A recent New York Times piece, titled, Why ‘1984’ is a 2017 Must Read, is a bit much. Of course, we could all benefit from the prescient writing of Orwell. I confess, however, that the opening line elicited a groan of exasperation- “The dystopia described in George Orwell’s nearly 70-year-old novel “1984” suddenly feels all too familiar.” Suddenly?
I’ve no problem saying that a Trump presidency could create Orwellian scenarios. The article makes an interesting case for such a possibility. I object to the notion that we are only recently faced with invasive, authoritarian government. President Trump didn’t arise from a political vacuum. Political writers (including a few from the Times) have argued that Trump’s presidency is all the more alarming when you consider that it is following decades of unchecked abuse of the Executive office.
I was introduced to Orwell by the late Christopher Hitchens. I think he would have argued that we’ve been neglecting Orwell for quite some time.