Humans always have had a tendency to allow the poor and miserable to suffer, even while the wealthy continue to fatten and flourish in needed yet often unshared resources. The social order has shaped a distinctive hierarchy composed of the High, the Middle, and the Low in an exceedingly flawed and callous structure. This system has been implemented in our history over a variety of ages and civilizations. More importantly, the structure has not been altered to work for any system except for theoretical Communism and Socialism. The novel 1984 was a shock to the masses when it was released, but by showing the class structure and political satire Orwell was able to present not only the danger of Communism gone awry but its repercussions on society.
Ironically, Communism has never existed anywhere. There has never been a system implemented in our entire history by which a society has been utterly classless. Communism would be a type of egalitarian society with no state, no privately owned means of production and no social class (Wikipedia). Today there is a selection of “Communist” states that exist in a variety of locations on our globe. Sadly, all of the claimed Communist states including the late Soviet Union were and are despicable and corrupted examples of the idea of Communism. By using Stalin as an example it is quite possible to portray to the reader a simple and effective example of the flip side of attempted Communism. Stalin took control of a weak government and crafted an illusionary Communist state. Ironically, Stalin had set himself up as the dictator of a completely totalitarian society. By using the people of Russia, he was able to harness the government and use it for his own needs. This is quite similar to 1984 with the concept of Big Brother. Although Big Brother is not a person, the inner society that controls “him” creates a Stalinist nation; this was quite purposefully included by Orwell.
The idea behind Communism is simple, to share all of the resources gained by the working class amongst the working class. The concept is exemplar in terms of fairness, but is notably difficult to establish without some backwater form of corruption, as with Stalin and the Soviet Union. It has become the most difficult task presented to possible Communist states. In George Orwell’s 1984 it is painfully obvious to both Winston and the reader that the classes and social aspects of Big Brother have been completely twisted and corrupted to the core. Not only can the Inner Party receive more in benefits than the Outer Party or the Proles, but they are also able to break certain laws and rules which leads to an unfair and unjust advantage for all of the members of the Inner Party. The Party of Oceania poses about 19% of the whole population of Oceania’s mainland. Generally one could divide the Party into the Inner Party, which is comparable to the communistic Nomenclature, and the Outer Party (Gerenser). During the novel we get an important view of the Inner Party by looking at O’Brien and his life comforts. O’Brien has had exclusive access to wine, finer foods, and various other basic pleasures denied to the other 95% of his fellow citizens. Orwell shows the reader that although the Party is considered one unified and strong whole, the elite class will always profit and have a much more comfortable well being than any of the lesser classes.
The Middle Class in 1984 would categorically be assigned to the Outer Party, not entirely excluded but not entirely included in Party objectives and decisions. Key dangers that Winston faces include the possible decay of the Outer Party as the Inner Party gains more power. One of the most important issues I derived from 1984 was that the Outer Party, considered the Middle class, was slowly but surely being repelled by the Inner Party and being pushed down to the Proles and Prolish ideas. This is remarkably similar to certain viewpoints taken of the United States’ philosophies on politics and the class system. According to Phillips, ” the erosion of the U.S. middle class in the 1980s and early 1990s reflected technological change and global economic upheaval. The Reagan administration introduced new philosophies, tentative and little understood at first, to justify policies of redistributing tax burdens, exalting markets, over rewarding the rich and the manipulations of finance” Using the previous example from Kevin Phillips, one can see how the upper or high class will always attempt to gain more wealth and power, even at the expense of the common good as well as the majority.
The peasants and other low classes have always been pressed on by their uppers. The Proles make up the majority of the population of Oceania, about 85%. The Party itself is only interested in their labor power, because the Proles are mainly employed in the industry and in the farms (Gerenser). A society cannot exist without a working class, and therefore it is the only reason why the Proles are still around. In 1984, Winston begins to realize that the Proles may have a simpler and easier life than that of the Party. While the Outer Party is working and getting the short end of the stick from the Inner Party, the Proles finish up their industry and farming jobs and actually have an enjoyable finish to their day. Winston in fact becomes envious of many of the Prolish ideas, and dreams of becoming one. This envy of the lower class is evident of the pressures being put on him by the Inner Party to increase separation between the two classes.
Although 1984 was a dramatic pitch on what could possibly happen to society, many interpret the book as an exceptionally real and even future prediction of what is to come. Hopefully that will never be the case, but it will never be known until that day does or doesn’t arrive. Sadly, as much as society in the United States may seem fair and just, the rich and famous will always attempt to gain more even at the expense of those beneath them. I imagine that Orwell created the novel 1984 for the purpose of identifying corruption and problems with but not limited to our government. For one thing is certain; as long as there is a class system the upper group will oppress and take advantage of the lower group in order to force them to submit to their will and ideals.