By Ruxandra Pătrașcu
After reading Orwell, seeing ”Nineteen eighty-four” and ”The Truman Show” I came to the conclusion that I should try and elaborate my own idea of what Big Brother is.
What needs to be understood from the very first beginning is that I am talking about a circle, a repetitive action.
Big Brother is a concept, which, maybe from some particular perspectives might be compared with religion. In order for it, BB, to exist it needs to have followers and believers. Exactly like a god. The big difference is that this concept becomes a mechanism when it is abandoned. Even though it needs credo to exist, unlike a religion it works perfectly when ignored, this is what makes it a mechanism.
The fundamental characteristic of BB is that it encourages individualism, it feeds the mechanism. Lack of communities keep it alive and maintain its rigor, for example, it does not support religion of any kind, thus avoiding the idea of a community. It needs to be the only entity.
In writing ”1948” George Orwell inspired himself from the work of Leon Trotsky (the founder of the Red Army) about the permanent revolution. Permanent revolution was first used in Marxist theory, but nowadays tends to be associated with Trotsky. In his works, Trotsky underlines the need and the advantages of having a permanent revolution at a national level, but more importantly, wide spread internationally. During any sort of governance the existence of a public enemy was, and still is, imminent. In the ”1948” the public enemy is Emmanuel Goldstein, but nobody knows if he is real or if the party invented him in order to create the illusion of political opposition. Even though, psychologically his character was necessary for the distraction of the audiences, unite them and focus their anger on something else than the party itself or the Big Brother, his ultimate designation, was in fact being a scapegoat, in order for the system to have an excuse when imposing all those surveillance measures, including limiting freedom.
What I consider to be the Big Brother of the present is the global democratic capitalism. The difference between bolsheviks and capitalist is that they would act open and direct in their approach, whereas capitalists hide behind services of PR, lobby and mass media.
Consequently, what it is to be remembered about Big Brother is that it resembles to a religion, but encourages individualism, discourages communities, promotes scapegoats for implementing rigor and oppression and it is repetitive.