‘They were beneath suspicion’: Big Brother and the underclass

A really interesting post by Gwen van Eijk on the differences between the 1984 envisaged by George Orwell and the 2014 we currently live in. Well worth a read especially for the questions about which individuals/groups are deemed to be worth watching and who aren’t, and why….

class in/justice

Big Brother is watching you (flickr timrich26)

Photo by timrich26 on Flickr

This week an American middle school teacher was suspended because he had written a book which depicted the ‘largest school massacre’ in history that killed 947 people. The police searched the school for bombs and weapons. The book is fictional. The massacre takes places on 18 March in the year 2902.

On Twitter people responded with Orwellian terms such as ‘thought police’ and ‘thought crime’. References to George Orwell’s novel 1984 are never far away in debates on crime policy.

This summer I re-read 1984. I had read the book years ago, but all I could remember was ‘Big Brother is watching you’ (probably because the phrase pops up every time you read about camera surveillance). Who, why and how exactly I had forgotten.

One of the things that I had failed to remember was the role of inequality in Orwell’s…

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