1984 - James Weidner Political Science 255 Essay #1 Why we...

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James Weidner Political Science 255 Essay #1 Why we should fear Fear “It is impossible to found a civilization on fear and hatred and cruelty”. “Nonsense… we create human nature. Men are infinitely malleable”. This bit of dialogue is essentially the basis of George Orwell’s novel 1984 . The quote raises the question of who is right. While civilizations have been founded on fear and hatred and cruelty, they never last. However, O’Brien’s response brings about the question if this type of society is actually possible if executed correctly. The society in 1984 is loosely based on dictatorships from the world war two era. Orwell draws much of the reigning party from the Nazi’s of Germany, especially the rise of power and the things they did to maintain control over their citizens. Many of the practices of limiting freedom in 1984 flow closely with the time period in united states history known as the McCarthy era, which included the reign of J. Edgar Hoover as the director of the FBI. When it comes down to limiting freedoms, look at Patrick Devlin. In Devlin’s famed Wolfenden report, he argues for the government to have the ability to enforce laws designed to regulate “public morality” his argument for more government control draws eerie parallels to Orwell’s 1984 society. For models of his totalitarian regime, Orwell looked towards world war two. He drew heavily from the dictatorships of that era, specifically: Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, and to some extent, Mussolini’s Italy. However, when really looked at, there are many more similarities to Nazi Germany. The first similarity is the rise of the political parties. First off, both The Party of Oceania and the Nazis gained political power after a world war, while it took the Nazis longer to gain power, their stance, unwavering from the beginning, finally broke through to the citizens. The important thing to
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remember is that when a party gains power after a war, it is obvious that the citizens feel like the party is needed by the country for protection. This is always the case. But more specifically, both the Nazis and the party of Oceania exploited the war for their own gain. Both parties used the war to strike fear in the hearts and minds of citizens. Using this fear, both parties began their quest to found a civilization based on fear and hatred and cruelty. But fear of outside attack is not the only fear used by these respective governments; they also stressed the possibility of an internal attack. And this leads to another similarity: the fear of Jewish people. While the Nazis terrified the country with stories of the Jewish plans to take over Germany and the world, they also created hatred for the entire race by blaming them for all of Germany’s economic problems. Orwell took this and created the brotherhood, an underground society aiming to take down big brother. This brotherhood was lead by none other than a man named Goldstein, a Jew. This subversive threat, lead by Jews in both instances, allowed both governments to
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1984 - James Weidner Political Science 255 Essay #1 Why we...

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