From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Party:
WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH*
As humanity is rapidly hurtling towards the transcendental object at the end of time, news of almost any sort has lost the ability to shock, much less surprise. The masses are ceaselessly bombarded with grim tales of impending economic implosion, unjustified and illegal wars of aggression, and tales of neverending political treachery. The unattended funeral of human decency failed even to merit a mention in the obituary column.
The psyche is under constant assault by the contemporary Medes class. They are the propagandists who control not only what you read, view and hear, but what you are to think about it. Their modern-day form of sorcery employs memes (mind viruses) to hijack the rational, logical, and critical-reasoning faculties. The modern-era existential threats of terrorism and rogue state sponsored nuclear annihilation have been exchanged for Orwells’ Eurasia and Eastasia. It doesn’t matter who you hate, as long as you hate.
For people on the Left, The election of Obama ostensibly marked a clear delineation in foreign policy from W’s wild-west shoot-em-up reign of terror. Now that the honeymoon is over, the bride has discovered that hubby is an intravenous drug user and has infected her nether-regions with a severe case gonohhrea. Also, he put a second mortgage on the house to pay off his huge gambling debts. A similar grim awakening has shaken many of Obama’s faithful devotees concerning campaign promises and platitudes to STOP THE VIOLENCE.
The thousands of innocent Afghan and Pakistanis murdered in the predator drone strikes may have some difficulty in understanding the Nobel committee’s decision to award Obama the Peace prize. The Iraqi people might be confused as to how the commander-in-chief of a foreign occupying army and blood-thirsty corporate mercenary force could warrant such recognition. The untold number of “War of Terror” detainees renditioned and tortured extra-judicially are undoubtedly perturbed. The decision is also perplexing given that the U.S. Senate just passed a 626 BILLION dollar WAR FUNDING bill ($2,086 per American). Coincidentally (or maybe not), Obama’s peace prize was awarded on the same day the the U.S. bombed the moon violating the Outer Space Treaty.
To the objective rational observer (read: very few Americans), it is incomprehensible that a man at the head of a government responsible for the above atrocities would receive the Noble Peace Prize. The theory of cognitive dissonance explains how individuals can rationalize and justify seemingly incongruous belief systems. (i.e., I am anti-war and I support the President’s foreign policy). To avoid the anger, shame, or stress of feeling duped by a politician who promised one thing and delivered another, an attitudinal shift must occur. Through a subconscious accord, the cognitive dissonance one feels is diminished and it is business as usual in one’s subjective political reality-tunnel.
I don’t mean to come off as an Obama basher, I have no opinion about the man really. Given that the U.S. president is at best a middle manager with 27 security clearance grades above his, Obama’s primary motivation is avoiding a premature fate. The best way to do that is to nod your head frequently, read only the words you see on the glass monitor, and put your signature where directed.
Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said that Obama was given the Award “because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve”. I am not really sure what Obama is trying to achieve, but lets hope that in the future it requires fewer bombs, bullets, and body bags.
* 1984, George Orwell