Orwell’s O’Brien Sums It Up

This is one of the most honest expressions of an end for ‘man’s degradation of man’ that I’ve read so far. Although originally framed in the context of “collectivist oligarchy“, it pertains to all units of societal organization whatever their politics, philosophy, eschatology or lack thereof. From the family, to the workplace and to the nations.

Unfortunately, this is not the entire extent of man’s degradation of man (more unfortunate is that it happens at all). How can we ever say that we are inherently good (i.e., only one is good) when we do not blanche at O’Brien’s statement and, called to action, try to right these injustices without participating in their methods. Our hands are covered blood-red.

“[We] seek power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We are different from all the [rulers] of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others were cowards and hypocrites. They never had the courage to recognize their motives.

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

How does one man assert his power over another? By making him suffer. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.

In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement; a world of fear and treachery and torment. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.”

O’Brien, 1984, G. Orwell

Perhaps a picture of Hell on Earth with which you no longer wish to participate?