Big Brother

Big Brother is a term used to refer to presumptive authority figures in totalitarian societies. The term is based on the fictional character and symbol in George Orwell's dystopian 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In modern culture, the term "Big Brother" has entered the lexicon as a synonym for abuse of government power, particularly in respect to civil liberties, often specifically related to mass surveillance.

QuotesEdit

  • In the case of Stalin and those of his sect, it is perhaps not paternalism that is at stake. It is, however, definitely something that resembles it so closely as to be mistaken for it. Let us invent a word for it: “fraternalism.” For we are indeed dealing with a brother, a big brother who, full of his own superiority and sure of his experience, takes you by the hand (alas, sometimes roughly) in order to lead you along the path to where he knows Reason and Progress can be found.
  • Orwell was almost exactly wrong in a strange way. He thought the world would end with Big Brother watching us, but it ended with us watching Big Brother.
  • It was not necessary to know much. So long as they continued to work and breed...They were born, they grew up in the gutters, they went to work... a brief blossoming-period of beauty and sexual desire, they married... the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbours, films, football, beer, and... gambling, filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.
  • It appeared that there had even been demonstrations to thank Big Brother for raising the chocolate ration to twenty grammes a week. And only yesterday, he reflected, it had been announced that the ration was to be REDUCED to twenty grammes a week. Was it possible that they could swallow that, after only twenty-four hours? Yes, they swallowed it. Parsons swallowed it easily, with the stupidity of an animal. The eyeless creature at the other table swallowed it fanatically, passionately...
  • 'Tell me, Winston - and remember, no lies: you know that I am always able to detect a lie - tell me, what are your true feelings towards Big Brother?'
    'I hate him.'
    'You hate him. Good. Then the time has come for you to take the last step. You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.'
  • A few agents of the Thought Police moved always among them, spreading false rumours and marking down and eliminating the few individuals who were judged capable of becoming dangerous... It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism... Even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evils invariably escaped their notice... The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes. Even the civil police interfered with them very little. There was a vast amount of criminality in London, a whole world-within-a-world of thieves, bandits, prostitutes, drug-peddlers, and racketeers of every description; but since it all happened among the proles themselves, it was of no importance.

External linksEdit

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