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Related Categories: International | Anti-War
Will Orwell's prediction in `1984' become reality?
by Kai Ehlers
Basic elements of a development such as Orwell describes are emerging from the fog of current war propaganda, at least as it is being pursued by the West, namely attempts to drive the population into acceptance of a constant exceptional situation in which war appears as the guarantor of peace.
Ukraine bone of contention: Will Orwell's prediction in "1984" become reality?, 1/31/2022
by Kai Ehlers
George Orwell, 1903-1950, predicted a world in which war to destroy values would become the permanent state of affairs.
[This article published on 1/31/2022 is translated from the German on the Internet, Ukraine-Zankapfel: Wird Orwells Prognose in «1984» Realität? - infosperber.]




Neither Joe Biden nor Vladimir Putin can be interested in a big war, they know too well that then there are only losers. But why are "small" and "local" wars being discussed? Already George Orwell pointed out that it will take wars to destroy the created values of the modern economy again. A guest editorial.

The noise about Ukraine is getting shriller and shriller. And yet: The war, as it is currently being conjured up by many sides with ever new speculations, will not happen. Russia is neither threatening war nor is it interested in invading Ukraine. An annexed Ukraine would put a critical economic and political burden on Russia. Russia only wants to prevent Ukraine from becoming a full NATO country.

Joe Biden, too, only tones down and then immediately puts himself into perspective. Even Annalena Baerbock, who likes to be so militant, is building up a threatening position against Russia, but has no real will to attack behind her. It is clearly not a matter of open war with Russia, but rather of constricting it, if possible arming it to death - whereby the entire Western propaganda force at the same time clearly shows that not one of them is prepared to go into the fire for Ukraine and to follow up their war-mongering words with military deeds.

Let us simply state: Russia as the heartland of Eurasia, connected with China and all the more closely, the more the chorus of the USA, NATO and EU turns up the volume of their threat marathon, would not be conquerable in a war with conventional weapons, after it could not be conquered, occupied or subjugated by wars of conquest in the past. Remember the failed attempts of Napoleon in the 19th century, the attempt of the German Wehrmacht in the First World War, the attempt of Hitler in the Second World War and the unsuccessful soft conquest by the USA after the end of the Soviet Union. Today, moreover, the use of nuclear weapons would have deadly consequences even for the first to use them.

Nor is it simply a repeat of the "Cold War" between two blocs. What we are currently witnessing are rather the hysterical attempts of the "West" to maintain its previous global dominance below the threshold of open warfare, let alone nuclear war, in the face of the shift in the constellation of global forces that is unmistakably growing.
Much clamor - for nothing

What we are currently witnessing is, strictly speaking, a clamor that is all the louder the less the Western actors are in a position to actually implement what is threatened. Let's take the bickering over Nord Stream 2 as an example: Given Germany's dependence on gas imports from Russia, does Annalena Baerbock really want to expect the German population to pay the "price" for Russia no longer supplying gas? Politically, she probably wouldn't survive that. Or let's take the demand to exclude Russia from the international payment traffic SWIFT: How will the "West" survive the resulting loss of its financial dominance without escalating the financial crisis that is already rampant? What other "prices" does Mrs. Baerbock want to impose on the German population and the European population associated with it without causing uproar among the population, which is accustomed to prosperity, or at least to affordable basic services?

Not to mention, finally, that the use of weapons against Russia, whether conventional or nuclear, would lead to the devastation of Europe, specifically Germany. Even a U.S. president could not want such a use of weapons, because in a weapon race fought with hypersonic missiles, even the U.S. would not remain untouched. All actors know that. So what? Why all the noise?
The great war of conquest no longer exists.

It will be seen that the loudest shouters will sit down with a whimper to "dialogue" because the easy way out of today's transformation crisis, the great war of conquest that could destroy the enemy, no longer exists without initiating one's own destruction with it. What does exist is an increase in local fires and the thawing of frozen conflicts in the various border areas and overlapping zones of influence of the blocs. This is a way to keep each other in check. In this, the West has an advantage over Russia because Russia is surrounded by such conflict zones from the legacy of the Soviet Union. Ukraine is one of these conflicts, which is being played up by the West, but none of the powers involved is prepared to give a military guarantee of support in order to extinguish it.

To be clear: It is not about Ukraine, and certainly not about improving the living conditions of the Ukrainian population. Rather, it looks as if the local conflict, which has been smoldering since the Maidan upheaval, will be further fueled as a proxy war, at best frozen by new "Minsk" negotiations. What is at stake, however, is an attempt to force Russia, like the Soviet Union in its day, into an arms race in order to bring it down economically.
Orwell already wrote about three great powers ...

All this brings up memories that one thought to have been overcome long ago: In his book "1984", written in 1948 - after the end of the Second World War and the use of atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki - George Orwell described a future formed by three great power blocs - Eurasia, Oceania (including America) and East Asia. At their borders, where the zones of influence overlap, they constantly wage wars, which, however, do not substantially change the basic constellation between them. The wars are waged by special forces, while the populations within the major power blocs are kept quiet under the slogan "war is peace" by full technical control, including mental and health surveillance in a permanent state of emergency. Anyone who questions this kind of peace will be outsourced or annihilated altogether.

A few sentences from Orwell's vision, more precisely from Chapter III "War is Peace", may clarify this kind of peace, which can make us think today:

"In one combination or another" he writes, "these three superstates are constantly at war, and have been for twenty-five years. War, however, is no longer the desperate war of annihilation it was in the early decades of the twentieth century. It is warfare with limited objectives between opponents who are incapable of destroying each other, who have no material cause for war, and who are not divided by a genuine ideological difference. (...) The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. (...) For if all people lived equally in leisure and security, the great mass of people, normally stultified by their poverty, would educate themselves and thus learn to think for themselves; and once this happened, sooner or later they would realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. A return to the agrarian past, as some thinkers had dreamed at the beginning of the twentieth century, was not a viable solution. (...) Nor was it a satisfactory solution to keep the masses in poverty by curbing commodity production. The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods had to be produced, but they could not be distributed. And in practice, the only way to accomplish this was through continuous warfare.

The essential act of war is the destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labor. (...) War not only, as will be seen, accomplishes the necessary destruction, but accomplishes it in a psychologically acceptable way. (...) It does not matter whether the war actually takes place, and since no decisive victory is possible, it does not matter whether the war goes well or badly. All that is required is that a state of war exists. (...) War today is waged by every ruling group against its own subjects, and the goal of war is not to achieve or prevent territorial conquests, but to keep the social structure intact. (...) a truly permanent peace would be the same as a permanent war. This is (...) the inner meaning of the party slogan: WAR IS PEACE."

Of course, this image cannot be transferred one-to-one to today. There are still cultural differences between today Euramerica, Russia and China. With the worldwide advent of digital capitalism, they are only tending to shrink to folkloric characteristics. The resources needed for industrial development are not yet evenly distributed. Gas supplies are still being fought over. However, the development of new energy sources, including the further expansion of nuclear power plants, is on the horizon. The technical control of the population is not yet perfect and not globally unified. Still the classification into a regime of public health has not become a daily ritual before the "eye" of the "Big Brother", as it is described by Orwell.

But basic elements of a development such as Orwell describes are emerging from the fog of current war propaganda, at least as it is being pursued by the West, namely attempts to drive the population into acceptance of a constant exceptional situation in which war appears as the guarantor of peace.

What do we have to counter this? That is the question. The answer is - dare we say it? - Basically, it is quite simple: to do exactly what the warmongering forces do not want: To think for ourselves, to look for ways of cooperation ourselves, to build bridges ourselves, on a small scale as well as on a large scale. Is there any other way? Probably not.

Kai Ehlers is an independent, freelance journalist.
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