I used to like 1984 when I was still eating up Western narratives about communism and socialism, but after researching for myself about actual communism and then re-examining that book, I realized that the entire thing is a goodamn strawman. That book described neither communism nor socialism, it described some nonexistant over-the-top ideology Orwell thought up in his head. Same with Animal Farm.

So yeah, TLDR I used to be an ignorant anticommunist, but no longer.

Black Tulip
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I still adore Orwell’s writing, but FUCK is most of it just strawmanning from a heavily anti-communist British government provided position.

It’s been a few years since it was pointed out to me, but Orwell’s ‘2+2=5’ critique is literally being mad that the 5 year plan finished early. ‘2=2+5’ shows up on a Soviet propaganda poster too, celebrating that the construction was completed sooner than estimated, and is likely what inspired Orwell’s critique.

@nour@lemmygrad.ml
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2 + 2 + the enthusiasm of the workers = 5

Imagine turning a poster encouraging the workers into some kind of dystopia fiction…

I can honestly imagine Orwell looking at that poster and literally thinking it’s telling Soviet citizens that’s a fact. As far as I know he can’t read Russian.

Black Tulip
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He couldn’t (or at least I could find no sources that said he did), literally everything he heard about the USSR came either from his government, or from fellow anti-communist academics in his country. I’ve said he’s like the Twitter liberal of his time, and honestly I stand by that statement. Everything you’d expect from a Twitter liberal, you can find in Orwell.

@eersya
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wow, it seems we forget Spanish civil war, i wonder why the Spanish left losed if they have the mighty power of the greatest red country have ever existed lol it’s hilarious how we criticize an “enemy” who is like us

TIL

ksynwa
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The cringiest thing about 1984 for me was how he wrote that female character. It was…very weird.

One thing I have noticed that in the liberal conception of freedom, a state, it’s subjects and the dissent by subjects exists in vacuums separate from each other and everything else. People protest against authoritarian governments demanding democracy. You are never told how their democracy was infringed in the first place, but this becomes tautological after the authoritarian state cracks down on pro-democracy protests, infringing democracy in the process. 1984 does that too. It is alleged that the government is manufacturing perception but the concrete details of how the subjects are oppressed are left out. Then the protag starts acting sus and starts being monitored and hunted and the state’s antagonistic role is tautologically established.

Not to say that states cannot be overly authoritarian and dissent suppression is not something worth paying attention to. In fact, these are very real problems. In India, activists and journalists are jailed for many years and abused by the police without trial because they are alleged to be Maoists or terrorists based on evidence that was planted on their laptops and phones by hacking (thanks Israel). The BJP government was also spying on opposition politicians (thanks Israel again). But these things have to be grounded in reality and historical analysis rather than the liberalism-induced fantasy that liberals are living in.

@AgreeableLandscape@lemmygrad.ml
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The cringiest thing about 1984 for me was how he wrote that female character. It was…very weird.

Yeah that was a very sexist portrayal. Like he thinks human women go into heat where they have to have sex or something.

@Nasst
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Friendly reminder that Orwell was a socialist and fought as a volunteer in the Spanish civil war against fascists. 1984 was never meant as a critique of communism, the protagonist’s job in the ministry was inspired by censorship work he himself had to do… Working under the BBC. Animal Farm is explicitly against Stalinism, which I understand how some MLs think is anticommunist (if you view Stalinism and Communism as essentially synonyms) but I feel like saying that Orwell was anticommunist is a misrepresentation.

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