Clichés are deceptively annoying, to such an extent that when Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) send out his latest newsletter beginning of this week, with the title 'Orwell Was Right' I immediately decided not to want to read it. I was disappointed that Taibbi couldn't be more creative and felt certain that over the last two decades 1984 had been so used and abused insights from this book could no longer reveal any deeper meaning. Boy was I wrong.
This morning, knowing how good Matt's insights are when addressing current issues, I decided I wanted to have a look, nonetheless. And so, it is with renewed humility, first with regards to the bias in my judgement of Taibbi's craft in exposing societies' most painful realities in a manner few can emulate, as well as underestimating a book that still holds such brutal contemporary relevance, that I share the introduction to this article.
Frankly, I feel we cannot afford not to read it.
Orwell Was Right
From free speech to "spheres of influence" to our passion for endless war, we've become the doublethinkers 1984 predicted
By Matt Taibbi Narrated by Jared Moore
This weekend I re-read 1984, a book I tend to reach for when I get Defcon-1 depressed about the state of the world. Deep in the novel, Winston ponders the intricacies of doublethink:
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which canceled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them… To forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again… that was the ultimate subtlety.