Saturday, 8 August 2009

Modern Day Newspeak

If George Orwell could hear some of the things that get said today in laughable and pathetic sayings that are supposed to pass as logic then he'd surely be spinning like a top right about now.

In "1984" (a book that all modern western governments seem determined to look upon as an instruction manual rather than as a warning) you may recall that he introduces the concept of "newspeak", a dialectic system of indoctrination used to control and brainwash a population so dumbed down that they would believe such bass-ackwards epithets as "war is peace" or "freedom is slavery" or the wonderful "ignorance is strength". The man was truly a political prophet.

There are three such sayings that are used with alarming regularity in our oh-so-sophisticated society and every time I hear one of them it makes me so fucking angry that it makes my teeth ache! As a (probably far too) vocal evangelical anarchist I hear them all. A lot.

The first one goes like this:

"If you didn't vote then you have no right to complain."

Eh? I feel like spitting bricks just writing that diatribe down. In the tradition of all newspeak this can clearly be shown to be the polar opposite of what any rational person might call logical. Anybody that has two functioning brain cells and a spare five minutes should be able to deconstruct the above nonsense with relative ease. Trust me on this, if any of you ever meet me and try to use this argument then I will tell you in no uncertain terms that you are a dolt. If you voted (particularly if you voted for the winning horse) then in all truth YOU put the offending party in power and thus it is YOU that has no right to complain! QED.

- o - o - o -

Another one that gets bandied about with regard to voting is the following gem;

"It's your duty to vote because people have died to secure your right to do so."

Pure unadulterated bullshit! People died for my freedom and that freedom should allow me to either choose to vote or not, as I see fit. If you're guilty of using this basically fascist argument then in the name of all that's rational ... please stop it! It's rather embarrassing. For you.

- o - o - o -

This third one is quite the jewel in the crown of truth perversion;

"If you don't have a solution then you have no right to be talking about the problem."

As an anarchist I get this one thrown at me all the time and damn it's frustrating (for one because I believe that I bloody well DO have some answers and yet hardly anyone has the bollocks to accept them). People who glibly trot out this sort of verbal garbage can surely only be described as intellectually weak cowards. Should we stop talking about cancer just because we haven't got a cure? Do these people not realise that the only way to provide a solution to any given problem is to first identify said problem as accurately and as comprehensively as possible? Do they not understand that this process can not take place by "shutting up about it" and that in fact it usually requires quite a lot of in-depth discussion and debate? Grrrr ... I'm starting to foam at the mouth now I'm so enraged. >o/

- o - o - o -

So as you can see, I can gloomily report that Orwellian "newspeak" is alive and well thank you very much and residing happily in the numbed minds of the intellectually stunted. I hope that I have convinced at least you, dear reader, to never be tempted to use them in the future. And if you do, you should know that you should NEVER use them in front of me!


  1. *Makes mental not never to use those arguments*

    I've always thought the whole 'these apathetic people who don't vote ' argument always misses the point. Could it be so many people don't vote because they are completely disillusioned with what's on offer or like yourself have reached definite political conclusions about the value of the electoral process ?

  2. Hey Martyn. =)

    I agree with you absolutely. As Buddhagem would put it, people are sick of voting for either Coke or Pepsi when what they really want is Lemonade. I'm also convinced that almost without exception, everybody is an anarchist at heart (the desire for freedom is a basic human drive) and there's no box to tick on an electoral form for that. It's this so called "third way" that has basically homogenised all of our political parties so that no matter who gets into power it's the same shit, just different faces. I hold corporate capitalism greatly to blame. Money and finance is more important than people these days.

    BTW ... good luck with the writing of your new book. =)

    (Martyn is the author of one of the blogs in the sidebar over there, "Rich Tea and Empathy")