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View Diary: The Fundamentalist Republic of America (107 comments)

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  •  Pain... (none)
    ...is the only way that the insecure can affirm their existence. George Orwell put it perfectly in 1984, through O'Brian when he is torturing Winston Smith:

    He [O'Brian] paused, and for a moment assumed again his air of a schoolmaster questioning a promising pupil: 'How does one man assert his power over another, Winston?'

    Winston thought. 'By making him suffer,' he said.

    'Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery is torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy, everything.... (Part III, Chapter 3, my emphasis)


    O'Brian is a frightened little man, old and tired, as even Winston observes -- as a very perceptive commentator pointed out, 1984, especially the account of Newspeak, is written as a history of the past, not the present or future, implying the ruin and destruction of the Party. But frightened little men can do a lot of damage if no one stops them.

    But they seem to know where they are going, the ones who walk away from Omelas.

    by sagesource on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 09:27:46 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, that really makes sense (none)
      I know some people like to inflict pain on others but usually they are up front about it. I doubt if the very religious ones realize why they are doing it but your explanation makes too much sense and feels right. We are dark souls. I wonder what I am in denial about? My world just got a little scarier.  

      Change 10% of the electorate and we will have a landslide and a mandate.

      by Jlukes on Tue Aug 23, 2005 at 10:33:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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