Published On: Wed, Jun 16th, 2021

Lessons From Nineteen Eighty Four: totally controlled media, no appetite to defy and destroy it

A new television news channel launched in the UK in the past few days, and if one looks at remarks made about it in places where people should really know better, it is evident that there is still not enough understanding that when UK Government finds that there’s an element of the population, which is not being catered for in the fenced-in political environment, and is large enough to be concerned for where its alienation could lead, then it will create scope to cover the divergence. It will cause there to be a funnel, which this lost flock will move through, back into a state of being where there is expectation that, in return for investment in it, the system – or, a personality from it – can offer and supply all the solutions. Of course, the rather dismaying ramification (given that the British are such an especially craven breed of people) is that the grossly deluded who, according to their wishful thinking, expect the telescreen to suddenly start producing output that would be harmful to the Party, will be people who have retained a television licence (for fear of someone knocking on their door, knowing that they can’t control the impulse to answer the command that the signal represents to them), and thus are responsible for the psychological programming suffered by the unsuspecting masses (i.e. a situation called democracy), and therefore any violation of their rights that the majority idiot population wants to inflict on them.

Now, of course, the author knows that he loses audience by making evidently too arduous demands on it, but this is an occupational hazard in the course of doing what needs to be done. In this case, this article has opened in such a manner because it is going to form the second instalment of an occasional series regarding how the UK Government presented in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four is in fact the same as actually governed during the Second World War and afterwards, at the time of the book’s writing, and in fact is still very much in place today.

In this episode, there is going to be a look at the work of the protagonist, Winston Smith, as carried out in the Records Department of the Ministry of Truth (i.e. the wartime Mi7, a less overt form of which basically controls corporate-media and alternative media now). The idea is to show that the modus operandi of government-by-hoax was something invented a long time before the World Trade Centre was control-demolished, and has not changed in a direct line of continuum.

Even assuming that the reader has read the novel, the extract which follows is good for overview. The reader is asked to notice that what is being divulged here is that the government of the fictional empire Oceania, which appears to be based in the factual London, creates all media without exception. Moreover, it is the most important job of state media production to make all material correct according to political expediency, and to omit what is damaging to the perceived authority of government (of this truth, the reader will get a firmer grip as the article continues), and to make the whole substance of physical reality conform with whatever it is dictated to be by infallible – godlike – government:

People in the Records Department did not readily talk about their jobs. In the long, windowless hall, with its double row of cubicles and its endless rustle of papers and hum of voices murmuring into speakwrites, there were quite a dozen people whom Winston did not even know by name, though he daily saw them hurrying to and fro in the corridors or gesticulating in the Two Minutes Hate. He knew that in the cubicle next to him the little woman with sandy hair toiled day in day out, simply at tracking down and deleting from the Press the names of people who had been vaporized and were therefore considered never to have existed. There was a certain fitness in this, since her own husband had been vaporized a couple of years earlier. And a few cubicles away a mild, ineffectual, dreamy creature named Ampleforth, with very hairy ears and a surprising talent for juggling with rhymes and metres, was engaged in producing garbled versions–definitive texts, they were called–of poems which had become ideologically offensive, but which for one reason or another were to be retained in the anthologies. And this hall, with its fifty workers or thereabouts, was only one sub-section, a single cell, as it were, in the huge complexity of the Records Department. Beyond, above, below, were other swarms of workers engaged in an unimaginable multitude of jobs. There were the huge printing-shops with their sub-editors, their typography experts, and their elaborately equipped studios for the faking of photographs. There was the tele-programmes section with its engineers, its producers, and its teams of actors specially chosen for their skill in imitating voices. There were the armies of reference clerks whose job was simply to draw up lists of books and periodicals which were due for recall. There were the vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored, and the hidden furnaces where the original copies were destroyed. And somewhere or other, quite anonymous, there were the directing brains who co-ordinated the whole effort and laid down the lines of policy which made it necessary that this fragment of the past should be preserved, that one falsified, and the other rubbed out of existence.

And the Records Department, after all, was itself only a single branch of the Ministry of Truth, whose primary job was not to reconstruct the past but to supply the citizens of Oceania with newspapers, films, textbooks, telescreen programmes, plays, novels–with every conceivable kind of information, instruction, or entertainment, from a statue to a slogan, from a lyric poem to a biological treatise, and from a child’s spelling-book to a Newspeak dictionary. And the Ministry had not only to supply the multifarious needs of the party, but also to repeat the whole operation at a lower level for the benefit of the proletariat.

There are some very intriguing snippets of information in the extract that are fully relevant to this article, and these present the fact of capacity to fabricate news events that are dislocated from truth, and to invent characters, or mimic known personalities, to take part in them. Blair, Orwell known by his real name, worked at the BBC during the war. In Nineteen Eighty Four, if we substitute certain words out from their spook-vernacular meanings (we don’t necessarily need to understand how far the “vaporized” of the fiction differs from a war time equivalent), what is being described is the activity of the war time counterpart of corporate-media.

For the purpose of our discussion, the reader is asked to take note of the line, “There were the vast repositories where the corrected documents were stored”, and also consider that revelation that Smith would have no way of knowing his submission for a readjustment of a Times article would be chosen as a final version (this is referring to the Comrade Ogilvy piece, which is going to feature before this piece of writing ends). There is a great sense that no one has access to archived material in order that it could be inspected to discover whether it tallies or not with that which the Party dictates is the truth.

The natural experience, in real time when it would come to dealing with information, would be to hear an item of news or know a particular fact, and then hear that it was contradicted. The culture of the society in Oceania would then invoke self-censorship so as to not explore the difference, or even the reason for the difference in the data about the apparent self same physical reality. Why, then, is the government of Oceania in London obsessive about having politically correct archives when the population self-polices, and no one can examine the old news in any case?

The answer must be so that the portion of the population that might think about these things become invested in the survival of the system. Smith, we are told, loves his job, and tries to excel at it – and this is odd because he must know that he is a cog in a machine that he detests, who could make himself turn awkwardly and slowly. Ultimately, however, it must be suspicion that sabotage, no matter how subtle, and the mere fact of being redundant through not being as good as needs be, would be a thing that would lead to extermination. Fear drives the dedication, although the like of Smith are evidently indoctrinated (as well they would be) to understand that they don’t have that driving force unless it’s generated by the idea that unseen enemies were looking to overthrow the system that they were invested in.

The government as infallible entity was mentioned above, and of course a cause for psychological conflict in the Inner Party class would surely be the vestiges of Son of Man culture (i.e. identification as being people of God)  whereby one does not put one’s lot in with evil for fear of the punishment for not doing it, even if it involves death. Orwell’s generation should have felt this better than the current one – and don’t forget, it is wartime Britons that Orwell was actually portraying in the book, and he is observing the psychological pressures brought to bear on them. So, unsurprisingly, the dedication to the slavery involves the psychological overthrow of that most crucial Yeshuan principle of not fearing the punishment, that the Christian Church, if it never taught it directly when it taught the Babylonian mumbo-jumbo that was thrown in to dilute the danger, allows to be demonstrated by the Biblical stories that it conveys. Doing what the UK Government orders for fear of punishment has been a feature of the British national psyche for a long time.

Later, when Smith is interrogated by O’Brien, there is a discussion involving moral opposition to the tyrannical power, although it is presented as innate truth, “spirit of Man”, that does or does not spring up to trouble tyrannies depending on the point of view (Winston’s unbroken one, or O’Brien’s). So the conscious decision-making to knowingly, on a day to day basis, serve an evil (O’Brien explains that the government of Oceania, i.e. the UK Government, is worse than the contemporaneous examples: “German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives”) is a psychological reality of the book, and it must be a factor in the maintenance of the engine of the system as provided by the Inner Party.  The work, for these people, is a way in which there can be surveillance of and control over them.

As for the vast majority of the population of Oceania (85%), however, which would be the proletariat, the dumb masses, these would be controlled by the other ramification of the obsession with revision: the inevitable confusion, leading to complete apathy†:

And even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice. The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes.

The extract to follow opens by talking about the “memory hole”, which is a disposal system so that not even a scrap of evidence remains that there was a history that hadn’t been altered to suit the perceived authority of the ruling Party:

What happened in the unseen labyrinth to which the pneumatic tubes led, he did not know in detail, but he did know in general terms. As soon as all the corrections which happened to be necessary in any particular number of ‘The Times’ had been assembled and collated, that number would be reprinted, the original copy destroyed, and the corrected copy placed on the files in its stead. This process of continuous alteration was applied not only to newspapers, but to books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound-tracks, cartoons, photographs–to every kind of literature or documentation which might conceivably hold any political or ideological significance. Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary. In no case would it have been possible, once the deed was done, to prove that any falsification had taken place. The largest section of the Records Department, far larger than the one on which Winston worked, consisted simply of persons whose duty it was to track down and collect all copies of books, newspapers, and other documents which had been superseded and were due for destruction. A number of ‘The Times’ which might, because of changes in political alignment, or mistaken prophecies uttered by Big Brother, have been rewritten a dozen times still stood on the files bearing its original date, and no other copy existed to contradict it. Books, also, were recalled and rewritten again and again, and were invariably reissued without any admission that any alteration had been made. Even the written instructions which Winston received, and which he invariably got rid of as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or implied that an act of forgery was to be committed: always the reference was to slips, errors, misprints, or misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the interests of accuracy.

But actually, he thought as he re-adjusted the Ministry of Plenty’s figures, it was not even forgery. It was merely the substitution of one piece of nonsense for another. Most of the material that you were dealing with had no connexion with anything in the real world, not even the kind of connexion that is contained in a direct lie. Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in their rectified version. A great deal of the time you were expected to make them up out of your head. For example, the Ministry of Plenty’s forecast had estimated the output of boots for the quarter at 145 million pairs. The actual output was given as sixty-two millions. Winston, however, in rewriting the forecast, marked the figure down to fifty-seven millions, so as to allow for the usual claim that the quota had been overfulfilled. In any case, sixty-two millions was no nearer the truth than fifty-seven millions, or than 145 millions. Very likely no boots had been produced at all. Likelier still, nobody knew how many had been produced, much less cared. All one knew was that every quarter astronomical numbers of boots were produced on paper, while perhaps half the population of Oceania went barefoot. And so it was with every class of recorded fact, great or small. Everything faded away into a shadow-world in which, finally, even the date of the year had become uncertain.”

The most striking revelation in this extract is how, actually, the continuity of fact is something that is of no concern, and that the truth doesn’t matter. All that matters is the maintenance of the authority of government.

And we are lucky indeed to live in a time where it is clear to see this imperative government authority translate into a plethora of nonsense in media output regarding Covid-19. Because of the misinformation and disinformation – which is another way of describing endlessly reinvented apparent facts – so called “lockdown sceptics” think it is possible to have a case of Covid-19 like they would have a dose of cold. Somewhere along the line they have been made to forget, if they ever came across the information at all, that Covid-19 is “Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome II”, and that it is in fact pneumonia, whereby treatment in an intensive care unit would be necessary. Moreover, it would appear that it’s a condition that has been around for a long time, diagnosed as other conditions. If they’d ever been in intensive care at anytime in the last twenty years, then they might have had a dose of Covid-19.

On the other hand, people of the same ilk are made to believe that spike proteins that mimic a feature of “SARS-COV-2”, when injected into a subject by “vaccination”, can cause a blood disease that is or otherwise imitates Covid-19. Again, Covid-19 is pneumonia, so at this stage of being hoodwinked, the alterative media that collectively created it would be worth every penny of tax-payer’s money spent on it.

And although there’s plenty to say about what Covid-19 is or isn’t (please look at the links at the foot of the page for directions to a fuller discussion), the key information is the presence of a protein, ACE2, on endothelial cells lining the lungs which the pathogen, SARS-COV, binds to. Lung damage is caused, a barrier to the blood is formed (leading to shortage of blood oxygen), and pneumonia ensues – with complications from it involving auto immune damage to other organs. At the crux of the issue is the ACE2, which even now only gets a mention because it suits an anti-vaccination myth (ACE2 has been known about since 2000, so too has its capacity to bind with SARS-COV on endothelial cells at the lung since the SARS “outbreaks” in the early 2000s, but its apparent talent to dislocatedly float in blood to cause coagulation is something that doesn’t seem to have been known about until it suited current propaganda requirements).

Resident ACE2 as the driving factor, reader, means that the issue of spread of SARS-COV is redundant. Here it is again in bold: the issue of spread of SARS-COV is redundant. So, here is information that wholly undermines the economic blockade (lockdown), and because no English-speaking alterative media whatsoever ever tells its audience about ACE2, and specifically in the respect it has been discussed here, it is the big neon-lit sign that indicates that alternative media, as far as the eye can see it, is controlled by government. When we read Nineteen Eighty Four, this information should not surprise, for we see how alternative media would be a means by which some nonsense is made to reach an audience it might otherwise not, and would be a way of introducing its own variety of nonsense. Of course, what the people who consume the nonsense via alternative media are doing, in spite of whatever notion they might have about their being independently and especially informed above those who only consume corporate-media, is participating in the reinforcement of the authority of government.

The last extract to be presented here for discussion is connected to a reality that the author supposes many who stumble across this site would think is not worthy of their attention (instead of the government generated authentic nonsense that they seriously lap up). In Nineteen Eighty Four, we are told of the capacity of government – i.e. UK Government – and its ready inclination to execute psychological operations on the people that it governs as essential, routine state craft. These operations range from shelling Londoners and blaming it on the enemy (and there’s much more to come in respect of this, and how it was a reference to actual war time conduct) to inventing content of newspaper articles in the course of revising the past. It is very important to discover in Nineteen Eighty Four that there has been a continuity of what UK Government would probably call state craft so that it is an actual fact that in modern times it instigates the terror attacks, and that it causes physical and emotional harm to those it governs in the name of securing its hold on power.

In the long passage dedicated to describing Smith at work, Orwell tells of a moment when he is required to do something about a previous commendation made by Big Brother (i.e. the Party) that was no longer valid after the subject of the praise had since been disgraced:

 Winston decided that it would not be enough simply to reverse the tendency of Big Brother’s speech. It was better to make it deal with something totally unconnected with its original subject.

He might turn the speech into the usual denunciation of traitors and thought-criminals, but that was a little too obvious, while to invent a victory at the front, or some triumph of over-production in the Ninth Three-Year Plan, might complicate the records too much. What was needed was a piece of pure fantasy. Suddenly there sprang into his mind, ready made as it were, the image of a certain Comrade Ogilvy, who had recently died in battle, in heroic circumstances. There were occasions when Big Brother devoted his Order for the Day to commemorating some humble, rank-and-file Party member whose life and death he held up as an example worthy to be followed. Today he should commemorate Comrade Ogilvy. It was true that there was no such person as Comrade Ogilvy, but a few lines of print and a couple of faked photographs would soon bring him into existence.

Winston thought for a moment, then pulled the speakwrite towards him and began dictating in Big Brother’s familiar style: a style at once military and pedantic, and, because of a trick of asking questions and then promptly answering them (‘What lessons do we learn from this fact, comrades? The lesson–which is also one of the fundamental principles of Ingsoc–that,’ etc., etc.), easy to imitate.

At the age of three Comrade Ogilvy had refused all toys except a drum, a sub-machine gun, and a model helicopter. At six–a year early, by a special relaxation of the rules–he had joined the Spies, at nine he had been a troop leader. At eleven he had denounced his uncle to the Thought Police after overhearing a conversation which appeared to him to have criminal tendencies. At seventeen he had been a district organizer of the Junior Anti-Sex League. At nineteen he had designed a hand-grenade which had been adopted by the Ministry of Peace and which, at its first trial, had killed thirty-one Eurasian prisoners in one burst. At twenty-three he had perished in action. Pursued by enemy jet planes while flying over the Indian Ocean with important despatches, he had weighted his body with his machine gun and leapt out of the helicopter into deep water, despatches and all–an end, said Big Brother, which it was impossible to contemplate without feelings of envy. Big Brother added a few remarks on the purity and single-mindedness of Comrade Ogilvy’s life. He was a total abstainer and a nonsmoker, had no recreations except a daily hour in the gymnasium, and had taken a vow of celibacy, believing marriage and the care of a family to be incompatible with a twenty-four-hour-a-day devotion to duty. He had no subjects of conversation except the principles of Ingsoc, and no aim in life except the defeat of the Eurasian enemy and the hunting-down of spies, saboteurs, thought-criminals, and traitors generally.

Winston debated with himself whether to award Comrade Ogilvy the Order of Conspicuous Merit: in the end he decided against it because of the unnecessary cross-referencing that it would entail.

Once again he glanced at his rival in the opposite cubicle. Something seemed to tell him with certainty that Tillotson was busy on the same job as himself. There was no way of knowing whose job would finally be adopted, but he felt a profound conviction that it would be his own. Comrade Ogilvy, unimagined an hour ago, was now a fact. It struck him as curious that you could create dead men but not living ones. Comrade Ogilvy, who had never existed in the present, now existed in the past, and when once the act of forgery was forgotten, he would exist just as authentically, and upon the same evidence, as Charlemagne or Julius Caesar.

In fact, inventing a person whose existence can’t be verified – even if it seems as though the verification would be something that was possible (until one starts to try and do it) – is as good as inventing a dead person, because neither produces further evidence of being alive, and so a dead invented person is the ultimate type, which is perhaps what Smith means. And so, if Smith was not compartmentalised as everyone in the Ministry of Truth clearly is, he might have known that the television programming department would have been capable of using actors to portray living fake people – enough information is given elsewhere in the text for the reader to deduce that this takes place.

Many decades later, the capability to produce fictional characters and have them made real in military intelligence directed corporate-media is only more sophisticated. Currently, a candidate for being a contemporary Comrade Ogilvy is the unperson Sarah Everard (see A Sarah Everard Mysterylink), although the modern technique appears to create a character who is a hybrid of a real person, or an actor, of whom the all important evidence-of-living images can be generated, and a fictional character (who yet might retain the same name) which is projected onto them: for instance, a terrorist of the ilk that has been established in the 21st century mostly tends to be a dupe whose actions allow him to be characterised in the role.

As this suggests, the Ogilvy method of fakery is extendable to carrying out an incident involving  any number of  characters  who are “fictional” (one way or another) being antagonists or protagonists, with the option of having it impact real people for plausibility. To what exact extent there would be real impact is something that would not be due to concern about the maiming and killing, and otherwise traumatisation of innocent people, that any incident would create, but no doubt there would be a need to gauge how much of a trade off would be needed, case by case, between creating a believable operation, and creating too many complications. For instance, to create the illusion of a plague (which is the fictional villain) by ending the death pathway care of thousands of old people so that they all at the same time die, then the mass murder would be deemed necessary. At the same time, the cover story of a plague would not engender the ire of naturally upset bereaved relatives.

In another example of an extension of Ogilvy method, the policeman Keith Palmer was a real person who appears to have been killed by UK Government to create the impression of a terrorist attack at the House of Commons. In another example, the character of Jo Cox, played by herself, looks to have been inserted into the role of MP to be killed in a Brexit-related terror incident. In another example, a woman appears to have died after becoming involved in the operation which tried to create the illusion of a Russian poison attack in Salisbury (the author thinks that Dawn Sturgess was an “actor” who could be used to give the appearance of Yulia Skripal being found and taken to hospital). This sort of stuff is endless, and comes in many forms, including fake spats involving celebrities and politicians, fake controversies (the withdrawal of advertising from new news channels?), fake protest movements, and fake pressure groups who conveniently surface at the right time to drive an agenda that government is desirous of itself. It also includes high profile crime for the purpose of traumatising the public, again towards the achievement of an agenda, as FBEL has been, and will continue to investigate.

However, as endless as they are, this class of psychological operation by imposition on the real world will not be as numerous as the simple and relatively cost free ones that merely involve inventing an incident using fictional characters and calling it news. This is something that is very likely done on a daily basis. If UK Government wants a reaction, or it wants to form opinion, or it wants to encourage or warn off certain behaviour, then news stories can be invented to suit. The great gift of Orwell is the warning that this practice is a reality that continues for whatever new generation is reading the book, and is one that is indicative of a brutal dictatorship. Of course, in Nineteen Eighty Four there was no way to imagine a counter force out of its own society that could make the Party stop, with the proles being too dumb, and the Inner Party being so well contained, but then the book doesn’t allow for a middle class that doesn’t necessarily work for government, and has power of the purse, which is something that Britain yet retains. There is no good reason why the war model of total government control over media should survive in this day and age, especially as it plays a crucial part in the disappearance of the class of people who are the potential great stumbling block. However, as was suggested at the top of this piece, there is evidently an incapacity in these people to understand that they have been warned.

 

† And dumb obedience too, worked out of the too-bamboozled-to-bother, uncritical consumption. The proletariat consumes Ministry of Truth media, but doesn’t need the telescreen form because is not worth surveilling.

Bearing in mind that events in the book are taking place at a time when the Party is trying to rile the proles, “normally apathetic about the war”, into developing patriotic fervour for the current season of the ongoing conflict, there is an occasion when Smith reports to his diary an incident where a prole woman starts to publicly complain about gory violence being done to children in a film being seen by party members and proletariat alike (segregated from each other). While Smith tells of the woman being removed from the theatre by police, he doubts that she would be punished, and her protest is retold in comic fashion. From what we are told, she might be upset until some other media or social diversion swept her mood in another direction, and when the provocation had been removed from her by time and distance, she would return to being obtuse.

 

Latest ICNARC Graphs: Amongst General Reattribution Of Other Illness To Covid-19, Pneumonia From Flu Is A Thing Of The Past (link)

Covid-19 Is Not Flu (link)

Covid-19 In A Nutshell (link)

More On ACE2: Some Truth In A Time Of Frenzied Controlled Opposition Alternative Media Hysteria-Stoking Misdirection (link)

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