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How Far Does the Description of Totalitarianism in Nineteen Eighty-Four Fit Reality - Assignment Example

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The "How Far Does the Description of Totalitarianism in Nineteen Eighty-Four Fit Reality " paper describes what is “disciplinary” society, M. Foucault’s “panopticism” principle and its application to G. Orwell’s “1984” and modern society, and examines the political system of the modern societies…
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How Far Does the Description of Totalitarianism in Nineteen Eighty-Four Fit Reality
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Download file to see previous pages A quarter of a century ago, Michel Foucault wrote a book about the history of European prison – “Supervise and punish”. This book became one of the basic sources of the new philosophy, which allowed reviewing the problems of delinquency and criminality. The philosopher describes the so-called “panopticism” principle. Jeremy Bentham who lived in the XVIIIth century called a prison, where it was possible to keep an eye constantly on the prisoners, “a panopticism”. However, Foucault sees this concept not only in prisons but also in all other social institutions: a ward in a hospital, a class in a school, a corridor in a university.

The principle of “initial” panopticism is as follows: there is a building that has a circular form (a ring), and in its center, there is a tower. The tower has big windows that face the interior side of the ring. The tower standing against the light, the prisoners’ figures can be seen clearly.

An individual is an object of information but is never a subject of communication. <…> If there are criminals in the cells, there is no danger of a plot, <…> if there are ill people – there is no danger of spreading infection. If there are insane people – there will be no risk of mutual violence; if these are schoolchildren – they will never be able to cheat; <…> if workers are kept there – there are none of the pleasures which can keep them away from work. (Foucault 1999, pp. 292–294) 

Michel Foucault defines panopticism either as a concrete light organization which is characteristic for a prison, or as an abstract principle, a certain “mechanism” which is able to penetrate into all functions and structures, all sides of human life. An abstract formula of panopticism is, therefore, not “to see without being seen”, but to force a certain type of behavior onto any number of people, any society. This social group should be reduced, placed in an enclosed space. A certain type of behavior is enforced by means of relocation in space, classification in time, an arrangement in space and time. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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