How leftists destroy language, and what it means

Totalitarianism depends upon the destruction of language and its replacement with images and mantras.  The great dystopian classics, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, show how the contraction of language by removing all distinctions in words or by the simple elimination of text and its replacement with images can make the individual a helpless slave of the party and the state.  It is imperative that the subject of this cognitive enslavement believe he is free and that his thinking is clear.  Sadly, we see much of both of these grim novels in our world today. 

Images, particularly the ubiquitous mobile cameras in electronic devices, have enticed us into replacing text with the video or cell phone photo.  Vast amounts of information and thought are lost when we view the world through pictures and images alone.  There is an ease of transmission, which is why young children look through storybooks with pictures – but this comes at a cost. 

Worse is the destruction of language, which was at the heart of Orwell's nightmarish future run by the Inner Party of Oceania.  So all words that in different ways described good and bad things, which are always nuanced and complex, are boiled down to "good" and "ungood" with "plusgood" and "doubleplusgood" describing all possible extensions of the value "good" and with "plusungood" and "doubleplusungood" describing all possible extensions of the value "ungood."

Newspeak, the name Orwell gave to this destruction of language, prevented the subjects of Oceania from even thinking thoughts the party did not want them to think.  In fact, Newspeak prevented them from thinking at all over time.  We have this in our language already.

"Fascist," for example, was eighty years ago identified by cogent minds as meaning nothing at all.  Indeed, the Fascists, who existed only in Italy, pretty much acknowledged that fact.  That allowed the Fascists to be for several years the mortal enemies of the Nazis and close friends with the Bolsheviks and then utterly reverse their position with no one noticing the difference.

Fascism went from being profoundly philo-Semitic, with many of the movement's leaders being Jewish and friends of Mussolini, to being anti-Semitic and purging Jews from the movement.  Fascists were also strongly opposed to racism, justifying the war against Ethiopia as a war to liberate blacks and to end slavery to a movement that embraced a form of racism.

We see the same sort of calculated confusion in how the left today describes those who do not embrace its agenda regarding sexual orientation.  "Homophobe" is the contraction of all who question the left's agenda into a single idea: fear of homosexuality.  What that means is that Darwinists, who see homosexuality as profoundly sterile and so doomed to quick extinction, and psychologists, who until fifty years ago viewed homosexuality as a disorder, and Jews and Christians, who viewed and view homosexuality as a sin – all of these and other independent viewpoints are the same, even though these are often conflicting and even mutually exclusive.

It is not just the left who, in the last three years, has contracted diverse values into a single theme.  "Never Trump" is a perfect example.  Within the Republican Party are those who view Trump as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because he was until recently a lifelong liberal Democrat and those who view Trump as too conservative (John Kasich and Jeb Bush being good examples) and those who view Trump as irreligious albeit supporting social conservatives in many areas.  These three are in many ways mutually exclusive.  Indeed, many conservatives when they hear that sort of drumbeat rhetoric cannot help but notice that this is the technique and the debating style of the left, not conservatism.

The danger is that when people lump all conservatives who disagree with Trump on issues into the "NeverTrump" camp, the discussion of how Trump affects what they value is deliberately foreclosed.  Trump himself would doubtless not want this, because he needs all the support he can muster and because it reduces political debate to a shouting match or spitball contest, where leftists are natural contenders.

Conservatives ought to make principles and values clear and ought to oppose viscerally the sort of Orwellian destruction of language that precludes thought.  Yielding to that sort of dull and lifeless cant is not just destructive toward the values we must embrace; it leads us toward all we ought to fear from leftism.

Totalitarianism depends upon the destruction of language and its replacement with images and mantras.  The great dystopian classics, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451, show how the contraction of language by removing all distinctions in words or by the simple elimination of text and its replacement with images can make the individual a helpless slave of the party and the state.  It is imperative that the subject of this cognitive enslavement believe he is free and that his thinking is clear.  Sadly, we see much of both of these grim novels in our world today. 

Images, particularly the ubiquitous mobile cameras in electronic devices, have enticed us into replacing text with the video or cell phone photo.  Vast amounts of information and thought are lost when we view the world through pictures and images alone.  There is an ease of transmission, which is why young children look through storybooks with pictures – but this comes at a cost. 

Worse is the destruction of language, which was at the heart of Orwell's nightmarish future run by the Inner Party of Oceania.  So all words that in different ways described good and bad things, which are always nuanced and complex, are boiled down to "good" and "ungood" with "plusgood" and "doubleplusgood" describing all possible extensions of the value "good" and with "plusungood" and "doubleplusungood" describing all possible extensions of the value "ungood."

Newspeak, the name Orwell gave to this destruction of language, prevented the subjects of Oceania from even thinking thoughts the party did not want them to think.  In fact, Newspeak prevented them from thinking at all over time.  We have this in our language already.

"Fascist," for example, was eighty years ago identified by cogent minds as meaning nothing at all.  Indeed, the Fascists, who existed only in Italy, pretty much acknowledged that fact.  That allowed the Fascists to be for several years the mortal enemies of the Nazis and close friends with the Bolsheviks and then utterly reverse their position with no one noticing the difference.

Fascism went from being profoundly philo-Semitic, with many of the movement's leaders being Jewish and friends of Mussolini, to being anti-Semitic and purging Jews from the movement.  Fascists were also strongly opposed to racism, justifying the war against Ethiopia as a war to liberate blacks and to end slavery to a movement that embraced a form of racism.

We see the same sort of calculated confusion in how the left today describes those who do not embrace its agenda regarding sexual orientation.  "Homophobe" is the contraction of all who question the left's agenda into a single idea: fear of homosexuality.  What that means is that Darwinists, who see homosexuality as profoundly sterile and so doomed to quick extinction, and psychologists, who until fifty years ago viewed homosexuality as a disorder, and Jews and Christians, who viewed and view homosexuality as a sin – all of these and other independent viewpoints are the same, even though these are often conflicting and even mutually exclusive.

It is not just the left who, in the last three years, has contracted diverse values into a single theme.  "Never Trump" is a perfect example.  Within the Republican Party are those who view Trump as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) because he was until recently a lifelong liberal Democrat and those who view Trump as too conservative (John Kasich and Jeb Bush being good examples) and those who view Trump as irreligious albeit supporting social conservatives in many areas.  These three are in many ways mutually exclusive.  Indeed, many conservatives when they hear that sort of drumbeat rhetoric cannot help but notice that this is the technique and the debating style of the left, not conservatism.

The danger is that when people lump all conservatives who disagree with Trump on issues into the "NeverTrump" camp, the discussion of how Trump affects what they value is deliberately foreclosed.  Trump himself would doubtless not want this, because he needs all the support he can muster and because it reduces political debate to a shouting match or spitball contest, where leftists are natural contenders.

Conservatives ought to make principles and values clear and ought to oppose viscerally the sort of Orwellian destruction of language that precludes thought.  Yielding to that sort of dull and lifeless cant is not just destructive toward the values we must embrace; it leads us toward all we ought to fear from leftism.