“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
— George Orwell, 1984
This is one of those short quotes that has a lot in it. It’s easy to pass it off and say that this level of control does not exist today. Does not exist where you live. You may say that the Internet has allowed for the free and uncontrolled dissemination of knowledge. But while we can argue over the validity of that last statement, it does not necessarily directly impact the validity of the above quote.
Even the availability of information does not guarantee that people will access that information. People believe without questioning or examining all the time. For instance, what is the likelihood that someone will go home and research the facts of an event after watching a movie “based on a true story?” Some people will, yes. Some people will find out just which aspects have been the result of artistic license no which aspects contain truth. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that most people won’t.
Take for instance the shock so many people exhibit when it is revealed that not every single aspect of that popular auto-biography was100% true. What? They made themselves out to be bigger, better, stronger, more important, than they actually were to sell books? In our world of obviously scripted reality tv, one would think that people would be a bit more cautious in believing every sensational story that reaches their ears.
But I digress.
Control takes on more faces than “obviously evil dictator.” Yes, those types of control may be the most easily identified, but what about the control that looks benevolent? What about the control that maybe looks like freedom? The control that does not so much restrict access to information but puts forward an alternative story with seemingly subtle changes. What if it makes it very believable. A carefully constructed lie may not be able to kill the truth but it can give it a swift beating, tie it up, gag it and drop it into a hole.
I would go on, but this post is quickly getting long. As I said initially, it’s a short quote with a lot in it.
(Because this was such a smiley topic)