|Author: Josh Wickett|
Counter-Racist Book Review – George Orwell 1984
“War is peace
The first time I read this novel I thought it was interesting and entertaining; which it definitely is. But as I began to study counter racism science and understand how words function as tools for getting things done in a system of White supremacy, this “story” took on a whole different meaning.
1984 by George Orwell is a novel, fiction. In a world as strange and exciting as this one, why would people bother to make up stories? To reveal truth that’s why. That is the work of the artist. So what happens when the smartest most powerful White people set up a supreme political system based on falsehood, deception and lies?
The truth comes out anyway; sometimes revealed by the White supremacists themselves. Movies, TV, newspapers…The practice of racism is littered with evidence of White supremacy i.e. *Dark* figures, *tainted* evidence (look that one up), *black* days… Words are tools and so far, Ain’t nobody got a tool kit like the White supremacists. 1984, although fiction, is an example of this phenomenon. A small number of dedicated individuals control an entire society through the skillful use of deceit(words) and direct violence.
1984 is written in the “first person” kinda like reading someone’s diary. The novel (published in 1948) chronicles the experiences of “Winston Smith“, a low level party analyst in a future society controlled by a “Big Brother”; which is the colloquial name for what many people would consider a “police state”. Big Brother is not a “race”, but a political party composed of a pyramidal structure based on three classes of people:
Inner party members consist of a relatively small group of the smartest, most powerful people who actually run the government. They established the party. They make all the important decisions and insure the party’s supremacy by deceiving people into linking their own survival to the survival of Big Brother; think White supremacists.
Outer party members are the people who do the actual day to day work of keeping the party functioning, they follow orders and collect a check. Winston Smith is one such functionary. A small number of them sometimes challenge the party for this or that reason, but never for the purpose of abolishing the party. In other words, the argument is all about process. Its not a question of “if” but “how”. Though they may resent the inner party and the privileges the members enjoy, Most of them want to be one. And besides, its better than being a prole. For purposes of clarification, think of Outer party members as White people.
Proles. Lets see, how can I say this diplomatically…ah, proles are..ah, ah..awe forget it. Proles are basically niggers. Now before you get upset, I’m talking about function. Proles are the term for the masses of ignorant, easily deceive, emotional, child like “citizens” that Big Brother “cares” for. They live in a world created by Big Brother, they speak the language of Big Brother; THEY LOOKIN RIGHT AT BIG BROTHER EVERYDAY. But they have no idea what Big Brother is. The inmates were born in prison, prison life is all they know. A prole is nothing more than a battery. Use it up, throw it away…get another one.
Big Brother has secret police, televisions that watch you instead of you watching it, children trained to spy on their parents…but the biggest advantage of the party is: ALL WORDS AND DEFINITIONS FUNCTION IN SUPPORT OF BIG BROTHER. “Newspeak” which is the official language, was created by Big Brother for precisely this reason. Winston Smith works for the “Ministry of Truth” which controls all media, TV, radio, magazines…His job is to “edit reality” and make it coincide with the latest pronouncements of Big Brother. Using something called a “speakwrite”, he sits in a cubicle all day scanning books, magazines, various printed materials looking for information that contradicts the latest “battlefield victories”, “exceeded production quotas” and all the other great and vast achievements that Big Brother spews out day after day.. After he “corrects” a document, the older version is destroyed…it never existed. Winston Smith even destroys the memos he gets telling him what to destroy. Things, people, places, events…are simply removed from history when they don’t support the party. The language of “Newspeak” is mainly created by removing the opposite of a word and “garnishing” the word to make up for its missing opposite counterpart. For example, the word “bad” has been removed and replaced with “ungood”. When something is terrible, its “double-ungood” and when something is horrible it becomes “double plus-ungood” What is the utility of such linguistic gymnastics? The book goes into some detail about this but basically, It’s a way to control peoples thinking. The examples in this novel are rather gross. But in a system of racism/White supremacy like the one we exist in, it happens everyday. The Pentagon used to house the Department of War, the word “War” was removed and replaced with the word “Defense” after WW2. Now isn’t that better? *smile*
“Save the rain forest”…huh? Ain’t no “rain forest”, that’s the jungle! White people knew they couldn’t get no money to “save the jungle” because that’s where the niggers live, that’s why they came up with this “rainforest” bullshit. I was in Vietnam, that wasn’t no “rainforest”, that was the JUNGLE!; mosquitoes, snakes and nonwhite people, the only thing I was tryin to save was my ass! Tarzan wouldn’t last a week in the jungle
White people are trying to remove the word “nigger” from the lexicon because it reveals too much truth about the system of White supremacy and when truth is revealed about racism, White people are gonna be offended and Black people are gonna be embarrassed and then who’s gonna sing Kumbya? The word “nigger” describes a person who is mistreated because of their color by White people who practice racism. This is why niggers get so mad when they hear White people use it. A nigger is a victim of racism, all niggers know this. So in order to “make race[ism] better” (for the niggers) White people are gonna stop using the word NIGGER and replace it with the “N” word.?
I’m gonna continue to use the word nigger until there are no more niggers (victims of racism). Niggers are the symptom, White supremacy is the disease. Cure the disease.
Now, ah…where was I…oh yeah:
Ministry of Truth = news, entertainment, education…
Life is hard for most people in what is known as Oceania which is a confederation of European city states. Food and other necessities are in short supply unless you are a member of the small clique of inner party members. In most circumstances, this state of affairs would breed resentment culminating in an overthrow of the Big Brother by the masses of *have nots* and *disenfranchised people*. (smile)
To counter this almost certain outcome, Big Brother keeps the people in a constant state of fear of a *shadowy* sinister man called Goldstein and his secret terror group called the Brotherhood.-think Osama bin Laden, Saddam and Willie Horton all rolled into one. Goldstein sends out occasional videos denouncing Big Brother and threatening terror attacks Bla Bla Bla…Goldstein is also thought to be linked with the country of Eurasia which Oceania is at war with. In the novel Eurasia appears to be a country of non white people. Its difficult to tell if these enemies really exist or if they are manufactured by Big Brother. Occasional “rocket bombs” land and kill proles, alleged terror cells are broken up and the “terrorist” hung. Big Brother occasionally announces overwhelming, victorious battles in far off places, but for all practical purposes, there is little actual evidence that any of these “enemies” really exist.
Winston Smith ain’t buyin any of it, he watches people go along with the system and keeps an eye out for other people like himself. He holds the ignorant proles in contempt and despises the robotic dedication of other outer party members like himself. He thinks “bad” thoughts about the party and Big Brother. Those “bad” thoughts have now led to “bad” actions: he has committed a crime; Winston Smith bought a diary, and he wrote in it.
Recording your innermost, private thoughts is prohibited under Big Brother. And if you think about it, the reason is obvious. Diaries are not written for the consumption of other people. The value of the exercise is entirely dependent on the honesty of the writer, otherwise, why own a diary? You gonna stay up late at night writin lies to your self? This book really gives a good description of what its like to live a lie i.e. laugh when nothins funny, agree when you disagree and be silent when you want to speak out. In other words; to function as a nigger. Take it from me (a nigger). Sometimes I wish I took the blue pill, I could be layin back with a bucket of chicken and a White woman instead of trying to replace racism with Justice. I tried drugs, I tried sex, I even went to Brazil because I heard there was no racism there (that’s a whole nother story) but, but…its everywhere. (Please pardon my digression)
I won’t disclose the rest of the book but I do want to mention an interesting tactic Big Brother uses to keep the peoples focus off the party. Its called “Two Minutes Hate”. At a certain time of day everyone stops working and watches a short film consisting of sound and images of all they have been taught to fear. “Two Minutes Hate” is like a mini pep rally where pictures of the sinister “Goldstein” are shown speaking out against Big Brother, Masses of *Eur[asian]* soldiers are shown goose stepping and advancing in endless columns. Everyone is expected to try to out do each other in the amount of booing and hissing they do at the screen. The event has the anticipation and intensity of a sexual experience. It usually ends with the face of Big Brother forming on the screen and making some vapid, cheap, empty patriotic statement “they hate our freedom…united we stand…“. Its at one of these events that he notices a young girl and also “O’Brien”, an inner party member that attracts his suspicion that he may have finally found another person who is “faking it”. Once a year they even have “Hate Week”. People make banners and plan events…think Mardi Gras, lynching and the Superbowl all rolled into one. “Hate Week” is a carefully controlled hostility festival Big Brother puts on to bleed off the constantly increasing anger and unfocused energy that is the inevitable by product of people forced to function as niggers (proles).
Winston Smith watches all of this with a great deal of contempt; But not so much that it shows on his face. In 1984 you can be convicted of a “Thought Crime”, yeah you heard me right. You can be convicted of treason based on nothing more than the look on your face. Big Brother has bill boards all over town espousing various empty “Newspeak”party slogans and containing tiny cameras. When you look at these bill boards you better not frown or you might receive a visit from the Thought Police.
1984 is a cautionary tale, yeah the people are manipulated but don’t focus on the puppets, look above the puppets and see who is pulling the strings. Who are they and how do they do it? . Big Brother is people, people are practicing this injustice. The party has done a lot of work recognizing and correcting the mistakes other political systems have made. One of which they claim is the dependence of most “empires” on race and this is where Big Brother appears to differ from White supremacy. According to party theory, dependence on a continuing genetic heritage (race) has been the” achilles heel” of all past imperial powers (too many chiefs, not enough Indians…) Big Brother gets around this by basing membership on allegiance to a concept, the concept of Big Brother[ism] which supposedly anyone can practice.
But I had a big problem with this part of the book.
White people have a genetic self interest in practicing White supremacy (see Cress Theory of Color Confrontation) How can they pledge allegiance to Big brother[ism] when they have to worry about being fucked off the planet by non white people?
American?, Communist?, Feminist? Environmentalist? …How can a White person be true to any other value system when they got that hanging over their head?
That is a question I am not qualified to answer, you’re gonna hafta ask a person who CAN practice racism. You’re gonna hafta ask a a White person. Until then, read 1984 by George Orwell. It’s an interesting novel. It may not have the solution to racism White supremacy; but it will help you raise some questions about it.