Aaron Sandhu Sandhu 1 November 19, 2012
The Power of Thought
There are valuable insights to be gained from George Orwell’s famous book, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’, and from director Steven Spielberg’s movie ‘Minority Report’. Though both these works point to the dangers of unbridled power in the hands of the State, there are also substantial differences in plot and vision of these works. George Orwell’s famous dystopian novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ is a work of fiction based on reality. The famous British thinker, Lord Acton stated that ‘Power corrupts, and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely’. Throughout history, megalomaniacal men have conspired to seize absolute power. Orwell himself gave examples of such attempts, most famously that of the Catholic Church that wielded near absolute power in Europe for a thousand or more years. In the future that Orwell envisioned, the world would become a place where scientific advances, most importantly in human psychology, combined with technological advances, would allow the State to seize absolute and total control over every aspect of the life of its citizens. The most horrifying aspect of Orwell’s dystopian and totalitarian world was that the State not only wanted to control the actions of its citizens, such as legislating mandatory exercises, and repeated ceremonies of pledging allegiance to the State, but the State wanted to control the very thoughts and minds of its citizens. Even more terrifyingly the State wanted to alter the human mind through Sandhu 2
manipulation of language so that people would be unable to even think any rebellious thoughts because they lacked the language, or words, to do so. Control of human beings through control of language is not a new idea; it goes clear...
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