Saturday, 23 February 2013

War is peace

I'm a bit late, but I began reading George Orwell's 1984. Newspeak... doublethink.... some of this does seem awfully familiar. In Orwell's distopian nightmare, the Party's slogan is "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength".

Ha ha, you say. How could anyone make the people believe that war was peace, freedom was slavery, and ignorance was strength? Preposterous!

But had you noticed that often in modern Western societies...
  • Diversity is uniformity (secularism rules OK!)
  • Austerity is spending more than before
  • Rebellion is conformity (whoever would have thought that 'rebellion' could be a lifestyle choice marketed and sold to you by multinationals?)
  • Love is lust
  • Freedom is slavery (and again)
  • Equality is inequality
  • Fairness is greed
  • Tolerance is intolerance
  • Personal rights are state mandates
  • Bigotry is truth
Orwell appreciated that the person who controls language, controls the rules of the debate. And if you write the rulebook, then you determine the outcome of the game. By evaporating the meaning of words - or rather, progressively redefining them to mean their opposites - the Party in Orwell's vision did not so much prevent non-conformity, as render it a practical impossibility. There would be no words left with which rebellious thoughts could be either expressed or thought.

As Christians, we need to be aware of this trend, and consciously reject the rules of the debate which the would-be exponents of newspeak try to impose upon us. No doubt in the above there are some points that people would want to debate. But the overall point remains: often, the true debate is not the one that we are led to believe (e.g. how to get "fairness", or "should two men be able to marry?"), but about the meanings of the terms themselves (what really is "fairness", and what is "marriage"?). If you don't ask the earlier question, then often you'll find you're involved in a stitch-up. The playing field has been tilted to make sure you lose; the outcome is pre-determined.

Having committed thoughtcrime, I must now prepare for vaporisation. End of post.

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