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Marxism in 1984
Transcript of Marxism in 1984
heavily influenced by author George Orwell's views on Marxism
Elements of Marxism was integrated in
to reflect George Orwell's criticism of the movement
Orwell accomplished this by depicting powerful totalitarian government (The Party) following the inherently flawed Marxist principles (INGSOC) of
, and the
labour theory of value
This depiction of the Party manifests as an exploitative government harmful to the people of the society in
instead of helping them as Marxist principles are intended to do
Orwell's political orientation lay with socialism during the 1930s
~1936 Involved in Spanish Civil War as a member of an antifascist organization
Orwell learned the horror of politics while watching the suppression of the Workers' Party of Marxist Unity (POUM) by the Spanish Military Police.
~1937 After having fought in Barcelona against communists who were trying to contain their political opponents, he was forced to flee Spain in fear of his life.
The experience left him with a lifelong dread of communism.
He modelled the Party’s political ideology of INGSOC after the tenets of Marxism.
Orwell demonstrates that Marxist principles are inherently flawed and often cannot be carried out properly at all.
Orwell outlines the consequences of failed attempts to apply the tenets of Marxism on a real-world basis by illustrating that such attempts only degenerate into a destructive system which fails to fulfill the original intention of benefiting society.
Orwell developed the negative impact of the Party on its people as seen through their oppressed, impoverished, and manipulated way of life.
“The woman down there had no mind; she had only strong arms, a warm heart and a fertile belly.” (p. 228)
“...people who had never learned to think but who were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world. If there was hope, it lay in the proles!” (p. 229)
“Party members were supposed not to go into ordinary shops (‘dealing on the free market’, it was called), but the rule was not strictly kept, because there were various things such as shoelaces and razorblades which it was impossible to get hold of in any other way.” (p.8)
“The problem was how to keep the wheels of industry turning without increasing the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed.” (p.198)
“self-contained economies and production and consumption are geared to one another” (p.194)
Orwell’s views on Marxism influenced his work 1984 profoundly.
Criticized the Marxist criticisms of capitalism in the labor theory of value and the concept of alienation
Questioned the legitimacy of the Marxist concept of scientific socialism.
Orwell succeeded in making a thought-provoking critique through his connections between Marxism and the world of 1984.