Organizations that promote abstinence-only sex education, or want to ban artificial birth control, are the modern versions of this. In 1984, Winston Smith, after an intense round of "behavior modification" -- read: torture -- learns to love Big Brother, and the harsh world he was born into.
Jump forward to today, and it seems we've willingly given up all sorts of freedoms, and much of our right to privacy.
Everyone simply assumes that they are always being watched, and most no longer know to care.
Except for Winston, who is different, compelled as if by muscle memory to court danger by writing longhand in a real paper journal.
Memory hole -- this is the machine used in the book to alter or disappear incriminating or embarrassing documents.
Paper shredders had been invented, but were hardly used when Orwell wrote his book, and the concept of wiping out a hard drive was years in the future. Anti-Sex League -- this was an organization set up to take the pleasure out of sex, and to make sure that it was a mechanical function used for procreation only.One week we're at war with Eastasia and buddies with Eurasia. There seems little to distinguish the two adversaries, and they are used primarily to keep the populace of Oceania, where Smith lives, in a constant state of fear, thereby making dissent unthinkable -- or punishable.Today we have the so-called war on terror, with no end in sight, a generalized societal fear, suspension of certain civil liberties, and an ill-defined enemy who could be anywhere, and anything.But they are also two-way monitors that spy on citizens' private lives.Today websites like Facebook track our likes and dislikes, and governments and private individuals hack into our computers and find out what they want to know.It appears that the police now have a device that can read license plates and check if a car is unregistered, uninsured or stolen.We already know that the National Security Agency can dip into your Facebook page and Google searches.Thinking about Edward Snowden on Sunday, it wasn’t much of a leap to imagine him and his colleagues working in some version of Oceania’s Ministry of Truth, gliding through banal office gigs whose veneer of nine-to-five technocratic normality helped to hide their more sinister reality.Holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong, Snowden seemed, if you squinted a bit, like Orwell’s protagonist-hero Winston, had he been a bit more ambitious, and considerably more lucky, and managed to defect from Oceania to its enemy Eastasia and sneak a message to the telescreens back home.It has also been particularly useful to the activists who have been hard at work introducing legislation regulating abortion clinics.The claim is that these laws are only to protect women's health, but by forcing clinics to close because of stringent regulations, they are effectively shutting women off not only from abortion, but other health services.