One of the central points of 1984 is that in true totalitarianism, the State must displace the natural allegiances of love — romantic, familial, and brotherly (and, though Orwell might not agree — Love of God, too)— with a love of State.
The State must displace those so that it can occupy the central allegiance of a subject’s life.
It would help the State to accomplish this goal if it could take over the functions of natural human relationships — such as providing succor and support.
Such is Obama’s vision, encapsulated in his Prototype Protagonist Julia— who just happens to share a first name with the heroine in the Orwell novel.
At 31, the story tells us, “Julia decides to have a child. Throughout her pregnancy, she benefits from maternal checkups, prenatal care, and free screenings under health care reform.” In due course she bears a son named Zachary, the only other character in the tale.
Harsanyi is right. Obama is setting forward a vision contrary to the American tradition of self-sufficiency—a welfare state that runs from cradle to grave. And it’s a dishonest vision, because it presents all of these benefits as “free,” never acknowledging that they are paid for through coercive taxation.
The most shocking bit of the Obama story is that Julia apparently never marries. She simply “decides” to have a baby, and Obama uses other people’s money to help her take care of it. Julia doesn’t appear to be poor; at various points the story refers to her glamorous career as a Web designer, and it makes no mention of her benefiting from poverty programs like Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
In 1999 Lionel Tiger coined the word “bureaugamy” to refer to the relationship between officially impoverished mothers of illegitimate children and the government. “The Life of Julia” is an insidious attack on the institution of the family, an endorsement of bureaugamy even for middle-class women.
Meanwhile, the Great Hope of the Common Man will net a record $12 million in a single celebrity fundraiser.
We’re at war with Eurasia.
We have always been at war with Eurasia.