In the continuing series of Riot.Jane’s favorite books . . . In no particular order, this is the second:
1984 by George Orwell
Written during the Second World War and on its a face a treatise regarding the totalitarian regime that would would befall England should it lose the war, the author has since advised that this interpretation is only a partial interpretation:
My recent novel [Nineteen Eighty-Four] is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter), but as a show-up of the perversions . . . which have already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism. . . . The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else, and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere. *
The alternative European culture that Orwell envisions, complete with omnipresent (and none-too-subtle) government surveillance, psychological mind control through formal language alteration, changes in history through document destruction and alteration, and the subornation of the individual to the masses is not markedly different to the undercurrents that Western society faces today.