The Cold War, the New World Order, and the War on Terror : U.S. presidents' use of Orwell's big brother myth
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation argues a dystopian myth exists in the United States' political consciousness that warns citizens about the fear totalitarianism. Born out of George Orwell's novel 1984, the Big Brother myth is articulated by presenting a totalitarian foe, creating an us vs. them scenario, and depicting a dystopian world into the near distant future. This study examined U.S. Presidents' Inaugural and State of the Union addresses from 1953-2012 and found that presidents used the Big Brother myth to garner support for their policies and initiatives. Cold War presidents used the myth the most but even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fear of totalitarianism was still used a primary argument during the War on Terror. Specifically, President George W. Bush utilized the myth as a means to garner support for military action against terrorists and the Axis of Evil.
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