The government in "1984" controls the people in two frightening ways. One is through the control of information. The people have no access to the facts of the past, so the present government can tell them whatever they want them to know about the past to justify what is happening in the present. The Internet makes this all too possible in our world. Once it was difficult to get ENOUGH information to make an informed decision; now there is SO MUCH information, we don't know what to believe. Take our recent Presidential campaigns. Do we know if all/none/any of the things each candidate alleged about the other and the other's policies is/was true? Do any of us have any idea which, if any, of the plans they tell us will "work" will actually have any positive effect? None of us have enough information to know; I doubt that they do. Do we know if George Bush's economic plans have been a total disaster? Was it his fault? The Congress'? Is it just part of the "natural" business cycle? (Do you know how many serious recessions we've had in the last 250 years?).
The other danger is the government's gathering too much information on us. How much information do they have now? Should we "allow" spy cameras wherever someone decides they should be? (We are getting more and more "red light" cameras in Arizona, but there have been many of them in other states for years --- most toll plazas take a picture of your car as it goes through, for some reason, and this has been going on for years). A great deal is known about each of us through our social security number? Presently it's in the hands of a "benign" government ... what if this government should ever change ... the respository of information will still be there ... is this a good thing?
I guess these are both related --- the biggest danger is the control and misuse of information and our willingness to just let it happen. (And I am NOT a conspiracy freak :) I just think this is something we should be more aware of than we are.)
What are the dangers of government in "1984", and how does it relate to society today?