Eric Blair, who is known by his pen name George Orwell, was eerily accurate in the predictions he made in his novel, dubbed “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” which was published in 1949. He gave free rein to his imagination and foretold that the Man would be enslaved in totalitarian regimes. He was able to know what people actually wish for, which later seemed like forecasts.
The Western Alliance certainly loved the book because it was interpreted as being against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It took advantage of Orwell’s early death from tuberculosis and used his novel, along with Doctor Zhivago, as tools to fight the communist bloc. Many films were produced to consolidate the stereotyped image of the extent to which totalitarian regimes control the minds of their citizens, especially since the bloc hid behind its iron curtain, represented by the Berlin Wall.
Unfortunately, people’s limited knowledge in this regard helped Western countries control their citizens in a system that seems to have mercy but is actually characterized by agony. It lets people choose the way they pay their taxes, whether by check, credit card or cash but would not tolerate citizens who don’t pay them and ensures they know they cannot escape the grip of the state. As a result, people are forced to comply with the orders of the state, party or elite.
Orwell actually predicted the present situation. If he were still alive, he would have seen how people are fully controlled by the virtual judiciary. We all carry screens (the device Orwell imagined in 1948) in our pockets. We now eat, love, sleep, work, sign contracts and even marry and divorce by one click on this device.
This is not the worst part, as people have become only figures in the globalization system, which includes companies, institutions, sovereign agencies, terrorist groups, banks and pirates that have proven to be threatening.
People’s interests have been disrupted several times, and organized gangs have blackmailed several economic institutions with a click of a button. Some countries are now willing to ruin the lives of millions of people to achieve their interests.
Virtual wars have freed people from acting in accordance to their conscience although the deaths and destruction caused by these wars are much more than that occurring in the real world. All of this remains somehow understandable or at least acceptable if compared to the determination to turn humans into a consumer animal using the virtual world and its giant, anonymous companies that have a specific target. This world aims at letting people pay all their money while creating new consuming habits for useless goods produced by marginal economies.
The worst of these habits is the addiction to virtual means of communication, such as Facebook and other social media sites.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has recently announced changing the name of his company and launching new list of services that will definitely have a worse impact on humans by granting advantage to the consumer society.
It is noteworthy that we, as human beings, are distinguished from animals by our true social relations and the imperative of human living in urban societies that enjoy a minimum level of love and social harmony.
Even religions have addressed people’s need for each other and organized human relations, allowing humans to be innovative with the humanities before the applied sciences. The result was the brilliant scientific progress over the past centuries that came in line with a mighty technology that released the atom and let humans step on Mars.
But all this remained within a framework of values and actual social communication, so humans preserved their psychological balance and revived the family institution, which is the basis of society and the nation.
This continued until the virtual social media attacked us and weakened the substance which was the basis of our society. Karl Marx's ideas on the materialist interpretation of history have diminished to be replaced by the virtual interpretation of history.
The family has become virtual and so is love, and children nowadays are raised by Google.
Some clerics couldn’t resist this transformation, and few tried to fit in, while the majority remained lazy, stressing that we are at the end of time, and there is nothing left but the appearance of the one-eyed Antichrist (Ad-Dajjal).
Eventually, sociologists became spectators and people now live in toil and struggle. Family members are divided and brotherhood has become rare. The human mind has become domesticated and prepared to receive what the virtual world imposes on it. Even traveling has become virtual.
If Freud heard of the current situation he would have diagnosed people of being delirious. Nevertheless, people are rushing to more virtual space, actualizing a poem by Poet Mahmoud Hassan Ismail, which indicated that the human journey is characterized by fantasy (Musafir Zaduhu al-Khayal).