Totalitarianism in Nazi Germany and George Orwell’s 1984
In his novel 1984 (1949 ), English writer George Orwell (1903-1950) warned readers about the risks of totalitarianism. The unique focused on the fictional country of Oceania, which, paradoxically, bore striking resemblances to Nazi Germany.
Both Oceania and Nazi Germany were totalitarian societies, where the power of the state changed the rule of law and ideology became an alternative to flexibility of thought and conscience. Their respective leaders merged state and society to form a “brand-new morality” (Powell, 88).
In this “brand-new morality,” ideology is the justification for the facility of national, racist or social and class-oriented forms of community at the expenditure of existing laws and morals (Powell, 88).
Oceania and Nazi Germany were both governed by a patriarchal totalitarian who constantly keeps an eye on citizens for “subversive” habits (Grey, 74). The autocrat of Nazi Germany, Adolf Hitler, was the führer– the absolute leader who would introduce the “Aryan” race. To achieve this goal, the Nazi secret police, the Gestapo, brutally removed Jews and dissenters.
The ruler of Oceania, on the other hand, is “Big Brother,” a despot who kept himself in power through the Thought Authorities. The Idea Police was the Party’s secret police, entrusted with arresting and executing thought-criminals.
The Nazis and the Celebration have the exact same concept of subversion. For these regimes, “subversion” does not always translate to obvert rebellion. It could also imply variance from any kind of tenet (Grey, 74). The Nazis, for instance, believed that the “Aryan” race can not exist together with “inferior” races. They therefore eliminated groups which they considered “average,” such as Jews, homosexuals, Communists and the handicapped.
The Party’s concept of subversion, on the other hand, is thoughtcrime. Thoughtcrime (likewise referred to as crimethink) includes even the simple thinking of ideas that contradict the concepts of the English Socialism Motion (Ingsoc). The Party’s paranoia is quite obvious in thoughtcrime. The latter operates on the premise that thinking of crime begins misdeed. Hence, thought control is assumed to be the very best ways of controlling crime (Van Cleave, 101).
Both the Nazis and the Party utilized propaganda as a method of spreading their ideology. It should be noted that Hitler and the Nazi celebration increased to power in Germany through half-truths and scapegoats. In his public speeches, Hitler continuously blamed the Jews for the political, economic and social chaos that the country experienced right after World War I. His extremely simplistic party line won him the support of the impoverished and demoralized Germans, who were desperate to have a leader who will bring back Germany to its previous magnificence.
The propaganda of the Party, on the other hand, was made up of newspeak and doublethink. Newspeak referred to the reengineered variation of English that is spoken in Oceania (Joseph, 158). Doublethink, on the other hand, was the deliberate ignorance of disparities in a provided context.
Basic English was stripped of its significance and was transformed into euphemistic lingo that does not permit more discernment. As an outcome, unclear and inconsistent terms and slogans such as “goodsex,” “sexcrime,” “oldthink,” “War is Peace,” “Liberty is Slavery” and “Lack of knowledge is Strength” are utilized as justifications for Celebration corruption and totalitarianism (Milroy and Milroy, 37).
Oceania and Nazi Germany are two examples of the extremely detrimental impacts of totalitarianism. Both the Celebration and the Nazis used their particular ideologies as a reason to eliminate the guideline of law and the liberty of idea and conscience. They got advocates through the use of extremely simplified propaganda and kept themselves in power through harsh suppression of dissent. Undoubtedly, Orwell was best to caution the world about totalitarianism.
Grey, Christopher. A Really Short, Fairly Intriguing and Fairly Inexpensive Book about Studying Organizations. London: SAGE, 2005.
Joseph, John Earl. Restricting the Arbitrary: Linguistic Naturalism and Its Opposites in Plato’s Cratylus and the Modern Theories of Language. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Business, 2000.
Milroy, James, and Lesley Milroy. Authority in Language: Investigating Standard English. New York City: Routledge, 1999.
Powell, Frederick W. The Politics of Civil Society: Neoliberalism or Social Left? Bristol: The Policy Press, 2007.
Van Cleave, Robert. Huge Sibling as Doctor: Treating the Disease of Thoughtcrime in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Eds. Gary Westfahl and George Edgar Slusser.
Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002.