The goverments of the three superpowers are alike even though their governments have different names. Similarities exist between them. Why?This is from the book 1984 by George Orwell. I have been...

The goverments of the three superpowers are alike even though their governments have different names. Similarities exist between them. Why?

This is from the book 1984 by George Orwell. I have been stuck on this question!

Asked on by maddydako

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timbrady's profile pic

timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

I think the key is that they are never "at war."  A state of war creates a state of dependency in the population ... they need to be "protected" by their government against other hostile countries/groups.  Because of this need, they come to love the country that provides this security.  This is similar to an idea developed many years before by Thomas Hobbes in his "Leviathan."  He note that the population will make a contract with the state (quite different from other Social Contracts to come later) based on this premise that the primary responsibility of the state is to protect its citizens from attacks.

The governments in 1984 may or may not exist, but they are clearly working together to create a system that keeps ALL of the world's citizens dependent on their government, thus providing a kind of "balance" in the world.  Thus, "War is Peace."

There are some similarities to this system in our world where the USSR and the USA once were the two superpowers who kept each other "under control" while maintaining "order" in the sphere of influence.

I listed the reference to Hobbes below in case you are interested in further investigation.

 

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missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From the perspective of a reader, not being deeply entrenched in the Party ourselves, just being onlookers at this situation, this is indeed difficult to define.

I would encourage you that one great similarity is the distinction by location. At the time of Orwell's writing, the superpowers were the United States, and the USSR. Each of these superpowers names distinctly defined their country's political aims, whereas the Britians and Germanys of the world stuck to their age-old names that delineated ethnicity only. The names of Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia suggest that the world has been taken from over 200 countries and put into only 3 distinct regions. They named themselves according to location, not at all according to political purpose.

These regions also maintain similarity in that their fight is over territory, or power alone. It is not about great political debate or inhumane behavior that we see in our societies.

In my opinion, these similarities exist because they further support a major message in the book that humanity is being destroyed through a process of desensitization. With so little to identify the countries and with so little purpose, no one really knows why there is a fight, NOR DO THEY CARE TO ASK.

To find distinct differences if you are interested, the greatest testimony to difference occurs as Mongols are paraded about the streets in trapped vehicles seeming to go from one concentration-type camp to another. Thus the only difference seen is ethnicity. The proles aren't affected by this, whereas in our societies ethnicity has made us distinctly more aware of our own identities and backgrounds.

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