Recently I heard that while America makes up only five percent of the world's population, we have twenty-five percent of the world's prisoners. That made me wonder if the book I have been reading the last few days might have become a self fulfilling prophecy. The book is "1984" by George Orwell It was a classic back when I went to school which was pre 1984. It was required reading in many literature classes. After 1984 came and went the book was slowly abandoned. We had survived. The question is have we really survived. Or was the year 1984 not the end, but the beginning of the end. I have been reading the book to see how many things that it implied would happen, have happened.
The book was first published in 1949 and had a major effect on society. Many words and phrases created in the book have become everyday words. Big Brother is probably the most well known word. It is a word that implies state control of every aspect of our lives. The state has video screens that they can use to watch everything you do. That has pretty much come to pass in the form of video surveillance It implies the use of computers even though computers as we know them today did not even exist at the time the book was written. In fact TV was a novel and new experiment at the time the book was written. The world was divided into three major powers Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia. The rest of the world was the battlefield for the three major powers that were in a constant state of conflict. There were types of speaking that the state approved of. Oldspeak was the old way of speaking and was being eliminated. It was being replaced by Newspeak which had its own definitions and was destined to replace Oldspeak. The meaning of words was changed to suit the powers that be. It would be very similar to what we call "politically correct" in this day and age. History was constantly being changed and updated to agree with the present view of the state.
In fact that is what encouraged me to reread the book 1984. I see the issue with Lance Armstrong as being similar to what the book mentioned. Especially the fact that an attempt to strip him of his seven victories is in progress. It is not the first time I have seen history, if not changed, certainly glossed over. Remember Waco and all the people that died. The survivors were tried and they were acquitted in a court of law. Anybody remember the Ruby Ridge Standoff. Again the parties involved were later acquitted and the Federal Government had to pay over three million dollars in damages for killing the family of the party the government was after. Every time I see S.W.A.T. teams in their body armor on the scene of a crime it reinforces my belief the state is out of control. How about our country starting a war with another country based on manufactured and erroneous information about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.
In the book society is divided into three groups. Well maybe four if you count the enemies of the established order of things. There is the party leadership which are invisible to the average citizen. Then there are those who work for and support the state. Finally there are the proles who are a class of people who exist but are almost subhuman and live like rats. They exist in their own little world and the state ignores them.
This whole article started from a point that President Obama made in his state of the union speech. He called for a nine dollar an hour minimum wage, which would also be tied to a cost of living increase. That may sound nice, but it is a little late. Not to age myself but when I started working the minimum wage was fifty cents an hour. At least it was for people in the restaurant field. For regular jobs the minimum was one dollar an hour. If the minimum wage had kept parity with what it would buy when I started working the minimum wage would have to be thirty dollars an hour today. How did I figure that? Well a bottle of pop or a candy bar was five cents back then. That meant I could by twenty bottles of pop for a dollar. So it would cost me thirty dollars to buy the same amount of pop.
According to a chart I looked up online the minimum wage back in 1961 equaled about eighty percent of what poverty level income was at that time. Today the minimum wage is seven dollars and twenty five cents.
That is only fourteen and a half times what the wage was back when I started working. Today's minimum wage is less than seventy percent of the poverty level. So workers are definitely losing ground. If you really want to blow the number out of the water. Today's pop costs thirty times what a pop cost in 1961. Therefore if you multiply thirty times a dollar fifty it would take a wage of forty five dollars an hour to have buying parity with what your dollar would buy in 1961. Today's minimum wage will only buy 4.8 bottles of pop for an hours worth of wages. It is easy to see workers are definitely loosing ground in the wage war. If we compare car prices then and now it works out a little different, but labor is still loosing. A new car was roughly thirty five hundred dollars in 1961. Today that same car is thirty five to fifty thousand dollars. It would take a little over a year and a half of minimum wage salary to buy a new car in 1961. Today that same car bought on minimum wage at today's prices would take two and a half years wages for a low end car and three years labor to buy a top of the line vehicle.
So the special interest groups that buy influence with our government are working hard to create a class of proles (social outcast mentioned above) to support their lifestyles. It takes two people working at minimum wage to provided adequate income for the average household. The only ones who can afford to buy a car on a single persons income are those who work for the state or government. Those who are in union jobs, which the government would love to end, and those in the medical fields can also afford todays prices. People with special training may make wages to afford living today. Most high school graduates will only be able to earn prole wages at the bottom of the economic ladder. They will not be able to grow beyond that point
The book 1984 also has three slogans that are repeated over and over. "War Is Peace"...we are definitely being sucked up into that one. The military industrial complex controls our government to their benefit. "Freedom Is Slavery" That one is definitely taking form as the government terminates our freedom in the interest of protecting us from some omnipresent threat to our existence. The final one is the classic of them all "Ignorance Is Strength." The media is designed to keep us in darkness. The government in its effort to control society has waged a war on drugs, terrorism and environmental threats. Creating a prison system to incarcerate anyone who does not agree with the system. Not necessarily because they are a threat to society, but because they disagree with the powers that be. They are trying to legislate morality just as they do in the book 1984, to protect us from ourselves. Think about it, but not to hard or you may be charged with "Thought Crime." The Thought Police are watching us. Religion is the "Opiate of the Masses"according to Marx. It will be tolerated, however, as long as no one acts to interfere with powers that be.
Welcome to the Orwellian world we now live in. Those who believe in Peace and act on their beliefs will be destroyed as they are a threat to society, especially the military industrial complex. Remember Gandhi, Kennedy, King, and Lennon to name a few. They were threats to society as it exists today. Are you a threat? Read the book. We may be way past 1984 but it is definitely on its way unless we rise up to stop it.
Our dysfunctional government is incompetent and leading us toward an abyss we may never get out of. The Bible says that this is where the world will be headed in the last days. The verses listed below definitely describe the direction the world seems to be headed in. Has God turned his back on this nation? Form your own opinion.
II Timothy 3:1-5 and Romans 1:19-32