Those of you reading may or may not have heard about the spike in sales of George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984 in the last few weeks. This increase appears to have come from the use of the word ‘alternative facts’ by Donald Trump’s advisor Kelly-Anne Conway during an interview with NBC last week. The official definition of this phrase is to have ‘two opposing views in your mind and believe them both simultaneously’. The use of this phrase highlights the issue with world affairs as of late, we live in a world of extremely opposing views and nobody appears to be sure which side to believe. The increased sales of Orwell’s highly influential book appear to highlight a sense of fear and perhaps even a search for guidance for the situation we find ourselves in. While this may seem like a new and highly unusual state of affairs, the world has found itself in a situation like this before, I believe that we can learn from the mistakes of the past.
The word of late seems to be frustration, in this case, a sense of being fed up with typical political methods. The fear of a dystopia seems to come from this sense of dissatisfaction with the world as we know it yet surely we could learn from the 1930s and the similar situation the people of that time found themselves in. Much like now, political figures with a new and different message caught on despite international fears of disrespect and hatred that surrounded their ideals, and while the world did eventually follow these leaders, we have surely learned a lesson or two in the meantime. We know of the alternative political views along with their strengths and weaknesses and can form more balanced opinions.
I suppose that what I am trying to say that it’s okay to be in the middle on not harbour a strong definite opinion on certain subjects. Many of us may be unhappy with how the world is at the moment but that does not mean that it is not one particular person or group’s fault. We should not become bitter, working together is the best way to avoid an ‘Orwellian’ outcome to our current situation. In all, I believe that 2017 does not have to become 1984 and I believe that optimism and co-operation can prevent this much feared dystopia over the horizon.