An Illusory Intertwingling of Reason and Response

Philosophy: I wax philosophical, and many times violently politico-philosophical. If you can stand the heat, here’s the kitchen: enjoy your stay . . .

Tafel :: philosophy :: political

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Beginning 1984

I’m just starting to read 1984 for the first time in four years. It, Brave New World, and Anthem are the three politico-philosophical classics of my library. I own quite a few others answering to the theme, but as far as political philosophy (and Objectivism) goes, there’s just no topping those three.

Anyway, I just broke into the first chapter — about twenty minutes of reading got me almost to the end of the first “Two Minutes Hate.” The scary thing about it is that, yes, just like Winston feared, others more weak-minded than yourself may be taken in by dangerous diatribes. Only, it’s not Emmanuel Goldstein I’m afraid of . . .

I’d like to write a short piece on 1984, in the manner of an apologist: there are many out there, especially in my generation (college-aged), who have never been given the chance to think about political philosophy for themselves. They’ve been steadily fed a diet of collectivism, and honestly are innocent of the concepts of true freedom and personal responsibility. In effect, all they know is “we,” and someone must teach them how to say “I.”

Now, might I commend these three books to you, my discriminating reader? None of them will take more than two hours of your time; unless, of course, you count time spent pondering — then they’ll take weeks.