There are two classic novels I would recommend to anyone who wants to make some sense out of what we are experiencing today.  Today’s culture is saturated with mindless entertainment, celebrity worship, and focused on sex.  Our politicians speak lies to us that sound good, but have no substance.  We also are greatly desensitized to human suffering and violence.  We are bombarded with stories of rape, murder, suicide bombings, and other human tragedies that only serve to create a more callous society.

Our unique culture was described in more shocking detail by two books that are a dystopian view of the future.  George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

In Orwell’s book, the state controls pretty much everything and your status is based on how well you can serve the party.  As part of the mind control of the party members there are specific tools such as doublethink (the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time and believe both are correct) and state controlled media blared at the party members all hours of the day and night.

We have some examples of doublethink in the news of the last few years.  President Bush said “I’ve abandoned free-market principles to save the free market system.”  Huh?  President Obama touts his “fiscal responsibility” while the treasury is even now using “extraordinary accounting tools” to show on paper that the government has not actually exceeded the statutory debt ceiling of $12,104,000,000,000.  Non government accountants who use these same “extraordinary accounting tools” end up in jail.  The lies are big and are not getting any better.

In Orwell’s world, the three main party slogans are “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery”, and “Ignorance is Strength”.  This year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner just escalated the War in Afghanistan by 30,ooo troops.  Our healthcare debate is framed in terms of saving the American people from the horrible healthcare system we have now which was based on a lot of free choice.  There is a love/hate relationship with public education, we love the teachers but hate the system while educational standards continue to fall.

In Huxley’s future, the world is governed by several world controllers who plan out society, production and consumption numbers for the entire civilized world.  There are plans for the number of people to be created, for things to be made or repaired, and for things to be consumed.  A significant part of the structure of society is a hyper-sexualized environment where entertainment, novelty, and drug induced mental states are the norm.

At grocery stores and other retail spaces we are assaulted with publications seeking to explain how to improve your sex life and covers that even 20 years ago would have been scandalous.  We seem to know more about celebrities, sports teams, the latest movies, changes in fashion, and other trivial matters than what is going on politically or what the Constitution has to say about governmental power.  If you are not feeling “right” there is probably a pill that can take care of that for you.

Neither of these books are a perfect description of today but they can help illuminate how the great masses of people have become complacent and easily controlled instead of jealous guardians of their own liberty. Please be a guardian of your own liberty.

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