (Where is that?) The British Iles became the last bastion on the continent. In the aftermath of the war, the West unified (Does the USA become even stronger?) as the United States and the British Commonwealth united into a single country. (Yep) The United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Britain formed to create (Sorry for no pictures :P) Oceania. Oceania then went on to Annex Latin America. (That’s Mexico down to South America right?) After this, history gets a little bit fuzzy. (So there is bears everywhere? Or something furry?) What we do know is that because of the traumatic events of the war, unrest occurred in Oceania and the Soviet Union. (REVOLUTION… I think) Sometime after 1954, Oceania fell into Civil War, between capitalism and a new homegrown ideology. This war, by 1984, is referred to as The Revolution. This new ideology won, and under this victory formed itself into a single party, INGSOC. We’ll talk about this in a second, (But I want to now!) but first let’s discuss the rest of the world. (Fine) Sometime in the 1950s and 60s, simultaneous revolutions occurred in the USSR and China. Neo-Bolshevikism united Europe in Russia (What is Neo-Bolshevikism? ) into Eurasia; while China, after fighting amongst itself for a decade, finally formed into Eastasia. (A decade long civil war?) under the nicely named ideology called, Obliteration of the Self. (Sounds like a suicide party) This history that you just learned is something that no citizen in Oceania would know about it, which is a good way to introduce you to this dystopian world. By 1984, the world is divided between these three nations. Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. All in a state of perpetual war over an area called, the Equatorial Front. North Africa through the Middle East, India, and Southeast Asia is constantly fought and interchanged between the three superpowers. We’ll get back to that later. Even though the history of the early 20th Century, by 1948, would only be decades ago. They might as well have been thousand. The nations, history, people before INGSOC are simply myths, and what exists is a society that is totalitarianism to its extreme. First, welcome to Britain. Except if you’re a citizen, you’ve never known it as Britain. You know it as Airstrip 1. For many, Britain is a distant memory. The party’s grip on the mind is so powerful What’s once was an unquestionable fact, like a name, is similar to a faint dream you question if it even happened, if it was ever real at all, then you forget about it. This is the most prominent attribute of Oceania: the control of information to such an extent that Facts are not Reality. and reality, can be changed simply on the whim of Big Brother, and the party, INGSOC. INGSOC controls all. INGSOC seizes all. To say it changes society is an understatement, INGSOC destroyed society, and remade it into something where only IT can thrive. Western Civilization is basically dead. Now is only a civilization that exists purely for the party to rule without question. How exactly it did this? We don’t know. Now when I say “party”, INGSOC isn’t a party like the Democrats, Republicans or even Nazis. It’s more like a society within a society as its own separate culture and rules from the majority of the population. Oceania is split between three main classes: the Inner Party, basically the secretive heads of the state, is only 2% of the population; followed by the Outer Party, the bureaucratic, but still devoted educated people, which is 13%; and then everyone else, the Proles, the uneducated, easy-to-manipulate simpletons who live in poverty, never knowing any better. Think of it like the ruling classes of Westeros, they have their own issues and culture, while the masses are simply the mundane peasants nobody really cares about. The Inner and Outer Party is divided between four main sections: the Ministry of Peace, who wages war against Eurasia or Eastasia, depending on who it is at the time; the Ministry of Love which shuts down opposition and close descents; the Ministry of Truth, the propaganda arm of the party, “propaganda” is to put it lightly. This purpose of the party is to rewrite, invent, or destroy any conflicting bit of news and history that goes against the party. News stories tell of war heroes who in actuality don’t exist, that sort of thing; the Ministry of Plenty, deals with economics and rations, it decides who gets what, and what resources must be cut back. Every ministry is housed in pyramids that tower over the London Skyline, 300 metres in the air, or roughly a thousand feet tall. And Oceania, the only one thing that matters, is INGSOC. Since the Proles are too uneducated to matter and are easy to manipulate by either nationalistic pandering, or to create a fake crisis. The party only really has to worry about its own stability to survive, so it doesn’t really monitor or care about the majority of the population. The party only has to worry about its own stability to survive, like a human body, it remains healthy by purging out the harmful educated elements, and those not entirely loyal to the ideology. Decades ago, there were mass purges in the 50s and 60s inside the party. INGSOC removed every threat of the old world to solidify itself among fanatic new supporters by cutting off the population of both the Party and masses from history. INGSOC is able to have a monopoly on facts, for example, the party says it invented the airplane. This is simply fact now, and everyone believes it. The Ministry of Truth rewrites or destroys any evidence of this not being the case. Those in the party who openly questioned this simply disappear or are sent to the Ministry of Love for re-education. Continue in mass until for the most part, it’s a fact amongst the population, that the party did invent the airplane. This is a process, how Orwell describes this, is that simply through the progression of decades, INGSOC was able to normalize attributes that haven’t existed in the West for centuries. Class divided, Ueducation, Mass attrocities Censorship these are allowed to be commonplace because anyone who didn’t agree with it, is either to unimportant or dead to care, then solidify this base with youthful and nationalistic young adults, and you’ve got a healthy future for your ideology. INGSOC ideology runs so deep, children are more likely to openly report their own parents for thought crimes. INGSOC recreated culture, crafted new terms to allow only IT to exist. A “Thought Crime” is anything that goes against the policy of the party If you commit a “Thought Crime”, you can be vaporized by the thought police, simply disappeared. And when I mean disappear, I mean it is now a fact, that you are never a person, an Unperson. This isn’t like kids giving Jimmy the silent treatment. This is everyone simply forgetting there ever was a Jimmy, and forgetting that they forgot. The mention of your existence somehow by your family, coworkers, is now a thought crime in itself. Documents are changed or destroyed, so that there is no evidence you ever did exist. Not that you did, Jimmy. This is how INGSOC is able to quell the sense This term comes from the official language of the party “Newspeak”. It’s technically just short in English, but it’s entirely designed to control the use of words that may be threatening to the party simplistic terms like “duckspeak”, “crime think”, “black white”, by limiting language to small bits, it makes debate controllable, or refutable. INGSOC simply has a monopoly on political discourse because it made the words up. In 1984, this goes deeper than a weird language. Brainwashing is a cultural manifestation that goes down to the personal level Reality and history itself can be changed with the bureaucratic stroke of a pen, and nobody thinks that that stroke ever happened. This is “Doublethink”, a Newspeak term to hold two conflicting beliefs, and hold both as equal, neither are canceled out, both are believed. This is best emulated by the ongoing war in the book . The Party tells the public that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia, even if just a few years ago the enemy was Eastasia. East Asian bombs rained on the city, but everyone believes it was Eurasia because big brother and the party said so. Eurasia was always the enemy. East Asia was always the ally. This can change on a whim. History and information would be rewritten by the party to reflect any new change. It’s not a debate to the people. It was just always this way. It would be like changing colors. The sky is blue, but the party says the sky is now red, so you believe it’s red, not say or pretend. You with all your heart know for certain that the sky has always been red. Never even considered the change happened. This is another Newspeak term called “black white”. There are a lot of terms. Why does this happen? Is everyone stupid? Well if you go by demographics, yeah. It’s not this simple though This world is all these people have ever known. Think of North Korea, actually, just apply all this to North Korea. Kim Jong-Il must have got inspired somehow. You can say whatever you want when you raise generations to worship you. so what is INGSOC even? Is it fascist? Socialist? Totalitarian? Green party? Does it have specific policies? What’s its views on states rights? INGSOC in itself is a conundrum, a product of “Double think”. Officially, INGSOC is socialist. It teaches that the days before the revolution were horrendous, as the average citizen literally bowed to the capitalist, even going so far to say Capitalists could choose any woman to sleep with and nobody could do anything, then INGSOC came and forever made the world better. But at the same time INGSOC hate socialist, despises socialist policies, and this is openly admitted by everyone. Yet, nobody sees anything wrong with it because that’s the power of “Double think”. INGSOC ideology, if you can call it that, isn’t different at all than Eurasian Bolshevikism, or Eastasian Obliteration of the Self They’re basically the same society. Technological and social differences aren’t that far apart between the three. This is something that may be recognized by all of them, or, simply ignored. We don’t know. The relationship that continues between all of them is perpetual war. War is what runs this world. It’s what allows all three nations to survive. It’s a distraction it can rile up the uneducated masses. It’s a constant overshadowing force that Big Brother uses. INGSOC is the protector against the Eurasian Hordes or Eastasia, whichever. What are they fighting over? Resources? Well, they have all the resources they need since they control so much territory. Power? No one can really overtake the other, this is already established. Well, then what? Nothing, they’re fighting over nothing. The Equatorial Front and Polar Front, as mentioned earlier, was never anybody’s territory. It’s simply a giant fighting arena, where the economic waste from overloaded military buildup from all the countries is shipped to. Almost like venting out steam, borders constantly shift, countless soldiers died from territory which nobody wants, and the native people are enslaved and transferred between the three countries to work for the war machine which continues the cycle again. All the nations have nukes, they could easily destroy each other invade Britain or Europe, start wars, and Russia and China actually attacking the homelands. But that disrupts everything. It destroys the balance of power, and these heads of state like their power. So they constantly fight over the jungle and desert to keep what they have, to keep nationalistic fervor up. 1984 is a twisted world. Whether it’s realistic or not, doesn’t really matter. The consistent theme is information is important, and the control of that information is most important. That’s the biggest thing to take away from Orwell’s world. Everything INGSOC did was to make sure the population was loyal and too stupid to realize its manipulation. Going so far to make those who did manipulate believe they weren’t even manipulating in the first place. Does this tie in to our world? I’m not even touching that subject. Like and subscribe if you have not done so. This is Cody, of Alternate History Hub.