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Measure for Measure

“Goldstein is dead: Long Live Goldstein” Welcome to the Post-Osama Era!

In Orwell’s “1984”, the enemy of the state is Emmanuel Goldstein, created by Big Brother to be a figure of hate for his people.

“The self-satisfied sheeplike face on the screen, and the terrifying power of the Eurasian army behind it were too much to be borne: besides, the sight or even the thought of Goldstein produced fear and anger automatically. He was an object of hatred (…) But what was strange was that although Goldstein was hated and despised by everybody, although every day, and a thousand times a day, on platforms, on the telescreen, in newspapers, in books, his theories were refuted, smashed, ridiculed, held up to the general gaze for the pitiful rubbish that they were – in spite of all of this, his influence never seemed to grow less. Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him…”

Bin Laden was, of course,  well qualified to be a figure of hate for the Western world and he proceeded to become the global scapegoat. It is pretty hard to wage the “War Against Terror” as it is conceptual. Bin Laden became the face of the concept, and now he is dead.

There will be a few days of oscillating emotions and speculation, but eventually, Bin Laden’s sandals will be filled. Either someone who shares his ideals will become apparent, or Big Brother will identify our new enemy for us.

The War Against Terror continues, but Terror – today –  has no face.


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5 thoughts on ““Goldstein is dead: Long Live Goldstein” Welcome to the Post-Osama Era!

  1. I believe he may have been more than a face, more like a financer of it. I have heard he has scores of sons. Once they figure out who should be the new boss over all the billions he has left behind, I feel sure it will be business as usual, as you said.

  2. Yeah I think there is a system at play which requires us to have a tangible enemy. Without doubt the destruction and terror that binLaden orchestrated was horrid, evil and without ethical justification…. but I felt uneasy about the celebrations… is all warfare not a failing? Can we ever truly have victory when we are setting one against another?
    But am I glad that he is no longer planning and plotting? Emphatically yes.

  3. I agree, there has to be a face a name. we cannot simply fight an ideal. Terrorism is not going away. A new face will emerge. I just pray that “he” will reasonable if that is possible for a terrorist. I pray that “he” will not seek revenge and make life even more miserable and dangerous for the world.

  4. I definitely agree with Pres. Obama: this will provide us with a sense of hope. He, of course, being the man who ran on a platform of hope and change. It seems to me, however, that al-Qaida certainly must have had a backup plan, someone waiting to take over once Osama was killed (which, let’s face it, he almost certainly would have been killed by us or someone else).

    The question is, who is the new Goldstein? Who will be the object of our hatefulness now?

  5. Thanks all for your comments.
    I guess, we’ll see.
    Here in the west of Scotland we have our anti-terror hero John “we’ll set aboot ye” Smeaton. If you’ve never seen the YouTube clip of his interview after he tackled the failed attackers, you must.

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