The year Nineteen Eighty Four is long past us, in fact next year it will exactly 30 years in the past. But if we consider the dystopic vision of George Orwell from the novel, seems with each passing day we are approaching it with ever increasing pace. As if prophetically the Orwell thought about in the middle of last century are coming true. It is as if those in power are taking cues from Orwell’s books.Some famous lines from Nineteen Eighty Four included the following:
War is Peace Freedom is Slavery Ignorance is Strength
Big Brother is Watching You
Two more individuals also told us something similar. One is a comic book writer and other is a paranoid hacker in the true sense of the word. Alan Moore in V for Vendetta tells us a story of not so distant future, which is very Orwellian. He says in an interview, it was idea in V, that there should be cameras on streets, which is what is implemented in London now. This is like an unintentional self-fulfiling prophecy. Though Alan Moore makes his case, it is after all a fictional story. Given that it might happen, but it is fiction. As is the case with Orwell’s works though fictional it has some real and frightening take home points, so is also with Alan Moore’s V for...
I will now come to the hacker. Richard M. Stallman, aka RMS aka Father of Free Software movement. Some of you might be surprised when I am making this claim. What does software have to do with dissent, or for that matter treason? But there are good reasons to make and substantiate this connection.
About the poster:
The idea behind this poster comes from Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell and current affairs in the world. Across the world it seems that any dissent against the government or those in power is seen as treason. Hence “Dissent Is Treason”This rhymes thematically very well with other in Orwells book which include “War is Peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.”
Similarly no matter how wrong the government is doing, however brutal they may be acting any voice of concern is treated as one would treat treason. The questioning of government and its actions which is essential in a healthy democracy is itself under attack.
In this poster the deer has one of its horns twisted in a way which is not normal. This “abnormal horn” metaphorically represents the view point which majority does not see or share. This can be concern for environment or disadvantaged groups, or against nexus of corporates and politicians. The list is endless. But any deer with such a horn, will be shunned in deer society. Similarly in our society usually people who have points of view which conflict with powers to be are treated as traitors. Their acts of exposing the guilty as that of treason. But in fact such individuals are people with extraordinary courage. They include people like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and countless others whom wedo not know but are thankful.
The deer image is from an old issue (c. 1870) of Journal Of Bombay Natural History Society.