Op-Ed by Joziah Thayer
In George Orwell’s infamous book 1984, Big Brother imposes Newspeak on the people of Oceania. Newspeak is defined as “a controlled language of restricted grammar and limited vocabulary, meant to limit the freedom of thought — personal identity, self-expression, and free will — that threatens the ideology of the regime of Big Brother and the Party, who have criminalized such concepts into thoughtcrime.”
Society today has dimensions of Newspeak infused into our everyday lives. We are all polarized penguins waddling our way through the masses, blocking, deleting or belittling anyone who has opposing views until we find ourselves face first in a corner. After waddling like penguins into the walls of our echo-chambers, we turn around and face the world, but by then we have become territorial terriers ready to attack anyone who threatens to breach the walls of our carefully crafted echo-chambers. Instead of protecting the truth, we protect our truth.
The consequences of this are that instead of the truth being known, there are two truths; and this process will duplicate and recycle itself until there is no truth, there are only lies and propaganda. People like Marc Lamont Hill are a perfect example of Newspeak being in full effect in our society today. Hill made comments about the Israeli oppression of Palestinians and he was fired, not because he said something anti-Semitic, but because he said something unacceptable in society today — in Orwellian terms Marc Lamont Hill committed a thoughtcrime.
Instead of having actual free speech, we have accepted speech. We protect the illusion of free speech— like a lonely man in the desert, protecting his paradise, which in reality is just a mirage. The will of the people will never be honored so long as we elect monetarist gargoyles in suits that are afraid of change because it means their demise. In America, we have a representative democracy and what we need is a direct democracy. A democracy in which our votes as citizens mean something and our elected officials are held accountable or voted out.
Perhaps the worst case of Newspeak in society today is when it involves war. Major news networks have long-winded debates about what they call “America’s role in the world.” This is a form of Newspeak. Instead of saying that we are actively bombing eleven sovereign nations, killing innocent men, women, and children, mainstream media casually calls it “America’s role in the world.” Another term commonly used as a form of Newspeak is: “Our troops are protecting American interest overseas,” How is it Newspeak? The accepted language for America’s endless wars is that America is only spreading democracy around the world. This “accepted language” couldn’t be any further from the truth, yet anything that deviates from this accepted language is deemed an unacceptable thoughtcrime and that is what makes it Newspeak.
War is fought in this fog of falsehood, a great deal of it undiscovered and accepted as truth. The fog arises from fear and is fed by panic. Any attempt to doubt or deny even the most fantastic story has to be condemned at once as unpatriotic, if not traitorous. This allows a free field for the rapid spread of lies. – Arthur Ponsonby (Falsehood In War-time)
We often acknowledge the faults of our government, our media, and our financial system, but in doing so we neglect to acknowledge our faults. Our way is the only way! It is as if the masses have been rocked to sleep or hypnotized into being binary static robots incapable of walking outside of the dotted line or thinking outside of the box.
Newspeak is not to be confused with “Political Correctness,” it is far more dangerous than that. Political Correctness is divided among party lines. What is politically correct to a Republican is most likely going to be politically incorrect to a Democrat and vice versa. Newspeak is not divided among party lines, Newspeak foments at will in both parties and if left uncorrected politics will remain the cesspool of polarization that it is today. The powers-that-be have no interest in fixing our political system — in their eyes, it’s working just fine.
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