[personal profile] wingedbeast
While considering my thoughts on Pornosec, I realized that Comrade Ogilvy, Winston's fictional hero in place of praise for the FFCC, is ripe for analysis as well.

So, let's look at the dead person that Winston conjured out of thin air, faked photographs, and Oceana's core values.

At the age of three Comrade Ogilvy had refused all toys except a drum, a sub-machine gun and a model helicopter. At six-a year early, by a special relaxation of the rules-he had joined the Spies; at nine he had been a troop leader. At eleven he had denounced his uncle to the Thought Police after overhearing a conversation which appeared to him to have criminal tendencies. At seventeen he had been district organiser of the Junior Anti-Sex League. At nineteen he had designed a hand grenade which had been adopted by the Ministry of Peace and which, at its first trial, had killed thirty-one Eurasian prisoners in one burst. At twenty three he had perished in action. Pursued by enemy jet planes while flying over the Indian Ocean with important dispatches, he had weighted his body with his machine-gun and leapt out of the helicopter into deep water, dispatches and all-an end, said Big Brother, which it was impossible to contemplate without feelings of envy. Big Brother added a few remarks on the purity and singlemindedness of Comrade Ogilvy's life. He was a total abstainer and a non-smoker, had no recreations except a daily hour in the gymnasium, had taken a vow of celibacy, believing marriage and the care of a family to be incompatible with a twenty-four-hour-a-day devotion to duty. He had no subjects of conversation except the principles of Ingsoc, and no aim in life except the defeat of the Eurasian enemy and the hunting-down of spies, saboteurs, thought-criminals and traitors generally.


In a reminder that Oceana isn't so much a nation as a collection of the sins that are universal to all nations, states, societies, and cultures, you've come across Ogilvy, before. Ogilvy is the upstanding morality of George Washington who fought along-side his men, tossed a coin across a river, and could not tell a lie. Ogilvy is not the drinking, gambling, slave-holding George Washington.

Comrade Ogilvy is the perfect White Knight of Manhood, who champions women but never takes advantage... but obviously could and not be thought ill of... but doesn't... but...

Put in Christian terms, Comrade Ogilvy is Jesus Christ, Moses, Abraham, and Job.

Alternatively, Comrade Ogilvy is early seasons Ned Flanders, before the writers started deconstructing him.

But, like each of those, what's covered up and/or presented, when analyzed, shows the flaws in the stated values of the culture.

For Ogilvy, the value is perfectly matching up to a specific utility, that being violent loyalty and intellectually limited in scope. He only accepts those toys which Big Brother would most want for him. He doesn't have any emotional attachment greater than that of loyalty to the state. Ogilvy, if a real person, would be terrifying. But, as a fiction, he's useful and incredibly safe.

Ned Flanders started out as the perfect Christian head of a perfect Christian household. As the seasons wore on... and on and on and on... and on... and on, Ned Flanders came to some deconstruction. This happened because Ned Flanders, despite his best intentions, is doing harm, including to his own children.

Job, given his own book in the bible for being as close to perfect as a human can get in the bible, responds to the deaths of his servants and his children as though they are things. God has given and God has taken away. He gives frequent sacrifice, just in case some sin slips through. He holds to the rules. But, when human beings he knows, some his own flesh and blood, die, he doesn't care about that nearly as much as he cares about God's position. This dude would be terrifying to know in real life.

The socio-political construct of Big Brother (a different concept from any actually extant Big Brother) has desires a humanity that can't really do what he wants. He wants dedicated servants, to such a degree that they don't actually care about each other or themselves enough to be distracted from that service. But, he also wants cooperation among these servants, cooperation that just can't happen without a baseline natural empathy that would get in the way of that single-minded service.

Like a nation under Absolute Monarchy (or equivalent) or a faith under Divine Command Morality, the social structure can only survive by people failing to achieve exactly what they're supposed to achieve. Oceana, as a nation striving for something in its people, could not survive successfully achieving that desire.

This is important for later on in the book. Not to spoil too much for people reading along, but claims will be made and I won't believe them. I won't believe them because Oceana's only saving grace is its own failure.

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