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Orwell's Promise

I remember when I read 1984 for the first time. It seemed so alien, so foreign. I couldn't imagine living in a reality like that. The words my friends and I used with each other all meant what they meant. My parents used words with me that meant what they meant. My reality seemed so different from Orwell's novel that I could comfortably read it as fantasy.

Little did I know that others would be reading it as inspiration. Oblivious was I to the possibility that others would be attracted to this vision of society and actively work to make it real.
Slowly, as I became more politically aware, these possibilities crept into my consciousness.

And so re-reading 1984 years later, I had to approach it differently. It was with an underlyaing feeling that perhaps this is more than fantasy. That perhaps Orwell knew a thing or two, or maybe glimpsed a thing or two that the rest of us couldn't. He was trying to warn us.

And now, today, when war means peace, when lies are truth, when hate means love, when ignorance is knowledge, when Bin Laden means Iraq, when wealth requires welfare, when an invasion is self defence, when torture is a tool, when freedom means slavery, and when ethics can be discarded for convenience, I can see that for some, his warnings were instead a promise.

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