1984, a fictional novel by George Orwell published in 1949, tells the story of a dystopian future society called Oceania in which citizens are subjected to government surveillance and manipulation, free thought is completely forbidden, and government propaganda as well as an invented language called “Newspeak” is used to support an authoritarian leader.
In 2016, Donald Trump, a former reality TV show host, was elected President of the United States of America. And since being sworn into office he has worked tirelessly to silence the press, question the validity of mainstream media outlets, block government agencies he doesn’t agree with from releasing any and all information to the public, coin the term “alternative facts” in response to the distribution of blatant lies that can be easily disproven with photographic evidence, and make unsubstantiated claims about voter fraud to explain losing the popular vote.
For some reason that is probably in no way related to the current state of affairs, sales of Orwell’s novel are now going through the roof, hitting the number one best-seller list on Amazon as of Tuesday evening.
Although the list is automatically updated hourly, as of Wednesday morning, 1984 was still gripping onto the number one spot. A spokesperson for Penguin told CNNMoney, “We put through a 75,000 copy reprint this week. That is a substantial reprint and larger than our typical reprint for 1984.”
Also currently on the Amazon best-seller list are similarly-themed novels It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley — which again, is probably totally coincidental.