1984, a dystopian world created by author George Orwell. 2017, a seemingly utopian yet dystopian world. Although there is opposition, there is undeniably parallelism between the book 1984 written by acclaimed author George Orwell and the modern 2017 American society.
In the novel, citizens are always under watch by the telescreens and live in constant anxiety because of the Thought Police, disguised citizens who report those who commit acts of betrayal to their supreme leader, Big Brother. In 2017, US citizens are also under the watchful eyes of the ever-present surveillance cameras and the FBI, who are able track individuals through siri on apple devices and web cameras. A shortened vocabulary is also enforced by Big Brother, called Newspeak, which is paralleled in the twenty first century through Internet slang and other abbreviations. Propaganda posters with the slogan “Big Brother is Watching You” are omnipresent in the hallways, in the streets, etc and this was also manifested through a controversial billboard in North Carolina, in support of President Trump’s travel ban.
Furthermore, although it may seem that wealth is equalizing in the twenty first century, wealth is not equalizing in countries like the United States which leads to another kind of dystopia. According to CNN, wealth inequality is the worst it’s been in decades with the top 1% earning more than 20% of all US income. The dystopia that we’re currently living in has been magnified because of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Trump’s administration has actively advocated for deregulation and tax-cuts which will only work in favor for the top 1%. Looking back at the economy of the US, deregulation happened in the 1980s and 1990s, economies thrived in the early 2000s, but all ended in an economic crash in 2008.
Deregulation by the Trump administration would allow big banks to make a comeback and crush smaller banks, which would inevitably continue to follow the same path of economic depression. The affluent would be able to survive the crash while the rest of the United States face poverty and job cuts.
The tax-cuts would also heavily benefit the top 1% of America, as the top one-tenth of the one percent would have to pay $1.1 million less per year, on average. President Trump’s tax plan would also eliminate the estate tax, which would benefit the wealthiest two-tenths of one percent (The Hill).
The twentieth century, especially 2017, is diving deeper into a dystopian society. As citizen privacy decreases and the income gap rises, the more and more apparent the fact becomes that 2017 is manifestation of the reality crafted in 1984.