Big Brother originally entered English vocabulary with George Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four. Written in 1949, Nineteen Eighty-Four was a futuristic novel about the world turning (by 1984) into a dystopia, a place "opposite of utopia." Orwell believed totalitarian governmental leaders (e.g. Big Brother) would seek to control the way people think. Orwell's novel takes place in Airstrip One, the country formerly known as Great Britain, but now a satellite of the superstate Oceania. Orwell portrays the world in a perpetual state of war with omnipresent government surveillance with public manipulation by the political elite. Those in control (e.g. Big Brother) persecute individualism and independent thinking. Any opinion, thought, or spoken word that opposes the party line is considered thoughtcrime and prosecuted. Big Brother goes after individualism and independence, manipulating the population into political correctness.
Nineteen Eight-Four was Orwell's attempt to warn western civilization. Eric Authur Blair (1903-1950), who took the pen name George Orwell, didn't write in a vacuum. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Orwell's wife Eileen started working in the Censorship Department of the Ministry of Information in central London, and Orwell himself would often write against British support of fascist, communist, and socialist governments. Orwell explained his writings in an essay called Why I Write:
'Every line of serious work that I've written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against Totalitarianism."Totalitarianism by definition means "the ideology of the whole is superior" (total - whole - arian - superior - ism - political ideology). Orwell was frightened that Big Brother would eventually be able to manipulate and control the thoughts of people to establish a collective political correctness and lead the world into Totalitarianism.
The adjective Orwellian connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, making certain ideas literally unthinkable. Several words and phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered popular language. Newspeak is a simplified and intentional confusing language designed to make independent thought impossible. Doublethink means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. The Thought Police are those who suppress all dissenting opinion. Prolefeed is homogenised, manufactured superficial literature, film and music, used to control and indoctrinate the populace through docility. Big Brother is a supreme dictator who watches everyone. Facebook can become Big Brother's tool
2016 has become Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Yesterday, Florida's Assistant State Attorney was suspended from his employment for a Facebook post he wrote after the horrific Orlando tragedy this past week, Prosecutor Kenneth Lewis wrote on Facebook:
"Downtown Orlando has no bottom. The entire city should be leveled. It is void of a single redeeming quality. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs. It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril. If you go down there after dark there is seriously something wrong with you. Disney does everything in its power to shield visitors of Disney from its northern blight. That doesn't change reality. Disney may be the happiest place on earth but Orlando is a national embarrassment. If this is an act of domestic terrorist it is so important that we don't publish the religion, name, or motive of the terrorist as not to offend anyone."One may not agree with what Kenneth Lewis wrote. That's not the issue. The freedom for Kenneth Lewis to think, say, and feel differently than the whole is the only way we keep America from descending into Orwellian dystopia.
You, too, may be contributing to the Orwellian nature of political correctness when you demand everyone on your Facebook feed think and write the way you do. If you really cherish freedom - not just say you do, but really cherish it - then celebrate the fact you have friends who disagree with you. Let them write what they think without de-friending them or humiliating them. That will be your contribution to building the utopia we call America.
Don't let your Facebook feed become Big Brother.