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has topped various Amazon best-seller lists several times since mid-January, on the heels of the U. For instance, in my neighborhood in Pittsburgh, the owner of an independent store has an Orwell display in his window and reports he’s sold a stack of copies akin to a new Harry Potter. It’s also been featured at brick-and-mortar stores.Perhaps the chief thing that Orwell divined, before the advent of television, is media running through our lives.
There are no corporations in Orwell’s world, and very few goods.
There is only state-distributed watery coffee and foul-tasting gin -- a far cry from the soy-foam, half-decaf macchiato and the artisanal cocktail.
Orwell’s state exists for the sake of its own power, in a kind of sadomasochistic relationship that grinds down its citizens to perpetuate its power.
In our society, it is easy to denigrate government because it provides a single symbol for the control we experience, but our government is more like a referee to make the market and its juggernaut of enterprises function.
In our time, so my Xfinity bill keeps telling me, we have hundreds of channels to choose from.
My TV is not controlled by Big Brother; it’s spurred by the cornucopia of advertisers and products.Who knew that Donald Trump would be good for the book trade?Assigned in most American high schools, has sold continuously since its publication in 1949, but now, at a time when one of the president’s press officers declares that there are “alternative facts,” it has struck a renewed chord.Thus, a more apt vision for our day might foreground those businesses, extending across national borders and delivering pleasure, entertainment and ever newer goods.Aldous Huxley’s 1932 -- a book that, though a bit clunky in its sci-fi narrative, seems spot-on in depicting an internet that permeates our lives, as well as the companies that control it and deliver our products.It seems as if we have gone through the looking glass and entered a world where, in the words of captures some sense of living in the modern era, with extensive government, military, technology and media.But in Orwell’s imagined Oceania, the state is monolithic, overseeing all activity with total control. It sees what you do, tells you what to do, monitors what you think and punishes any variance.How did they know that you are a single 40-something? Indeed, Orwell is a hero of the right for being an anti-Communist, as well as of the liberal left.That is why became an iconic book in the 1950s and ’60s, offering a confirmation of the ills of the Soviets.However, it is a mistake to see it as a confirmation of the politics of the United States. under Stalin, as the main pig, Comrade Napoleon, takes control, rewrites history and finally declares that some pigs “are more equal than others.” But remember that the farmers expelled at the beginning of the book were capitalists who had grossly exploited and abused the animals.From the mid-1930s onward, Orwell was an avowed anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist. They are not the good guys, and the revolution is justified.