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In the Name of God بسم الله
Guest Dialectician

What Are You Reading Currently? [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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^Maybe you need to take of your Eastern bloc glasses and look at the world with a little less paranoia.

The preface to the edition of 1984 I read was by Walter Cronkite. In it, he says that we have seen Big Brother manifest himself in Hitler, Stalin, and Khomeini.

And you're telling me I'm just deluding myself by saying that 1984 is political?

1984 is powerful, the end of the book in the ministry of love is one of the most intense things I've ever read.

Tell me how it's powerful. You can't just say something is great and expect that to stand on its own. Give me reasons for:

1) How the book is so wise

2) How the book is so profound

3) How the book taught you anything

In didnt see it in an east-west light, its about tyranny ,1984 attempts to imagine the oppressive government ever.

Explain in what way the society depicted in this book is NOT a dramatized Stalinist dictatorship? You say it's equally applicable to the West than in the East; then tell me in what way does the society in Oceania resemble that of the Western countries? Explain why Orwell would name the main guy Winston?

Orwell fought on the side of the communists in the Spanish civil war.

So? Picasso was against Franco too, but his art was viewed as degenerate in the USSR.

The criticism he give in 1984 and in the animal farm comes at his disillusionment with the soviet union.

So you agree that 1984 is a literary depiction of Stalinism?

Brave new world gives you the other end of the spectrum, where industrialists engineer a perfect society, with a decadent population encouraged to consume and be merry, where people are brainwashed from birth to be imbecilic and happy, and encourages to take drugs if they even get close to ever feeling serious.

Its the opposite spectrum and it just happens to be the spectrum that is predominant in the world today. THIS is what is firmly in place in the US and Europe; this is what is being exported to every corner of the world. Stalinist Russia doesn't exist, and nobody is trying to emulate it.

Both 1984 and BNW seemed very similar to me. They're dystopias where the individual is crushed by the system, a system which exists only to perpetuate itself at the expense of the individual.

You described 1984.

Brave New World is nothing like that. Brave New World is the dissolution of the collective; individual is not crushed but fed and drugged until everyone becomes drowned in their nafs.

1984 is about external oppression. Brave New World is about internal oppression; the oppression of desires and self. The Quran has a lot to say about internal oppression.

Allah swt says:

(Indeed, Allah does not wrong the people at all, but it is the people who are wronging themselves.) [surah Yunus, 10:44]

(And Allah wronged them not, but they had been wronging themselves.) [surat an-Nahl, 16:33]

(And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, "Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah ] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment.") [surah Ibrahim, 14:22]

(Indeed, man transgresses. Because he sees himself self-sufficient.) [surat al-Alaq, 96:6-7]

As for crushing the individual, there is nothing inherently wrong with this!

(The Prophet is closer to the believers than their own selves) [surat al-Ahzab, 33:6]

The meaning of ummah and imamate is a people united under a unitary leadership. Just because such and such dictator in such and such country was an autocrat and he committed this and that abuse and he committed this and that crime, does not mean the entire idea of unitary leadership (and the subordination of individual interests to this leadership) must be dismissed. Imamate is based on this idea.

One shows the socialist nightmare, the other shows the capitalist nightmare. In both scenarios the government brainwashes it's citizens, training them to think the way they want them to think. Both deserve to be read.

1984 shows a society that, even in its real form, only existed for about 25 years. Brave New World shows a society that still exists and is still seen as ideal by a wide variety of people (even by Muslims!). I don't care about the capitalist/socialist label. The fact remains that 1984 is not impressive either in its form or its content. Brave New World, meanwhile, has proven itself to be visionary.

Edited by baradar_jackson

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I recently sent a couple of nieces (age 8 and 16) in Karachi a Kindle loaded with various books (free and paid for). They come from a conservative family (hence references to stuff being "clean"). Here's a sample of what I sent. Nearly all of these were downloaded off Amazon, if anyone fancies a search. The Yate book is on Google books.

I've identified for their mum what I have bought as opposed to what is free - some of the latter books are speculative in terms of the girls' likes, but the paid for stuff I really think they should read.

Khurasan Sistan (Yate). This was published in 1900 and details his journey to Mashhad. It is a free book I downloaded off the internet.

The Inspector General.This is a translation of a very famous piece of Russian literature, the language story and ideas etc. are very clean.

Travelling Man. I bought this. This is a simplified account of Ibn Battuta's travels.

Science and Islam. I bought this. It shows the contribution Islam has made to science.

Anna Karenina. This is a translation of a classical Russian novel by Tolstoy. It's quite long. More for *** age and she may find it boring. I read it when I was 17. The theme may be a bit adult, a woman who leaves her husband for someone else. Her mum may want to check it first.

Animal Farm. Orwell. Very famous book, excellent literature. Easy to read and should be fun for both girls. I bought this. Note to shiachatters I'd have loved to have sent <strong>A day in the life of Ivan Denisovich</strong>, but can't find a cheap/free version anywhere, same goes for Lord of the Flies and most of Roald Dahl's works.

Cows, Pigs, Wars. This is a piece of cultural anthropology. The introduction is quite academic, but it becomes much easier and very interesting. I bought it.

Sugar a bittersweet history. A bit of history, I think it is interesting. Like some of the other books the introduction can be a bit boring, it gets more interesting from chapter one.

A short history of nearly everything</strong>. This is by a very well known and good writer (Bill Bryson). I bought it.

Why is snot green. I love the title. It's basically a science book, written for kids and explains everyday phenomena in simple terms. I bought it.

Rock paper scissors. I was going to buy this, and probably should for myself. It's an explanation of game theory in the everyday world. But I felt it may be too technical for now. So I have left a sample of it for *** to try.

The War of the Worlds. Very famous. I first read this when I was 12. Very clean.

I've just read a couple of chapters from this to my six year old daughter. It's quite good, I found it informative:

The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child: Volume 1: Ancient Times: From the Earliest Nomads to the Last Roman Emperor, Revised Edition (Kindle) [Kindle Edition]

Edited by Haji 2003

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The preface to the edition of 1984 I read was by Walter Cronkite. In it, he says that we have seen Big Brother manifest himself in Hitler, Stalin, and Khomeini.

And you're telling me I'm just deluding myself by saying that 1984 is political?

Walter Cronkite's opinion are his own. The version I read didn't have a preface

Tell me how it's powerful. You can't just say something is great and expect that to stand on its own. Give me reasons for:

1) How the book is so wise

2) How the book is so profound

3) How the book taught you anything

1) The book isnt so much as wise its just intense and depressing at the same time, it is intense because of the violence and cruelty it shows

2)Because it show you the nature of power, it hasn't got anything to do with ideology, its just plain simple greed, ideology is just an excuse because at the end it devolves into a brutish tyranny. The one with absolute power may make others hurt less out of any noble excuse but rather because is the simplest exercise of power, simply for the sake of self satisfaction.

3) that language and ideas are linked, as your language gets simpler your though gets simpler, that sexual denial makes people much more prone to direct their energies into ideology and a really effective dictatorship will create heroes and villain the public to believe in a nad will use this propaganda based worldview to manipulate the public.

Explain in what way the society depicted in this book is NOT a dramatized Stalinist dictatorship? You say it's equally applicable to the West than in the East; then tell me in what way does the society in Oceania resemble that of the Western countries? Explain why Orwell would name the main guy Winston?

What is the difference between a hitlerist dictatorship and a stalinist dictatorship. The author targets totalitarianism.

So you agree that 1984 is a literary depiction of Stalinism?

The word is Totalitarianism, be it fascist or communist or monarchy even

Its the opposite spectrum and it just happens to be the spectrum that is predominant in the world today. THIS is what is firmly in place in the US and Europe; this is what is being exported to every corner of the world. Stalinist Russia doesn't exist, and nobody is trying to emulate it.

1984 is an extreme even compared to the actual Soviet Union. This novel is more like a warning

You described 1984.

No, both are similar in that aspect. Both societies lie to their subjects about the past. Both rely on thought control and propaganda, they dont allow contradictory views.

Its basically like this, 1984's society is a dungeon, BNW's society is a glided cage, both are prisons.

Brave New World is nothing like that. Brave New World is the dissolution of the collective; individual is not crushed but fed and drugged until everyone becomes drowned in their nafs.

And what about the cult of the Social Being shown in BNW? Wasn't that individuals striving dissolving themselves into the collective. Have you forgotten ORGY-PORGY?

As for crushing the individual, there is nothing inherently wrong with this!

You are an individual, do you like to be crushed?

The meaning of ummah and imamate is a people united under a unitary leadership. Just because such and such dictator in such and such country was an autocrat and he committed this and that abuse and he committed this and that crime, does not mean the entire idea of unitary leadership (and the subordination of individual interests to this leadership) must be dismissed. Imamate is based on this idea.

The rule of the Imam is an ideal, it is based on the idea that the rif-raff are unfit to rule, that they will become tyrant if they seize absolute power, that only an infallable man can claim true authority, we look towards it because it promises justice, but this does not mean we accept the rule of any king, dictator or theocrat without any check and balance. Imam Ali (as) was not a tyrant, Imam Ali (as) was fair, he ruled by law, not by a cult of personality.

1984 shows a society that, even in its real form, only existed for about 25 years. Brave New World shows a society that still exists and is still seen as ideal by a wide variety of people (even by Muslims!). I don't care about the capitalist/socialist label. The fact remains that 1984 is not impressive either in its form or its content. Brave New World, meanwhile, has proven itself to be visionary.

Both brave new world and 1984 show societies that have never existed but might exist if either socialism or capitalism are taken to negative extremes.

Edited by JimJam

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Walter Cronkite's opinion are his own. The version I read didn't have a preface

Walter Cronkite is a notable personality. He is not some nobody. I think his opinions reflect that of many who read the book.

1) The book isnt so much as wise its just intense and depressing at the same time, it is intense because of the violence and cruelty it shows

Any book that shows violence is wise and profound?

If that's the case, then is "Kill Bill" the most profound movie ever made?

2)Because it show you the nature of power, it hasn't got anything to do with ideology, its just plain simple greed, ideology is just an excuse because at the end it devolves into a brutish tyranny. The one with absolute power may make others hurt less out of any noble excuse but rather because is the simplest exercise of power, simply for the sake of self satisfaction.

Power is bad. How insightful. Thank God 1984 is here to teach us these eternal truths.

3) that language and ideas are linked, as your language gets simpler your though gets simpler, that sexual denial makes people much more prone to direct their energies into ideology and a really effective dictatorship will create heroes and villain the public to believe in a nad will use this propaganda based worldview to manipulate the public.

(And this (the Qur`an) is in a clear, understandable, Arabic.) [surat an-Nahl, 16:103]

(The Trustworthy Spirit (Jibra`il) has brought this (the Qur`an) to your (Muhammad) heart so that you may be amongst the warners, in a clear, understandable, Arabic.) [surat al-Shu'ara, 26:193-195]

(And We have indeed made the Qur`an easy to understand for remembrance, then is there any that will receive admonition?) [surat al-Qamar, 54:17]

What is the difference between a hitlerist dictatorship and a stalinist dictatorship. The author targets totalitarianism.

Internationalism vs. nationalism, socialism vs. fascism, etc...

We all know the differences between the systems. I don't have to list them.

I will give you just one example: could a Nazi-style leadership ever be implemented in a country like the USSR (or even present-day Russia)? Russia/USSR is not a European style nation-state; it consists of many languages and nations. If Stalnist rule involved the genocide of people who did not meet the appropriate racial criteria (i.e. ethnic, Slavic Russians only; no Tajiks, no Azeris, no Ukrainians, etc.), not only would Stalin have been impelled to kill half of the USSR, but he would have been impelled to killed himself! (He himself was from Georgia, not Russia).

So this is one clear difference. Ideology based on race vs. ideology based on something else.

Just because both states were totalitarian does not mean that they produced identical (or even similar) societies.

The word is Totalitarianism, be it fascist or communist or monarchy even

A monarchy is reactionary. Totalitarianism is a product of the modern age; it has manifested itself in socialist and fascist forms. It has not maniested itself in a liberal form unless you count Ataturk, and it is unclear whether he should be classified as totalitarian.

1984 is an extreme even compared to the actual Soviet Union. This novel is more like a warning

A warning of what?

Certainly it is not a warning of what Western society could devolve into! Therefore, it is necessarily a warning of what could happen if the Commies took over.

And what about the cult of the Social Being shown in BNW? Wasn't that individuals striving dissolving themselves into the collective. Have you forgotten ORGY-PORGY?

Collective sexual narcotization is quite different from collective enslavement to the state.

You are an individual, do you like to be crushed?

If to be crushed means to follow the ideas and decisions of those who are fit to form ideas and make decisions, then yes.

The rule of the Imam is an ideal, it is based on the idea that the rif-raff are unfit to rule, that they will become tyrant if they seize absolute power, that only an infallable man can claim true authority, we look towards it because it promises justice, but this does not mean we accept the rule of any king, dictator or theocrat without any check and balance. Imam Ali (as) was not a tyrant, Imam Ali (as) was fair, he ruled by law, not by a cult of personality.

Get this idea out of your head that only an infallible Imam can rule justly. Not every non-masoom person is Silvio Hitler.

Both brave new world and 1984 show societies that have never existed but might exist if either socialism or capitalism are taken to negative extremes.

1984 was a dramatized version of Stalinist Soviet society.

Brave New World is a dramatized version of Western liberal society.

So both societies have existed, and one of them continues to exist.

These books are not warnings, they are satires.

1984 can claim to be universal but it's really about Stalinism.

In the same light, BNW can claim to be universal (and it does! Look at the characters named after Marx, Lenin, Trotsky... Huxley was criticizing modernism, and he felt that socialism was no different in this sense than liberal capitalism).

Edited by baradar_jackson

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i think you are saying right

very nice book

are you ready for join me in this topic if you dont mind

oth brave new world and 1984 show societies that have never existed but might exist if either socialism or capitalism are taken to negative extremes.

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

Edited by Hawraa29

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

I know what you're reading. Nananananana :shifty:

Don't bother finishing 1984. I was 3/4 of the way through and left it. Animal farm is pretty good though!

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

I have yet to read Animal Farm (can't see myself paying £8 for a really short novel... I'm cheap like that :lol: :blush: ). With 1984, the first two times I picked it up, I couldn't get past the first chapter and it was really tiresome, but a few years later I read it from cover to cover without putting it down. I think you need to be in a certain mood or have a certain mindset to read it. It was like that for me anyway :P Oh and I had to do one of my GCSE essays on Great Expectations. ^_^

I'm gonna try to get my hands on Brand New World, as judging from the comments above, it looks quite interesting!

Back to thread :P : I'm currently re-reading Little Women ( :blush: ) and about to start Peshawar Nights

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

Great Expectations was written by Dickens.

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

Why would you say you're reading an amazing book yet you can't tell us what it is? then mentioning it in this thread is pointless.

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The book that I'm reading is too amazing that I can't mention it here. I'm half way into 1984, I can't be bothered to finish it. I preferred Animal Farm. I'm reading Great Expecations by George Orwell and another book which I can't name...yet!

Why not? :unsure:

I'm gonna try to get my hands on Brand New World, as judging from the comments above, it looks quite interesting!

It's Brave New World.

I have yet to read Animal Farm (can't see myself paying £8 for a really short novel... I'm cheap like that :lol: :blush: ).

You can get Animal Farm for free on the internet. There are also cheap prints out there if you can find them.The one I got was priced £1.30

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Is anyone reading or read in the past "Foucault's Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. It is a hard read but satisfies the tastes of every conspiricy theorist who is concerned with the Masons, Knights Templar, Rosicruxians, Kabalists, you name it.

Peace

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