【明報專訊】Published in 1949, George Orwell's 1984 seems to hold a prophetic truth beyond its title. Thought-policing, citizen surveillance and purging of the opposition are all familiar tools to consolidate autocratic governance throughout modern history. Originally a critique of post-war Europe, 1984 has been likened often to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and closer to our time, the Cultural Revolution in China. In our current time, the rise of the extreme-right in recent democratic elections increasingly threatens diversity. Personal data leaks make us all vulnerable to authorities' manipulation. History is not all predictable, but not that surprising either.