In the Seventh grade, I was assigned this Orwell novel as a reading assignment. It was probably the first assigned reading that I actually enjoyed. As each year passes, even references to Orwell’s greatest work become more Orwellian. (Fitting and yet ironic at the same time. Not only has his name become an adjective, and part of our lexicon forever, but it has also come to be used most by those very people Orwell was trying so desperately to warn us against. Even the adjective based on his name has fallen prey to the another term coined from his book, doublethink.) It is no secret to anyone who has bothered to check, Orwell’s dystopian society was indeed modeled after the Soviet Union, the very socialist society our Liberal friends which us to become. It is also no secret, though not as widely known that Orwell was himself a socialist at a young age. Like many people who are liberals at a young age, they grow up to become conservative stalwarts. Thomas Sowell, Winston Churchill, and Ronald Reagan are also members of this fraternity.
In his description of the ultimate nanny state, Orwell noted that the people needed to be willing to allow themselves to be lied to, repeatedly. They needed to be willing to discard their own perfectly functional memories, in order to accept the lies and direction of the government charged with their daily maintenance. I am sure that most of you have read the novel, so I will not bore you with a book report. That is not what this essay is about anyhow. It is about what I do see happening on a day to day basis, though.
Last night, I was speaking with a very close friend who happens to be a liberal. Politics have been a taboo subject for us for years. We can talk about anything else, but politics are out. The discussion sometimes reaches that road accidentally, and the result is seldom positive. I did however have an epiphany, and that epiphany is that there is a lot of doublethinking, and Newspeaking going on out there. I have shown evidence of media bias before. Here is a post from November which illustrates it nicely. This however goes beyond media bias, it speaks to the issue of people in general being willing to accept baloney. This acceptance comes in two forms. Downplaying the effects of malignant legislative and executive mischief. Ignoring completely malignant and executive mischief.
Let’s start with the glaring example this week. The glaring example is something evil called Net Neutrality. Americans just accepted it. We should all be spitting mad. A lot of folks have no idea that the 5 appointed bureaucrats on the FCC just defied a Supreme Court Ruling, current Legislation, and arbitrarily impinged our First Amendment Rights, by simply applying Newspeak and changing the meaning of freedom of speech. Freedom of Speech used to mean the right to speak whatever was on your mind, now it means the right of government bureaucrats to determine what should be heard. This is not the first time this silliness has been inflicted on us as a society. We had something called the Fairness Doctrine. This forced broadcast sources to give equal time for any perceived conveyance of a political position for an alternative view.
Here is why it is Orwellian. First, we called it the Fairness Doctrine. We called it Net Neutrality. this gives people the false impression that some benevolent force, beyond partisanship is going to enforce the equal conveyance of this new set of rules. In practice, what happens is that the political bent of those enforcing the rules becomes the standard by which speech is measured. If for example, enforcer A agrees with something said, enforcer A merely needs to consider it to not be political speech to have it be exempted. Enforcer A’s side of the aisle is free to give their argument uncontested, while the other side must jump through regulatory hoops to have their turn to speak. What we have done in this world is removed every one’s freedom of speech in place of Enforcer A’s unconstitutional right to be heard. The other thing these doctrines do, is force us all to listen, when forced listening is not a guarantee made to free speakers under the First Amendment.
Something else to be considered by those who feel that this is no big deal. Let us pretend for a moment that we all believe President Obama to be every wonderful thing he has been portrayed to be by a psychophantic media. Obama is indeed the smartest, most altruistic, benevolent, wisest President we have ever had. He will not be President forever. What about the President 50 years from now? What if that person is a jerk? Just because the evil that is possible under these Orwellian measures might not happen right now does not mean that someone in the future won’t figure it out. The framework is there, and it would be very easy for the wrong people to set it up.
For those of you who don’t know this, and apparently there are a lot more of you than I thought possible, Michelle Obama has been on an anti-child obesity campaign for two years. On the surface, this sounds good. Who would not like to see our children be healthier, and as fit as they can be? The problem is with how this is going to be achieved. Not through education alone, but through legislation and taxation. A surtax on Carbonated Beverages containing sugar has been proposed as a part of Michelle’s Crusade. San Francisco, that’s the People’s Republik of San Francisco for the saner among you, has completely destroyed the Constitution and actually outlawed the placement of toys in Happy Meals in their city. They have done this apparently because the adults in The People’s Republik of San Francisco are incapable of resisting purchasing this evil food like substance for their children unless the government steps in to make it less appealing to children. One of these things failed, the other did not. The reason one failed, is that Americans knew it was happening to them. So, on Michelle’s next charge, Only Fox News reported it. Quite simply, another freedom impinged on, and it happened because it was ignored by those folks in San Francisco, who will one day awaken from their stupor upset at the fact that they no longer have the freedoms they willfully ignored away.
Both of these examples require the participation of the citizens in their screwing. So while it is true that our Constitution is being dismantled, and our freedoms being stripped away, it is also true that we are complicit. I do not believe it to be too late however. It is getting close.
This syndicated column belongs to Flyovercountry, his website is Musings of a Mad Conservative.