Scarlet Lindsey | Civil Patriot
My mom called yesterday. Nothing unusual there. We talked about the typical stuff. But our conversation took an interesting twist somewhere along the way. Here are a few snippets:
MOM: Honey, have you heard of this book called 1984?
ME: Of course! George Orwell. Required reading in high school.
MOM: Not my school! I went to Catholic school and it wasn’t required reading there.
ME: Ah. Gotcha. Are you reading it?
MOM: Yes! I’m shocked. How do you think he knew?
ME: Knew it would all come true, you mean?
MOM: Yes! How could he have known?
ME: I don’t have any idea how he knew about the government being able to spy on us and control us through electronic devices, but he knew, all right. And all that stuff about Newspeak. . .
MOM: Yes! So scary. And do you remember the job he had in the book?
MOM: Winston’s job was rewriting history.
There was more to the conversation than that, but—for the sake of today’s conversation—I’d like to focus on a key part of the story: Orwell’s notion that we would one day replace “Oldspeak” with “Newspeak.” I want to unpack that idea because I believe we’re already seeing that take place in America today.
First, a little about the book:
Orwell’s 1984, published in 1949, is a demoralizing post-World War II vision of global totalitarianism. It is set in London—the British Isles are now part of a superstate called Oceania, which also includes the Americas. Oceania is always at war with either of the world’s other two superstates, Eurasia and Eastasia.
In Oceania, “the Party,” a cadre of megalomaniacal despots, wields absolute power. This regime has destroyed society as we know it, setting children against parents and wives against husbands, enforcing unwavering loyalty to “Big Brother,” the potentate whose Stalin-like countenance stares out balefully from posters no one can avoid. (grammarbook.com)
Let’s pause right there. America is becoming more and more like a modern-day Oceania. We do, indeed, have a cadre of megalomaniacal despots (from D.C. to Silicon Valley) who wield absolute power. They have attempted—through manipulation, false perceptions, gaslighting, tyrannical laws and arbitrary rules—to destroy anyone who disagrees with them. And no one can deny that they have succeeded in turning children against parents, (especially liberal, government-programmed children against their more conservative parents). “Big Brother” (the Deep State) is the ultimate puppeteer who uses Big Tech against us as we stare at it (social media) day in and day out, praying for glimpses of hope that, somehow, our lives will go back to normal.
Only, things just get crazier. Now our very words are being used against us. We’re only allowed to speak what we’re told is acceptable. Anything that goes against the narrative is forbidden.
Orwell saw this coming, too. He believed that language could be corrupted in a way that would eventually enable tyranny. He felt that limiting a person’s knowledge of true language would make them more vulnerable. I believe we are watching this play out in front of our very eyes. By forcing us to change our speech, we are slowly being molded and shaped into Big Brother’s image.
Examples of Ocieana (er, Americana) Newspeak:
“Gender neutral.” Basically, Nancy Pelosi’s new speech rules eliminating all evil words like “mother, sister and daughter, father, brother, son.” We’re supposed to replace these with more “carefully thought-out gender-neutral phrases like parent, child, sibling.” (i.e. kill off any reference to a person’s sex. Amen? Er, Awoman?)
“Terrorist opposition.” Basically, anyone who disagrees with a Democrat.
“Freedom is Slavery.” Orwell coined this phrase in 1984 but American liberals have perfected it. As we become slaves to their “free” healthcare, higher taxes, defund-the-police narrative, open border policies, and their twisted beliefs about what a family should look like, we’re being told, “It’s for the greater good. It will ultimately set you free.” Only, it’s not. . .and it won’t set us free. Just the opposite, in fact. It’s just slavery, repackaged to look like freedom.
“Income equality.” The old “steal from the rich and give to the poor” mentality is running rampant on the Left. We’re being told that it’s only fair to level the playing field.
“Pro-Life” is no longer an acceptable description of those who value the lives of innocent babies. Now we’re all “anti-abortionists.” (Just a slight variation, granted, but pro is positive and anti is negative.)
“Conspiracy theory.” Granted, there are a lot of theories floating around out there. But if everyone who questions the political narrative of the day is labeled a conspiracy theorist, what defense do they have?
“Inclusivity, diversity, and equity.” These words sound perfectly normal and harmless, right? But they’ve been twisted and used against anyone (or any church/religious institution) that happens to have previously-held beliefs that fly in the face of the modern definitions. So, what do we do when a church is sued because they refuse to marry people of the same sex? Or, equally as tough, what happens if/when a parent refuses to let his/her own child choose his/her own gender? (Emphasis on his/her. I refer you to my comments about gender neutrality.) Then what?
Today, just as in Nineteen Eighty-Four, the classical liberal concepts of liberty and equality (of opportunity) are under relentless attack, as are the values of reason and objectivity. Liberty and equality were classified in Newspeak as “Crimethink.” Objectivity and rationalism were “Oldthink.” A doomed Newspeak lexicographer named Syme tells the book’s equally doomed hero, Winston Smith, that even the party slogans will eventually become incomprehensible: “How could you have a slogan like ‘freedom is slavery’ when the concept of freedom has been abolished?” (Law & Liberty.org)
That’s where we’re headed, too. At some point, all of this rewriting (of history and speech) will catch up with us. It will become so nonsensical that even those calling the shots will have painted themselves into a corner.
I don’t know about you, but I refuse to speak this new language. I’ll stick to the old one, even if it means I’m viewed as bigoted. (That, too, is just a perception from progressives, that those of us who have strongly-held values are racist or bigoted.)
No Newspeak for me.
I hope you’ll refuse to speak it, too. For the sake of common sense, let’s stick to the truth of Oldspeak.