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A Rose By Any Other Name Will Not Smell as Sweet

We live in deeply mendacious times, and we see it in the Leftist drive to alter reality by altering the words and phrases we use.  Welfare handouts become entitlements.  Illegal aliens become undocumented immigrants.  Abortion becomes reproductive health.  Violent Leftist  mobs become antifa activists.

 

George Orwell warned us about this long ago:

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of IngSoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.”

As Orwell explained getting people to use such words involves quite a bit, at least initially, of what he called 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.

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

One essential element of a free state is the ability to freely state what one believes.  That is a freedom that forces on the Left in this nation and around the globe, with certain honorable exceptions, seek to take away from us.  They wish us to mouth their lies, and if we do not we are to be subject to vilification on social media, have our jobs taken away from us if they have the power to compel that and have our very speech criminalized, as for example is being attempted in California.  I say that these people are the enemies of freedom and that we must confront and defeat them.

 

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

10 Comments

  1. This is why we should know not only the real definitions of words but the meaning of their roots – their etymology from German, Latin, Greek, etc. People don’t even know why the words used for the days of the week in either modern English or modern Spanish for that matter are the way they are – how they evolved down from the names for Norse and Roman deities respectively. This is why we should learn the ancient languages – so that we can remain grounded in the true definitions of words and not descend into the Newspeak of Ingsoc.

    When at work people use a word in a certain way that is wrong but politically correct, I give a lesson from etymology. For example, justice comes from the Latin iustitia meaning equality before the law, righteousness. The root is ius meaning law in the nominative and accusation, right as in righteousness – doing what is right and correct; duty; that which is binding; oath. And social comes from the Latin socialis meaning allied, confederate, of allies; in partnership / fellowship; conjugal. The root word is associate, companion; ally. So why shouldn’t socialis iustitia mean the right doing of allies and NOT “you’re entitled to what I have rightfully earned”?

    The liberal progressive millennial activists hate these etymology lessons. And for all their “love” of and “social justice desire” for illegal Hispanic immigrants, they don’t know a word of Spanish much less Latin (well, not really correct – they know all about Cinco de Mayo and drinking, but not the origin of the holiday – oh that’s another story of how I embarrassed a feminist nit wit liberal a few years back).

    A story: I am usually the first one into work in the morning. So I prepare coffee for the office. And on the coffee urn I place a post-it sticker with the name of the day of the week – in Latin of course – so that everyone knows it is a fresh pot and not left over from the previous day. 🙂 I was questioned about my use of Latin. So I prepared a chart showing the names of the days of the week in English and old German, and in Spanish and Latin. I showed how the Spanish Viernes came from the Latin Veneris Dies or Venus’ Day – the day of the goddess of beauty, and how the English Friday came from the old German Frīgedæg named after Frige, wife of king of the gods Odin. All these people who bleed purple koolaide for illegal Hispanic immigrants know neither Spanish nor the origin of Spanish words, and indeed neither the real meaning of English words nor their origin. They are wholly ignorant.

    Another story: We had an argument with some of these people about the meaning of the word inspection (you know – satisfaction of requirements is verified by one of three methods: inspection, test or analysis). These people did not know that inspection comes from the Latin inspectare meaning to look within (in meaning within and spectare meaning to look). Analysis comes from the Greek meaning to loosen. They don’t know what these things are because they don’t know what the words mean. They’ve been liberalized in Marxist Academia. And these people want to design and build nuclear reactors? Really? They cannot be trusted with the power of the atom.

    I despise these people who turn words on their heads. Theirs is an insidious revolution.

  2. Welfare handouts become entitlements.

    The term emerged 35 years ago to describe programs for which expenditure was on autopilot and derived from eligibility requirements, rather than being subject to intentional annual appropriations. There were welfare programs which were ‘entitlements’ (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) and those which were not. You saw the term in articles discussing fiscal policy, not social policy.

  3. If you ever meet a Christian that says words don’t matter, remind them of that verse that goes something like this: “…and the Word became flesh…”

  4. Modern education, the American media, the law establishment, government and Hollywood have been wrecking the English language. Big business has done its part, with turning “transition” into a verb.

    The Left is not interested in freedom. The Left is totalitarian in thought and in practice. Disagreeing with the Left means you are fair game for being demonized and lies work as well as anything. Next, expand the meanings of words into calling abortion health care, calling prostitutes sex workers, calling illegal aliens undocumented immigrants, calling welfare entitlements. A willing accomplice is the media, who never questions the Left. A one trillion dollar spending bill was called a “stimulus”. A welfare system to get people to trade in decent cars for new ones was called “cash for clunkers”. I could go on and on.

  5. Why does political correctness work so well? Methinks it’s because it is aimed at the main ingredient in most all sins–pride. “What will they think of me?” is the result of weak people responding to the diabolic left’s perfectly contrived word-weapons.
    The cure? The truth shall set us free,” so say it, including admonishing the source of the word-weapon game as being the evil-doers they are.

  6. It hacks the form of charity known as “manners,” too, Don L.

    And the fallacy of equivocation. It’s hard for someone who has even a basic sense of “it is possible for me to be wrong” to successfully fight someone who says even the most ridiculous of things with enough confidence– especially if it’s face to face, and there’s any kind of support, and the attacker is willing to accuse the victim of lying when they accurately quote back what the attacker just said.

    This is why I like arguing in text form. I have pissed off a lot of relatives who are accustomed to yelling “I never said that!” and getting away with it, though. It’s amazing how much more civil those family get-togethers are, now….

  7. As Wittgenstein said, “”Thinking is not an incorporeal process which lends life and sense to speaking, and which it would be possible to detach from speaking, rather as the Devil took the shadow of Schlemihl from the ground”

    If you doubt it, he suggests this experiment: : “Say a sentence and think it; say it with understanding – Now, do not say it, just do what you accompanied it with, when you said it with understanding!”

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