Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Book Review: 1984

So, a while back I asked for your suggestions on what I should read. I'm starting to make my way through the list. First up: George Orwell's 1984. Nope, never read it in school. We did read Animal Farm in junior high. I liked 1984 a lot better. Thanks to Turbulent Cleric for the recommendation - he said he's not sure it counts as fiction anymore, and I see where he's coming from!

I thought the book was excellent in a depressing sort of way. Like Winston, always hoping somehow that the human spirit will win out against Big Brother, I was hoping Winston could hold out against O'Brien and the rest.

But I don't want to spend a lot of time on the details of a book (most) everyone has read. So here's what struck me most about it -

I was thinking about capitalism and socialism and economic systems. And I think what it all comes down to is: coveting. Has socialism worked well? Is capitalism, even if imperfect, always better? I think from our perspective, maybe, but capitalism's far reaching effect on others? I don't know. But I think either way, perhaps the breakdown of systems can be tracked to our covetous nature.

Socialism - We covet what others have, and we want to make sure no one else has anything more than we do, no matter the cost.
Capitalism - We covet what others have, and we want ot make sure that we can get more than they have, at any cost.

Ok, I know this is extremely simplistic, but it is what struck me most in reading. Thanks for the recommendation!
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