Anti-Concepts of the Modern Newspeak

G. Stolyarov II
 
Issue XVII - October 13, 2003
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"Political correctness," the tactful leftist-invented euphemism for suppression of dissenting views, pervades our culture.  It, of course, is merely one term amid a sea of them, packaged with meaning, absorbing other, more proper expressions, connoting incompatible concepts (in the case of "political correctness", the ideas of multiculturalism and committing no offense) as one. Newspeak, in George Orwell’s 1984, had been designed to alter the underlying linguistic devices employed by the masses, so that the latter would become unable to even conceive of thoughts contrary to establishment dogma. Precisely that purpose is served through terms invented by the leftist elites of today.

While "political correctness" had been exposed as such a deceptive tool by numerous men of insight, others remain cloaked or still focused in the connotative directions intended by their malignant inventors. With the unmasking of "political correctness" emerged yet another substitute for "artificial equating of all cultures", the so-called "diversity". The meaning infused into this "ideal" is the co-existence of numerous "traditional" modes of life. (Where "traditional" has come to define a stale structure which does not permit any adjustments to its flaws and regards itself as a finished product. It possesses a positive shade of meaning in the eyes of modern academia.) It rejects as "unnatural" or "disruptive" elements of cultural diffusion as well as individual attempts to reform those practices harmful to themselves and antiprogressive in regard to a majority of their fellow men. As a matter of fact, to embrace "diversity" is to embrace an ethic which condemns variety in personal convictions and practices, negates the human ego's central role in the formulation of concepts and mechanisms, and attempts to coerce men into submitting in their entirety to a mode of behavior attributed to circumstantial aspects, as race, ethnicity, nationality, and place of upbringing.

Dr. Michael Berliner, former executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, along with Dr. Gary Hull, a prominent Objectivist philosopher and writer, expose empirical manifestations of the true meaning of "diversity" as well as the implications those carry.

"Advocates of 'diversity' are true racists in the basic meaning of that term: they see the world through colored lenses, colored by race and gender. To the multiculturalist, race is what counts - for values, for thinking, for human identity in general. No wonder racism is increasing: colorblindness is now considered evil, if not impossible. No wonder people don't treat each other as individuals: to the multiculturalist, they aren't. Advocates of 'diversity' claim it will teach students to tolerate and celebrate their differences. But the 'differences' they have in mind are racial differences, which means we're being urged to glorify race, which means we're being asked to institutionalize separatism. 'Racial identity' erects an unbridgeable gulf between people, as though they were different species, with nothing fundamental in common. If that were true - if 'racial identity' determined one's values and thinking methods - there would be no possibility for understanding or cooperation among people of different races. Advocates of 'diversity' claim that because the real world is diverse, the campus should reflect that fact. But why should a campus population 'reflect' the general population (particularly the ethnic population)? No answer. In fact, the purpose of a university is to impart knowledge and develop reasoning, not to be a demographic mirror of society. Racism, not any meaningful sense of diversity, guides today's intellectuals. The educationally significant diversity that exists in 'the real world' is intellectual diversity, i.e., the diversity of ideas. But such diversity - far from being sought after - is virtually forbidden on campus. The existence of 'political correctness' blasts the academics' pretense at valuing real diversity. What they want is abject conformity. The only way to eradicate racism on campus is to scrap racist programs and the philosophic ideas that feed racism. Racism will become an ugly memory only when universities teach a valid concept of human nature: one based on the tenets that the individual's mind is competent, that the human intellect is efficacious, that we possess free will, that individuals are to be judged as individuals - and that deriving one's identity from one's race is a corruption - a corruption appropriate to Nazi Germany, not to a nation based on freedom and independence." (Michael S. Berliner, Ph.D., and Gary Hull, Ph.D. "Diversity and Multiculturalism: The New Racism." The Ayn Rand Institute. http://www.aynrand.org)

 Again, the Orwellian molding of perception is evident through the racism subtly concealed under the title of "diversity", which has become a blind allegiance to a product of sheer chance, and a rejection of the truly significant, a man's freedom to exercise his will to ascend toward extraordinariness.

          Social institutions have embraced another manner of Newspeak, that promulgated by cliques pretending to struggle for women's rights. Here is exposed another aspect of Mr. Orwell's prediction, the destruction of terminology to ensure a "successful" linguistic reformation.

"Official thought control has reached Calgary. In November 1994, the Calgary Board of Education imposed Policy 1028 on teachers: 'gender inclusive communications.' The word is out that teachers who refuse to obey its dictates are at risk of dismissal, of losing their livelihoods. The policy states: 'The Board directs that all communications be sensitive and inclusive.' Its meaning can best be learned by observing what its 'Guidelines' forbid. Polite forms of address are verboten: you can't say 'Mr,' 'Mrs,' or 'Mr and Mrs,' can't use 'Sir' or 'Madam,' can't use 'Ladies and Gentlemen' when addressing a meeting. Specifically feminine terms for occupations are verboten. You can't say 'waitress,' 'stewardess' or 'actress.'  Above all, English's gender inclusive terms are verboten. You are forbidden to use 'man' as an inclusive term, either alone or in compounds such as 'businessman' or 'spokesman.' You are forbidden to use English's gender inclusive pronouns inclusively: the inclusive sense of 'he,' 'him,' 'his,' and the like are all verboten. This allegedly 'gender inclusive' policy prohibits the gender inclusive terms of English! Therefore, 'gender inclusive' is the wrong name for the language it seeks to impose. In view of its obviously feminist origins, and its similarity to Orwellian Newspeak, it is better called Femspeak." (Michael Miller, Engineer, Objectivist philosopher, founder of Quackgrass Press. “Femspeak.")

Femspeak, in essence, deprives one, with force at its side to stifle disobedience, of the opportunity to express one's ideas in any manner contrary to the beliefs held by the so-called "feminist" movement. One is forbidden to, through his language, address an individual generically, without reference to gender (using terminology such as "man", which has been derived from the German and Anglo-Saxon device, "man", meaning "one", "they", "person", or "people", or the inclusive "he", which can become an abstract reference to a man regardless of gender), or with a courteous recognition of the individual's gender through "Sir" or "Madam", terms intended to lift one's image rather than degrade it. The words permitted, such as "he/she" or "person" bear with them no particular distinction nor any sign of respectable approach. They are, in a way, hints of the establishment's wishes to restrict individual prominence and not allow it to surface even through the form of a slight nuance. "Man", too, is suppressed as a result of its dual reference, one to the individual, the other to humankind at large. The word is an expression of the most profound respect possible, that the person addressed embodies certain qualities worthy of a superior species such as Homo sapiens. It is a lofty title praising the humanity, ingenuity, and deserved mastery of its bearer, who, ideally, would possess precisely the face the Party of Ingsoc would have wished to place its boot upon, but would remain unable to, for the spirit of man, in a fitting condition, will under no circumstance defer to mediocrity. "Person", on the other hand, is a reference to merely the fact of one's existence. It possesses no glorious parallel, and a man addressed as "person" is informed that he is "just like the rest of them", i.e. susceptible to savage urges of obsequy and self-degradation. This is an implication submerged too deeply for a common "person" to detect it, yet the one who becomes treated as a "she" instead of a "Madam" and as a vulgar brute instead of a "man" will experience frustration and disappointment at the least.

          Is there a link between this manner of censorship and the censorship of righteous ideas through the employment of terms such as "political correctness", "diversity", and "traditionalism"? There exists such a connection through the essence of the mainstream feminist movement itself. Mr. Miller explains.

"Feminism is a form of collectivism which seeks to divide mankind into warring factions based on sex—just as Nazism sought to divide mankind into racial factions, and Communism sought to divide mankind into economic factions. Feminism no more seeks fair treatment for women than Nazism sought fair treatment for Germans. Collectivism promotes collective guilt. The feminist version is that males living now, and those not yet born, must be made to suffer for the alleged offenses of their (male) ancestors. (But then why not compensate them for the alleged injustices suffered by their female ancestors? No answer.) Males are to be targets of discrimination, subject to quotas and legal disabilities. The Nazi parallels are obvious.  Collectivism needs a fundamental Big Lie, and feminism's is that women have been systematically excluded from mankind, that virtually everything—from reason, to law, to marriage, to the forms of language—is a male plot. If feminists can make us forget that 'man' has always meant the whole human race, then they can re-write history to suit their lie. For example, they can claim that the philosophers who upheld the 'rights of man' meant to exclude women. The inclusive use of 'man' is a barrier to such re-writing. That is why feminists are campaigning to snuff it out.  They might succeed. They don't need you to agree with them, they just need you to act as if you did. If you and others use femspeak in your daily vocabulary, the inclusive use of 'man' will gradually fade away—and they will win this round. Whether you use femspeak from conviction, from intimidation, or from a desire to blend in, the result will be the same."  (Michael Miller, Engineer, Objectivist philosopher, founder of Quackgrass Press. “Femspeak.")

          In this case Newspeak and the mutability of the past possess a discernible tangent at the doctrine of feminism. "Feminism" itself is a Newspeak term simply due to the connotative aura of egalitarianism which it had acquired. Any concept associated with "feminism" is automatically judged by the impulsive as seeking the elevation of females to a state of dignity they rightfully deserve. Such a surface-oriented philosophy possesses no flaws within it, yet the feminist movement does not adhere to it. It holds a collectivist, circumstantialist perception that brands one evil for no fault other than that of having been born male, and exalts one as a goddess for the contrary accident of chance. The deception lies in the cloak of virtue that such a term, which from its literal Latin origins means "rule by women", acquires within vulgar minds. Affirmative action is mistaken for equal opportunity, the sensuous ridicule of males for good taste, an abusive wife for a dispenser of rightful punishment upon an innate fiend. The aforementioned atrocities are henceforth permitted to persist and become aggravated under such a collectivist framework of interpretation. Yet does the collectivist movement profit from such wickedness? It does indeed.

          Collectivism is a means to the most immoral of ends, the deprivation of meaning from the individual's life, the removal of justification from his aspirations for comfort and, therefore, from his struggle to live and to live as prosperously as he pleases.  From one half of the population, those happening to possess a male gender, feminism attempts to deprive the very human worth that they must discover within themselves prior to attaining the confidence, resolve, and skill necessary to establish successful lives. The tragedy lies in that a frightening quantity of those males have blindly and willingly embraced the doctrine preaching their own inferiority and have strived to surrender their well-being so as to be judged "politically correct."

The other half of the population becomes not degraded but stagnated. Its members are informed that they have reached the most sublime apogee of human worth because of their feminine classification. Since a collectivist outlook does not recognize the existence of an individual apart from a circumstantial herd, and its feminist variation views inherent superiority to be contained in the female gender, it therefore presumes that the female group is the highest among all things living, that there is no superior stage to reach, merit being considered irrelevant if not a sign of inferiority in a collectivist ideology. Therefore, the females, by such a system of value, are robbed of the stimulus to aspire for their own comfort, to succeed, to elevate themselves, and thus ameliorate their lives. They neglect, as a result, to control their own existences; they surrender this authority to the collective force referred to as Nature (although Wilderness would be more appropriate in reference to a setting not affected by human beings). They become dragged into the primeval bog, affected by the law of all systems' decay omnipresent in a state of a man's passiveness, equivalent to a state of man's non-existence. This condition is precisely what the heirs of John Dewey had embedded in the hippies and the achievement of which they are approaching with the youths of today. Feminism is merely another avenue toward such deterioration, its founders hoping for it to occupy the minds of those perhaps remote from the other collectivist trends. It is no longer the struggle for suffrage and equal protection under the law envisioned by Elizabeth C. Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. As a matter of fact, the censoring variety of feminism had sprouted its roots during the rallies of the 1960s.

          The modern Newspeak is far-reaching in its grasp. It encompasses the foul terms employed by hippies to demonstrate their scorn at the world, presently entrenched in almost every field of popularly-embraced entertainment and, consequently, in a majority of young minds. Originating from the repulsive jargon of the slums, these four-letter words are in common usage among wealthy and poor children alike. To imitate the lowly and rotten has become a fashion among the aristocrats of wealth, the so-called (anti)"progressive rich" who will, according to Ms. Rand, be the first to fall prey to the blinding dogmas of collectivism. These men with means, those who once possessed the most certain of opportunities to create wonders from their lives, shall destroy their desires for such success through the self-debasement of uttering such profanities as the four-letter words imply, the desire to perform the most barbaric and animal of acts upon one's fellow men, to molest them, to injure them, both in a casual manner reflecting that in which those words are spoken, to repress their yearning for greatness as well as to quell their wishes to rise from such disgusting deeds, obeying all of the above as if they were inviolate and profound laws. In the Wilderness they are. The very phonetics of the syllables involved are reminiscent of one of two sounds, a semi-animate mountain of swine wallowing in a puddle or a dull, coarse blade slicing through one's neck. Or perhaps it is that of the porcine abomination wielding the blade...

          But the most destructive variety of Newspeak can be visible in the overall reduction of eloquence within the comprehensive capacity and utility of the average American. With mass media rendered available, the academic elite had obtained to ability to broadcast to the masses the culture which, for them, was deemed most fitting to replace the stifled one of the West, that of the slums. Definite, literal, lyric terms of European origin had given way to incomprehensibly superficial, untraceable, mind-warping slang of the uneducated. Instead of a genuine (and rarely dispensed) inquiry into one's welfare, "How are you?" had become a mere ritual greeting. The expectation in response is a brief comment consisting of no greater a number of words than two. In reality, of course, no sole term is capable of describing the individual condition during even a single hour. The variety of experiences and reactions in its intricacy would have barely been grasped had volumes been written addressing such a topic. Yet, to achieve a twisted manner of politeness, a sincere respect for the state of a man's affairs is replaced by a feigned interest to satisfy one's pretense at courtesy while in reality possessing no respect whatsoever for the addressed individual. To the man of sloth it presents an image of moral elevation while in reality destructing any integrity that would have otherwise remained in him.

In circles of greater vulgarity such a cliché is replaced by the even more unfathomable "What is up?" or distorted phonetic variations thereof. The range of "proper" answers in the face of such a ludicrous and illogical (for a man of sight) inquiry is limited to but one, the despicable "Nothing much." In the literal sense (of course not consciously grasped by those employing the expression) it can be interpreted as a revelation of the creature's rejection of understanding, his passive dismissal of his surroundings through an outburst of apathy. "Whatever exists in the absolute," implies the brute, "holds no significance to me. I do not wish to study it, nor master it, nor extract anything from it to my advantage. I, in my extensively lauded condition of indolence, refuse to even lift my porcine head and my un-penetrating eyes to glance at a fact of reality." The message is subtle, nevertheless rendered ever more horrifying by precisely that fact. The ignorami, those favored drones of the Witch Doctors, embrace it without becoming aware of the consequent destruction of that one portion of their mind which is integral to survival, the ego. Mr. Orwell's connection between unconsciousness and orthodoxy again emerges to the surface through this example.

          Approximately two dozen of such automatic questions and responses (which are addressed by the brute to all those whom he meets without discrimination) are in constant circulation, millions of them floating around the country daily, dulling people's minds and consciences. They may be identified by two unifying deficiencies, those of deliberation and originality. The anatomy of another may display another dominant characteristic among them, a demeaning undertone. "Hey, man" has become a typical vulgar greeting. The utility of the word "man" as a generic term has remained here and here only within Newspeak, but to serve a vile purpose. "Hey" is a crude address demonstrating both a lack of refinement and a lack of respect for the individual addressed. By greeting a true "man" (which, as we had previously examined, is a noble distinction) with a phrase suitable only for one's disobedient hound, the very virtue of manhood is questioned and denied by the person uttering the remark. It is, in effect, a statement of the worthlessness of genuine humanity, i.e. of that creative spirit of the ego which renders possible the uplifting of the human condition. It is an eager (although subconscious) upholding of the direct antithesis of objective progress, collectivist nihilism, the base upon which the leftist oligarchy seeks to erect its own metaphorical construction, which, instead of an edifice, shall be a wrecking ball to demolish all others.          

          A decent, respectful conversation seldom occurs in an era where such terminology has become as parasitic a mark on an individual as is a tattoo. Both are imprints of whimsical societal trends and an atmosphere permeated by vulgarity; both are signs of an individual's incompetence and surrender to the above. Specific, definite terms are falling into a category defined by Newspeak as "old-fashioned" but possessing the same meaning as the Orwellian "old-thinking". Vocabulary, art, clothing styles, and ideology of the Enlightenment and the Victorian Era (in the mainstream, neglecting the socialism spreading clandestinely from Hegel's philosophical blunderings) are all classified under such a category, unified by the elements of rationality and objectivity which had been in the field of Mr. Orwell's recognition. The culture which we shall for the sake of encompassing both time periods classify as True Western was founded upon logic, precision, and science, which had been properly judged to be necessary conditions for progress and thus for individual life.

         The struggle for the individual is thus becoming branded as obsolete by the confused impulsive cortices of the indoctrinated. It becomes replaced by thoughtless subservience to the dominant paradigm, by implications of worthlessness, by censorship of dissent and mislabeling of concepts. Children are taught in the (anti)"progressive" schools to throw off the "shackles" of proper grammar; they are subtly encouraged to punctuate however they please, to not capitalize the necessary words of their electronic communication (as the bureaucrats in 1984 did not capitalize their Newspeak memorandums), to spell "creatively", i.e. haphazardly and without the logical structure of proper English to rely upon, to employ such perversions without penalty and with subsequent replication on the behalf of their peers. What they truly throw off, however, is the exhilarating range of freedom that proper grammar and an ample arsenal of vocabulary render possible. One of them would not have comprehended even this simple commentary. They would have and will remain immune to its warnings (which are intended for men of intellect because intellect is precisely that capacity which my ideological endeavor seeks to uphold and justify). As thought the Party Witch Doctors, so do the Deweyites: "Ignorance is Strength." It is their strength.

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Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.