The horrendous event of the past weekend in Orlando deserves a special capability of expression that is beyond my ability. Murder, as always, senseless and evil, in the instantaneous elimination of innocents whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, to be unwitting participant actors in some twisted individual’s immorality play. We are living through example after example of a particular kind of hate, that hates us for what we are, our willingness to express the truth about our selves, our need to be individuals. It is a malign virus that continues to infect, because we struggle to understand its etiology, and refuse to initiate and follow through on the means of its eradication. In the simple clarity brought by the battle for survival when facing devastating infection, we will either eliminate it, or it will eliminate us. It is our choice, and our burden.
Unfortunately, what is following as we distance ourselves from this event, as has been our want for some time, is our willingness to allow the subversion of free thought and free speech by those in authority to bend the truth to their predestined conclusions. George Orwell, the nom de plume of English essayist and novelist Eric Blair, achieved his greatest fame sadly at the very end of his life, in creating a literary dystopian world in 1984. His masterpiece best described the potential epilogue of the very real dangers Elliot saw in the world he lived in, from the clashes of idealism and gross manipulation of the Spanish civil war, the show trials of Stalinist Russia, to the calamity of Fascism and the destruction of truth it created. Orwell was one of those unique individuals who lived in the transitional zone between the world of oppression and the means of oppressors, and still was able to recognize the tools required to defeat both. The primary tool to defeat oppression, that of free expression, he presciently saw under dangerous assault, and battled his rapidly deteriorating health to give us the ability to discern through the novel the dystopian future we needed to be on guard against.
Orwell brought special clarity to the tools of authoritarian control and its need to rewrite and subvert history to fit the authority’s ever changing narrative, destroy truth, and reduce expression that does not fit the excepted narrative. Orwell’s everyman anti-hero Winston Smith, works at the Ministry or Truth, whose job is to constantly to constantly rewrite previous history, so that it fits with current thought. The weapon of destruction is Orwell’s Newspeak:
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we will make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. ” George Orwell 1984
Our current process is to effect our narrative by making thought expressions a crime, a thoughtcrime, thereby distorting the truth. For our current story, it is the unwillingness to identify radical Islam, to avoid saying it and therefore avoid recognizing its existence. If it is not said, it does not exist, and its elimination is unnecessary. Clarity of understanding of last weekend’s slaughter, requires recognizing the truth, as it did with the slaughter at San Bernardino, the slaughter in Belgium, the slaughter in Paris, and the innumerable clarifying events before. Instead we focus our narrative on the gun as apparently an active participant, willing an otherwise conflicted individual with undefined motives to kill for the sake of killing and applying the opportunity the gun provides. We block our minds to the true linking theme to each horrible event, the nihilist philosophy that this unique religion underwrites, and do not connect our events to the pressure cooker bomb of Boston, the throwing of bound homosexuals off buildings in Syria, the burning alive of Yasidi women who refuse to be raped slaves in Iraq, and the stabbing of Israelis in Jerusalem. The weapon is immaterial, the truth is the philosophy of dominance and death. The authorities seek through doublethink to criminalize those who obey the law and wish to defend themselves, decriminalize those who break the law but are seen as a protected class, and ostracize those who are willing to speak openly. The narrative replaces truth, the ‘science’ becomes settled, and the willingness to ignore objective facts that don’t fit the desired narrative ingrained. All refugees are deserving. All moralities are equal. All crimes are suffered upon a society that has created a state of victimhood, and therefore a narrative of justification to every appalling event, large and small.
Orwell saw his world becoming progressively immune to great horrors, acceptant of an ‘arc’ of history that makes sacrifice of individuals an unpleasant but accepted consequence of those unwilling to accept the arc. Our society is progressively becoming an ugly reproduction of Orwell’s vision, and the sacrifice of our freedoms on the altar of accepted correctness of thought a very real impediment to actually solving any of our societal ills, much less defending ourselves against the unwavering malignity of our sworn civilizational enemies.
If you need a reminder of how close to Orwell’s dystopia we are evolving and the extent to which our civilization’s values are cratering, look not to our leaders like Obama who will not speak the truth. Look to how our society has educated those into Newspeak on our campuses, the sources of our future leaders. Watch the recent event at Yale University below in its entirety, and understand that the thoughtcrime committed by a dormitory leader was that he made the mistake of defending the right of individuals to self express and wear Halloween costumes on campus. Watch it to the end, and realize we are close to the world of Oceania.