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In 1949, George Orwell‘s classic dystopian novel 1984 was released, and became one of the most celebrated books in the English language. Set in Great Britain, the novel looked at the effects of a Big Brother watchdog and the ‘Inner Party,’ a group who condemned individualism and independent thinking or ‘thought crime,’ with punishments inflicted by the ‘Thought Police.’

The novel gave rise to the terms ‘Big Brother,’ ‘doublethink’ (accepting two contradictory ideas at the same time), ‘thoughtcrime’ (an illegal thought), and ‘Newspeak’ (using elite language to limit freedom of thought). Sound familiar?

Based on a society ruled by a tyrannical dictator, Orwell’s classic novel is unfortunately hitting close to home in January 2017.

During a press conference this week, Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to President Trump, said that untrue facts about the attendance at Trump’s inauguration on Friday were actually ‘alternative facts.’

That’s not a thing.

Well, it’s not a real thing, but thanks to the Orwellian nature of the new Trump administration and the power of the meme, ‘alternative facts’ may be the next phrase added to the Miriam Webster Dictionary in 2017, right next to ‘irregardless.’

The Orwellian-likeness of ‘alternative facts’ has catapulted the 68-year-old book to number one on the Amazon bestseller list, forcing publisher Penguin to rush a printing of 75,000 new copies.

Amazon

If you still have your notes from Grade 12 English, it’s no surprise that people are quickly seeing the similarities between the Trump administration and Orwell’s novel. Here are a few quotes from 1984 that ring alarmingly true today.

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.”

“The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”

“Big Brother is watching you.”

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. . . . Power is not a means; it is an end . . . not power over things, but over men. . .”

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