Last Updated 11 Mar 2020

1984: Power Hunger Leads to Society Downfall

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In the eyes of a power hungry ruler, a totalitarian government would be paradise. It would be thought that if a leader is so happy with the way he rules his country, the grass would be greener on the other side.

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. Citizens are forced to act upon the government’s rules, and failure to do so would only earn them a horrid session of torment and consequence. People are constantly under the government’s thumb, and practically have no say in what goes on around them. An American President once said, “ The seeds of totalitarian regimes are nurtured by misery and want. They spread and grow in the evil soil of poverty and strife. They reach their full growth when the hope of a people for a better life has died” (Harry Truman). A totalitarian government’s goal is to see and ignore the peoples’ needs, then take that factor and use it against them by making threats of not making change if the people choose not to cooperate with them. They promise the society a better life, so long as the people do not cease to abide by the government’s orders. When everyone is a mere laborer for the government, looking forward to seeing no change and happiness in their surroundings, the government has then accomplished their goal, and continue to control its people like puppets in their hands. In the end, this comes to show that Truman was indeed theoretically correct, for every ruler who had claimed to be a totalitarian had oppressed their people of rights and freedom, and Truman took action to notice the effects. In 1984, the society of Oceania was overrun by a totalitarian government. During Josef Stalin’s reigning era, he also partook in a totalitarian government. The people were beaten to death, starved, and looked forward to nothing, but were forced to act as they were told. In 1984, the society of Oceania was deprived of having emotion, rights and privacy. The country was able to be easily taken over by using Truman’s three steps to a totalitarian government: seeds, growth and full growth. Even before Big Brother was created, life was still hard for Winston,” above all he remembered his continuous hunger, and the fierce sordid battles at mealtimes” ( Orwell 134). With a society taken over by starvation, the people would easily be tricked into anything that talks about making the country a better place, with unlimited materials the people could use for their daily necessities. This shows how the country could potentially start narrow-mindedly thinking that if they choose what they think has the most advantages, it would put an end to their misery and want, and finally focus on what they need. As soon as the government takes control, they start to make changed in the society. The government gives their people the bare minimum to make sure they always come running back for more, “ war is the way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence in the long run, too intelligent” (Orwell 157). Though the government may have slightly improved the conditions of the society, it still left the people with not enough to be happy and content with, which kept them running back to the government for anything and everything they needed. The government left its people in poverty and strife, hoping for positive changes but not getting too excited about what to expect in their future. The government has reached its full potential when the people are under their complete control, looking forward to no change or happiness in the future. O’Brien immediately got down to the point and told Winston what they planned to do to him, “ Do not imagine that you will save yourself, Winston, however completely you surrender to us. No one who has once gone astray is ever spared. And even if we chose to let you live out the natural term of your life, you still would never escape from us” ( Orwell 211). At this point, Winston is under complete control of the government. Any hope for a better life would be utterly impossible, and the thought of once again being free would be unthinkable. This comes to show just how easy it is for the government to take over the country, leaving its people with no happiness or future. In the end, the country of Oceania which was deprived of having a normal human life style was taken over by a totalitarian government by using Truman’s three steps: seeds, growth and full growth. Josef Stalin, the Russian ruler of the time, also looked to totalitarianism for the answer to unlimited power. Just as Truman stated, Stalin took over his country by using misery, poverty and hopelessness against his people. Even before Stalin came into power, working conditions were far below basic. There’s famine in the Ukraine, during 1933, it drove many people to steal grain from a collective farm, which resulted in their deaths due to Stalin’s authority (“ Famine in the Ukraine“). With people’s lives in despair, it was easier for Stalin to trick the people into voting for him as the new ruler. With his too good to be true speeches, the people could not help but believe that they could see drastic change in their society. Little did they know they would see change, but not the type of change they wanted. Stalin used the people’s misery to lie to them into thinking they would get a better life and living conditions. When the people kept on believing that what they heard was true, they hurriedly voted him the new ruler of their country. During Stalin’s era, the KNVD bound victims hands and feet, stripped them to their underwear, lined tem up, and shot them in the back of the head, (“ Mass graves uncovered“). When people realized how Stalin treated the victims, they did not dare to break any laws. Stalin was in control, and nobody could change that. It did not take long until Stalin had gotten the whole country writhed between his fingers. By 1919, Stalin had gotten both the party and public under his complete control (“ Political manipulation… and then there was none“). With everyone under his thumb, Stalin had gotten the power to do whatever he wanted. The whole government was run by his commands, and failure to listen was resulted with being the next victims to his harsh punishments. By using the three parts of Truman’s speech, Stalin was able to convince, gain control, and abuse the people by claming that he would fix their misery, and ending up purring the people through poverty and strife, losing hope of having any improvements in their lives. Truman was officially correct when he talked about the way totalitarianism worked. By using the people’s needs for another reason to step into power, power hungry rulers could easily gain control, make the people suffer though poverty and strife, and then cause them to lose hope of once again having any happiness or good in their lives. All three stages of Truman’s speech could lead to a ruler completely taking aver a country, leaving the people hopeless and defenseless against the government. If the U. S. as taken over by a totalitarian government, over three quarters of what the citizens have today would be banished, and everyone would have absolutely no say in what goes in in their surroundings. The American citizens would be forced to act upon the government’s rules, and any attempts of rebellion or revolt would follow up with harsh punishments and maybe even death

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1984: Power Hunger Leads to Society Downfall. (2017, Apr 02). Retrieved from

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