28 October 2008

Obama's Newspeak UPDATED

Remember in High School when that weird English teacher made you read George Orwell’s “1984?”

That book was such a drag. We spent what seemed like an eternity going over “newspeak.”

How stupid was that- having to learn a new vocabulary just to read a dumb book?

Back when I read the book, 1984 was still a few years in the future, yet strangely, for me 1984 was in my past.

It was difficult to read a fictionalized account of what had been my life a few years before. I had come from a tropical Oceania complete with a Big Brother, the thought police and the ministry of truth.

I supposed if I were to read 1984 now, I might get a little misty eyed at Winston Smith’s life reminding me of my hellish childhood. But as a teenager I was tremendously annoyed.

But, back to 1984 and “newspeak.”

Yesterday, as I heard the 2001 tapes of presidential candidate Barack Obama commenting on the civil rights movement, the courts, the constitution and the founding fathers, all I could think of was “newspeak.”

Orwell was brilliant in coming up with “newspeak” to explain how Big Brother and the thought police partially controlled Oceania through speech. In practice, Marxist regimes aim at controlling discourse and thought processes through linguistic euphemisms.

Communists, socialists and fellow travelers all talk in “code.” Now, when I try to explain this “code” to the uninitiated, well, you know…they tell me I’m a paranoid exile that sees a communist bogeyman hiding behind every rock. Fair enough, I may be paranoid, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t communists lurking around. And believe me, they are they’re not going to come out and confess. They’re going to try to deceive and confuse you by talking in code. It’s what they do.

Seemingly innocuous words and phrases like “social justice” or “income redistribution” or “activities on the ground” or “coalition of powers” or "equality" or "brotherhood" all take on a Marxist aura when they are deciphered through a socialist code decoder.

Basically, what the Illinois State Senator was talking about way back in 2001, was his dismay that the founding fathers had not codified “egalitarianism” into the US constitution and that the Warren court hadn’t taken the admittedly radical step when it had the chance. That’s what he means when he says that he could now sit down at a lunch counter and order, if he “could pay for it.” If he could not pay for it and the white guy sitting next to him could, then he’s not equal. This is why wealth has to be redistributed-in order to achieve “economic justice” - code for egalitarianism.

Now, mankind is either genetically wired or created, (depending on one’s belief system), to act in the interests of self preservation. Under normal circumstances, man would not share his wealth with other men. It’s not in his best interests to do so. That’s where the state comes in. The state must, therefore, redistribute the wealth so that all men have more or less the same. Since the state has to force one man to give up what’s his for the benefit of another, it must do so by coercion or force, thus also equally distributing misery.

Marxists don’t see the world in terms of rights that come from their creator. The “creator” for the Marxist is an opiate-another form of crowd control. Man isn’t measured by being equal in the eyes of the state. Man is equal if he has the same relative to every other man. As long as all men are given the same rights by the state, then its fair – “social justice”-again, socialist code words for “egalitarianism.”

So when Senator Obama talks about “negative liberties” he’s really talking about the protection of individual rights which are negative, in his view, because they limit the state from instituting “social and economic justice”, egalitarianism, by coercion-his goal.

In Obama’s view, the problem with the Constitution is that it doesn’t say “what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf.” In other words, Obama, believes that the Constitution is flawed because it doesn’t give the state the right to coerce another citizen to give you some of his wealth and achieve “social and economic justice” which code for egalitarianism.

So when you put Obama’s “spread the wealth” philosophy with his belief that the constitution is flawed because it stops short of giving the state the power to act “on your behalf,” you can see how the argument can be made that Obama’s “hope” and “change” are really just newspeak euphemisms for the socialist reorganization of society based on the Marxist principles of egalitarianism through activist judicial reinterpretation of a flawed constitution.
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You can. Really, if you know the code. And it isn't even a thought crime ... yet.
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UPDATE:
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A different and brilliant take on Obama's Newspeak from Bruce Walker at Free Thinker:
Notions like "positive liberty" are part of the web of thought control by language manipulation which Orwell described in 1984. If Obama cannot think of "positive liberty" as a contradiction in terms, then he simply cannot think. The conscious surrender of language to the needs of the party creates a self-made prison from which escape is, quite literally, inconceivable. These unguarded remarks by Obama display a mind trapped in a reality in which words are phantoms.
I think Walker lets Obama off the hook for his newspeak though by excusing Oboma for being a product of the left's newspeak "indoctrination.":
Iron and dull control of education, destruction of the nuclear family, disappearance of religion in public life, degradation of art and entertainment into tasteless mush, and, most of all, the politicization of everything in life -- these forces have created a new sort of human being, a person who lacks from life any tools of discernment or devices to describe life outside of the realm of collectivist political rhetoric.

There is something about Obama, many of us sense, which is different from any other politician. Socialism is inadequate to explain Obama. He is both more and less than that. The Left with all its odd menagerie of causes and claims is not enough either. Obama is part of that but part of something more disturbing. He is someone who can say "negative liberties" unaware that he is saying nothing at all.
I would argue that Obama is not the victim of newspeak who mindelessly repeats the Orwellian newspeak and socialist code but a practitioner in the art of socialist euphinistic linguitics- a true believer.
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Obama is certainly intelligent enough to have seen through the linguistic indoctranination that someone in our age group would have been subjected to in American academia.
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Young people in Cuba, where thay are subjected to the entirety of George Orwell's Ocenia ,are able to see through the propaganda even after generations of Big Brother, the thought police and the ministry of truth.
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Favorite line in the Article:
But implying that more state power somehow increases liberty is beyond mere Leftism. It is entry into that dead realm of Newspeak in which language is pureed into nonsense, and then nonsense is presented as argument.
Ha! That's great stuff. No pure there, just tasty chunks to chew on!
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2 comments:

Jungle Mom said...

Excellent!!

Tomás Estrada-Palma said...

In Obamaland everyone will be equal. However, some will be more equal than others. - Pirated from the Orwellian masterpiece "Animal Farm."

Let us never be pigs.