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Orwell's Warning : The Greatest Amerikan Paradox

By Blaire, Erik

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Book Id: WPLBN0003468696
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: UNDEFINED.
Reproduction Date: 06/01/2010

Title: Orwell's Warning : The Greatest Amerikan Paradox  
Author: Blaire, Erik
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: History, Psychology, Crime
Collections: Politics, Authors Community, Dentistry, Criminology, Psychology, Favorites from the National Library of China, Religion, Political Sociology, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, Sociology, Finance, Law, History, Literature, Language, Political Science
Historic
Publication Date:
2010
Publisher: Self-published
Member Page: Erik Blaire

Description
In his classic, 1984, George Orwell selected certain features of his society as a basic skeleton, then fleshed political fiction over the bones. Many parallels between 1984 and the modern world have long been recognized. In Orwell's Warning: The Greatest Amerikan Paradox, Erik Blaire compares these features to the paradoxes of American politics, violence, and religion. Finding they are inseparable, he proposes that American freedom must therefore also be paradoxical. Armed with clues derived by examining American schizophrenia, obedience, disobedience, and paranoia, Blaire adopts as a factual skeleton the historical puzzle of Francisco Pizarro's conquering the mightiest empire of South America in one evening with a single boat load of men. Solving the puzzle, he then fleshes in fiction a working model for the most important, yet most neglected of Orwell's features, the central secret of Oceania. Blaire's conclusion: Any society which is founded on, and therefore conceals a central secret, must be characterized by a paradoxical or Orwellian state of freedom just like The Greatest Amerikan Paradox.

Summary
How did Francisco Pizarro use the secret trick of Christopher Columbus to conquer the mightiest empire of South America in one evening, with a single boat load of men, with almost no resistance? And what does this have to do with YOU?

Excerpt
"In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia." —George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1946) Imagine, if you would, an average American. We’ll call him “Ed.” Ed is in his mid-thirties, works in an office, and is currently standing at the paper shredder. He’s holding a stack of paper in one arm while feeding the paper shredder with his other. Suddenly, he drops the stack of paper all over the floor and just stands there, rigid, mouth hanging open and eyes as wide as silver dollars. Staring into nowhere in particular, he begins babbling faintly and incoherently to himself. He giggles slightly with a faint smile, and then he looks around with an intense expression of perplexed distress. Ed’s coworkers, who are standing all around him, have become quite concerned and a bit upset with what they are seeing and hearing. “What’s wrong with Ed?” they whisper to each other. “What’s wrong, Ed?” one of them asks him. Ed looks past his concerned coworker and babbles on, muttering something about “destroying” and “saving” the whole world. Because these are common themes found in the word-salad spouted by many a so-called “psychotic,” Ed’s coworkers quickly call a special kind of authority to have Ed taken away. And as expected, Ed puts up a fight, resisting, claiming that the “others” are conspiring against him as he’s taken away to be confined, labeled a “schizophrenic,” electro-shocked, and forced to “do drugs.” What was wrong with Ed? Can you blame his coworkers for having him confined? Would you have done anything differently? Is it just a matter of “common sense”? That is just the way you deal with people like that? Is it silly to ask such questions? Before you settle into your familiar and comfortable answer, first try to see it from Ed’s point of view. To do so we will need to consider two vital things, the first of which is two sided: First, on the one hand, like millions of other Americans, throughout his life Ed has been waiting faithfully for the imminent destruction of the world. On the other hand, also like millions of other Americans, he has spent many years working hard to save the planet for all future generations. Because these two groups are not mutually exclusive, they overlap, meaning millions of Americans do both. In other words, for many years now, Ed has been alternating back and forth like a binary (on/off) switch between being conscious of one, and then the other, and then back again, and so on. And today, Monday morning, while it was fresh in his memory, Ed was pondering the Apocalyptic (End of the World) sermon he had heard the day before, and as the phrase “the gnashing of teeth” passed through his mind, his eyes fell upon the teeth-like-blades gnashing and shredding the papers he was feeding them. They were left over flyers that were posted all around work to increase worker motivation and participation in the national “Save the Planet” campaign. So, for the very first time, Ed had become conscious of both concepts at the same time. He breached a powerful paradox and therefore has understandably come grinding to a painful and disillusioned halt. He has entered the first stage of disillusionment. The second vital thing, again like millions of other Americans, is that Ed has been raised since a small child to hold solid the conviction that he has certain guaranteed rights, such as freedom of speech and belief. After all, he’s an “American”! Now start with his disorientated state born from realizing for the very first time that he has been working hard for many years to save the planet while waiting for it to be destroyed at any moment. Then add to this powerful dilemma the fact that he finds himself suddenly being taken away to be confined for what he was saying and believing—by people who openly claim to value freedom of speech and belief. How can we really consider Ed’s reaction irrational? It certainly resembles a conspiracy, doesn’t it? How would you react if people who claim to believe in the freedoms of speech and belief suddenly locked you up for the things you say and believe? And in the middle of such a disorienting dilemma? That’s not just a paradox, but a double paradox that poor Ed is trapped in. Breaching the first paradox instantly placed him in the second. Wouldn’t anyone react in a similar, even predictable way under such conditions? Is it by some strange coincidence, then, that the official psychiatric criteria used to justify confining people for their deviant behavior, speech, and beliefs just happens to resemble this predictable reaction? Of all the things we can conceivably say about it, the simplest and most accurate is that it’s an excellent illustration of the greatest of America’s many paradoxes—the paradox of American freedom. Depending on social circumstances at any particular moment, Americans both believe as well as don’t believe in their freedoms.

Table of Contents
Preface. What is Allopathy? Introduction. Who Was George Orwell? 1. Schizophrenia 2. Obedience 3. Disobedience 4. Paranoia

 

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