1984 v. 2015, Are we living in a Dystopia?

First things first, read 1984 before you read this post. Otherwise you won't have any idea what this post is talking about. 1984 is a classic dystopian by George Orwell. You can find it on amazon; if you haven't read this book yet, I highly suggest that you do.

The book chronicles the year 1984. The brainwashed civilians are living under an all powerful entity known as "Big Brother." They are constantly being watched; if they are believed to be guilty, removed from society. They are brainwashed, lied to, and manipulated. And they are devoted to "big brother," they view him as a sort of God. That description, in it of itself, doesn't sound much like our world. But many elements in the book reflect elements in our world today. Written back in a time when society wasn't like this, it's incredible to see how well this book foretold pieces of future society.

1. We're watching you...

In the book, a mysterious entity named big brother and the government is "watching" the civilians using a wide variety of technology and complex tracking. Now What does that remind you of in today's society...

1984 v. 2015, Are we living in a Dystopia?

The truth is we don't actually know how much we are being watched. But it isn't only internet and telecommunications that are being monitored. Intelligence indicates that the NSA can obtain information from an offline computer by sending out a series of radio waves. But that's not all. It's common knowledge that our communications are monitored, but our voices too? Recording devices placed on the rooftops of buildings may pick up information from passerby. Not to mention the fake WiFi networks the NSA sets up to extract data from the user.

And we know at least some of this to be true. In recent years, an individual PMed his friend threatening acts of terrorism. He was arrested. How did they know? They knew because they are watching...

2. 1984 depicted a police state. The United States isn't a police state where people are punished for not doing anything...

Well, actually that depends on how you define police state. If you follow the news, you may have heard stories of kids being suspended from school for saying "gun." Indiduals being detained at customs for bringing a sock monkey with a two inch toy gun in its pocket. Harsher and harsher measures are being implemented as we speak. How long is it before people start getting arrested for small matters that don't actually warrant arrest.

I estimate within this generation's lifetime we'll see this prediction come true

3. But at least we aren't brainwashed... or are we?

Compared to the citizens of the DPRK, we are not brainwashed. However, heavily monitored/controlled outside sources get to our heads from a very young age. The mainstream media, advertisers... all of it influences how our brains work. So in that sense we are brainwashed. Many of us are conditioned to fear the unknown. Unknown which we have to depend on the mainstream media to clarify.

We aren't as free as we might think we are... just because are free compared to individuals in other countries does not mean we are free.

4. But hey, at least we can turn the cameras OFF

At least for now we can block the lens, but the microphone still hears you speak? There is already technology out that allows the device to know whether it is seeing you or not. How long until that technology is forced on us? At that point, it will be just like 1984. Cameras watching... all the time. Any attempt to stop them from doing so is considered shady and will get you arrested.

5. At least in 1984, the cameras stayed in one place

There has already been talk of drones being used to database a person's face. And given all the other sketchy shit the NSA has done, why not. Imagine cameras flying above you, following you around... at least in 1984, the recording devices stayed in one place...

If that doesn't worry you, nothing will.

6. United under the same power for years and years, forever and ever since the beginning and at the end...

No, not the president. What else is something that Americans abide by, that is firmly planted in our DNA. That we... worship and honor?

The constitution was originally written for the benefit of the US citizens. It was supposed to be changed now and again.

It isn't. We are living under and worshipping an outdated set of rules and laws... because we are told to.

Kind of like big brother...

And, just like the constitution, big brother is an idea as opposed to a person.

The American equivalent of big brother...

They actual look sort of similar... like they could be brothers almost. BIG brothers

7. Like the civilians in 1984, we too lack knowledge

The reality is, why don't know to what extreme these things are true. We know we are spied on... how much? We don't know that. We do know that the NSA, at the least, has the technology Google Earth uses. But who knows, maybe they have technology that updates in real time. Maybe they have technology that can see through walls... we don't really know.

We also don't know how much our minds are changed...

we don't know who is or isn't watching us...

we don't entirely know what we can and cannot be punished for anymore...

Sounds a lot like


Most Helpful Girl

  • Nah, "Brave New World" is more like it. We're being willfully drugged into accepting that happiness of most is worth more than intellectual freedom of few. We have nigh unlimited access to information, but we ourselves filter most of it out for our personal comfort. 1984 was more of a commentary on an existing system, the Soviet communism, and this was depicted scarily well in the novel. People were indeed erased from all records if they displeased Stalin, for instance. Say what you will, that's NOT what modern world looks like outside of North Korea. Any person who's lived through the nightmare of Stalinism will tell you as much.

    • Definitely more like Brave New World... I remember reading that 1984 was more along the lines of books being banned and our fears becoming reality... and Brave New World was more like people just stop having the desire to read books and our desires becoming reality. Two great dystopias that tackle the extremes of fear (Oceania being kept loyal through the fear of a perpetual war) and desire (a world of extreme efficiency where people are conditioned to consume)

Most Helpful Guy

  • I agree with @watashiwahanadesu 1984 isn't the dystopia we need to be worried about. Thought policing is not a realistic future. We need to worry about privatization of the police force and corporate take over of the government.

    Our government just recently bailed out the sinking corporations... When businesses are so in control of our government that they have constitutional rights to our treasury as a business! that far exceeds our rights as people and individuals... Where was the outrage when OUR government FOR THE PEOPLE preserved corporate monopolies? That's right there was none. Because our government governs such a large population that advertisements dictate our political stances, not circumstance. In Congress, 95% of the time (NINETY - FIVE!) the congressmen who pays more on advertisements, wins the election. We're not in control of our fate anymore. Our rights as individuals are in constant competition with the rights of corporate America. And they're winning.


Join the discussion

What Girls Said 6

  • oh gosh... sounds like north korea o_O
    ... and slowly happening to us =/

    but i don't think the US constitution is outdated. people just need to actually follow it.

    • It was intended to be revised every so often to suit modern society better.
      We are a long way from DPRK. For starters, americans have decent haircuts

  • This sounds a lot like those illuminati conspiracy theories.
    We are secretly brainwashed and enslaved to technology.
    I agree with you.

    • Im not into conspiracy theories, but this one has a lot of truth to it. I dont mean brainwashing in the traditional sense, i just mean our brains are influenced by outside sources that we are exposed to while they are developing.
      I dont think we are brainwashed in the traditional sense.
      We are somewhat enslaved to technology, but that is more because we choose to be than because it is forced on us

  • No. I don't think so. Newspeak doesn't exist and there is still freedom of speech. I highly doubt the 1984 society will ever happen.

    • Better hope it doesn't; i certainly dont want it to happen.
      It is not exactly like 1984, but you cannot deny the similarities

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    • It is a far stretch to think 1984 will become a reality. The judicial system has stood extremely strong and unwavering for over a century. For 1984 to become true, we would need to lose reasonable doubt from our standard practice. We're far from policing people base on thoughts (which if you read the book, is what it's really all about, not just watching people) and arresting them for intent. Intent is rarely prosecuted and usually requires you actually committing a crime that leads up to it (like shooting a person for intent to murder). As it stands, our judicial system is no where near 1984, in fact most criminals get off because it's nearly impossible to prove things beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's really the primary thing that would have to be derailed for anything remotely close to 1984 to happen and hasn't.. or even come close.

    • And again, watashi is right... 1984's government relied on the fears of a perpetual war and complete control over language (newspeak) that did not allow for rebellious thoughts.

      Both are impractical circumstances. It'd be impossible for the US to be in a perpetual war (with how advanced bombs have become) not to mention to lie about it (with how easy transportation and information have become) and obviously controlling a language is entirely unrealistic.

  • That is one of my favorite books, and ever since I read it, it has been a small fear in the back of my mind. Reading this, I agree, we are getting closer and closer to this dystopian way of life.

  • I don't think we are, but i do think it's coming. because if this is what you call dystopia, just wait.

  • very interesting observations, the gov hides lots of things from us


What Guys Said 5

  • They are now watching you.. oh dear.

  • ''@OP,


    The constitution was originally written for the benefit of the US citizens. It was supposed to be changed now and again.

    It isn't. We are living under and worshipping an outdated set of rules and laws... because we are told to.

    Kind of like big brother...''..

    I don't know what ur tryin to imply/say here but if it has anything to do with overhauling the 2A in order for it to suit ur agenda or even just plain ol' getting rid of it all together. Then the only way u are going to acomplish that is by killing me.

  • The most enslaved people are those who mistakenly believe that they're free.

  • I must read an entire book before I can read this take?

    • No. Originally i was going to mention the ending (very creepy, very good ending.) I decided against it. What i did say about the book is common knowledge. I still highly recommend you read it, but you dont need to to understand thi take.

    • Show All
    • Just because you haven't read it, doesn't it somehow make it less popular or useful in education. The fact you haven't read it, is more telling of your education than it is telling of the books popularity or quality.

    • Yeah umm... not to brag but I have a pretty high act score and have been in uni for two years now. Plus doing high school. I have two walls in my room completely covered with books. I'm sorry if out of the millions of books in the world if you haven't read a particular one then your education is lacking

  • Just for writing this you are now on a watch list.