I do not think that the arrival of totalitarianism in
Europe was delayed by two novels – “1984” Orwell and
“Blinding Darkness” Koestler… but they played a
huge role in this.
In 1984, the world celebrated a strange anniversary – the year that marked the time of action in George Orwell’s book “1984”. In the bibliography of utopian literature published in Boston in 1979, Orwell’s book is called a classic negative utopia. In the twentieth century, from the thirties to the seventies, many books of this genre were published, but almost all of them are forgotten, and the glory of Orwell and his predecessors – Zamyatin and Huxley does not fade. And if we did not live up to the future described by them, then we are to some extent obliged to them.
Novels Orwell, Zamyatin, Huxley belong to the genre of anti-utopia. Both utopia and anti-utopia create some model of the state
and society in order to show a new state structure. But if a utopian work, for example, the novel “Utopia” by T. Morra, which gave the name to the genre, shows a happy state and a person who is happy with it, then in an anti-utopia a person is always unhappy because of the state. Utopia can be called a recipe for a “happy future for humanity”, and anti-utopia – a test of this recipe. Antitotopia debunks myths by their collision with reality. Orwell wrote his novel in the middle of the twentieth century, when, by fencing off the whole world with the iron curtain of the cold war, the totalitarian regime of the Soviet Union created the myth of an ideal society. Orwell creates in his novel a model of the state and society, where totalitarianism is brought to the limits of the possible. From the picture created by Orwell, humanity shuddered.
The world of 1984 is the three totalitarian states: Oceania, Eurasia and East Asia, which are in constant war with each other. One of the party slogans reads: “War is peace.” The main goal of the modern social system is to prevent an increase
in the overall standard of living of people, since the growth of welfare threatens to violate the existing hierarchy of society. The goal of the war is to preserve the social system based on inequality. And the ruling party will wage this war forever, guarding its privileged position.
Naturally, in such conditions a person comes into conflict with the state. To suppress the resistance of a person, to make him spiritually degrade, live in constant fear, in poverty, in Oceania, a huge apparatus of suppression of personality was created. The Ministry of Truth is engaged precisely in the destruction of the truth and the creation of the myth about the country of Angsots as a prosperous state. The police of thoughts with the help of helicopters, patrols, telekranov watches everyone around the clock and “sprays” those who are still able to think. In order not to go crazy, the main character Winston Smith begins to write a diary, although he realizes that it can cost him his life. In describing the fictional English socialism of 1984, there are many real features of Soviet socialism that have become reality. This is ideological pressure on the person: everywhere there are posters with the image of the Elder Brother, absurd slogans, distortion and limitation of information, state interference in leisure and personal life, constant surveillance and denunciations. This is a miserable life, where “everything is miserable and trampled,” and the repair of broken glass can drag on for two years. Telekran constantly talks about the growth of production, about economic successes, and the inhabitants of Oceania walk barefoot and live in conditions of constant deficit. Even white bread and tea are available only to members of the domestic party.
The state apparatus is so strong that any struggle with it is meaningless. Winston and Julia decided to enter this path through the tortures of the Ministry of Love, where they destroy everything human in people. “In our world,” says O’Brien, “there will be no other feelings than fear, anger, triumph and self-abasement…” Winston and Julia were broken. Winston was finally forced to admit that “2×2 = 5”, fall in love with the Elder Brother and betray Julia.
Orwell guessed the secret of totalitarianism: “Twice two will be as much as the leader will say.” And the world was shocked by this discovery. Totalitarianism is a state of lies and violence, it bears death and ruin. And the “recipe for its preparation” could not stand the test of Orwell’s anti-utopia.