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Cameron Van Brabant

Mrs. Farr period 7


1984 Essay

Dictatorships and Death

Just saying these names can bring fear to people: Stalin, Hitler, Franco,

and Big Brother. These men may have led different countries, but they all had

one thing in common. These men were the heads of authoritarian governments,

and they subsequently led their countries to ruin. They implemented programs

that limited freedoms. They constantly strived to gain more power and more

control. Sadly, they also committed mass genocides against their perceived


When freedoms are taken away from people, not only does society suffer

artistically and creatively, but also economically. The Soviet conception of human

rights was very different from conceptions prevalent in the West. According to

western legal theory, "it is the individual who is the beneficiary of human rights

which are to be asserted against the government," whereas Soviet law claimed

the opposite (Boston University International Law Journal. 1989. pp. 6162). This

distinct lack of freedom was detrimental to the sustainability of the Soviet Union

and contributed to its collapsed in 1991. Similar events would play out in 1984,

even though Orwell did not live to see the USSR fall.
Freedom is the most important right a nation must give to its people. 1984

is an example of what happens when this right is not respected. Winston kept

his back to the telescreen. It was safer; though, as he well knew, even a back

can be revealing (1984 pg 3). Winston and all other citizens in Oceania are

always being monitored, not even allowed to own a creative thought. In both

cases (1984 and the USSR), when freedoms are taken away, the country suffers


Power has obsessed man since the beginning of civilization. Power can

be achieved through many means, and such ways include gaining wealth, land,

or leadership positions in government. This desire for power can lead to greed

and obsession, and such tragedy has led countries to ruin. Lenin died in 1924,

and this is when Stalin seized his high-power position of the leader of the

Communist party and the director of the Soviet Union. During his reign, Stalin

launched a series of five-year plans. These plans were set to transform the

Soviet Union from a peasant, weak country to an industrial, national power

country. His plan relied on government control of the economy and forced the

collectivization of Soviet agriculture. This led to a famine as many farmers

refused to cooperate and were either shot or exiled. The famine killed millions

( Stalin's lust for power was the worst thing to happen to the Soviet

Union. Most dictators seek power only for powers sake. This was evident

throughout 1984. War is peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is strength. The

party seeks power entirely for its own sake (1984 pg 4). As it states, Big Brother
is like most dictators: they hunger for more power. Power itself is a beast that

humans will never be able to quell and control.

Human have the tendency to kill or attack what they don't understand.

Sadly this seems to be a common theme with dictators. Whether it was Stalin's

purges, the Holocaust, or Pol Pots genocide on the educated and upper class of

Cambodia. Some historians, such as Robert Conquest, claim that the

government's forced collectivization of agriculture as a part of the Soviet Union's

first five-year plan, forced grain procurement, and political repression in the

countryside were the main reasons for the famine. Conquest, and others,

additionally claim that the famine was a deliberate act of genocide against ethnic

Ukrainians. The actions taken by Stalin were acts of insecurity that lead to the

Deaths of 1.3 million Ukrainians in this one event alone. Big Brother is no

different from any of these men. He has done the same things these men have

done on multiple occasions. April 4th 1984. Last night to the flicks. All war films.

One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed(pg 8). Big Brother

had deemed these helpless refugees are undesirable people and slaughtered

them in the most brutal fashion. Dictatorships and Authoritarian governments

leads to the purge or genocide of undesirables.

There are those that would argue that these dictators put their countries

on the right path. For example, Stalin's multiple 5-year plans turned the Soviet

Union from a unknown communist state into one the most powerful economies in

the world. But at what cost? These plans that Stalin created killed tens of millions

in the process, most of them people forced to work to help speed along
industrialization. It doesn't matter if you have one of the largest economies in the

world if no one is around to keep it going. The Economy is not self-sufficient.

Dictatorships and Authoritarian governments leads to the fall of countries

and the demise of its citizens. The lack of freedom takes away any chance to

grow. Their leader lust for power, putting there own wants ahead of their

countries needs. Leaders will get rid of anyone who opposes them leading to

mass genocides. These governments will only lead to bad things and it has been

proven time and time again. Just the reasons listed above should be enough to

eradicate these governments but we see more and more of them popping up in

our world. Sadly we may never see a time without them.

Work cited

1984 by George Orwell ( New American Library a division of penguin Group LLC

New York, New York


Lambelet, Doriane. "The Contradiction Between Soviet and American Human

Rights Doctrine: Reconciliation Through Perestroika and Pragmatism." 7 Boston

University International Law Journal. 1989. pp. 6162


For third

Great Purge Communism: A History (Modern Library Chronicles) by Richard

Pipes, pg 67