We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

These five 1984 predictions came true

From Big Brother Watch:

9 comments to These five 1984 predictions came true

  • Druid144

    Unfortunately I found the background music so obtrusive that I couldn’t watch it.

  • Barbarus

    He rather missed the point on the subject of Newspeak. Its purpose is to control thought by controlling the language in which thought is expressed. For instance, if we accept the re-definition of “woman” to include “transwoman”, we have already lost the argument we might have about that. It happens a lot.

  • Paul Marks

    Barbarus – correct, that is indeed the purpose of the new language.

    The film starts with some media people associating the election of Donald Trump with a rise in sales of “1984” – which is ironic as President Trump is the leading opponent of the Deep State (although he did not set out to be – he was pushed into this role), if President Trump is any character in 1984 it is not Big Brother, it is Emanuel Goldstein – the target of constant organised hate.

    Sadly George Orwell (Eric Blair) was himself part of the problem – not part of the solution.

    He wrote 1984 as a warning against political and cultural tyranny – but remained a socialist.

    Orwell wanted socialism as long as it respected liberty – in short he wanted a barking cat, or dry-water, or hot-ice. Or as Anthony De Jasay put in his short book on “Market Socialism” – “This Square Circle”. Antony de Jasay’s work “The State” is a classic.

    Orwell assumed that socialism, collectivism in the economy, was good (it is a disaster) and could, somehow, be reconciled with political and cultural liberty – it can not.

    And this also goes for “Social Reform” (which so many “New Liberals” and “Conservatives” such as Prime Minister Balfour, have supported) – “Social Reform”, state spending and regulations, is supposed to make terrible problems in society better – in reality it makes these problems worse than they otherwise would be.

    “Social Reform” also ends up needing ever more money to be created from nothing – as taxation, no matter how high, can not support it – it is like being in a terrible war, but not for a few years – but, rather, for ever.

    And such endless Credit Money must (Cantillon Effect) concentrate wealth in the hands of a few powerful groups – at the expense of everyone else. And to preserve this system of a massive state, taking on all the basic functions of Civil Society (thus collapsing the distinction between state and society – with so called “non government” organisations working with governments), allied with “partner corporations” (financial and other) a Police State (even if the term is not used) is necessary.

    Not so much Marxism (although Frankfurt School Marxist “Woke” stuff may be used to distract the public and keep them fighting amongst themselves – over pronouns and so on) as Fascism (the Corporate State – “Stakeholder Capitalism” based on “public-private partnership”) – or “Technocracy”.

    Totalitarianism wearing a smiley face mask.

  • Paul Marks

    Good film – from a good organisation.

    Big Brother Watch.

  • Paul Marks

    J.S. Mill rightly called the philosophy of Lord Stanley (later the Earl of Derby – he was both a Whig and a Tory operating in the governments of both) “Liberticide”. Stanley-Derby started with imposing a system of state schools on Ireland (the taxpayers in Ireland did not get a veto on this – or anything else, Lord Russell was to impose the Poor Law system on Ireland in the late 1830s, and then make vastly more extreme in the late 1840s – a third of the population of Ireland died, or fled the country, in the late 1840s) and competed with his one time ally Lord Russell (who the ignorant associate with laissez faire – Russell was most certainly not a laissez faire person) and later ally Disraeli, in thinking up new functions and schemes for the state. Including such things as flirting with Prohibition.

    But Mill himself tried to make a distinction between economic liberty and civil liberties – there is no such distinction. For example, regulations on the seller are NOT really different from regulations on the buyer (contrary to what Mr Mill sometimes seemed to claim), nor is the principle of liberty any different in economic or civil liberties matter.

    Nor is it a “harm principle” – that is much too vague and has been taken advantage of by modern Marxists (such as the late Herbert Marcuse) to argue that “reactionary” speech “harms” “disadvantaged and marginalised groups”.

    The old principle of the Common Law was better – not “harm” but rather an attack upon the person or their property, their goods.

    So, yes, people should (not should not) be allowed to “parade” their disapproval of the relationship between Mr Mill and Mrs Taylor (turn their backs on them in public and the rest of it) – for a state that is powerful enough to prevent people “parading their disapproval” is much too powerful.

    It is a physical attack on Mr Mill or Mrs Taylor, or damage or theft to their property, that is a crime – not “parading” disapproval.

    See where attacks on “Hate Speech” and “Repressive Tolerance” of “Reactionary” opinions can be taken from some strands of liberalism itself – long before Herbert Marcuse and the other Frankfurt School Marxists.

  • Paul Marks

    As mentioned above, the Poor Law was imposed on Ireland in the late 1830s – and it was made far more extreme in the late 1840s with not only a local tax (essentially an unlimited local tax) but also areas being forced to bail each other out – so if a Poor Law Union went bankrupt in one part of Ireland, Irish taxpayers (all taxes are passed on – no tax just hits one part of the community, such as “landowners”) in other parts of Ireland were made to pick up the bill – thus crushing these areas of Ireland as well.

    One third, 1 in 3, of the population of Ireland either died or fled the country in the late 1840s – yet how many times have you read, in any book, the suggestion that perhaps all this taxation (not just for the Poor Law – but also for the National Police Force that Ireland, but not England and Wales, had, and for the state education system that Ireland had, but not England and Wales) had something to do with that?

    I suggest that you have never read that in any book or article – that, on the contrary, you have read that the government did not intervene enough at the time of the potato famine (not that the burden of taxation smashed Ireland – including areas which were not dependent on the potato), that the government practiced “Laissez Faire” – rather than what it actually practiced, vast (crushing) taxation.

    So the “Ministry of Truth” was not invented in 1948 (the date of Orwell’s 1984 book) it goes back long before.

    One person in three dying or having to flee, in an entire country (a country of millions of people) is no small thing – and you, dear reader, have constantly been told that “laissez faire”, not crushing taxation, was to blame.

    The forces of “Social Reform” must never be questioned (they will not allow it) – one may only say that “Social Reform” has not gone far enough – never that it has made things worse than they otherwise would have been.

  • Y. Knott

    “The forces of “Social Reform” must never be questioned (they will not allow it)…”

    It sounds much like what I’ve read about the English ‘Salt Tax’ in India. India being a hot country, salt was even more vital to Indians than to people in colder northern climes, and an entire caste was out there making salt with clay pots and fires – a local system, invented and run by locals, which had evolved to fill the needs of the populace and which did so (from what I’ve read) remarkably well. I’m unsure what rationale the East India Company and later the colonial government trotted-out to put a false-face of ‘caring for the people’ on the rapacity with which they dispossessed an entire caste of its livelihood (and under the caste system, they could not just go and do something else to earn a living – once a salt seller, always a salt seller), and forced the rest of the population to buy English salt, boiled-down with English coal, shipped halfway around the world and heavily taxed (of course). Or was it simply “We want all the taxes we can squeeze out of the peasantry”? The picture of Gandhi picking salt off the beach has been called “the most famous photo ever taken”.

    There was a great deal of perniciousness in India already, as there always is in a civilization that old – but this stands as another example of where government intervention made things worse.

  • Paul Marks

    Y. Knott.

    Philip Francis pointed out that the Salt Tax was insane – but Warren Hastings kept it, arguing that some Indian rulers had had the same tax (as Edmund Burke said of Mr Hastings – he used the abuses of local rulers as a supposed justification for his own abuses, even on such matters as the use of torture).

    I do not think it is true that Indians were forced to buy salt from England – but the salt tax (which the East India Company inherited) did terrible harm, as did government interventions (and the taxes to pay for the interventions) in India did generally.

    Sir John Trevelyan was doing harm in India before he was sent to Ireland – where he did vastly more harm (he was then honoured greatly – made a lord, and created the British Civil Service).

    Eventually the longest hedge in the world was created in India – hundreds of miles long.

    Its function was to divide high salt tax areas of India from lower (or no) salt tax areas.


    And light years away from (the opposite of) laissez faire.

  • Paul Marks

    About a third of India remained under the Princely States – in spite of the insane policy of “lapse” introduced by Governor General Dalhousie (more on him later) to use any “legal” (legal in the Biden “Justice” Department sense) to take over any state they could.

    British rule varied over India – historically (even back in the late 1700s) the worst governed area was the Bengal Presidency – partly due to the land tenure system, the lack of any real security in land for the farmers. Bengal is a difficult area anyway (due to weather patterns that lead to flood or drought) but the methods of government there (both under the East India Company and later) were bad.

    As for Governor General (in charge from 1848 to 1856) Dalhousie (who I mentioned above) – this person shows what the British ruling elite was really like, as opposed to the “laissez faire” myth.

    He is praised to the skies (for example by Wikipedia – but also by all the establishment text books) for his telegraph system, his railway system, his government schools (“even for girls” the Progressives gush), his “public works” and on-and-on.

    What a generous man Dalhousie was funding all this out of his own pocket – sarcasm alert.

    Of course his spending was NOT funded from his own pocket – it was funded partly by taxation (crushing the Indians in order to “help them”) and partly from taking land – plundering, even land belonging to Indian soldiers in the service of the East India Company.

    There should be no surprise that revolt (the “Indian Mutiny”) broke out just after all this.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>