I am positive that this has been utilized ad nauseam over the years for any number of references by countless authors and commentators. The line itself comes from George Orwell’s 1984. It’s fascinating but I’ve read this reference utilized by myriad bloggers and news people to make cases that are so diametrically opposed to one another that I have to scratch my head. I realize, however, that they are not using the full context of the comment but only the concept of orthodoxy itself to hammer home their point. As with so much in our news media and personal opinions today people twist or cut away a thought or set of words until they mean what they want it to mean. Our media does it with video interviews, audio interviews, newspaper quotes and the butchered works of one author after another. So it hit me that even in vain attempts to make a point the progressives and the republicans as well are guilty of propagating newspeak.
The entire quote in context is as follows.
“By 2050, earlier, probably – all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron – they’ll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking – not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness”
Newspeak. I remember reading the book in high school and I remember later watching the film with John Hurt. I remember thinking as I read through the gruesome desecration of all that was sacred to anyone who truly loves freedom that I didn’t understand how free people could ever possibly allow it to come to that. I distinctly recall the empty pit in my stomach merely to consider that mankind could sink to such a pitiful and loathsome depth without recognizing the chains they had accepted. I remember believing with all of my being that America and her allies would never submit to such foolish yet devious concepts. We would be the breakwater. America, Israel, Great Britain and all true, freedom loving countries would be the dam that stopped the flood of self-destructive ideas in much the same way as the allies had stemmed the roaring tide of the Nazis or blotted out the blood red rising sun of Imperial Japan. I was as sure of this in my youth as I was of my ability to breathe and remember my own name. Newspeak was nothing more than a terrifying shadow flashed before us by Mr. Orwell as a reminder of why we must be free and remain so for the sake of all humanity. Newspeak?
It hit me again this week. My incredulity has become a haunting reminder of the idea that Ronald Reagan so clearly espoused for us. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free”. I’m sure some of you are wondering what I’m getting at and I will simply say this. We are surrendering our freedom one word at a time. We are killing the future of our nation and the rights of our progeny one safe space, one trigger and one concept per battle. When we permit science to become emotion for the sake of feelings we are eviscerating freedom on the altar of our destroyers. Every time that we accept less freedom because some politician has decided to protect a bug, a bird, a reptile or a mammal we are putting our world and the life we promised for our grandchildren in the guillotine and pulling the release ourselves. When we surrender the family and marriage to alternative lifestyles we take a razor in our hands and willingly open the veins on the wrists of society. We are condemning our descendants to a world without the freedom we have known and without the liberty we promised to deliver to them simply because we couldn’t stand in the face of the winds of change and say “NO!” you cannot have what we have built. We are refusing to protect the nation of liberty, justice, light and truth that our forefathers built and now the barbarians are not only at the gate they are on the wall, in the storehouse, running our schools, subverting our churches and destroying all that we once held dear.
It didn’t seem that insidious we tell ourselves. It was just one word. I mean for the sake of peace and harmony in society we just let them have that word. Oh don’t worry it’s ok. We’re just letting them have one tradition. It’s old and outmoded anyway and can’t we all just get along? I mean seriously it’s the 21st century and who are you to deny love? If you don’t give in you’re a hater. If you don’t let me have my way you’re a bigot. If you don’t share our views you’re a racist. If you don’t go along with us we will use the government to destroy your business. If you fight us we will smear you, defame you and destroy your career. It all sounds almost clichéd doesn’t it? Sort of like a Martin Scorsese movie where the mob comes into the local diner and tells the owner that it would be ashamed if anything happened to their life’s work and it can all be secure for just 20% of the profits each week. It’s just protection.
It’s newspeak. My threats are protection. My love is hate and your reasoned thought is bigotry. It’s not coming folks it’s already here. The party is already reworking the language and Oceania is only a few steps away.