George Orwell 1984 Relevance of Predictions Today Part 2

About George Orwell and his book 1984 a glimpse into a distopian future, relevance of the predictions today, look at the countries of the world constantly at war.


Orwell's Predictions for 1984 and Where We Stand Today

1. Orwell postulated a future in which the world would be divided among the three superstates of Oceania (the Americas, Great Britain, Australia, and South Africa), Eurasia (Russia, Europe, and Siberia), and Eastasia (China, Japan, Mongolia, and Southeast Asia).

Where We Stand Today: The world of the 1970s is controlled by three great superpowers, the U.S., the U.S.S.R., and the People's Republic of China, either directly, as in Eastern Europe, or indirectly through political and economic weapons. As predicted by Orwell, Eastasia (China) is the weakest of the three powers, with the smallest amount of territory and influence, and has "come of age" as a superpower only within the last decade.

2. In Orwell's dystopian world, the three great nations of the future are locked in a purposely unending war, being fought with conventional arms over the territory of north and central Africa, the Near East, and India. The purpose of this warfare is to gain control of the millions of work slaves living in these regions, thus enabling the controlling state to enlarge its war machine. Also, war consumes vast amounts of resources, without increasing the living standards of the populace, while simultaneously providing citizens with a hate object, something on which they can focus their pent-up emotions and frustrations. Despite the fact that all three powers possess nuclear arms, not one is willing to use them for fear of destroying itself. The alliances between the states are constantly shifting, but no two powers are strong enough to conquer the third, so the stalemate continues indefinitely.

Where We Stand Today: The U.S. fought an 11-year "limited war" in Vietnam, with the Russians and Chinese supporting the Communist side. None of the belligerents used nuclear weapons, although all three had large stocks of atomic bombs. The American loss in Southeast Asia does not appear to have materially affected the balance of world power. The "Big Three" powers are continually vying for the loyalties--and resources--of third-world and undeveloped countries, especially in Africa and the Middle East. These smaller countries use this power struggle to their own advantage; there are at least six nations that receive military aid from China and the U.S.S.R., and the U.K. and the U.S. Consequently, alliances shift constantly. Ethiopia, for example, was supplied arms by the U.S. for many years; suddenly, it cut its ties with the Americans and accepted arms from the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Somalia, Ethiopia's enemy and the Russians' principal base in eastern Africa, is talking about severing ties with the U.S.S.R. and establishing relations with the Americans. Among the big-power states, China and the Soviet Union were allies until the early 1960s; in the 1970s, China developed closer relations with the U.S. than with the U.S.S.R. and seems to want these ties strengthened.

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