Tag Archives: George Orwell

Banned books: the subversive dystopia

Eugene Zamiatin, We; Jack London, The Iron Heel; Ambrose Bierce, Can Such Things Be?; Aldous Huxley, Brave New World; Ayn Rand, Anthem; Sinclair Lewis, It Can't Happen Here; George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four; Norbert Weiner, The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society; David Karp, One; Frederick Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth, The Space Merchants; Kurt Vonnegut, Jr, Player Piano; Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451; Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange; Harlan Ellison, The Glass Teat; Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale.Banned Books, p.2–
I put a lot of faith in an internet resilient enough to remain an unrestricted archive of crowd-sourced human knowledge, even more I hope public data will eventually permeate the proprietary, but continued access to subversive literature I have little doubt will meet the full brunt of digital book burners. If there’s any text not to download unto your Kindle, as an easily vaporized or expurgate-able file, it’s one of these classic oft-censored, perpetually-offense-giving titles. These are the dystopian novels and science fictions which paint a bleak picture of the society we are engineering.

As pictured, here are some notoriously subversive dystopian novels, (as differentiated from commercial drivel which reinforces mainstream dogma, such as Lord of the Flies, or Hunger Games)

Atwood, Margaret, THE HANDMAID’S TALE
Bierce, Ambrose, CAN SUCH THINGS BE?
Bradbury, Ray, FAHRENHEIT 451
Burgess, Anthony, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
Ellison, Harlan, THE GLASS TEAT
Huxley, Aldous, BRAVE NEW WORLD
Karp, David, ONE
Lewis, Sinclair, IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE
London, Jack, THE IRON HEEL
Orwell, George, NINETEEN EIGHTY FOUR
Pohl, Frederick, & C.M. Kornbluth, THE SPACE MERCHANTS
Rand, Ayn, ANTHEM
Vonnegut, Kurt, PLAYER PIANO
Wiener, Norbert, THE HUMAN USE OF OTHER BEINGS
Zamiatin, Eugene, WE

Haven’t heard of many of these? Curious, don’t you think?

Libertarian me-first values exemplified by face-stomping teabag Brownshirts

Move over RNC Kicker, Rand Paul preemptive-linebackers Tim Profitt and cohort Mike Pezzano have been identified as the “lead stomper” and protester-wrangler of yesterday’s face-stomping video. MoveOn activist Lauren Valle was holding a sign meant to highlight Kentucky senate candidate Paul’s corporate fealty when she was tackled to the ground by the teabag duo. Profitt’s index finger pronounced, as he stepped off atop her head, that he meant the girl to read his Tea Party button literally: Don’t Tread on ME.

Maybe now is not the time to wonder if George Orwell has yet been wrong about anything. “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”

Tony, David Barsamian says hello

The local Pikes Peak Justice & Peace Commission found a little more between the lines than they may have counted on from visiting scholar/lecturer David Barsamian. Although he preached the habitual Gandhian nonviolent civil disobedience, and putting faith in reforming electoral politics, some heresy emerged from the mix. Asked how he could cite 1984 with the authority of scripture, three times, but overlook how Orwell derided nonviolence as a tool of totalitarian control, Barsamian reminded the audience that Orwell joined the Spanish Civil War against Franco, believing that Fascist threat justified armed struggle. Barsamian then clarified that neither of the sainted NV Big 3, Gandhi, Mandela or MLK, completely eschewed violent resistance.

The PPJPC audience may be too far gone to appreciate the distinction. This was demonstrated by a rambling question/interjection by a PPJPC member luminary. Not only is the PPJPC nonviolent, it sanctions only nonviolent communication, to elaborate further, non-protest, and even non-talking about negative things. While she was thankful for David Barsamian informing his audiences, she felt what he was doing served to defeat the positive outlook necessary to float a new consciousness. There’s a growing world movement, apparently. What’s required, said she, was a concentrated focus on the positive. I paraphrase, but I lack the parochial school vocabulary.

Fortunately, Barsamian politely pooh-pooed that notion, though not with the ridicule I would have liked. Barsamian’s theme was about historical illiteracy, and while he could fault education and media for the sad state of US critical aptitude, he could offer just the usual intra-capitalism strategies of consumer boycotts and hope for turning our legislators around. For Barsamian, our task as activists is to spread understanding to the oligarchs. The corporate bosses have children too, how could they fail to recognize that the destruction of our planet will be their doom as well?

Barsamian could have found the answer in a parable he recited while illustrating another point. He asked the audience if we’d heard the story of the scorpion and the camel, a parable circulating in popular culture to vilify Islam.

The tale recounts a scorpion who asked a camel to ferry him across the river. The camel declined, certain the scorpion would sting him. After much pleading from the scorpion, the camel eventually decided to offer the benefit of the doubt, hoping his good deed would overcome the scorpion’s reputation. In the middle of the river, “Oy vay” Barsamian lampooned, the scorpion struck. Asked why he betrayed the camel, the scorpion replied “Welcome to the Middle East.”

Yes, it’s a despicable slander of the Arab, and by intentional extension, the Muslim character. Especially as you consider the original version of this tale, an ancient Sanskrit parable, which the Zionist propagandists are not foolish enough to quote in the original. When you pretend a universal truth damns an entire people, the racism is too obvious.

Originally the scorpion’s victim was a turtle, and the argument which won the turtle over was: why would the scorpion sting him in the middle of the river, were both would surely drown? After the backstabbing, the explanation given to the turtle was a moral that has enlightened mankind since ancient times, I’m certain everyone in the audience knew it. Quoth the scorpion: it is my nature.

You knew I was a scorpion when you took me on your back.

Who are the turtles today, thinking that corporations and capitalism can be turned by our altruism?

A last question came from an audience member who expressed their faltering hopefulness. In reply, Barsamian pointed to other milestones in history when dramatic relief was also more than the average person could have foreseen. 1958 in Cuba, 1788 in France and 1775 in the American Colonies. YES, thank you David Barsamian!

I’m guessing I’m going to regret not having yelled out to put the exclamation mark on where Barsamian puts his faith. Each of the events which he tenders to offer hope, was a VIOLENT REVOLUTION!

As to the cryptic title of this post. On every visit to the Springs, the indefatigable Barsamian witnesses a further disintegration of our local peace community. Not long ago, Tony caused an uproar with his boisterous complaints of the PPJPC’s misplaced piety. Perhaps David witnesses such fractures everywhere in the movement these days, the bristling tension growing between activists and the elders ascended into their delusions. Into such atmospheres Barsamian does not hold himself above the fray. To even the divisive Tony, for example he wished to convey his warmest regards.

Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist

orwell pacifism fascismEven the most violent totalitarian system hasn’t enough weapons to outnumber the masses. For fascists to rule with an iron glove requires well deluded pacifist theologians to tamp the populace spirit. By example they can martyr themselves silly for all the overclass may care. The future of industrial man is a boot in your face for the eternities of all your successive lives. Pacifism is the acceptance you offer in hope that eventually you’ll reincarnate wearing the boot.