Orwell was Right: Control the Language, Control the World
Of all the elements of today’s “New Normal,” the most ominous is the “reform” that effectively changed the meanings of previously accepted words or terms. The following glossary illustrates how changes to our vocabulary played a central role in making the world a more dangerous and frightening place.
New Normal - “Normal” is something that has long been the norm and is accepted as the norm. The key point is that the “old” normal no longer applies. This change in thinking provided authority figures the license to enact reforms that would not have been widely accepted in the past.
In the old normal, a citizen might not have complied with authoritarian mandates, but in the New Normal, most will… that is, if one accepts the premise that we now have a New Normal, a premise most people now accept.
Vaccine -- Previously a vaccine was an injection that provided “immunity” or prevented diseases, as well as the spread of diseases. Today, at least as it involves the COVID “vaccines,” vaccines simply (and allegedly) reduce the probability someone will develop a severe case of this disease or die from this disease.
Safe -- An activity that is not dangerous or does not cause harm.
According to public health officials and almost all doctors, COVID vaccines are “safe and effective.” According to VAERS, approximately one million Americans believe they have suffered adverse medical reactions to COVID vaccines, with approximately 20,000 deaths possibly caused by the vaccines. Several studies have concluded that VAERS captures only a small fraction of such adverse events.
Effective -- Certainly today “effective” does not mean COVID vaccines prevent infection or virus spread. In many heavily vaccinated countries, the vaccinated comprise a greater percentage of new COVID cases than the unvaccinated.
Harm -- Something that injures, perhaps even kills, or causes someone pain or discomfort. The key change here is that “harm” can now be caused by speech. The nexus that would definitively trace any alleged harm to any piece of speech is nebulous and impossible to prove.
Still, a person who composes words determined to include “misinformation” or “disinformation” is held guilty of causing potential harm to people who might read these words. Such a person can be censored, maligned, lose their jobs, or even be prosecuted. In our Old Normal, this rarely happened. In our New Normal, it happens daily.
Misinformation or Disinformation -- In its simplest terms, this would be information that is provably false.
In our “New Normal,” misinformation or disinformation is simply any information that challenges the veracity of pronouncements made by authorized experts or authorities. That is, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading public health authority, cannot be charged with producing “disinformation,” but skeptic Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. can and should be.
Also, in today’s New Normal, many people censor their own thoughts as they know “free speech” can result in personal or professional harm. By now, the censors don’t even have to censor everyone. People do it themselves.
Science and “The science” -- A theory largely accepted by the scientific community and public.
“Science” used to be the process of testing a hypothesis and was almost never “settled.” In the past, a skeptic who examined or challenged the conclusions of peers was himself engaging in science. Today, “The Science” is what the authorized scientists and officials at public health bureaucracies say it is, and cannot or should not be challenged by other “scientists…” who perhaps should not even be called scientists and should now be labeled as “science deniers.” Or as…
Anti-vaxxer -- Technically, this would be a person who opposes all vaccines. In Newspeak, it means anyone who is against mandatory COVID vaccines. In practice, this term is used as a slur to denigrate anyone who questions the pronouncements of authorities. If you oppose mandatory COVID vaccines for whatever reason, you are a “science denier” or “anti-science…” and, as such can and should be punished or censored because you could be causing “harm” to the public.
Free or freedom -- In “the land of the free” the definition of freedom has also been radically changed.
Today, some Americans are “free” to keep their jobs or go to a restaurant or see a play if they can prove they have received at least two injections of an experimental vaccine (a vaccine where the vaccinated waive their right to sue if they later suffer harm). Americans may be allowed to engage in “free speech” on social media… if they say the right things.
It’s not just “COVID” topics that are now being regulated by speech monitors. If you publish “extremist” speech or politically incorrect speech that can be labeled as “harmful” or “dangerous,” you also can lose your job or speech privileges.
With the precedent established that speech can cause “harm” and that the primary role of government is to protect people from harm, the harm of being “offended” by speech is now a sanctionable offense.
Patriotism or patriot -- In the past, a “patriot” was one who stood up to tyrannical governments and/or displayed a great love for their country. Today, for many Americans, a patriot is one who complies with the edicts of their government and helps attack or embarrasses those who challenge governmental authority.
Just this week, President Biden proclaimed that Americans who get vaccinated are doing their patriotic duty. This statement builds on the “us-against-them” theme, the good American vs. bad American narrative.
Public health -- This term once meant the state of overall health in hundreds of millions of people who comprise “the public.” In the last two years, it’s come to mean the “health” of people who may or may not have COVID-19.
Today, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental health, obesity - all the conditions that kill and harm people -- are afterthoughts when compared to “COVID health.”
All of the above was made possible by changes in accepted language. George Orwell was right. If you want to control people, first control the language.
COVID, a virus that poses no significant health risk to 98 percent of the population, has given us a “New Normal” where “vaccines” are not vaccines, where “freedom” is now a privilege granted to those who obey, and where unelected public health officials have made billions of dollars for pharmaceutical companies.
Bill Rice, Jr. is a freelance writer in Troy, Alabama. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Public Domain
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