“Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for the wrong reasons” -Richard Buckminster Fuller
In the totalitarian worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) and V for Vendetta the ruling regimes have exploited technology that could be used for the benefit of humanity and tainted it with the purpose of securing their absolute control over humanity. They do this by censoring information released to the public, enforcing their own version of the past and present, and dismissing citizens’ right to privacy to spy on them.
In 1984, It is Winston’s job to ensure the Party’s historical veracity. In order to do this he brings up past copies of whatever requires updating, rewrites it appropriately, destroys the old copy and sends back the new ‘correct’ copy. The method of delivery for the past editions of the Times is described as an ‘unseen labyrinth of “pneumatic tubes” that contains every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance.’ This system is remarkably similar to the modern internet; a vast network containing much of mankind’s knowledge. However, the uses to which these technologies are put are very different. The primary purpose of the internet is make information available to everyone while the Ministry of Truth keeps their ‘internet’ solely for themselves and uses it to lie about the past. This is a reprehensible mutation of technology for reprehensible purposes.
In V, the Norsefire regime similarly controls powerful computer systems with the capability to empower the citizens of England with immense reserves of knowledge about the past and the present. However it is again being used solely by the dictatorship to eliminate subversives. While it is never stated outright that the public does not have open access to the information, this can be inferred as Scotland Yard is the only place we see Finch access the database to learn more about Lark Hill. Also, given that ‘By the power of Truth,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document