In the novel 1984, The Party controlled everyone’s lives. They controlled what they watched on tv, what they did outside of work, and every other aspect of their lives. The most horrifying thing, in my opinion, was how they controlled what the people knew and thought.
They changed historical records and manipulated information to keep the people supporting The Party. As Winston said, “if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-if all records told the same tale-then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'” This can be seen in our government today. Politicians know just what to say, what words to use; to make sure that we interpret what they are saying the way that they want us to. Also, our government can control what is released to the public. Were there a big event, they could choose to not tell us, they only have to say that it is classified and them keeping it a secret is “justified.” They can create cover stories and lie to the public when it serves them, “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.”
In order to ensure that everyone was going along with The Party, they made sure to keep everyone under surveillance. Like 1984, our government has certain “red flags” that can cause you to be considered suspicious. The Party may not have watched everyone at any given time but if someone seemed to be doing something suspicious, they made sure to watch them. Today, if you have suspicious buying habits or internet history the government can justify watching you, keeping tabs on your purchases, internet, phone calls, etc. I don’t see that much of a difference.
Ball, Tom. Political Strategy.org. March 6, 2005. Website. April 7, 2011.