I find this interesting: Two days ago I wrote a piece about how politicians are (in my view) selected and controlled while in office. Titles of posts are usually an afterthought, and searching for one, I called it
A reader commented
You’re coming around. Good. Time for some Orwell.
“The real division is not between the conservatives and the revolutionaries but between the authoritarians and the libertarians.”
Since the commenter, Swede, is not known to agree with much of what I write, I told him that I had a hard time imagining that he agreed with anything in the post. He replied
I agree with the title of your post. Didn’t read any farther [sic].
From which I concluded that he had not actually read Orwell either, but rather just the titles of his books.
Later in the conversation he suggested that because I think he is annoying to comment on posts without having read them, I am a narcissist.
I have read Orwell, top to bottom, including everything he wrote as a newspaper book editor. He was loaded with unusual insight. He certainly did not see the use of thought control without open brute force behind it. He missed the boat on that, and so would not have predicted our society today with its zombie-like creatures roaming about imagining that they think and reason when they only parrot and internalize symbols and imagery from the TV and Internet.
There are damned few critical thinkers among us, normal I suppose. What is so upsetting are those who fancy themselves that only because they react in an acceptable manner to symbols, suggestions, thought control, and authority figures. They are intellectual zombies, and by definition, the last to know that. (Yeah, I’m lookin’ at you, Pogie, and you PW!) The hubris from those quarters is chilling.
At one point in 1984, Orwell, through his character Emmanuel Goldstein, says that the control of society was not complete until TV became a two-way technology that both sent and received from each individual. We are there.
But I don’t want to get far afield. Here is my point: No one should be forced to read anything. I would like it if more people did read, but they don’t. What I write is a small part of a large body of work going on daily on blogs, with intelligent and critical people going farther and deeper than I can even begin to do. My world is confined to what I have read and thought about, a tiny slice of a fascinating world. There is so much at our fingertips now.
For people like Swede to jump about, never reading anything, never thinking about anything, but tossing in comments from right field anyway, is RUDE. How dare he sit there thinking that even though he neither reads nor thinks properly, he’s got things figured out.
But then, I am just a damned narcissist.