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Ever since President Annoying Orange von GrabbyHands came into office, there’s been a lot of chatter about Orwell, and 1984, and whether this or that is Orwellian. Amazon was actually sold out of copies of 1984 for a few days after Kellyanne Conway said that falsehoods being spread by the administration were “Alternative Facts.”

So today I want to talk about 1984, what “Orwellian” actually means, and how Orwell explores the impact of language on thought and dissent with NewSpeak in his novel. And, at the end, we will look at how these concepts do and don’t apply to today’s political climate


Transcript below:

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independent.co.uk
1984 is returning to 200 cinemas in protest of Donald Trump
After Donald Trump stepped into the White House, the novel 1984 flew off the shelves and became the number one bestseller on Amazon. Now almost 200 cinemas around the US and other parts of the world are planning a simultaneous screening of George Orwell’s dystopian classic in protest at the new President.

This is actually quite funny because:

  • it’s the Leftists who police language: Newspeak.
  • It’s the Leftists who police beliefs: Thoughtcrime.
  • It’s the Leftists who have delusional beliefs not based in reality: 2 + 2 = 5.
  • It’s the Leftists who engage in contradictory beliefs: Doublethink. 

Examples:

  • Newspeak: The Left has created a defined grammar and language for people and failure to use it results in verbal abuse and harassment. Two good examples are the use of the terms “Person of Color” and insistence on the use of special pronouns “Ze/zir/zirs”. Misgendering someone is a serious offense.
  • Thoughtcrime: The Left has blacklisted a plethora of beliefs and ideas as unacceptable. Belief in the existence of race as a biological reality. Belief in the existence of sex as a biological reality. Belief that transsexualism is a mental disorder. Belief that diversity is undesirable. Any of these positions will get you mercilessly harassed by Leftists (in person you may receive a beating).
  • 2 + 2 = 5: The Left has erected all kinds of dogmatic belief systems that one must believe. You must believe homosexuality is acceptable. You must believe feminism was and is a force for good. You must believe in all kinds of privilege, most notably White privilege and male privilege. You must believe that diversity is a strength.
  • Doublethink: This is highly related to 2 + 2 = 5. While the prevailing dogma is that sex is a social construct, one must also believe that a man can remove his genitalia, pump himself full of female hormones, and become a woman.

The Left lacks self-awareness to the point that they can sit around and watch 1984 and think “Wow, this is exactly like Donald Trump!”

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Ever since President Annoying Orange von GrabbyHands came into office, there’s been a lot of chatter about Orwell, and 1984, and whether this or that is Orwellian. Amazon was actually sold out of copies of 1984 for a few days after Kellyanne Conway said that falsehoods being spread by the administration were “Alternative Facts.”

So today I want to talk about 1984, what “Orwellian” actually means, and how Orwell explores the impact of language on thought and dissent with NewSpeak in his novel. And, at the end, we will look at how these concepts do and don’t apply to today’s political climate

redbubble.com
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To concepts like suicide, homicide, and genocide, we should add ‘semanticide’ – the murder of language. The deliberate (or quasi-deliberate) misuse of language through hidden metaphor and professional mystification breaks the basic contract between people, namely the tacit agreement on the proper use of words. Thus it is that the ‘great’ philosophers and politicians whose aim was to control man, from Rousseau to Stalin and Hitler, have preached and practiced semanticide; whereas those who have tried to set man free to be his own master, from Emerson to Kraus and Orwell, have preached and practiced respect for language.
—  Thomas Szasz
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3CE NEW MATTE LIP COLOR #217 NEWSPEAK

“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.

4

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950)

Better known by his pen name George Orwell, English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including cold war, Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, and thoughtcrime. (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: 1. Dust jacket detail from Nineteen Eighty-Four. A Novel by George Orwell. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1949.  2. Dust jacket detail from Coming Up for Air. George Orwell. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1950. Jacket drawing by Hawkins.  3. Dust jacket detail from Keep the Aspidistra Flying. George Orwell. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1956. Jacket design by Milton Glaser.  4. Dust jacket detail from A Clergyman’s Daughter By George Orwell. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, n.d. Jacket design by Seymour Chwast.

It’s not only fascism. Authoritarianism of any shade warps language in lasting ways. Newspeak spreads fast and furious. “Language is like air. You realize how important it is only when it is messed up. Then it can kill you,” the Nobel laureate Herta Müller once cautioned, recalling communism.
Resistance, then, needs and breeds a language: this much was obvious to the German clear-cutters, decolonization activists the world over or Soviet-bloc dissidents. But it has yet to dawn on Donald Trump’s opponents.
— 

Michelle Moyd and Yuliya Komaska in The Guardian. Donald Trump is changing our language. We need a vocabulary of resistance

Trump’s speech – redundant, formulaic, aggressive, “post-literate” – is everywhere. The language of resistance, by contrast, doesn’t exist

useful information that everyone could stand to absorb: the word thoughtcrime refers to criminal thoughts. if it is said aloud or written out, it is speech. speech is not thought. the word used in 1984 for criminal speech is crimespeech (derived in the obvious manner).

also, newspeak does not mean ‘literally any neologism,’ but rather refers specifically to the conlang created by the Party in 1984 with the intention of making it impossible to express or even conceptualize criminal positions. it has a number of specific linguistic features and an extremely restricted vocabulary to further these ends. if something does not have those features it is not newspeak.

So Anglish is a fascinating concept and I thought I’d try to write some libertarian (Freedomish) stuff in the language but as it turns out, trying to write about law, philosophy, and military force without using any loanwords from latin, greek, and old french is completely impossible and I have a new appreciation for the horror inherent to the concept of newspeak.

anonymous asked:

Pretty soon, every single word in the dictionary is going to be considered a "slur" and we're all going to have to speak in morse code.

Oh no don’t worry. You just have to use the approved newspeak.