Ahem, what do Orwell and Darwin have in common? (Some people may ask) Well, this is actually about how those two geniuses can be so different and yet lead to the same dictum. Darwin led the revolution in scientific thinking of how all the diversity in nature was the product of “natural selection” and Orwell is one of few who wrote with certainty the doubtless evolution of society towards evil oligarchy. Oligarchy of the few smart or privileged ones , the faces of who may change following “revolutions”, but the end is always the same balance in society.
Masses of creatures allow variations to accumulate, such that should some of them move to a different place, or the climate change a little, some of them survive better than the others and the species survives and maybe gives rise to a new one. However, all species, do the same thing, live, eat,reproduce, fight and die. So Orwell says, the result of variations in the human population are always the same. Ignorant masses, easily hypnotized by speeches and grandeur or dreams of grandeur, are used by the few powerful leaders. The actual power brokers rule through some people who are great orators: even if they may not always know what their speeches are causing (most of the politicians). The masses comprise the people who reproduce in high numbers: the alpha males, who maybe brainless jocks or simply people trying to have more children so that they have more hands that contribute to earnings. They reproduce to refurbish the population of the mindless masses who live in a quagmire of problems.
And then there are the real leaders, who are fewer in number, but rest assured, make sure their power outlives them, so they never have to let it go and so that it percolates into the lives of their hand picked descendants ( biological or not). As these people in power constantly create diversions that either terrify or make deliriously happy the people they “rule” such that the real issues are neither discussed nor solved or even thought about. Real issues of not having the freedom to exercise one’s will or ask for rights and respect.
But, what is the real issue for a species? : to survive. Human beings have managed to fulfill that, technically, up till now! Here, even the most evolved, like the cockroach, are at mercy of nature. So, they at least take reassurance in that mother nature is always looking to keep the smartest or the strongest of them, for the future, for their own good. Sounds like the theme from Animal Farm and 1984. So, who is big brother? Is that God or Nature? Well, no, God is good and He created nature, didn’t he. He is Omnipresent, pray and you shall be heard. He will give you what you deserve and if you don’t get that, then you didn’t deserve it in the first place. Or you can wait, the time isn’t right, not just yet, look at all those around you, suffering, aren’t you better off from those dying of starvation and yellow fever, or worse in war torn countries like Syria, Ukraine? And yet you ask for more!! Pray, because He has been kind enough to let you be disease-free and fed.
Darwin talks about the requirement of variation in the populations of species, for natural selection to act on and favor one over the other, under changing conditions. Orwell, thinks that conditions might change, revolutions may happen, but the “social “order of things will stay the same. In some cases man is big brother, as we exploit the environment for first our good and then because there is no other way. Then we exploit each other, again using the same excuses, why, the “American”Indians have been moved to reservations for the sake of development. The naxalites or the indigenous people are terrorists and hinder economic development of our great nation. The nation that ignores its people, because they have always been hidden in forests minding their own business, is in turn ignored or exploited for its own good. It is told, you are too poor to harbor nuclear weapons and how are we going to maintain world order if every little third world country wants to go to the moon and have nuclear energy, what next? Next they will all want food and water for everyone! Let us take your minerals and cheap labor and we will show you how to live.
But there is poetic justice, what was once Great Britain, is not so great anymore and what now is the United States may well end up someone else’s bitch.
Hence, all is in order. The names in that order change, maybe there is a God after all. As some of us gaze in awe at the diversity of life and how much we don’t know about so much and how much we will may never know ( but technology may yet have surprises in store), about, say dinosaurs. How we all started from a single-celled organism- a point in dispute and will remain so , it seems, now and forever. The more things change the more they remain the same. Someone will soon find an additional detail in a way a small snail evolved, or even better in human paleontology. And the masses, aided by God’s men who say ‘See? the scientists don’t know everything!’ ( although they never claimed they did!), needing some way to stay hopeful will throw evolution out of books. Because isn’t it a threat to the existence God? However, if He exists , then is He not big brother incarnate, for tortured creatures dying all the time without having had a life cannot be for the good of all. And if He is making it hard for our own good, because He knows best. We may write books and have theories and find a cure to cancer, make electrons and protons clash at the speed of light, if He in fact is in control then all that doesn’t mean anything. He can make all that a lie in a whiff of smoke All that makes life easier for a few, interesting for a few more. But most of the proles-masses, just barely exist and couldn’t care less. A large number of them pray for His kindness and mercy way more than the ones that seem to be under His special care. The concept of heaven or hell,makes their harsh realities bearable, but the mere concept of a heavenly abode in the sky is even more ludicrous than animals taking over a farm and making a windmill. It is so easy to relegate control to someone else, someone higher up in the hierarchy, so that ‘they’ can be blamed for all that is wrong with our lives. And even when a common, but motivated man ( or woman) becomes the change he wants to see in the world, the world rejects him or he realizes that the barriers that exist cannot be dissembled because the forerunners and their protegees have made them too intricately intertwined with how things work and no one actually exists that can be blamed, except the ‘system’ (referring to Che Guevara’s efforts in Africa and the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal from India. Kejriwal is an overall outstanding citizen, but still powerless). The system, is Big Brother and that will take you down, because you cannot fight shadows and you cannot fight the devils in people’s minds- the devil of racism and bias- evolutionarily granting some kind of benefit to stick together into groups that look alike, but not letting all peoples live together in solidarity. Therefore the smart ones check out, look out for themselves, play demigods and pull strings wherever possible. Exploit and brain wash whoever possible to try and get to the top of the order, be closer to big brother in spirit.
In the end, our evolution, if indeed we are evolving, is not in our control . We keep on endlessly cycling and recycling thoughts that have always existed in different minds.
So do Darwin and Orwell have a common thread? Yes, that the order of things as they are, has existed well before mankind and will continue to exist through the time allotted to mankind and well beyond.