You Can Tell That George Orwell Is Not Required Reading Anymore

  
By:  citizen-kane-473667  •  4 weeks ago  •  51 comments

You Can Tell That George Orwell Is Not Required Reading Anymore
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their...

This book was required reading when I went to school. I've raised kids who have never even heard it mentioned in school. Maybe we need to Hope to  Change that....

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Citizen Kane-473667
1  author  Citizen Kane-473667    4 weeks ago
“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.”
George Orwell, 1984
 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2  Sean Treacy    4 weeks ago

I was assigned Animal Farm in eighth grade and 1984 in high school.  Both should be required.

 
 
 
cjcold
2.1  cjcold  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 weeks ago

Sounds like you matriculated in a more enlightened school district than I did. They were both banned.

Had to find Orwell, Heinlein, Asimov, Herbert, Hubbard, Verne and Clarke on my own.

(with a little help from my friends)

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
2.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 weeks ago

Looking back, it was a pretty diverse list of book we were assigned.  Besides Orwell, we also were assigned Huck Finn and Black Boy, whose language probably keeps them from being assigned much today. The authors you mention, except Hubbard who I don't recall seeing, were available in the school library.

 
 
 
cjcold
2.1.2  cjcold  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

Hubbard was actually a very readable author up until the insanity of Dianetics and Scientology.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 weeks ago
Sounds like you matriculated in a more enlightened school district than I did. They were both banned.

I'm curious. If you don't mind answering, when did you go to high school?

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.1.4  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

I read all of these by the time I got to 10th grade. I agree that they should be mandatory reading.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
2.1.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 weeks ago

You managed to do it despite the anal retentive and educationally diminished environment you were in.  Kudos and total respect.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.1.6  Trout Giggles  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.4    4 weeks ago

I read those books on my own. My father got me to read Animal Farm and then I read 1984, just because Orwell fascinated me.

We really didn't have assigned reading in school. But I spent a lot of time in the library

 
 
 
luther28
2.1.7  luther28  replied to  cjcold @2.1    4 weeks ago

Never had any trouble finding reading material and back in that time we had the Legion of Decency ( more for films and yes it really was called that) to contend with. :)

I was fortunate, my parents allowed me to read anything I could get my mitts on.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
2.2  Jasper2529  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 weeks ago

Same for me. We also read Lord of the Flies, Twain's Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (original texts, not the whitewashed texts used today), To Kill a Mockingbird, and many other classics that are considered "controversial" today. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.2.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Jasper2529 @2.2    4 weeks ago

My girls read these books and my nephew is graduating this year from high school and he read them, so I am not sure that these books are considered controversial universally. 

 
 
 
Jasper2529
2.2.2  Jasper2529  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.2.1    4 weeks ago

I never said that the books were considered universally controversial; I put the word controversial in quotes for a reason.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
2.2.3  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Jasper2529 @2.2.2    4 weeks ago

Sorry. I took the quotes to mean "supposedly" or "hypothetically".

 
 
 
Heartland American
2.3  Heartland American  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 weeks ago

Me too.  

 
 
 
luther28
2.4  luther28  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    4 weeks ago

Two of my favorites.

 
 
 
GaJenn78
2.5  GaJenn78  replied to  Sean Treacy @2    3 weeks ago

Animal Farm my Freshman year in HS, I have yet to read 1984 but I would love to

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
2.5.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  GaJenn78 @2.5    3 weeks ago

Did you like Animal Farm? If so, you'll like 1984

 
 
 
GaJenn78
2.5.2  GaJenn78  replied to  Trout Giggles @2.5.1    3 weeks ago

It took me awhile to get into it and to "get it" LOL. I have several books downloaded on my kindle from HS that I'm rereading so I can enjoy them ☺

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
3  Buzz of the Orient    4 weeks ago

Some books are more equal than others. And who knows who Mellors was?

 
 
 
JBB
4  JBB    4 weeks ago

For very obvious reasons the advent of Trumpism spurred renewed interest in Orwell.

 
 
 
Jasper2529
4.1  Jasper2529  replied to  JBB @4    4 weeks ago

There's always been an interest in 1984, but it escalated during Obama's presidency. "Fundamentally transforming the USA" should ring a bell.

Trump had nothing to do with it.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Jasper2529 @4.1    4 weeks ago

cartoon-drawing-palm-forefinger-exposed-

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
4.1.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Jasper2529 @4.1    4 weeks ago

I will take any thing Obama did over what Trump is doing any day.

 
 
 
Dulay
4.1.3  Dulay  replied to  Jasper2529 @4.1    4 weeks ago
"Fundamentally transforming the USA" should ring a bell.

Yes and we should ring that bell in context: 

Obama’s in October 2008, Columbia, Mo:

"Now, Mizzou, I just have two words for you tonight: five days. Five days. After decades of broken politics in Washington, and eight years of failed policies from George W. Bush, and 21 months of a campaign that's taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

"In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor."
 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4.1.4  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4.1.2    4 weeks ago
"I will take any thing Obama did over what Trump is doing any day."

Like stabbing Israel in the back at the UN when he didn't need Jewish votes and campaign money any more?

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.1.5  Heartland American  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4.1.2    4 weeks ago

I’ll take the opposite position on that.  

 
 
 
ArkansasHermit-too
4.1.6  ArkansasHermit-too  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.4    4 weeks ago
Like stabbing Israel in the back at the UN when he didn't need Jewish votes and campaign money any more?

Pres Obama made it clear that he was not a fan of Netanyahu and his parties polices for dealing with the Palestinian's but Pres. Obama had a good, strong record of support for the State of Israel and her people while he was in office.

Obama has a stronger record on Israel than you might have been led to think

By Greg Rosenbaum, Chair of the NJDC Board of Directors

The following originally appeared in Haaretz.

The past week has seen the latest episode in an unrelenting campaign to delegitimize President Barack Obama’s strong commitment to Israel. It’s time to set the record straight on a president who has stood with Israel in times of crisis and has strengthened the Jewish state’s security in concrete ways, ensuring it maintains a qualitative military edge.

From his campaign for office to his recent talk at Adas Israel, a synagogue in Washington, D.C., Obama has made it clear that his commitment to Israel is and always will be unshakeable. “It would be a moral failing on my part if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly not just on behalf of Israel’s right to exist, but its right to thrive and prosper,” he has said.

Obama’s actions prove his commitment.

Israel continues to be the top recipient of U.S. foreign military financing, and for fiscal year 2016, the administration requested $3.1 billion in funding. The two nations also have begun preliminary talks on a long-term package that would provide up to $45 billion in security assistance grant aid through 2028. Early this year, Israel signed a contract with the United States for the purchase of 14 F-35 fighter jets, amounting to $3 billion.

Since Obama entered office, Israel has received more than $20.5 billion in foreign military financing. Unlike President George W. Bush, who rejected Israel’s request for bunker-buster bombs, Obama became the first president to approve the sale of these advanced weapons, and in the fall of 2012, the U.S. and Israel participated in Austere Challenge 12, the largest joint military exercise ever to be held between the two countries.

Under Obama, the U.S. and Israel have continued Juniper Cobra, a joint exercise that has been held every two years since 2001 to test our joint ability to respond to missile attacks and improve preparedness, as well as coordination between our armed forces.

Unlike Bush, who gave Israel’s Iron Dome system a frosty response, Obama has led the way in funding and supporting the research, development and production of the Iron Dome — which has been crucial in helping Israel defend itself against terrorist rocket attacks — as well as the joint U.S.-Israel missile defense systems David’s Sling, the Arrow II and Arrow III. Since 2011, the United States has provided Israel with more than $1.3 billion for the Iron Dome system alone.

The military cooperation has been so strong that in a 2012 speech to the Israel National Defense College, then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak said, “The security ties between us and the current administration are at the highest level they have ever been.”

In the international arena, under Obama’s leadership, the U.S. has fought for Israel’s full participation in the United Nations, has voted against resolutions in the General Assembly condemning Israel, cast the only “no” votes on five anti-Israel measures last year in the Human Rights Council, and worked to ensure that the General Assembly hold its first-ever session on anti-Semitism. Obama also prevented the Palestinians from unilaterally declaring an independent state.

Under Obama, the United States continues to support the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, or BIRD, which facilitates U.S.-Israel cooperation in such areas as agriculture, health care and homeland security. Supporting collaboration between the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry, BIRD-Energy has facilitated nearly $50 million in U.S.-Israel cooperation.

Obama has been unfailing in supporting Israel’s right to exist and defend itself against its enemies, and has been a phone call away when Israel needed assistance in times of crisis, taking personal steps to help avoid catastrophe when a mob attacked Israel’s embassy in Cairo and providing unprecedented support in fighting Israel’s major forest fire on Mount Carmel in 2010.

Regardless of political attacks against Obama's pro-Israel record, let’s not forget the mixed record of Republican presidents when it comes to standing with Israel. Let’s briefly give some historical context to the relationship between the two countries under Obama.

Not only did George W. Bush refuse to stand with Israel on promoting Iron Dome and selling bunker-buster bombs, but in 2005 he also froze nearly all U.S.-Israeli joint defense projects. And, just before Bush left office, the U.S. abstained rather than veto a one-sided UN Security Council resolution calling for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip. Under Ronald Reagan, the U.S. joined a Security Council resolution condemning Israel for its destruction of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility and, despite Israel’s strong objections, undermined the Jewish state's qualitative military edge by selling AWACS surveillance planes to Saudi Arabia. Dwight Eisenhower threated to isolate Israel during the Suez war; and George H.W. Bush opposed loan guarantees to Israel.

There is no question that Obama is committed, both in word and deed, to the safety and security of Israel — and in many ways is more committed than his Republican predecessors.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4.1.7  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  ArkansasHermit-too @4.1.6    3 weeks ago

It's unfortunate, isn't it, that SO MUCH needs to be said in his defence.  Had he not abstained, but voted against the UN resolution damning Israel, when he was at the end of his tenure and no longer needed Jewish votes and campaign funds, I might not have taken so seriously his written words that in the event of a conflict, he stood with the Muslims.

It doesn't matter how many comments and articles you produce about how supportive Obama has been, when he no longer needed the money or the votes, he stabbed Israel in the back.  It wasn't Bibi he stabbed, it was Israel.  He didn't have to do it, but HE DID!!!

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
5  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago

It would only take a glance at "1984" for students to recognize all the similarities between Oceania and modern America. That's the reason it's not required reading! As I have said before the most influential book of out times is actually a textbook called "A Peoples History of the United States."

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.1  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Vic Eldred @5    4 weeks ago

Vic,

I think they are both important for different reasons. One gives you a foundation of our country so we can understand where we have come from, and the others are cautionary tales of where we can go.

You don't even have to look at 1984. We have been warned about AI in cautionary tales over and over and look, we now invite it into our homes. 

The problem with human nature is we can see it coming and at the exact same time put on blinders and pretend that it isn't. The proof is pre Nazi Germany. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
5.1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.1    4 weeks ago
We have been warned about AI in cautionary tales over and over and look, we now invite it into our homes. 

You think I'm talking about AI?

The proof is pre Nazi Germany. 

The proof is post WWII Europe and the American university.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
5.1.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Vic Eldred @5.1.1    4 weeks ago
You think I'm talking about AI?

No. I was giving another example of how people just don't get the message.

The proof is post WWII Europe and the American university.

I would only agree with that to a point. Post WWII Europe happened for economic reasons and the American Universities are not as bad as commonly painted. I know a lot of post college kids and none of them are radicals and all of them are working.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
5.1.3  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @5.1.2    4 weeks ago
I know a lot of post college kids and none of them are radicals and all of them are working

This is one of the truths that many religious conservatives don't want told. They want to keep their kids in the dark as to much of the secular education they can receive at a University. They want to vilify higher education because they see it as a threat to their religiously focused lifestyle, where their faith is more important than truth, or rather they believe strongly enough that their faith is true even without evidence and imagine that some day their faith will be proved correct and human wisdom proved wrong. The problem of course is that there's no empirical consensus on which faith, out of the thousands that exist, is the right one. They all express beliefs with no empirical evidence to back them up, just invisible, non-quantifiable 'faith' that each successive generation is supposed to adopt and accept without evidence. And if you ask for evidence you're scorned as if not believing in things without evidence is a bad trait for humans and strong faith in things unproven as a good or healthy trait.

As for 1984, the book was banned in Russia and in briefly in Florida. Other conservative bastions like Idaho and Texas considered banning the book, and in Idaho teachers were telling students it had been banned even when it wasn't. And the reason for the attempted recent bans weren't so much about the social commentary, but claims the book contained sexual violence with passages such as “He would flog her to death with a rubber truncheon. He would tie her naked to a stake and shoot her full of arrows like Saint Sebastian. He would ravish her and cut her throat at the moment of climax.”

It seems clear to me that the dystopian society described in '1984' most closely mirrors the rise of fascist white nationalist ideology in America which is most often found among those who embraced Russia's meddling in our elections and which led to the rise of a populist fascist dictator not much different than Mussolini.

From my perspective, I see Fox News as the new "Ministry of Truth" trying to rewrite history, demonizing liberals and progressives who reject their religious conservative version of reality aided by entities like "Liberty University" that exists solely to reinforce religious conservative ideology in the face of contrary facts and truth. Religious conservatives claim there is one "right" way to live and if allowed they would quickly create the 'Ministry of Love' where they would oversee the torture and brainwashing of humanity in attempt to force them to comply with their conservative lifestyle. Liberals and progressives don't try to force you to be like them, they don't care if you want to live a saintly life of celibacy, they just refuse to allow conservative to dictate who they can and can't love and want to keep any government out of their bedrooms. Religious conservatives, on the other hand, have been pushing moral laws, criminalizing homosexuality, adultery and sodomy, even interracial marriage was banned by religious conservatives for decades. And when progressives fought for their freedom and fought for the right to love who you wanted, the religious conservatives scream that by not letting them ban such things we're moving towards a true "Orwellian" State, the exact opposite of what is actually occurring.

 
 
 
Heartland American
5.2  Heartland American  replied to  Vic Eldred @5    4 weeks ago

A people’s history of the United States is pure far left socialist propaganda.  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
5.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Heartland American @5.2    4 weeks ago

It's well written and very compelling. It has been taught as the standard version of US history to our children for a long time now.

 
 
 
Dulay
5.2.2  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @5.2.1    4 weeks ago

it's too bad that more adults don't read it. I found a library copy @ the Goodwill about 30 years ago. It's on my reference wall. 

 
 
 
Don Overton
5.2.3  Don Overton  replied to  Heartland American @5.2    4 weeks ago

That's a much better history than the right wing conservative history full of lies, racism and hate

 
 
 
Dulay
5.2.4  Dulay  replied to  Heartland American @5.2    4 weeks ago

Let's pretend that you read it. 

What did it get wrong Xx? Please be specific. 

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
5.3  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Vic Eldred @5    4 weeks ago
It would only take a glance at "1984" for students to recognize all the similarities between Oceania and modern America.

True. Orwell was a leftist and self-described democratic socialist who couldn't stand nationalism or nefarious, wanna-be dictators.

"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears" -- 1984

“Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” -- Donald Trump

 
 
 
katrix
5.3.1  katrix  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @5.3    4 weeks ago
"The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears" -- 1984 “Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening” -- Donald Trump

Exactly.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
5.3.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @5.3    4 weeks ago
Orwell was a leftist and self-described democratic socialist who couldn't stand nationalism or nefarious, wanna-be dictators.

If he were alive today to see how the left has brought "1984" to life, I'm sure he'd quickly change his affiliations!

YOU SHOWED HIM!!!

 
 
 
Tessylo
5.3.3  Tessylo  replied to  Vic Eldred @5.3.2    4 weeks ago

It appears that many Rump supporters live in Bizarro World.  

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
5.3.4  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Vic Eldred @5.3.2    4 weeks ago
If he were alive today to see how the left has brought "1984" to life, I'm sure he'd quickly change his affiliations!

That's insane. He'd be having a FIELD DAY with the demagoguery and pathological lying of the nefarious and self-described nationalist Donald Trump, and the disgusting, dangerous, and utterly contemptible politics of white nativist populism that his entire foray into politics was built upon.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
6  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

George Orwell's 1984 is a work of science fiction.  Just because a particular work of fiction (particularly of a dystopian future) is personally appealing doesn't mean that fiction describes reality.  Why shouldn't other works of fiction be required reading?

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Metropolis by Thea Von Harbou

The Shape Of Things To Come by H. G. Wells

The World Set Free by H. G. Wells

If anyone is interested in a reality based education on the subject of propaganda, I suggest they begin with reading the works written by Edward Louis Bernays and do a little research about the Committee on Public Information.  I suggest that Bernay's book Propaganda might be worth a look.

 
 
 
Dulay
6.1  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @6    4 weeks ago

The Food of the Gods H.G. Wells

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
7  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh    4 weeks ago

I went to a private school, we had to read 1984 and Animal Farm. We also had to read Atlas Shrugged.

 
 
 
Heartland American
7.1  Heartland American  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @7    4 weeks ago

Atlas Shrugged is an awesome read.  Obama was leading us in that direction as would any democrat that could win in 2020.  We are in a reprieve right now.  

 
 
 
Don Overton
7.1.1  Don Overton  replied to  Heartland American @7.1    4 weeks ago

And how was he doing that?  I believe that your comment is pure make believe 

 
 
 
Ender
7.2  Ender  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @7    4 weeks ago

In my school we were allowed to pick what we wanted to read, even for reports.

 
 
 
JBB
8  JBB    3 weeks ago

1984 gained a lot of new readers in the run-up to the year 1984 partially because the book was so relevant to the Reagan Era. Considering the rise of Orwellian Trumpism today perhaps the Orwell family might authorize an adapted special edition to again warn us of all the awful consequences to our freedoms posed by the advent of a totalitarian fascist dictatorship in America and name it 2024...

 
 
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