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L&FP, 48f: Orwell exposes how Language and meaning are being relativised, too, with hints on how to correct it


When we have to resort to Orwell, it is a sad sign of how far the rot has gone. LF&P 48, no 146:

>>it seems language itself (so, dictionaries and other reference resources by extension . . .) is under the gun of the elephant game. Orwell wrote about Newspeak replacing Oldspeak in the interests of IngSoc . . . English Socialism (the National Socialist English Worker’s Party we suppose), and how part of the dumbing down was to make it impossible to conceptualise heresy against the partyline.

There was also Doublethink:

To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.

Principle of explosion on steroids: ex falso quodlibet, from the false, anything.

Related, though apparently not actually used by Orwell, is Doublespeak; manipulative, onion-layered language with increasingly hidden inner meanings for the core and a very different message for hoi polloi. This is of course outright deceit, lying and corruption of language, meaning and communication. One form is the pretence that perfectly good and well defined existing language is dubious, corrupt, oppressive and needing to be overthrown in the name of liberation or sounder understanding or ideologies dressed up in the lab coat. Another is willful confusion of a perfectly good word such as truth with opinion or the like. And more.

Most subtle is self-referential, often self-contradictory language or claims. For this builds in the obfuscation by explosion problem. Do not overlook brazen denial when such is exposed.

Then comes the sting in the tail, cynical defence of cognitive dissonance by turnabout projection to the despised other. Did you know that in 1939 Poland first attacked Germany? (So, it was promoted, by seizing, dressing Concentration camp prisoners in Polish uniforms and murdering them, putting their bodies next to sites of attack. Such is of course also the big lie stratagem of the official promotion of whoppers so big that ordinary people could not believe they were false. And in defining this, Hitler and company conveniently projected the tactic to the British and a World War I context.)

We could go on, but hopefully this is enough to open eyes to the linked problem of corrupting language.>>

Then, 147:

>>Closely linked, the corrupt revision and censorship of news and archival materials by Minitrue, the Ministry of Truth. These days, pre-news corrupt ideological narratives and censorship, forcing the need for alternative sources with balancing or marginalised facts and analysis. Which, are then subject to further censorship. (Yes, RAM, being such an alternative in defence of soundness, science and principles of civilisation is part of UD’s purpose.)>>

1984 and Animal Farm were satirical exposes, they were not manuals for those who hope to implement corrupt lawless ideological oligarchies. END

PS, again, discussion continues in L&FP 48a, so comments are off here too.