Nowadays the term ‘democracy ‘has become a widespread reality which is practically accepted everywhere. Even China's leaders argue that their country is on the path to democracy but “it needs time” (Wen Jiabao, China's Prime Minister).
Nevertheless many dictatorships still prevail and democratic regimes are still seeking complicated institutional engineering to avoid bad experiences of the past (like Hitler's takeover in 1933). Indeed, many intellectuals as Hannah Arendt believe that democracy and totalitarism are linked in many ways and that the former can contain the essence of the latter. Maybe our system is just an illusion, or maybe it is really democratic, but is a far more breakable concept than we think. This dossier deals with one of the greatest dangers of democracy, which was largely studied even before the real triumph of democracy but which is still disregarded today, and gives attention to the main instrument used to endanger democratic regimes. The so-called danger will be entitled “fear” and its implementation, “the press”.
[...] figures of the Party, almost on a level with Big Brother himself, and 7. then had engaged in counter-revolutionary activities, had been condemned 8. to death, and had mysteriously escaped and disappeared. The programmes 9. of the Two Minutes Hate varied from day to day, but there was none in 10. which Goldstein was not the principal figure. He was the primal traitor the earliest defiler of the Party's purity. All subsequent crimes against 12. the Party, all treacheries, acts of sabotage, heresies, deviations sprang directly out of his teaching. [...]
[...] Here the state, which is the guardian, but also the enemy of democracy as Gorge Orwell shows it, becomes very important: “Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate” (quote 3). Here Tocqueville gives us an enumeration of all the benefactions of the state which “provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property” (quote 4). [...]
[...] instructions which Winston received, and which he invariably got rid of 83. as soon as he had dealt with them, never stated or implied that an act of 84. forgery was to be committed: always the reference was to slips, errors misprints or misquotations which it was necessary to put right in the 86. interests of accuracy. Document 2 : Daily News Cover / Sep : Did you hear that Hitler was in town ? http://bagnewsnotes.typepad.com/bagnews/in_a_picturemedia_focus/index.html Document extracts from Alexis de Tocqueville / Democracy in America. [...]
[...] The whole picture is entitled evil has landed” in capital letters and big character set, we shall also bring out that the word is in red, an emotional and populist way to demonize the and provoke a panic-stricken atmosphere, which can be soon replaced by hate, as in Orwell's story and than by a decrease of democracy, as Tocqueville explains it. As any newspaper the Daily News has the duty to report events, especially dangers and threats to the public, but here, as in many tabloids, the presentation is to subjective and appeals to irrational feelings. [...]
[...] Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day and a 26. thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the 28. general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were--in spite of all this his influence never seemed to grow less. ( ) 30. Winston dialled 'back numbers' on the telescreen and called for the 31. appropriate issues of 'The Times', which slid out of the pneumatic tube 32. [...]
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