Are You Prepared to Throw Acid in Children's Faces?
Depths of Pentecost ^ | March 10, 2018 | Philip Cottraux
Posted on 3/10/2018, 5:33:19 PM by pcottraux
By Philip Cottraux
In George Orwell’s 1984, all freedom is a thing of the past and the world is run by an authoritarian government known as Big Brother. People live under misery and oppression, every move they make being watched carefully by the sinister party, INGSOC. Every room of every home is equipped with a telescreen that monitor’s one’s every move, the slogan “Big Brother Is Watching You” playing over and over again. Even showing a facial expression of slight disinterest over one of the Party’s big announcements can cause one to be arrested for suspicion of “thought crimes.”
Our protagonist, Winston, a middle class citizen who works for the Party, starts a secret love affair with a coworker, Julia. They perceive a possible way out. The Party has brainwashed the citizens into hating and opposing a mysterious “Brotherhood” that opposes INGSOC’s values and is devoted to bringing Big Brother down. Winston suspects his superior, O’Brien, is secretly a member of the brotherhood. Putting themselves at great risk, Winston and Julia have a meeting at O’Brien’s home, where he invites them to join the covert rebellion to restore freedom to the world.
While they take the oath of loyalty, O’Brien asks them the following questions:
“You are prepared to give your lives?” “Yes.” “You are prepared to commit murder?” “Yes.” “To commit acts of sabotage which may cause the deaths of hundreds of innocent people?” “Yes.” “To betray your country to foreign powers?” “Yes.” “You are prepared to cheat, to forge, to blackmail, to corrupt the minds of children, to distribute habit-forming drugs, to encourage prostitution, to disseminate venereal diseases, to do anything which is likely to cause demoralization and weaken the power of the Party?” “Yes.” “If, for example, it would somehow serve our interests to throw sulfuric acid in a child’s face; are you prepared to do that?” “Yes.”
Having lost a great deal of power, the American left is attempting to remobilize itself as the opposition. But their attempts to do so remind me of this exchange. They view Trump as Big Brother and themselves as the Brotherhood. You can see the similarities in the self-proclaimed “Resistance.” It’s Antifa wearing masks and rioting in the streets, Millenials starting #Resist twitter campaigns, and high schoolers leaving class in mass gun control protests. They call themselves freedom fighters. But their tactics are anything but peaceful.
Watch Black Lives Matter activists smashing windows, overturning cars, and throwing Molotov cocktails at cops. Watch Antifa activists beat elderly Trump supporters and pregnant women with clubs, imagining they are overthrowing some kind of invisible Nazi regime. Scroll down through Twitter comments on a tweet by the president or one of his family members. The online hate is at a hysterical critical mass. They scream that they want him assassinated, his whole family, wife and kids dead. They viciously smear his 11 year-old son. They make photoshops ridiculing him as a KKK member and retweet slanderous lies about him molesting his daughter.
Around the country, protesters scream into the night sky in frustration over his election, like bloody-fanged wolves howling at the moon. In 1984, the citizens are required to participate in a daily “four minutes of hate.” Big Brother plays an image of Goldstein, the leader of the Brotherhood (who may or may not actually exist), while the people scream, boo, and hiss.
They’ve taken the oath of Julia and Winston. They are prepared to commit acts of sabotage, to betray their country, to corrupt young minds and spread venereal diseases, to throw acid in the faces of children. No act of primal violence is too extreme.
Psychology professor Jordan Peterson has recently gained fame for refusing to abide by a Canadian law criminalizing not referring to transgenders by their preferred pronoun. While listening to one of his lectures, I noted how he described children who grow up in undisciplined households. In his years of study, he’s noted the health benefits for kids to go out and play, to fall and get hurt, to have boundaries and limitations placed on them by their parents, to rough house and wrestle with each other. It also helps to play professional sports with actual scorekeeping and winner and losers. It stretches the limits of their bodies, forming and molding. Competition teaches working hard to achieve victory or coping with defeat as a part of life. These kids tend to have sharp, well-developed features and bright intellects.
Overly protected and poorly disciplined children, on the other hand, who were given participation trophies for showing up and have never had their feelings hurt, tend to be strangely doughy, with formless features and lazy looks in their eyes.
Upon hearing this, I was struck by how I’ve started noticing it myself. Especially when it comes to Millenial protesters. Immediately after the Florida shooting, high school students around the country walked out, marched on the streets, stormed capitals, and demanded change. They were paraded on CNN like heroes.
Protesting has become all the rage in this country as young angry neo-Marxists take to the streets. This generation has been brought up having life handed to them on a silver platter. They expect to be able to change the world with the right hashtag campaign. But look closer at the girl with the shaved head shouting in a microphone before adoring liberal throngs. Or the teen who had trouble remembering his lines during the interview. Their faces are featureless globs and their eyes are glazed over.
Orwell was a committed socialist. Yet his writings, from Animal House to 1984, seem to be screeds against his very own ideology. The reason is that he was a socialist in principle, but not practice. He genuinely loved the working class and wanted to help the poor. But throughout his life, he was increasingly wary of the Marxists around him. It’s why in The Road to Wigan Pier, chapter 11, he wrote:
“Sometimes I look at a Socialist — the intellectual, tract-writing type of Socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation — and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is often difficult to believe that it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class, from whom he is of all people the furthest removed…The truth is that, to many people calling themselves Socialists, revolution does not mean a movement of the masses with which they hope to associate themselves; it means a set of reforms which ‘we’, the clever ones, are going to impose upon ‘them’, the Lower Orders. On the other hand, it would be a mistake to regard the book-trained Socialist as a bloodless creature entirely incapable of emotion. Though seldom giving much evidence of affection for the exploited, he is perfectly capable of displaying hatred — a sort of queer, theoretical, vacuous hatred — against the exploiters. Hence the grand old Socialist sport of denouncing the bourgeoisie. It is strange how easily almost any Socialist writer can lash himself into frenzies of rage against the class to which, by birth or by adoption, he himself invariably belongs.”
I get the same uneasy feeling when I see throngs of left-wing protesters. They may be passionate activists for what seem to be worthy causes. Equal rights for women. Immigrant protection from being deported. Transgender rights. Gay marriage. Gun control. Safer neighborhoods for blacks. They shout on megaphones and step on American flags and wave rainbow banners. But I can’t help but look at their lifeless, cloudy eyes and wonder what their motive really is. They’re fueled by that same theoretical, vacuous hatred against their so-called “exploiters,” going into frenzies of rage against classes to which they themselves belong.
All leftists across the spectrum seem to be motivated by one of Alinsky’s foundational Rules for Radicals: the ends always justify the means. That’s what 1984 taps into in Winston and Julia’s oath. Any act of terror, no matter how destructive, is worth it. The great paradise is only another act of violence away. It’s why Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president or the Soviets rounded up millions and shipped them to Siberian gulags. The left always labors under the delusion that the great worker’s paradise is just around the corner. A few more genocides is all it will take!
The problem is that the revolution to overthrow Big Brother always inevitably turns into Big Brother. Make no mistake, the people who will involve themselves in dirty tactics, spreading disease and throwing acid in children’s face to accomplish their means, will not make peaceful rulers once their great utopia has arrived.
The motive of today’s social justice warriors is hard to grasp. Whether they’re on the streets wearing pink hats, posting vile things on social media, or screaming hate disguised as comedy on late night, there’s something suspicious behind their androgynous faces. The motive isn’t really universal income or Muslim acceptance. It’s power. And once such people have the power they seek, the real nightmare begins.
That’s the frightening conclusion of 1984 (spoiler alert in case you haven’t read the book). O’Brien wasn’t a member of the Brotherhood after all. He was setting a trap for Winston and Julia. Once they are both arrested, O’Brien takes Winston into the dreaded Room 101 and the final chilling act of the book involves his torture while O’Brien reveals the true horrifying nature of the Party’s plans for humanity.
When Winston cries out that he is opposing INGSOC for a righteous cause, O’Brien turns the tables back on him. He had recorded Winston and Julia taking the oath. He plays it back for Winston to listen to. He had sworn to throw acid in children’s faces, to spread diseases, to engage in terrorist activity that would kill innocent people. He’s no more moral than Big Brother. The true hopelessness of the scene is the reminder that Winston’s body hasn’t just been tortured; his spirti has been crushed. There is no hope. The Party will rule forever.
The protesters’ motives are power for power’s sake, not a better life for all. Because no matter what they achieve, it will never be enough. If they do have a real society of equal pay between men and women, it still won’t satisfy their rage. They will have to forever invent new enemies to destroy, new diseases to spread, and new children’s faces to disfigure. As O’Brien tells Winston: “Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever….The face will always be there to be stamped upon. The heretic, the enemy of society, will always be there, so that he can be defeated and humiliated over again…Goldstein and his heresies will live forever. Every day, at every moment, they will be defeated, discredited, ridiculed, spat upon—and yet they will always survive.”