What is the point in thinking for oneself if someone else is there to think for them? As government, media, and crowd mentality gains more power, there becomes less independent thought - meaning less rebellion, less corruption, and less problems... right? Well, George Orwell and Cory Doctorow do not think this is effective or ethical, and they are not alone. As people wander through life seeking acceptance, sometimes it is simply easier to conform, to go with the masses and be a follower. And then sometimes, there is no choice but to be a follower. In 1984, part of the Party's daily routine is to gather and participate in "Two Minutes Hate":
(“Kneale”)
Winston comments, “The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in,” (Orwell, 1984, Chapter 1 Section 1) and yet he partakes in it regardless of realizing how manipulative it is. This is similar to today’s society, which Mindless Self Indulgence touches upon in their song “Mark David Chapman”:
(“Urine”)
The lyrics read, “Indistinguishable from one another, no possible intention to even bother. It doesn’t matter what is said, or how we say it. Coincidentally, we all sound exactly the same,” because everyone does sound exactly the same. As government gets a hold of media outlets, and media outlets find more ways to spread information, it becomes virtually impossible to not be exposed to exactly what they want people to be exposed to. That being said, people begin to lose their principles as they get sucked into “the in crowd”, just like during Two Minutes Hate. Often, it is less of a hassle to swim with the current rather than against, as Marcus, the main character in Little Brother, points out with, “It was a big crowd and we weren’t allowed to move freely through it,” (Doctorow, Little Brother, 124) when he and his friends are stuck and trying to get away. Furthermore, some people even recognize when they are being a follower, but do not or cannot change it, which is shown in both 1984 and Little Brother. Winston, the main character in 1984, rebels for as long as possible until the all-knowing telescreens catch him and break him down. Marcus also gathers people, the Xnetters, in hopes of bringing down the Department of Homeland Security, only to barely escape alive. Even then, all of those Xnetters are following Marcus, who insists that he is not meaning to lead. Society has not learned how to think separately, but instead, they have learned how to follow blindly with ignorance and acceptance without batting an eyelash.