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In 1949, the Cold War not yet escalated, many American intellectuals supported communism, and the

state of diplomacy between democratic and communist nations was highly ambiguous. In the American
press, the Soviet Union was often portrayed as a great moral experiment. Orwell, however, was deeply
disturbed by the widespread cruelties and oppressions he observed in communist countries, and seems
to have been particularly concerned by the role of technology in enabling oppressive governments to
monitor and control their citizens. In 1984, Orwell portrays the perfect totalitarian society, the most
extreme realization imaginable of a modern-day government with absolute power. Just like in the novel,
North Korea remains as a state that strongly controls many aspects of society through various different
methods of conformity; a real dystopian state in our world like the one seen in 1984.

In Orwell's totalitarian society, the Ministry of Truth constantly revises past publications to fit with
whatever the Party deems as the absolute truth at the moment. The reasoning behind brainwashing
citizens is revealed by Winston's realization that he "who controls the past controls the future: who
controls the present controls the past" (p. 260), explaining his incapability to compare living standards
with the past. Since the past only exists in written records and memories, absolute control of what
citizens think via propaganda assures that conformity of citizens is possible. These principles hold true in
North Korea, where the government controls all forms of expression of thought in many mediums of
media, such as restricting the internet, broadcasting propaganda content, publishing its own books and
much more. As a result, North Korean citizens are unable to accurately compare living standards with
other parts of the world, and will continue to believe the State has the best to offer for them.

In the novel, the Party also closely monitors every moment of the citizens' lives. Propaganda does not
guarantee absolute compliance from members, such as Winston, who actively strike against the Party
through covert means. The Thought Police and telescreens seeks out these offenders of the Party, and
their fierce reputation leads to Winston's conclusion that even "a single flicker of the eyes could give you
away" (p. 39). He became a suspect because of trading glances with O'Brien. Ironically, such a small
action was the reason for his capture. Likewise, telescreens and Thought Police are comparable to the
security cameras and the secret police forces in North Korea. Their lack of respect for privacy allows the
North Koreans to be constantly monitored for treason. Anyone who does manage to defy them is
punished and re-educated through systematic and brutal torture.

In the novel, the Party utilizes conditioning with physical torture to cure citizen's outlooks. After being
subjected to weeks of intense conditioning, Winston himself comes to the conclusion that nothing is
more powerful than physical pain. By conditioning the minds of their victims with physical torture, the
Party is able to control reality, convincing its subjects that "two and two make five" (p. 290). As a result,
the Party is guaranteed to be able condition all its subjects to not only be submissive, but associate the
authority of the Party with righteousness. Winston is an example of the result of totalitarian re-
education: absolutely obedient, with a zeal for Big Brother and the affairs of the Party. The same goes for
North Korea, in which they utilize physical torture for anyone who did not act passionate towards the
State. The result: there was not a person who did not cry when Kim Jong-il died.

North Korea is a dystopian state in our world today that strongly reflects methods of social control
present in 1984. It controls the content of media to make it impossible to compare living standards with
other countries or with the past, making a cacus belli impossible. The State ignores human rights to
monitor citizens' every moment for signs of rebellion. Finally, the State utilizes conditioning with torture
to make them not only obey, but love the State. Despite Orwell's warnings of the dangers of
Communism, a terrible country like the Party still lives on.