So I’m enjoying my Saturday evening, browsing stuff online, etc etc. And then I check my calendar… it says April 17, 2016… Sunday. SUNDAY!!! I’m like no, this can’t be happening, I didn’t finish my homework, I should go kill myself, blah blah blah blah when I realise it’s 12:01AM. Phew. Which means it’s technically still Saturday. Kind of. Maybe. Not really. But for all purposes, it’s SATURDAY! Anyway, I’m so relieved right now.
UPDATE: To those who are confused about the date on the left, Shanghai is 8 hours ahead of wherever the server of WordPress is located. And I was in Shanghai when I wrote this.
I am writing an essay on 1984, Animal Farm, and the Chinese Cultural Revolution for my English/History class. At first I wanted to write about how totalitarian governments use representations of the “perfect proletariat” to manipulate its citizens. I wrote an outline and rough draft for that essay and everything. But now, 5 days before the deadline, another more interesting topic has caught my attention and I decided to scrap my original plan.
So my new essay is going to be on the creation of ignorance and how totalitarian governments do that to gain and remain in control. Here are three ways that the totalitarian regimes in 1984, Animal Farm, and the Communist China create ignorance.
1. Influencing the Young
The government targets the brainwashing at the children. Children are young and very impressionable. For example, Mao appeals to the teens by making them Red Guards. Napoleon trains the dogs to follow everything he says. Children in 1984 are eager to turn in their parents as they are not capable of love.
Every totalitarian state needs catchy slogans of its own. Mao, in his 16-point directive, emphasised the need for propaganda posters. “Napoleon is always right.” “Four legs good, two legs bad!” “I will work harder.” “Ignorance is Strength.” Everything said in the little red book of Mao. And this poster…
3. Eliminating Intellectuals
Smart people would never allow totalitarian states to continue on with their tyranny. This is why Mao launched the Hundred Flowers Campaign to single out the intellectuals and reeducate them. In 1984, people who commit thought crimes are vaporized.
There are many more methods of creating ignorance. For example, fabricated tales about the perfect proletariat (Comrade Ogilvy in 1984, Boxer in Animal Farm, Lei Feng in Communist China). And other well-crafted lies and propaganda as well. We should educate ourselves so that we are not easily deceived by these. The best propaganda are ones that people do not recognise as propaganda.
I think my new essay is going to be OK. Please wish me luck!
P.S. Dear Mr. Orwell, I apologise if I forgot to italicise some of your book titles.