To Orwell Today,

Does Orwell's use of his term "proles" originate from his Marxist Socialist leanings to the term proletariot?

Raymond Wills

Hi Raymond,

The word "proles" is short for the word "proletariat" which was a word used by the Romans for their slaves. But in "1984" Orwell meant it to imply the general masses, ie the working class and unemployed.

It's true that Karl Marx adopted the word and made it a slogan for the Communists, ie "the dictatorship of the proletariat", so it had that connotation as well.

By the time he wrote "1984" Orwell was a total enemy of Communism having figured out that they had bastardized the name "Socialism" by adopting it as their own. There is nothing "socialist" in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Just like there was nothing "democratic" in East Germany after the Communist takeover, which they named the German Democratic Republic (GDR). And there's nothing "republic" in the People's Republic of China (PRC). Nor is their anything "liberating" about Red China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

These communist, totalitarian regimes giving themselves free-sounding names are examples of Orwellian doublespeak as in "peace is war, slavery is freedom, torture is love, lies are truth and starvation is plenty" etc etc.

Around 1991 or so the powers-that-be announced that "Communism is dead" and moved their tyrants into position of trust and friendship with the Capitalist tyrants of the world, thus fulfilling Orwell's prophesy of "oligarchical collectivism".

These days we're becoming "the proles" in all senses of the word and don't seem to be fulfilling Orwell's hope, ie "If there was hope, it lay in the proles, because only there could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated...If only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength".

bfn, Jackie Jura

Email exchange defining doublethink, newspeak and doublespeak

DOUBLESPEAK and 5.Pyramidal New World Order and 23.The Proles and 35.The Brotherhood and 7.Systems of Thought and ORWELL'S UTOPIA and OLIGARCHICAL COLLECTIVISM IS CORPORATE COMMUNISM and FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and German Democratic Republic (GDR) and People's Republic of China (PRC) and People's Liberation Army (PLA)

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

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