“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”
1984 was first published on this day, June 8, in 1949.
So, I have recently finished reading George Orwell’s 1984 and I must say that it is a wonderful work of literature. Dark and depressing, but wonderful nonetheless. After reading it, I see how political correctness and newspeak can be considered one in the same. Let’s look at the two.
Newspeak is essentially a deconstructed version of Oldspeak (oldspeak being standard English). Newspeak saw many words, or their meanings completely removed from the English language. Take for example the word “free.” While it still existed, it could only be used in statements such as “The dog was free from lice.” It could not be used in its old sense of “politically free” or intellectually free.” Newspeak was designed to limit the range of thought by cutting the amount of words down to a minimum. Here is a quote from the book to get a better feel of newspeak.
“It’s a beautiful thing, the Destruction of words. Of course the great wastage is in the verbs and adjectives, but there are hundreds of nouns that can be got rid of as well. It isn’t only the synonyms; there are also the antonyms. After all, what justification is there for a word, which is simply the opposite of some other word? A word contains its opposite in itself. Take ‘good,’ for instance. If you have a word like ‘good,’ what need is there for a word like ‘bad’? ‘Ungood’ will do just as well – better, because it’s an exact opposite, which the other is not. Or again, if you want a stronger version of ‘good,’ what sense is there in having a whole string of vague useless words like ‘excellent’ and ‘splendid’ and all the rest of them? ‘Plusgood’ covers the meaning or ‘doubleplusgood’ if you want something stronger still. Of course we use those forms already, but in the final version of Newspeak there’ll be nothing else. In the end the whole notion of goodness and badness will be covered by only six words – in reality, only one word. Don’t you see the beauty of that, Winston? It was B.B.’s idea originally, of course,” he added as an afterthought.
Now on to political correctness. It is defined in Merriam-Webster as, “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.” As we know, anything can be offensive (and is quite subjective anyways) these days and that is used to silence others who hold dissenting opinions or used to limit free speech. When used, political correctness is essentially controlling what others say, which can come down to outright censorship. Don’t call Anita Sarkeesian an idiot for that means you’re sexist. Don’t fly an American flag because you might offend Muslims. Being fat is unhealthy?! FAT SHAMING!
It is clear that both these forms of language are used to eliminate anything that could go against a greater power. In the case of Newspeak: the Party. In the case of political correctness: SJWs, feminists, even government officials. In both of these, if you go against the said greater powers respectively, you are guilty of “thoughtcrime” - an occurrence or instance of controversial or socially unacceptable thoughts. Something that might very possibly land you in jail. It’s as if feminists, SJWs, etc don’t want you to think, especially when they spew their bullshit. The more people they have that don’t think, the better it is for their agenda. The exact same for newspeak and the Party.
You see feminists, SJWs, and others? This is why people will compare you to Nazis or call some of the shit you pull Orwellian. This trend of political correctness is disturbing to me because of how authoritarian it can get and I only hope it won’t get worse.
Hopefully I put everything down in a clear manner. I’m sure there are things that could be added and stuff, but I’m pretty tired and the post seems to be long enough anyways.
… the titles of Canadian legislation now bear no
resemblance to their substance and have become pure marketing wind.
In 2012 the government, for example,
introduced Bill C-30. Although the “Protecting Children from Internet
Predators Act” did not mention children or predators by name, it did
sanction government Internet surveillance of Canadian citizens largely
for political reasons.
Despite its feel good name, the bill was
widely opposed as a government power grab and the Harper government
later withdrew it. Nevertheless, then-public safety minister Vic Toews
famously defended the bill by noting that citizens are either “with us
or the child pornographers.”
C-377, a bill that directly infringed on provincial labour legislation and was clearly designed
to hamstring the basic functioning of unions with the kind of red tape
conservatives supposedly abhor, was presented to the public as the
“Union Transparency Bill.” No such transparency bill has been proposed
for political parties.
A crackdown on human smuggling morphed into
a marketing sensation with the grand title of “Preventing Human
Smugglers from Abusing Canada’s Immigration System Act.”
Dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board against farmers’ protests became a heroic gesture in the government’s liberation struggles: “Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act.”
Bill C-38, a notorious 400-page omnibus
bill that repealed or amended 70 federal laws, including 10 of the
country’s most significant environmental laws, was innocuously called
the “Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act.”
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, dared to call the bill what it actually enabled: “The Environmental Destruction Act.”
Next came the Fair Elections Act. Bill C-23
promised “sharper teeth, longer reach and a freer hand” for Elections
Canada, in the words of the minister responsible for democratic reform,
But the act muzzled the agency and even
prevented it from talking about low voter turnout or robocalls. It also
rewarded unfair funding advantages to the Conservative party. Just about
everyone now calls it the Unfair Elections Act.
Simple amendments to the Criminal Code, for example, got a dress-up
and morphed into “The Safe Streets and Communities Act.” In reality the
act merely stiffened penalties for pot possession and supported the
construction of more prisons.
Another bill pretended that it was all about “Protecting Canada’s Seniors Act.”
But the legislation did nothing to protect seniors. It merely contained
24 words informing judges that sentences should be more onerous if
there is “evidence that the offence had a significant impact on the
victim, considering their age and other personal circumstances,
including their health and financial situation.”
In 2015 the government championed Bill C-51, another notorious omnibus
bill, as the “Anti-Terrorism Act.” Yet the bill strengthened the ability
of government to spy on (and terrorize) its citizens with little
government oversight or review.
People are not prepared to contest power. We have a system of education that is really a sort of euphemism for indoctrination. It’s not designed to create critical thinkers. We have a media that goes along with the government by parroting phrases intended to provoke a certain emotional response—for example, “national security.” Everyone says “national security” to the point that we now must use the term “national security.” But it is not national security that they’re concerned with; it is state security. And that’s a key distinction. We don’t like to use the phrase “state security” in the United States because it reminds us of all the bad regimes. But it’s a key concept, because when these officials are out on TV, they’re not talking about what’s good for you. They’re not talking about what’s good for business. They’re not talking about what’s good for society. They’re talking about the protection and perpetuation of a national state system.
I just read an article on Bloomberg about how Facebook suppresses “conservative” news and ideas, while promoting “liberal”news and ideas. I have long equated feminism’s censoring of speech as Orwellian, which I have termed Femspeak. This article makes the same connection …
It appears that stories in Facebook’s trending news module weren’t always quite as trending as they seemed. Stories that interested conservative readers on topics like CPAC and Mitt Romney were suppressed, while stories about Syria and Black Lives Matter were artificially injected into the stream.
liberals will end up falling back on an argument that is gaining more and more currency on the left: that this biasing of information is not merely an unfortunately insoluble problem,but that it is actually an affirmative good. These are the people who embrace Orwell’s dictum and say: “Yes, absolutely, the left should have control over what people are allowed to hear and know, because that’s how we’re going to build a better future.” The first argument may be unsatisfying. But the second is … downright Orwellian.
“We’re socially engineering generations of mentally neutered, entitled,
self-centered adult children who can only get angry at inconsequential
bullshit instead of critically thinking about what’s really wrong with
the world happening all around them. Part of this includes the PC
destruction of language for not being “inclusive” enough, turning
otherwise harmless words into weapons of mass distraction. The entire
reason for Orwell’s destruction of language was to literally narrow the
person’s ability to think certain thoughts. It’s beyond thought crime,
and it’s happening right here, right now. Doesn’t matter what year your
calendar says, it’s 1984.“
The political class is now demonstrating a level of hubris rarely, if ever, seen in the American system.
Within just a few hours, three of the top four most post powerful politicians in the country unabashedly revealed the low opinion they have of liberty and the American people and a willingness to persecute, prosecute and lie to those who advocate and fight for Constitutional government. And by their silence, the rest of the political class nodded their agreement.
First, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Bunkerville, Nev., rancher Cliven Bundy and the hundreds of Americans who rallied to Bundy’s defense domestic terrorists. Then, President Barack Obama brazenly lied to the American people in claiming that 8 million people had signed up for Obamacare and that the program was a success, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And early Friday morning, we learned Speaker of the House John Boehner has proclaimed once again to big money donors and crony capitalists that an immigration bill would be passed this year over the wishes of the majority of Americans.
Within hours of reports circulating in alternative media of Reid’s use of the Bureau of Land Management in his land grab on behalf of a Chinese solar energy firm, BLM pulled its goon squad of armed enforcers out of the area. It also scrambled to delete evidence from its own website that the area the Bundy family has used to graze their cattle is needed for “utility-scale solar power generation facilities on public lands” and that need was hindered by “trespass grazing” cattle.
Reid and his son Rory have worked in lockstep with the BLM and transnational green energy firms to wrestle land and use rights from American ranchers for years. Bundy is the last rancher standing in an area that once saw dozens of them.
What few reports on the standoff between Bundy and BLM that have made it into the mainstream media speciously claim the Bundy ranch is some 200 miles from the proposed site of the ENN Energy Group’s solar farm and panel building plant, and that the ENN project was shelved last year. Even the supposedly reliable “right wing” websites Breitbart.com and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze have carried the Federal government’s water on this dispute. The two-faced Beck — who has called for a pitchfork revolution and sells shirts calling for one — even went so far as to call Bundy supporters “frightening” and compared them with Occupy Wall Street, which was a CIA-funded operation designed to foment unrest in America.
Claims have also been made that the Federal government owns the land in question. But the Constitution specifically describes in Article I, Section 8 what land the Federal government can possess, and there are subsequent Supreme Court decisions that lay out the legal framework. (Hint: It does not include protecting tortoises or building solar plants.)
A BLM document discusses the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and specifically mentions the Gold Butte area (which includes Bunkerville) and “cattle trespass grazing” as being part of critical concern to future utility-scale solar energy development. In short, Reid is using the BLM (headed by his lackey and former adviser Neil Kornze) to turn all Nevada “Federal lands” into a green energy zone for his and his son’s personal gain and Bundy’s cattle are hindering this effort. This is proven by information on the BLM website (since removed) that states grazing by Bundy’s cattle “impacts” solar development and the construction of solar development on public lands.
Understand the implications of Reid’s claim that those who bravely stood with Bundy, stared into the barrels of heavily armed oppressors who were threatening to shoot them and faced down the BLM’s armed goons are “domestic terrorists.”
Thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act, the government can simply designate Americans as terrorists and they can then be disappeared into gulags never to be charged, tried or heard from again. Habeas corpus, in the cases deemed “domestic terrorism,” is now nonexistent. Obama has already ordered drone strikes to kill Americans in foreign lands without due process. The step from indiscriminate extrajudicial killings of American “terrorists” overseas to indiscriminate extrajudicial killings of “domestic terrorists” in America has just been shortened considerably.
This is common knowledge in circles of people who depend upon the alternative media and understand the truth about the Federal police state. Don’t think that Reid is not aware of this. And he understands that those who sided with the Bundys recognize this as well.
Reid is too savvy and too skilled a politician to make a slip of the tongue statement accusing Americans of domestic terrorism.
Obama’s claim that 8 million people have now signed up for Obamacare and the law is working as intended is an incredible stretch even for a man who is such a consummate liar that more than half of Americans know he lies on important issues. The law is working “so well” that even in the face of monetary penalties, tens of millions of people who are eligible to sign up for Obamacare insurance have avoided doing so.
Understand that, for the Republican elite, amnesty is not about trying to win over Hispanics in order to bolster chances for carrying national elections. It’s about providing cheap labor for big corporations. The plight of millions of unemployed Americans does not concern the establishment.
I have been writing for many years that the U.S. government is democracy in name only. In truth, it is fascist and ruled by one party with two names under the control of the globalists.
The only goal of the globalists and their psychopathic political class stooges is to loot and pillage. They have done so to the point that America is now a giant rock rolling downhill toward collapse.
As regimes get closer to collapse, they inflict increasingly greater pain and controls on their people. It is now evident in America for those who would see it.
The domestic terrorists in question are not the American people. They are Reid, Obama, Boehner and the rest of the political and bureaucratic class who ignore the rule of law and oppress the American people.
In George Orwell’s novella 1984 he proposed a future where an oppressive government called Big Brother sought to control every action of its citizenry. While Big Brother’s spying on its citizens gets the most attention (especially in our Edward Snowden elucidated era), it was a different tactic used by the government of Oceania that I found most scary - Newspeak:
Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, written by George Orwell. It is a controlled language created by the totalitarian state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as “thoughtcrime”.
Big Sister, also known as feminism, also wants to control our language to eliminate “thoughtcrime.” This means neutering the language, both literally and figuratively, through Femspeak:
Sheryl Sandberg wants to eliminate “Bossy” from our language.
Leigh Gallagher wants to eliminate “Kiddo” from our language.
When LA Clippers’ basketball star Chris Paul was called for what he felt was an unwarranted technical foul by female referee Lauren Holtkamp he voiced his displeasure after the game. When he did everyone accused him of sexism. Here is what he said:
“I think we’ve got to show better composure, but at the same time some of ‘em was ridiculous. Like the tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody say, I don’t care what she say, that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out quick every time down the court and when we did that she said ‘Uh-uh (no)’ and I said ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then this might not be for her.”
Apparently, the pronouns she and her are now off limits too when a man talks about a woman because there would have been no controversy in that statement had those pronouns been he and him.
In an attempt to curb “sexist” dialogue in her company, Nancy Lublin the CEO of DoSomething.org came up with a unique tactic to address the issue. Rather than marching offenders down to HR for reprimand and termination, she turned identifying “sexist” language into a game. If an employee catches someone saying something “sexist” they reply “pineapple”:
“Here at DoSomething.org, we’ve turned it into a trigger word. When someone says something sexist, another person can shout out the word "pineapple!” and the sexist offender has to drop and do 10 pushups.“
“We were discussing the incredible leadership at another organization. I kept using masculine pronouns and saying, "that guy has done a terrific job!” One of the guys on my team shouted, “pineapple!” because it turns out, the CEO is actually a woman. Silly me for assuming the CEO was a guy! I dropped and did 10 feeble girl pushups…and when I said that, I was pineappled again!”
I admire Ms. Lublin for not marching “sexists” right down to HR, but that the feminist that created the policy gets pineappled for her “sexist” dialogue tells us that the movements Word Policing is so unrealistic it is a policy run amok.
While the dual-gendered hyenas that populate feminism have no use for gender specific dialogue, the single-gendered population of the species has no such need or want for their Orwellian suppression of the language. Feminists claim to be liberals, but their demand that the populace adhere to their Femspeak protocol - or be slandered as “sexists” - is an act of fascism.
Big Sister is listening and don’t you doubt it for a second.
Opinion on Newspeak from 1984? Realistic at all, or completely ridiculous? (ugh, that sounded like some newspaper thing)
There are two questions when it comes to Newspeak: (a) Is it any good? and (b) is it realistic?
Let’s start with the easy one, (b). The tl;dr answer is no, it is not realistic.
The idea behind Newspeak is that, little by little, complex vocabulary would be replaced by transparent compounds. Thus, rather than saying good and bad in English, you’d say good and ungood. By removing vocabulary from the language, the populace is supposed to become much more malleable, as people become less creative and less knowledgeable. Pretty soon if you winnow down the vocabulary far enough, all the Party has to do is say one word, and the populace will do as instructed, as they won’t even have the language skills to comprehend the notion of rebellion.
This fails on many levels. For starters, it completely overestimates the influence language has on thought, which is very little. Human language is a byproduct of human consciousness, not the other way around. Orwell would have had a lot more success if he’d focused instead on reframing, rather than the language itself. This is something that’s hinted at in 1984, but Orwell was ahead of his time in that regard. It’d be another 30 years before Lakoff and Johnson’s landmark work Metaphors We Live By appeared and people really started to take a look at conceptual metaphors and framing. That stuff can actually be more powerful than simply changing out the language.
The reason is that while there’s a correlation between meaning and language, language doesn’t change meaning in any substantial way. Language can help to highlight certain aspects of meaning and hide others, but it can’t change reality. For example, you can’t change the word “fire” and suddenly make a worker happy about being fired. You can say that the company is downsizing, that they’re allowing the employee to explore their options, that they’re permanently restructuring their work schedule, or whatever other artful euphemism you can come up with, but it doesn’t change the fact that the employee is no longer going to be able to work at the company they were working at and will no longer be paid by said company. Reframing and altering the language can’t change the facts, and when those facts directly impact an individual, the language means absolutely nothing—kind of like when someone has to deliver bad news and frontloads it with a bunch of good news and then says “but”. As soon as the “but” comes, everything that was said before is thrown out the window.
Now, having said that, when might this actually be effective? Precisely when it matters least to the listener/reader. This is why framing conventions have been so effective in political discourse over the past twenty odd years. Many issues in political discourse have or would have an abstract or nebulous effect on a lot of voters. Gay marriage is one of these. The legality of gay marriage has an absolute direct impact on a certain segment of the population, and an immediateindirect impact on another segment, and a less immediate indirect impact on the rest. It’s easier to catch someone’s attention when you’re talking about an issue that has a direct impact on them. This is why when conservatives took up arms against marriage equality they ignored the smaller percentage of the population whom the issue affected directly and targeted the larger percentage that was affected indirectly. And then they argued that it affected them directly—negatively.
If you’re not from California and are interested in where the NOH8 campaign comes from, it comes from a ballot proposition here called Proposition 8 that sought to ban gay marriage. Americans not from California often think of our state as a liberal Shangri-la, but there are some staunchly conservative areas here, and they’ve got a lot of money. While it initially looked like Prop. 8 wouldn’t pass, public opinion flipped as a result of two things. One was a clip of a speech Gavin Newsom gave, in which he said of gay marriage that it was going to happen “whether you like it or not”. He was right, of course, but people hate being told that they have no voice in democratic America, so a lot moderates sought to prove him (whom most had never heard of prior) wrong at the polls.
The other crucial piece (and this goes to our topic) was the primary theme of the campaign in favor of the ban: That if gay marriage is allowed, public school teachers would teach Californian children that gay marriage is right. Seemingly a non-sequitur, this had a powerful impact on voters who were on the fence. It’s an interesting “argument”, because it really is kind of a litmus test for society. You could say the same thing right now, and I bet a majority of Californians would say, “Yeah. So?” But even though 2008 wasn’t that long ago, the prospect that this could be the case was enough to push moderate voters to vote in favor of a gay marriage ban. The campaign was successful because they took an issue which had little impact (and what impact it did, certainly not negative) on a large percentage of people, and said that it would have a direct impact, and implied that that that impact would be negative—although they never stated explicitly that it would be negative. It was only in the form of a question, like, “Would you want your kids’ teacher to teach them that it’s okay for same sex couples to marry?” They knew how the majority of moderates would answer that question, so they knew it would be to their benefit to ask it. And, despite early polls, the proposition passed, and gay marriage was banned here until the Supreme Court refused to reverse the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning of Prop. 8.
This type of thing doesn’t work when the population really doesn’t want it, though, which is why something like Newspeak wouldn’t work (with a caveat I’ll mention at the end). A good example is what just happened in Arizona with SB 1062. Proponents of the measure that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to anyone based on religious grounds (meaning that if one’s religion found homosexuality sinful, one could lawfully refuse to serve homosexuals) used the same framing devices that have been used for years. They framed the bill with extremely positive language (it was actually called the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act”), and framed their argument as a defense of a minority whose religious freedoms were being impinged on by the majority. Never mind that the “religious freedom” was the right to discriminate, this is precisely the type of argument that would have worked seven or eight years ago. Yet it didn’t. Part of it has to do with the particulars of the bill (this wasn’t really sanctioning gay marriage so much as putting Arizona businesses in a negative light, even though they did nothing to earn it), but part of it has to do with a general shift in societal opinion. The arguments aren’t swaying anyone because their minds are made up. In 2014, there was no way the public was going to be behind this bill, which is precisely why it had to be crafted in the legislature.
Back to Orwell, the main difference between the world in 1984 and our world is (snarky, tinfoil hat cynicism aside) the populace of Eurasia is a complete and total dictatorship. There’s a policing organization that can effectively punish you for your thoughts! And Orwell would seriously have us believe that Newspeak has ANYTHING to do with this?! Listen, if you can control every single aspect of the lives of every single person in a nation, you can do anything. Saying that Newspeak was “effective” is kind of like suggesting that nuking an anthill while holding a rabbit’s foot succeeded in destroying the ants because of the rabbit’s foot. The rabbit’s foot probably didn’t hinder the nuclear holocaust all that much, but it sure as hell didn’t do anything to help, either. It’s quite easy to conduct experiments on someone whose will is utterly broken. Trying to conclude anything based on the results of those experiments, though, is, to say the least, misguided.
With that said, now to (a). First, Newspeak isn’t a good conlang, because it’s not a conlang. It’s basically a language game, like Pig Latin. It starts with a natural language as its base—English—and invents some rules about how you can and can’t use it. As a language game, it’s far from complete, so it can’t really be judged. As a fictional device, it does the trick. It’s totally unrealistic and implausible, but it’s a nice detail. And, let’s face it: A lot of what works with 1984 are these details he throws in. Take the average reader, and more will remember some of the memorable scenes or details than the plot itself. One of Orwell’s goals was to show what this totalitarian state looked like; what it was like to live there. He did that very effectively. So, as set dressing, Newspeak is good enough.
The idea for Newspeak itself was to parody and/or criticize two language experiments from the time: Esperanto (and, actually, probably other IALs, too) and Basic English. I don’t think the criticism of Esperanto was fair, but I also don’t think it was strongly intended: Orwell’s big beef was with Basic English. The idea behind Basic English was to cut down the vocabulary of English to a fixed set of words and use those for international communication to make it easier for non-English speakers to understand English news. You can see the parallels and understand where Orwell got his ideas for Newspeak. While Basic English failed, the principles have been used for international broadcasts (i.e. use fewer idioms, use less convoluted syntax, etc.), and, so far, there hasn’t been a 1984-style totalitarian takeover. Furthermore, as hopefully this overlong post on Tumblr serves as evidence of, the presence of such language programs hasn’t affected the way English users speak or write English in any significant way. Given how successful those folks who wrap your knuckles every time you say “can” instead of “may” haven’t been, it seems doubtful that any such program could ever make any serious inroads into the way we use our own languages.
That, more or less, is what I think of Newspeak. We should all be grateful to Orwell, though, for without 1984, there never would have been Diamond Dogs. I mean, maybe I could’ve lived without that album, but that life would never have been so sweet as this one.