Comparing Osama Bin Laden With Orwell’s ‘Emmanuel Goldstein’

disinformation editor’s note: The intent of this article is NOT to imply Osama Bin Laden is a fictional character. Please read the article in full and note it was written nearly ten years ago.

Goldstein Vs. Bin Laden

On September 19th, 2001, just one week after the 9/11 tragedies, Frothsburg State University economics professor William L. Anderson wrote a piece entitled, “Osama and Goldstein”. He spoke of a parallel between Osama Bin Laden and Emmanuel Goldstein, the contrived enemy of the state in George Orwell’s 1984. Over the past decade Bin Laden has become the face of terror throughout the western world and the focus of its people’s fear, anger, and hatred. Now that he is dead (read “dead” if you prefer), I believe it would be appropriate to revisit this article from William L. Anderson on LewRockwell.com:

In George Orwell’s classic 1984, the government of Oceania — Big Brother — tells the people that they have a common enemy — Goldstein. At their daily “hate” sessions, the picture of Goldstein comes up on the screen, while the people scream in anger and horror at the image. Goldstein, they are told, is everywhere and must be destroyed.

In one way, it is difficult to draw the parallels between Goldstein and America’s latest enemy, Osama bin Laden, who has been accused of masterminding the suicide assaults on the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. After all, Goldstein is a fictional character, and probably was a fictional character in Oceania as well. Osama bin Laden, on the other hand, is real — all too real — and has been the financier and “spiritual leader” of numerous terrorist cells around the world.

Thus, to draw comparisons between the two men seems absurd. Goldstein posed no real danger to anyone, while today what is left of the bodies of more than 5,000 innocent people lie beneath the rubble of the once proud WTC, the Pentagon salvage operation continues, and investigators are combing the rubble of the remains of Flight 93 in the Pennsylvania countryside, just 40 miles from my home.

Yet, the similarities are more real than apparent and speak to what has been happening in the United States since World War II. Each decade has seen evil characters who have been hell-bent on destroying “our way of life” paraded before the American public…

Read More from William L. Anderson on LewRockwell.com

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Юрий Паедерастаков

    Al Goldstein is for totally real; He is gorddumbed symbol of Amerikansy Dream alredy.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jqNPJswumGiCsz626Yw9FscSjC4gEF5crWQ8tBZ4YWw/edit?hl=en

  • Юрий Паедерастаков

    Al Goldstein is for totally real; He is gorddumbed symbol of Amerikansy Dream alredy.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jqNPJswumGiCsz626Yw9FscSjC4gEF5crWQ8tBZ4YWw/edit?hl=en

  • Юрий Паедерастаков

    Al Goldstein is for totally real; He is gorddumbed symbol of Amerikansy Dream alredy.

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jqNPJswumGiCsz626Yw9FscSjC4gEF5crWQ8tBZ4YWw/edit?hl=en

  • quartz99

    Considering 1984 is basically the Rove/Cheney/Bush playbook, I can’t see anything surprising here… if it hadn’t been bin Laden, they’d have found someone else to be their “Goldstein.” He was just convenient for it because he was actually dangerous (you know, once they stopped dicking around and paid attention to the information that said he was dangerous).

    After all, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia…

  • Anonymous

    Considering 1984 is basically the Rove/Cheney/Bush playbook, I can’t see anything surprising here… if it hadn’t been bin Laden, they’d have found someone else to be their “Goldstein.” He was just convenient for it because he was actually dangerous (you know, once they stopped dicking around and paid attention to the information that said he was dangerous).

    After all, we’ve always been at war with Eurasia…

  • Anonymous

    Emmanuel Goldstein was a pretty clear allusion to anti-semitism painting the Jew as the cause of all troubles, despite never having done anything. Kind of different from people who pretty loudly announce their determination to kill you and everything you stand for…

  • SF2K01

    Emmanuel Goldstein was a pretty clear allusion to anti-semitism painting the Jew as the cause of all troubles (it’s even a Jewish name), despite never having done anything. Kind of different from people who pretty loudly announce their determination to kill you and everything you stand for…

    • Anon

      have you bothered reading either the article or “1984”, and if you did, did you just not comprehend them?

      • SF2K01

        Yes I read both, but I doubt you comprehended my comment. Let me know if you notice anything substantial next time and I’ll address your specific issue (Do you disagree that Goldstein was an analogy for anti-semitism as a method of controlling the populace? Because that’s not at all noted in the book or the article). Going on nothing, I’m going to assume that you buy the article hook, line and sinker and imagine my comment to be either for or against it.

        The article is accusing the retaliation on people like OBL to be one of fear that is presented falsely by the government as if it will resolve itself once the person is dead. A major fault of the article is the fact that he does not recognize the psychology of humanity that might be driving that fear independently of the government. As our government is run by the people, we are merely expressing ourselves. Further he missed understanding that beating a threat does not mean there will never be another threat (as he understood that more threats suggest the old threats were merely manufactured methods of thought control).

        • quartz99

          Part of the point is that OBL has been used as a focus of anti-Muslim sentiment as a means of controlling the populace, in the same way that Goldstein was a focus for anti-semitism. Most Muslims have also never done anything and deciding they’re the source of all our troubles just because they’re Mulsim is just as wrong.

  • ArgosyJones

    Lew Rockwell and The Mises Institute have their own version of Goldstein– Ludvig Von Mises, whom they worship. When the stars are right he will rise from his grave and reinstate Say’s Law.

  • ArgosyJones

    Lew Rockwell and The Mises Institute have their own version of Goldstein– Ludvig Von Mises, whom they worship. When the stars are right he will rise from his grave and reinstate Say’s Law.

  • Anon

    have you bothered reading either the article or “1984”, and if you did, did you just not comprehend them?

  • Anonymous

    Yes I read both, but I doubt you comprehended my comment. Let me know if you notice anything substantial next time and I’ll address your specific issue (Do you disagree that Goldstein was an analogy for anti-semitism as a method of controlling the populace? Because that’s not at all noted in the book or the article). Going on nothing, I’m going to assume that you buy the article hook, line and sinker and imagine my comment to be either for or against it.

    The article is accusing the retaliation on people like OBL to be one of fear that is presented falsely by the government as if it will resolve itself once the person is dead. A major fault of the article is the fact that he does not recognize the psychology of humanity that might be driving that fear independently of the government. As our government is run by the people, we are merely expressing ourselves. Further he missed understanding that beating a threat does not mean there will never be another threat (as he understood that more threats suggest the old threats were merely manufactured methods of thought control).

  • Anonymous

    Part of the point is that OBL has been used as a focus of anti-Muslim sentiment as a means of controlling the populace, in the same way that Goldstein was a focus for anti-semitism. Most Muslims have also never done anything and deciding they’re the source of all our troubles just because they’re Mulsim is just as wrong.

21
More in 1984, 9/11, Civil Liberties, Emmanuel Goldstein, Evil, Freedom, George Orwell, Government, Hate, Military, Osama Bin Laden, PATRIOT Act, Police State, Politics, Propaganda, Society, Terrorism, Totalitiariansim
Kids Celebrating Osama Bin Laden’s Death (Photos)

Matt Stopera posts on BuzzFeed: This is kind of disturbing. Check out these pictures of kids celebrating Osama's death in Times Square...

Close