The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program.
– Norman Thomas, 1928
During a decade of political chaos that brought us the works of Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Aldous Huxley and Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell reacted to this mobocracy introducing the world to his dystopian Big Brother. His book “1984” was an attempt to dissuade existentialism in a world reinventing itself after two great wars.
During the rebuilding of politically polarized Europe, Orwell had concerns for the rise of regimes that promised liberation and freedom under the countenance of prorating free enterprise by controlling every action a citizen made. Orwell saw the past failed attempts to do this with artillery as a prime fortuity to complete this maneuver, replacing powerful weapons with words.
Words have always been a commanding form of control in adjudicating beliefs. When you short-circuit the capacity of a person’s ability to think logically, they will obey authority without force. In ancient China, the arrival of a new dynasty brought about a “rectification of definitions.” This was a ceremony in which the erosion of the meaning of tactical words used within previous dynasties was re-clarified by new rulers. The subjects were ordered to learn these new definitions and never use the old or it would cost them their heads. One who failed this litmus test and spoke wrongly was labeled a traitor. We are doing a repeat performance of this in our common core classrooms today.
After the Great Wars, it was apparent rhetoric and demography was a highly effective weapon for victory. Those who witnessed Adolf Hitler’s charisma and Lenin’s ability to sell socialism to a region after the bloodiest of battles in modern history took notice. The battlefields of the Cold War were fraught with threatening words, not deadly carcinogenic howitzers.
If you control language, you control the argument. If you control the argument, you control information. If you control information, you control history. If you control history, you control the past. We are living that nightmare right now in the 21st century.
He who controls the past controls the future.
– Big Brother in George Orwell’s 1984
In modern free societies, a vigorous war of words is being waged for those who know the benefit of tactical deception. Liberals call it political correctness, a phrase captioned by cultural Marxists for thought control. Operatives against republican democracy have entrenched “got-yas” in their rules for modern radicals. Progressive-socialist thought-crime laws control free speech. This handicaps expression of individualism and secularizes religious teachings with sanctioned ideology. It is now politically incorrect to scold an out-of-control government when they abuse the limited powers we relegated to them. The progressive propaganda machine must approve everything said today.
Before the rise of socialist Norman Thomas and his infusion of socialist ideology with Democratic Party politics, we saw limited threats of media manipulation in favor of the left. But the efforts of Thomas, Saul Alinsky, Henry Wallace, Mary Harris, Margaret Sanger, Barack Obama and others incited liberal thought that forced the press to betray their code of ethics. With the rise of new progressivism, media truth became a thing of the past. Our once trusted government watchdogs became lapdogs to exploit facts, exaggerate, distort and fabricate half-truths and mistruths to advocate for far-left progressive conceptualistic idealism.
In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
– George Orwell
Controlling the world’s communal language has been more effectual in making dramatic changes in history than munitions. Hypnotic rogue leaders appealing to disillusioned citizens have turned them into obeying subjects without firing a shot. The right words were spoken at the right time, no matter how generically empty they are, convince people that corrupt, incompetent leaders will lure them into Elysian Fields. Sometimes it is as simple as reiterating one word like “change” to electrify an entire base! But when this prodigal son leaves them with only two bits in their purse, his proletariats must invent new catchphrases to keep this flock from backsliding into the world of real communication.
If one questions why the far left firmly sits atop the pantheon of the media manipulators, they do not have to look any further than their own gullibility. Scandalous headlines defaming institutional Constitutionalism, conservative politicians, and legitimate center right current events are generated daily by media-friendly leftists. They have their own personal staff of writers, marketers and press agents influencing the news to benefit leftist causes. This enables them to keep fake news trivia in the forefront of liberalist social media giants like Facebook and Twitter where most Americans go to read news about the current events.
A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
– Vladimir Lenin
Stories about the Democrats who doubled welfare and destroyed private healthcare never make headlines. Yet liberal media’s obsession to defame Trump for his Constitutional assertiveness is a phobia. While Trump is proving he is the most prodigious economic leader in modern history, not one news source mentions this! Under his watch, unemployment hit 3 percent, the lowest of this century. Black and Latino unemployment is 4.6 percent; the lowest recorded level. That’s 50 percent less than under Obama. To control the dialogue, liberal elites write vitriolic hate articles to poison the narrative of the first non-politician, non-patrician citizen elected to run America since George Washington!
During one Civil Rights march, Dr. Martin Luther King told us, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Historical revisionism is a key component for enemies of capitalism to support claims of the success of socialism.
Media mistruth and progressive lies repeated on social media, local news, un-retorted in public forums are components for the left to realize their dream of American socialism. Relinquishing control of the language is surrendering control of our republic to legitimize progressivism. The left has reinvigorated the socialist movement that took root during the Depression. FDR, who was keenly influenced by socialism, deeply wounded U.S. capitalism and we have never recovered.
All socialism means to me is democracy with a small ‘d’.
– Bernie Sanders
George Orwell’s predictions about unprotected democracy in many parts of the world have come to fruition. As one of history’s most intuitive social critics, his knowledge of the frailties of mankind has proven uncanny. The left has taken control of our language and now control the message. They are Orwell’s “Big Brother” we feared for decades. They have stepped from the wings onto the stage to snatch republicanism right from under our noses. We’ve lost control of free thought and liquid conversation. We’ve allowed this so long, many people think this is what our nation is really about. Everything they say and publish is taught in our classrooms and pulpits and posted on social media
The problem with words is they are free. It’s how we use them that may cost us now and later. They are so powerful they become acts themselves. If we are taught that capitalism is bad in our schools and that is all we hear from the press, see on TV and read on social media, the gullible will become more gullible and fall prey to the anti-democratic progressive message and believe it. This will add generations of ill-informed Americans to the silent majority. The left has mastered the art of control through social engineering and manipulation of those who know neither true from false, nor right from wrong.
Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.
The Center Square -- formerly known as Watchdog.org and the Illinois News Network -- and their reporters represent 18 states across the United States as the taxpayers' watchdog, exposing the way government really works.
Discussion about this post