With all due respect to the respondent Michael Masiello, I disagree with his contention that George Orwell’s 1984 was not a satire and solely a prophecy. 1984 was, in fact, both.
In a letter Orwell penned to critics of the book, he stated, “I do not believe that the kind of society I describe necessarily will arrive, but I believe (allowing of course for the fact that the book is a satire) that something resembling it could arrive.”
1984 extends the theme of centralized control—as seen in Britain of the late 1940s, as well as in Stalinist Russia—to its extreme in order to shed light upon the body politic as an unassailable aggregate. This plays well today with an obtuse American president who bemoans the fact that he cannot influence the judicial and legislative branches of government, except through implicit tweets of retribution.
Orwell did see the rubric of state policy as a conflation of rigid politics and the degradation of language—this was emblematic of the state of post-War Britain and is certainly the extant theme in the United States in 2017. Today’s sanctimonious overseers of public speak had their Orwellian antecedents in his “Thought Police.”
The overarching themes of fascism and communism have become less prominent on the world stage with the dissolution of the Soviet empire and China’s cross-pollination of communism with Western capitalism. But their underlying principles still exist, having morphed into an elected demagogue who stands atop a totem of political illiteracy and rabid xenophobia.