The Ways Dictators Remain In Control
There are dictators all around the world trying to gain political power, and there are many ways they can try to remain in power. In his novel 1984, through the perspective of Winston, the main character, George Orwell describes the strategies the Party uses in order to brainwash everyone and make them believe Big Brother is the good one. George Orwell aims to raise awareness about the strategies that dictators employ in order to oppress people and keep their power. He makes it obvious that rebellion is possible if people rise at the same time, but he also makes it obvious that people simply do not have the courage to do so. If the people do not rebel soon, the party will eventually become unstoppable because they are constantly altering the history, changing the language, and applying spying and surveillance to oppress and manipulate the people and strengthen their grip on power.
First of all, the Party alters history in order to remain in control of the dictatorship. They change historical facts and figures so that the people will not know about the past, spreading misleading information that the citizens believe. They can find parts of information about the past “but to trace out the history of the whole period, to say who was fighting whom at any given moment, would have been utterly impossible.” This is because history is constantly being altered by the party, which makes some citizens believe that “it might very well be that literally every word in the history books, even the things that one accepted without question, was pure fantasy.” While it may seem that revising history is an extreme strategy that can only be found in dystopian novels, in reality, it is a strategy that is commonly employed by many dictators around the world. For example, the Soviet Union greatly changed World War 2 narratives. During World War II, radios were used to propagandize German citizens. Radio receivers were put in communal locations, where the people would gather around to hear the news. German POWs would speak and assure their relatives they were alive, with propaganda being inserted between the speeches that a soldier would speak to make the German citizens think everything was fine. To sum up, if people do not know their history well, it will make it easy for dictators to alter history, which, as a result, allows them to remain in control of the dictatorship.
Secondly, the Party constantly changes the language in order to narrow the range of thoughts of the citizens. They do this because in the end, they want to “make thoughtcrime literally impossible because there will be no words in which to express it.” The reason why the Party wants to make thoughtcrime impossible is because when a language becomes less expressive, the mind is easier to control. In 1984, the Party created a dictionary called Newspeak, and “The whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought.” The Party wants to narrow the range of thought because by narrowing the range of thought, it also narrows the awareness of the citizens, which in turn, makes their minds easier to be controlled by the Party. While the Party changed the language in 1984, dictators around the world also used the strategy to remain in control. For example, a propaganda film named “Triumph of the Will,” directed by Leni Riefenstahl was about Hitler’s speech in which he used emotional language to inspire loyalty and dedication to the Nazi party. The way Hitler used emotional language easily changed people’s minds, making him seem like a hero and the savior of the German people. This proves the point that if language is constantly being changed or manipulated, people will have no way to express their thoughts, paving the way for any dictator to mislead them.
Finally, the Party applies spying and surveillance to oppress and manipulate the people and strengthen its grip on power. They use surveillance in order to monitor what the citizens are doing and whether they want to rebel or they like Big Brother. An example of the Party applying spying and surveillance is the telescreens they have everywhere in Oceania. The telescreen makes it difficult for Winston or other people to do anything against the party because “the telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it.” The Party uses spying and surveillance through technology but they can use people to do that as well. For example, Parsons was imprisoned because his daughter turned him in for thoughtcrime. This is because “The children were systematically turned against their parents and taught to spy on them and report their deviations” and that is the reason why his daughter turned him in. This can be related to the real world because China’s surveillance technology is making it incredibly difficult to avoid being identified, which makes getting caught doing something against the country extremely easy. According to one of China’s national security reporters, “They can capture, you know, 30 to 100 faces at a single time,” saying things like what China is doing to the systems is “terrifying.” In the end, if people are constantly being watched and observed, they can easily be caught and then manipulated.
In conclusion, dictators around the world are constantly altering history, changing the language, and applying spying and surveillance to remain in control and if we are not aware of the strategies they are using, things can go very wrong. Canada is a great country but if a dictator tries to take over, people need to be aware of the strategies the dictator uses in order to not fall into the hands of a dictator.