Sales Surge For Orwell’s 1984 As Big Brother Spy Scandals Mount


Interest in revisiting George Orwell’s classic portrayal of a totalitarian surveillance state has almost doubled at

As of 4 p.m. CST Monday, the mammoth online bookseller listed Orwell’s 1984 at No. 17 among the day’s “Movers & Shakers” page, which tracks publications whose popularity is on the rise. Sales of 1984 had increased by 91 percent over the same period a day earlier. The book also jumped from 205th in the retailer’s book sales ranking to 107th — in a single day.

Orwell wrote 1984 in 1949, but the dystopian concepts he introduced have been prophetic — never more so than now in the U.S., where concern over authoritarian government masquerading as benevolent protector has compounded in only a few short days.

Friday’s revelation of the National Security Administration’s secret PRISM program, coupled with a Thursday scandal uncovering the agency’s phone metadata-mining scandal, has galvanized citizens already weary of President Barack Obama’s scandal-rocked second term against the intrusiveness of a government that, as Obama said Friday, has “struck the right balance” in trading privacy for safety.

“You can’t have 100 percent security and 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” he said. “We are going to have make some choices as a society, and what I can say is that [PRISM] makes a difference in … anticipating and preventing attacks.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • steven

    For all their spying didn’t stop the Boston bombings so we have neither privacy or security.
    If the Boston bombings were not a false flag than the government is truly Laurel and Hardy.
    Vladimir Putin and has the right idea, arrest 300 Muslims and detained them.

  • manuel

    I read this in college and I recall the prof poo pooing it as unmitigated fantasy. I am sure he is long gone by now, but wonder what he would say in today’s world? Probably would not have changed his tune, once a progressive, always a progressive.

    • Hoosier Daddy

      There’s no reasoning with regressives.

      • chocopot

        It’s funny you should refer to the “Progressives” as “Regressives”; I have been calling them that for years since their goal is to regress modern society to a sort of feudalism, with them, the self-anointed elite, in charge. They need to go.

        • Hoosier Daddy

          As they say, great minds think alike. I think that applies to patriots, too.

          • chocopot

            Right on, bro.

  • Hoosier Daddy

    Oceania in 1984 had Big Brother. The United States in 2013 has Big Brutha.

  • Guest

    Another good book to read, written about the same time as Orwell’s classic novel, is F. Alfred Hayak’s “Road To Serfdom”. ”Pictures Of The Socialistic Future”, by Eugen Richter, is also a good read, and is about 150 pages in length. Both books are eerie in their predictions of what such an Orwellian future would be like, and years ahead of time, too, making it all-the-more-creepy.