A recent survey of Britishers (who were evidently strapped to a polygraph on completion of the survey), discovered that 2 out of 3 lied about what books they have read. The book that Englishmen and women lied about having read most frequently?
George Orwell's 1984!
The classic novel about totalitarian society run amok is apparently on the top of everyone's "ought to read" list as well as on the top of their "don't want to read" list.
Orwell would not have been surprised. Everybody thought that when 1984 passed safely that maybe we were going to miss Orwell's more dire predictions. Some enterprising souls, I remember, tried to make Ronald Reagan out to be Big Brother. They were never very successful. Reagan always came off as more of an avuncular uncle than as someone who wanted to control your very thoughts or peer at you through your TV set.
Reagan was too busy tossing back a brewski after hours with Tip O'Neal to spend his time worrying about what people were thinking anyway.
The survey may explain why Britain has, while decrying everything from McDonald's Quarter Pounders to Tony Blair as "Orwellian", steadily slid toward the very socialistic nightmare that Orwell predicted. (Did you know you can't walk anywhere in downtown London without having your face scanned repeatedly by hidden cameras and run through facial recognition software). Sadly, their American cousins are right behind them standing at the top of the slope, sled in hand!
The word "doublethink" is an Orwellian invention, just for the novel that pretty accurately describes the Alice in Wonderland convolutions of liberal politics in the good old U.S. of A. of late. Doublethink is, as described by Orwell, "holding two contradictory beliefs in your mind at the same time and believing both of them."
It's easy if you try. Here are some examples:
1. The planet is warming because of man-made carbon production
The planet has been cooling for the past decade
How do you reconcile it. The planet is cooling BECAUSE of global warming.
I'm taking Tylenol now before this goes any further.
2. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working fine under the Congress' supervision and we don't need any further regulation or supervision says Barney Franks and Maxine Waters, dismissing warning of problems by the president and Republicans in Congress.
AND 6 months later.....
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed because there wasn't enough regulation and supervision
How do you reconcile it. "Eight years of failed policies under the Bush Administration" Say that over and over and over again....
I'm putting duct tape over my head to keep my brains from leaking out!
3. We are stealing from our children's future by spending 80 billion dollars on this war in Iraq and Afghanistan!!!!
We are preserving our children's future by spending this 700 billion dollars to prop up failing banks and corporations.
How do we reconcile this? "We need hope and change." Say it over and over and over and......
4. Corporate greed got us into this economic mess.
We can fix this big mess by giving truckloads of money to the big corporations
We reconcile this how? "Eight years of Failed Policies by the Bush Administration means we need hope and change".
As you wade through the news, the speeches and even our children's "New" history books (an exercise in Newspeak and Doublethink if you ever want to see it in action), you get the feeling something is wrong. You're not sure what, but something is definitely wrong.
The beauty of doublethink is that it's a self-sustaining self-deception. You create a lie that supports your belief. That lie covers the truth that challenges your belief. You lie to yourself that the truth was a lie and the new lie is, in fact, the truth. Then you cover up the fact that you've lied by believing you've told the truth because if you've told the truth then the new truth supports your belief system and there never was anything to contradict that belief system. Now should the new truth develop problems, you simply create a new lie which becomes the new truth and then you lie to yourself and convince yourself that you never made up a new truth and that the old lie was a lie (since it truly was a lie anyway because you told that lie to cover up the original truth which, by now you've convinced yourself was a lie since it contradicted your belief). As you layer lie upon lie you become more adept at believing that the new lies are the truth and at believing you are not, in fact, lying at all, but are creating truth (since the new truths support your beliefs).
You try to get your head around it, but your best buddy tells you not to worry. Don't you know. Everybody knows that we need hope and change. We can trust the president. The stock market is in free fall because it has to get worse before it can get better. Spending like a maniac won't get you, personally, out of hock, but that's how it works for the government. How do we know? Why Obama has said so and he's the smartest president ever. How do I know? Everybody knows that!
For 8 years, the Bush Administration has been accused of wanting to be Big Brother and to control everyone's lives.
The proposed antidote to the oppressive Bush government?
- Make the government bigger
- Bring the military back home and create a military style homeland security force to keep the population in line in case of "emergencies".
- Take over the banks,
- More federal control of schools,
- Government mandated preschools (get the kids into training and indoctrination sooner).
- Take over the auto industry,
- Take over the housing industry,
- Take over the health care industry,
- Take away incentives to give to charity and give the money to the government instead through taxes so they can choose what charities are "deserving" of government support.
- Take away secret ballots and get every worker into a union.
- Never let a crisis go to waste!
God help us!
I need more duct tape!
Just one man's opinion
(c) 2009 by Tom King