There’s an interesting thing with the term “Orwellian” in that it’s generally used to mean a surveillance-state, but oppressive thing about The Party is not the surveillance, but how they are able to use that in order to control people. The real scary thing they do is control history.
As Winston says, in his society, history has stopped.
Admittedly the Party does achieve this through constant surveillance and propaganda. But that’s a tool rather than the end itself.
Their constant surveillance means that there’s no way to ever have a conversation with another human being that isn’t monitored. You can’t trust what a person is saying. They might privately have all the same anti-Party thoughts as you, but it’s impossible to know. Of course it’s not only Winston that notices when the enemy changes from Eurasia to Eastaisa, but everyone goes along with it because to not do so is to be removed. Because the person next to you might report you. So you have to be even more enthusiastic in your hatred for Eastasia than they are. And in the future it’ll be impossible to find the truth because there are no records and no-one will talk about it.
Whoever controls the past controls the future. Whoever controls the present controls the past.
That’s what Orwellian really means. Control.
When you picture the future of humanity Winston, picture a boot stamping on a man’s face. Forever.
And the real horror of that control is that when you can’t trust a person you can’t ever really make connections. No real friendships, no real relationships. No love. Everyone is alone.
From the age of solitude, from the age of uniformity, from the age of Big Brother.
So no, as long as we are free then things are not Orwellian. CCTV cameras do not a police state make. And a free press (even a one containing hateful publications like the Daily Mail) is the enemy of that control.
However Trump’s continual move to try and paint the press as the enemy, someone who you can’t trust and should just ignore, is definitely an attempt to move towards that. That instinct, or strategy, or whatever it, that’s definitely Orwellian.
(Slight disclaimer, I’m not just mad, I can remember these quotes as I recently played Winston in a stage adaption of 1984 so its all very much in my head at the moment!)