Individuality is commonly lost while searching for utopia. When that utopian state is reached it gets corrupted into a different from. A way that individuality is lost is everyone is equal, in Harrison Bergeron it is shown directly. In Animal farm it is shown everyone gets the same materials with a class system. A system that was caused by the corruption of utopia.
In utopia a common idea is everyone is equal, an idea that kills individuality. This idea has two conceptions; everyone is equal even their abilities, or everyone gets the same amount of everything. Harrison Bergeron does the primary one; everyone is the same and if you are above average you are handicapped, made to be normal. The problem with this approach is everyone is everyone is a clone of each other; so no one is an individual. The latter one is the approach of Animal Farm, everyone work and gets the same amount of food proportionately to what they need. Latter the pigs take more due to their false justification. The problem with this is it provides no incentive to work harder; it causes a discouragement of being an individual. This is due to that if you work extra you do not get a reward. This false justification leads to the development of a class system that corrupts the utopia.
Utopia always gets corrupted when or while it is achieved. The class system that corrupted Animal Farm was the pig getting bigger rations, the dogs get fed ok, and the rest of the animals get fed the minimum. This was caused by a totalitarian government after tasting power and Utopia. In real life Communism was supposed to be a utopia, but once Stalin and Putin tasted power Utopia was only for them and people they liked.
Utopia commonly removes individuality and once a leader tastes power and their utopia it is only for them. No attempt has succeeded to this day, if one comes I hope it does not take me away.
The Vietnam War was before my time, but what happened over six thousand miles away and ended over forty-two years ago had an effect on me. It affected my perception of right and wrong and what waging modern war is about. In the Documentary, “The Vietnam War” a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, showed real stories not just the facts. The interviews with all parties involved in the war, not just the Americans, were fascinating.
Was it right to get involved in Vietnam? Before now I knew not, but now I see. I see the failure of The Vietnam War, each step forward made the step back harder. Looking through the lens of time, I can see the original justification for the war, to contain Communism. Being wrong does not mean you should continue in a wrong cause but to change your ways. The United States got Vietnam wrong; The US should have gotten out before they entered.
When the US put a Catholic leader, Ngo Dinh Diem, in power there was major backlash by the Buddhist population of Vietnam. Ngo Dinh Diem’s anti-Buddhist policies led to an old Monk burning himself in protest. A photo or video of this can not be unseen. It was a call for the US to fix the government they propped up, but The US did not. Was that right to let innocent people die in protest of a harsh government? I would believe not, but The US government still supported the South Vietnamese government. I can see the idea that Communism was needed to be stopped but is an authoritarian-like government that much better? Apparently to the US Government it was yes.
The United States’ entrance into direct war with North Vietnam was due to a mistranslation of the North Vietnamese’s radio orders. A small mistake was very costly. Was it right to enter the Vietnam War? The Vietnamese wanted independence; independence from a colonial power as the US did. Why should The US prevent that from happening? The North Vietnamese fight for Communism to take over the world. They believed in a single country Communism; they did not want to take over the world like Stalin wanted to.
Back in The United States, the anti-war movement was gaining strength, yet the US kept sending more troops into a failing war. The US saw that they were losing and they saw no good way out, so The US went head first. The US were fighting a war up a hill with many boulders pushing them down. It was wrong to send young men, with lives ahead, into their graves. The US were fighting Communism, is that not enough for war? The Vietnamese just wanted independence and if Communism was that bad it would fail and they would become a republic.
The US were fighting a modern war; a war not between two grand militaries, but rather a war between a grand military and a people. It was a guerrilla war in their land. It was destined to fail, the more troops the bigger failure. The French failed with their attempt to keep Vietnam. When they did fail, The US should have seen the impossibility of winning a guerrilla war not in The US’s own land. This lesson should have been learned a long time ago, in The US’s own war of independence in 1776. The US used guerrilla warfare to win their war of independence. If it worked against the British, the great power at the time, it would work against The United State, the modern power. The US tried to counter it; by trying to destroy the country, but they were prevented. They were prevented by the media publicizing it. This in my mind was good, it prevented genocide from happening.
I feel a war that ended over forty-two years ago and was over six thousand miles away from the United States, was wrong. The war was an illegitimate war that caused the unnecessary deaths of decent humans, all in the name of containing Communism. The US knew they would lose, and yet they continued to send their men into war.
Dear George Orwell,
Yesterday was different than today, and today is different than tomorrow. Yesterday the facts were trusted, today I do know which facts are true and which are fabricated, but I still know two plus two equals four. Tomorrow, I believe I will not know a fact from a fabrication and as far as I am concerned two plus two will equal five.
We live in a world of fake news and altered facts that challenge our beliefs and promote the idea that what you think and what you remember might not be correct. In your book, 1984, altered facts were used by the Ministry of Truth to discredit Oceania’s enemies- states, people, and, ironically, the truth.
In your book the people are fooled and tricked by the government openly at the Ministry of Truth. We have no Ministry of Truth, yet we have something worse. We have the Internet, a place where anyone can communicate whatever they want; the truth or otherwise. The Internet has millions of people posting altered facts. Our government cannot prevent this because of the First Amendment. If our government starts to restrict speech, on the Internet or otherwise, it will lead to our government controlling all speech, therefore becoming like Oceania.
These “facts” grow and spread not by a “Ministry of Truth” but by the people and they spread them on the Internet. Some people like Winston know firsthand how “facts” are created; yet when we try to combat them they turn and claim our argument is “fake news!” This idea is a double edged sword, first it swings and creates lies and then on the return it kills the truth we try to tell.
Just a few weeks ago, a rumor circulated that over five thousand dead people voted for Doug Jones. This rumor of voter fraud was created by someone online to discredit Doug Jones’s Senate victory over Roy Moore. It took a statement from the Alabama Secretary of State to attempt to dispel this rumor, but sadly some do not listen.
I see your book as a warning- a warning of what is to come. If we do not combat “fake news,” “alternative facts,” or whatever it is called, we will live in a society like 1984. Your warning is that if we do not fact check, we will be tricked, but if we do fact check, the facts will change. Sadly, I feel fiction is becoming reality.
When my ancestors lived in Eastern Europe they faced religious persecution, they left before World War II and the Holocaust started. On my Mom’s and Dad’s sides, my ancestors went to United States of America, they came to this country to have religious freedom as Jews. They were able to get jobs that paid well based on their talents not on their religion. This was because of the first amendment of the Constitution of United States, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” This establishes freedom of religion in the United States.
My definition of freedom is the right to choose my religion and not being forced to practice a religion according to the country I live in. This means I can celebrate the religion of my own choosing. I openly practice as a Jew in America by wearing a kippah and tzitzit, a skull cap and a religious garment. Also, I buy kosher foods in regular grocery stores. I place a Chanukah Menorah, an object used for a religious ceremony, in my window during Chanukah and I put Mezuzahs, a religious amulet, on my doors’ frames. Also, I attend a synagogue in my community.
My right to practice my religion of choice without persecution that is found in the Bill of Rights was strengthened with more legislation. This legislation was Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits the discrimination of students based on religious identity. Also according to the United States Department of Justice individual expression of religion can not be suppressed, and someone cannot be harassed because of one's religion. If a person openly attacks anyone because they are a certain religion, that person can be arrested. The laws of the United States protects people of all religions.
Also, in the United States there are protections to keep me and other Jews safe. I go to a Jewish school, and at my school is a hired deputy to protect me and my school mates. Also, in the Jewish community around my school there are more hired deputies and officers to protect the Jewish community. During our High Holy Days, there is a deputy or officer outside our Synagogue to protect me and my fellow congregants.
In the United States I am protected from antisemitism, but in other countries this is not the same story. In January 2015, Jews were attacked in a French Kosher grocery store. This was not the first incident of antisemitism in France. According to the Washington Post, 1% of France's population is Jewish but over 50% of the reported hate crimes are against Jews. Even in Israel where Jews make up 75% of the population, there have been recently many stabbings of Jews by those who do not like Jews. My great grandparents had to live in ghettos and were in fear of being attacked by the police and military just because of their religion.
Freedom means to me that I can openly practice as a Jew in the country that I live in. In the United States there are freedom of religion rights and protections. While my experience may be different than that of my great grandparents or Jews in other countries, I am still proud to be a Jewish American.
Dear Mrs. Bridges Hall,
I am a Jewish child who goes to a private Jewish School. My parents were able to choose what school I went to but your parents could not. You were forced to go to a falling down cheap African American only school, while the white children went to an average nice school. You fought for the end of division by race.
Now the division is not race but money. In underemployed areas the quality of schooling is insufficient than in high-wage areas. The county in underemployed areas can not collect enough money to be able to give the school the budget of a high-wage area.
Underemployed area schools have old textbooks that are most likely out of date and print. The schools also have no technology, so the students are relying on outdated print books. Since the school does not have supplies for teachers, the teachers have to pay for supplies out of their own pockets. With no money for new teachers, teachers have to teach large classes. This means less time for the teacher to know each student. Since the students may be hungry, the students cannot focus as well.The children have to go to buildings that are failing structurally; which could be dangerous. While high-wage area schools have new textbooks yearly; with new technology for students to access newer materials. The teachers do not have to pay for supplies. Since the school is able to have more teachers, they have smaller classes. The student are well fed to help increase their concentration. The schools are able to maintain their buildings.
In my school, my parents pay tuition. The money pool from tuition allows the school to be able to help students excel. Our school has a wireless network, newer computers, iPads, and a well stocked library. Also, at my school is art education. Also in the area where I go to school, the public schools have large budgets and are able to provide for their students. They have similar nice things because they have resources similar to my school.
To find a solution I looked to the past; how the government had to move you from an African American school to a white school to end separate but “equal” schools. Now one solution to decrease the education gap between underemployed areas and high-wage areas is to federalize schooling, so some public schools do not become poor and others rich. A different solution is to take the money a rich school has and give it to a poor school that needs the money. Another solution is decrease the amount of schools and increase the service area of other schools. This idea might not work, because it might put too much strain on one area.
In the end, schools are not divided by race but by income today. Schools in underemployed areas do not have enough money to buy essentials while schools in high-wage areas have money to buy new technology every year. This causes students to get education at a standard of their money.