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1984 by George Orwell

It’s the evening before the inauguration of the 46th President-Elect of the United States, Joseph R. Biden Jr., and I just finished re-reading this Orwell classic. 1984 is a prescient tale of what can happen if we allow fear to ransack love, cease to question orthodoxy, and pursue power for power’s sake.

The current mood of the U.S. is an omnidirectional spattering of red and blue rage, feathered with distrust and frustration. It’s uncertain what good will come tomorrow and over the next four years given the chaotic trajectory of the past four.

A quote from the novel that struck a chord with me:

“ one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship.”

Those currently in power will do all they can to hold onto it, and those who want to overthrow said powers will once established ultimately clutch to those same reigns and hold on as long as possible. Big Brother Tech is already watching, and the far left and right political skirmishes going on right now are untenable.

Democracies are designed to temper and distribute power, but a slow and steady centralization has slithered into our society over the past several decades. This, coupled with an uptick in division, fear, and distrust, has been sown into citizens with misinformation needled between traditional and social media.

The current divisiveness cannot last forever; if democracy is to revive, Americans must emerge from their echo chambers and reinvigorate common ground through a mutual respect and love for one another. Fear and division isn’t the path forward. Maintaining freedom of speech, agreeing on common truths, and holding said truths to power is our only way out of this mess.

Couldn’t hurt to throw your Amazon Echo in the trash, either.