Our Two Minutes of Hate

In the classic book "1984," which coined the phrase "Big Brother," George Orwell describes the workings of a totalitarian society in which the government controls every facet of your existence from cradle to grave.

Everything is centralized, and the government intrudes on every part of your life. Food and other goods are rationed. Your morning routine includes a daily exercise regimen in front of the TV, in which the instructor is able to observe whether or not you are meeting appropriate fitness standards and guidelines. "Thought police" closely monitor what everybody is thinking, and making sure everybody in society thinks the same basic things, and that those who do not conform are sent elsewhere to get "re-educated." Love, marriage, and sexual gratification are highly regulated, and the family unit is hijacked. History is constantly revised by the government in order to regulate the present. Previously published books, newspapers, and photos are regularly altered to this end.

The book has a big fan base with many politically conservative leaning individuals, such as myself. Republicans and Libertarians regularly praise the book and preach lessons learned from it. Anytime the United States government appears to try and expand its powers and become more controlling, many will appeal to the dreadful world George Orwell created. The book reminds us of the dangers of the government becoming too big, too powerful, and too controlling.

But there is a curious part of the story line that many among this crowd turn a blind eye to in regard to "Big Brother."

In the book, the country of Oceania lives in a state of perpetual and everlasting war with its enemies. "War is peace," is the official doctrine of the nation. There is a curious thing about the wars Oceania fights though. Her battles never really happen on her soil. The wars the nation fights in are always in some distant far-away land. It is waged against a people that the leaders swear are their enemies. War footage is always broadcast to the public over the airwaves to help reinforce this idea.

In order to rally national and patriotic unity, every day people are required to participate in an activity called, "The Two Minutes of Hate." During this event, citizens watch a short propaganda film that demonizes Oceania's enemies as cruel and barbaric. When the film shows, people will literally shout, curse, and throw things at the TV in order express their deep hatred for the mortal enemies of their nation. In the end, people chant in unison for their love and support of their country, and for Big Brother.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? It should. The parallels between our society and this fictionalized society are amazing.

Have you ever noticed that in America that we are almost always in a state of perpetual war? "Peace through strength" is our official doctrine. In the past century, all of our wars have happened in far and distant lands. Seldom does our enemy actually strike us directly on our turf, but that doesn't prevent us from constantly running around the globe and fighting them just the same.

Since World War I started in 1917, America has been involved in almost a constant state of war. The only decade in which we didn't actively engage in a battle was in the 1930's. And even in the few years of peace that we have experienced, we were often involved in military "stand-offs," such as during the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union, in which Americans regularly anticipated a nuclear fallout with the Russians, although one never came.

This Wiki article lists all of the wars the United States of America has participated in. Pay attention as to how we seem to be a nation perpetually at war, ever since our founding. Pay close attention to how in the past century, all of our wars have been fought abroad. The following nations have been declared our enemies at some time or another. Among them are: The Ottoman Empire, Japan, Germany, Russia/The Soviet Union, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, and the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS/ISIL).

Of all the nations that we've made war with, only 2 nations (Japan and Afghanistan) have ever directly attacked us.

So, what has caused us to get involved in so many wars all over the globe? How has the nation been unified and rallied? I believe we have our own version of the "Two Minutes of Hate" video.

You just have to turn on news outlets like CNN or Fox News to watch it.

While watching their "coverage," have you ever noticed your emotional reaction, and the reaction of people in your community to what you see? Historically, our emotions have been strong enough for us to fell compelled to wage war. Through the media, we have been conditioned by our government to hate the enemies they set before us.

Political pundits from the left and the right regularly use the news to run off a list of talking points about our enemies, and to demonize them as much as possible. And like the citizens of Oceania, we develop strong and emotional feelings of hatred towards these people groups and nations, yet we've never interacted with a single one of them at any given time in our lives.

The end result of all of this has been that if in the past century if you were to ask any "red blooded American" about what we should do to Germans, Japs, Russians, Koreans, Iraqis, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State... our solution has always been the same: support our troops, and bomb the living hell out of our enemies.

Where did we get these ideas? It has seldom ever through first-hand knowledge to our enemies threats, perceived danger just lurking around the corner, or boots on the ground. Our enemies have seldom ever done anything to actually threaten us or harm us or to make us feel endangered.

We only think people are our mortal enemies because a talking head on TV told us it was so. Yet we find ourselves year after year in a state of almost constant war, battling demons and barbarians abroad, in far-away lands.

It is ironic that as conservatives, we see the danger of a big government dominating our lives when it comes to our civil liberties, because of the lessons we feel we have learned in books like 1984. Yet, when it comes to the size of the government and its ability to lead us into everlasting war, instead of loudly protesting the idea, we are amongst the first to sign up for battle, and be champions of the cause.

A large military that is able to wage perpetual war is just as dangerous as a large government that is so powerful that it can regulate the smallest details of her citizens lives. Neither is to be desired. Indeed, it would seem the country that is perpetually at war is the one whose government has the power and strength to impose total control on her citizens.

As conservatives we should oppose bloated spending on the military as much as we oppose other parts of the government being large and in charge. And we should operate under the assumption that if our government is trying to get us to wage a war in land far-away, that they are probably lying to us about the dangers we face, and the actions that we need to take in order to defend ourselves.

We should look at our government's constant desire to lead us into perpetual war to be just as much as a power grab as anything else the government attempts to do for "the commond good."

As conservative, we should see our constant call to war as something strangely "Orwellian."

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