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Let's Not Forget Orwell In Today's World - Politics and the English Language More Relevant Than Ev

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posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:33 AM
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This is all from George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." I think it is even more relevant today than ever the current state of American politics and bull# we are given.

This is all from Orwell's "Politics and the English Language." To me, it was the most profound part of his essay.

"In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a "party line." Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases -- bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder -- one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker's spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism., question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so."


What say ye?

[edit on 22-6-2010 by SubPop79]




posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 02:49 AM
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reply to post by SubPop79
 


I would argue that Huxley was far more accurate in his interpretation of the future of control, the man straight up predicted an obsession with celebrity and fame crippling logical thought in the world. Not to mention his focus in brave new world being on control through pleasure and constant boom boom explosion type entertainment, although I don't deny orwell's animal farm being completely on the money, although I do think that instead of 1984 people should be looking at Brave New World as true commentary on our modern world. I apologize ahead of time If anything I said makes little to no sense I just got back from a birthday party for me ... yay me!



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 03:42 AM
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Strangely enough, George Orwell was the man who coined the term "doublethink", but is often credited with coining the term "doublespeak", of which he did not coin, nor was he seemingly aware of its crafty nature in political speech. Politicians have for many years relied upon variants of doublespeak in order to place cultural memes in the lexicon, and not so much by coining words, as bastardizing existing words. Although, certainly they will coin words, and terms such as "downsizing" will be used to replace "layoffs", and "undocumented workers" used to describe "illegal immigrants", which itself is doublespeak for invader, but worse than this is the willful effort to change the meaning of existing words.

One of the most insidious and egregious change in a meaning of a word is the word myth. Since time immemorial mythology has existed, from nation to nation, tribe to tribe, family to family, across the globe, as a method of conveying life lessons and spiritual tales through tales of creation, and heroic deeds. Mythology is not necessarily fiction, nor is it necessarily historical account, as this was never the purpose of the myth. The power of the myth, as Joseph Campbell would put it, lies in its ability to instruct. As instruction goes, the hero's journey is perhaps the most powerful myth of them all, and regardless of which which nation, or culture that hero's journey is told, it always follows the same structure.

The hero's journey is the tale of the reluctant hero, who at first declines his or her call to adventure, only to be confronted with some tragic calamity that forces him, or her, to reconsider this call to adventure, and to commit to a higher purpose. There are many steps this hero takes along that journey, and whether his, or her, myth is a tragic tale, or one of victory, depends entirely upon the choices that hero makes. The tragic hero always falls due to his, or her, own hubris, and the victorious hero triumphs because he, or she, stepped outside of their own desires and wants, and fought for a greater good. This is the mark of a hero, one who fights in the service of others, in order to obtain the greatest good.

How tragic then, that this word has become synonymous today, with the word lie, or falsehood. Coincidence? Hardly so, and take note that it is often the politician, in his, or her, "hackneyed" speech, that relies upon the word myth to dispel notions about their ideologies or programs, and if not the politician, the main stream media so willing to parrot the politicians they back. What a rich and layered advantage such a use of doublespeak brings, when one can dispel notions they disagree with by subtly suggesting that which they disagree with is a lie, without ever using the word lie, or falsehood, but worse, the underlying form under this motive. For as surely as the consistent reliance on the word myth as falsehood has embedded a meme that myths are falsehoods, and thus the usage of this word works to dismiss that which wants to be dismissed, it also dismisses mythology itself, and in doing so, dismisses the value and need of hero's.

No, I do not think modern political writing is bad writing, evil as it may be, it is clever writing, even diabolically genius in its text, for the use of the word myth as doublespeak is only the tip of the iceberg.

[edit on 22-6-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 11:21 AM
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Originally posted by Awolscout
reply to post by SubPop79
 


I would argue that Huxley was far more accurate in his interpretation of the future of control, the man straight up predicted an obsession with celebrity and fame crippling logical thought in the world. Not to mention his focus in brave new world being on control through pleasure and constant boom boom explosion type entertainment, although I don't deny orwell's animal farm being completely on the money, although I do think that instead of 1984 people should be looking at Brave New World as true commentary on our modern world. I apologize ahead of time If anything I said makes little to no sense I just got back from a birthday party for me ... yay me!


I would agree with you in that Huxley's version of the future in "Brave New World" is most like ours as compared to "1984," in that we are being smothered, controlled, and sedated by our pleasures of this world, but when it comes to the politic jargon released by our politicians, "Politics and the English Language is right on.

Look at the oil spill. BP and the Gov't are using phraseologies like "compromised sea floor and BOP" and not stating the exact truth, which would be "millions pf gallon of oil are being released into the Gulf, smothering the life out of all it's creatures by covering them in toxic goo and destroying their oxygen."



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 11:48 AM
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Originally posted by Awolscout
reply to post by SubPop79
 


I would argue that Huxley was far more accurate in his interpretation of the future of control, the man straight up predicted an obsession with celebrity and fame crippling logical thought in the world. Not to mention his focus in brave new world being on control through pleasure and constant boom boom explosion type entertainment, although I don't deny orwell's animal farm being completely on the money, although I do think that instead of 1984 people should be looking at Brave New World as true commentary on our modern world. I apologize ahead of time If anything I said makes little to no sense I just got back from a birthday party for me ... yay me!

Totally disagree with the implication that 1984 should be passed up. Why not read both? 1984 is absolutely relevant today. The whole concept of doublethink, of organized distortion of reality and of the past, is spot on.



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by NewlyAwakened

Originally posted by Awolscout
reply to post by SubPop79
 


I would argue that Huxley was far more accurate in his interpretation of the future of control, the man straight up predicted an obsession with celebrity and fame crippling logical thought in the world. Not to mention his focus in brave new world being on control through pleasure and constant boom boom explosion type entertainment, although I don't deny orwell's animal farm being completely on the money, although I do think that instead of 1984 people should be looking at Brave New World as true commentary on our modern world. I apologize ahead of time If anything I said makes little to no sense I just got back from a birthday party for me ... yay me!

Totally disagree with the implication that 1984 should be passed up. Why not read both? 1984 is absolutely relevant today. The whole concept of doublethink, of organized distortion of reality and of the past, is spot on.



No doubt they are all great books and none of them should be passed up, but some are more relevant today than others.


Also if you guys want a good read, check out "WE" by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It was the prime influence for "1984." 1984 is WE 2.0 and made more modern, but I think WE is my favorite. It was written by Zamyatin when he was in hiding and is more of a poetic, journal account of the dystopia.

[edit on 22-6-2010 by SubPop79]



posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 12:01 PM
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I think when you combine 1984 with Brave New World you get the closest prediction to what the future holds for us from any writer ever.

Neither book in themselves is capable of illustrating how the world runs but together? It covers mostly everything that needs to be covered.



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