I have recently finished reading, for the first time, George Orwell's prescient and wonderful novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
When I began reading this novel, I was astounded by the interminable horror I experienced. The gelidity of knowing that one is constantly being watched is the obvious reason for this horror, but there is more to it - it isn't a superficial book. It is absolutely relevant to modern society, as we live in an age in which we have almost achieved the level of technology which would be necessary to observe people and keep an eye out for thoughtcrime. Which brings me onto my next observation - thoughtcrime.
The concept of thoughtcrime is a nightmare. It goes against that which is most basically precious and sacred in our society - the respect of freedom. This is the concept which haunts me most after reading the book.
It also occurred to me that Big Brother and the Party - the totalitarian oligarchy - is synonymous with theism. Big Brother effectively takes the place of a deity, such as the cruel and ruthless Abrahamic deity Yahweh/Allah, with the population as its' believers. It highlights, for me (contrary to George Orwell's Christian beliefs) the dangers and evils of religion in our society, and how it is already poisoning peoples' minds - simply ask any Jew, Christian or Muslim, and they will inform you that their deity is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent.
Religious belief and political actions must be scrutinised and suspected as much as possible, because without that justified cynicism, we may end up living in our very own Oceania.