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George Rebane: Democrats’ ‘Newspeak’ a radical ideological agenda

George Rebane | Other Voices

George Orwell and Mao Zedong both knew that a person can only think thoughts supported by his language, a cogito-linguistic principle first introduced as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. Orwell introduced it to broad audiences in the form of “Newspeak” in his 1984 classic.

Newspeak was a continuously revised and government mandated English that systematically removed/revised words that supported thinking about rebellion or anything anti-government. It worked very effectively in the novel, and motivated Mao’s attempt to replicate a Newspeak version of Chinese to a then large illiterate population after communists took power in 1949.

Mao began by reducing published Chinese to 2,000 carefully chosen ideographs (out of more than 800,000), the recognition of these would make a citizen compliantly literate and able to read government issued dicta and “news.”



Democrats and other would-be autocrats worldwide have been envious of this method of thought control effected by the bureaucratic elites of collectivist governments. And in the past few years we have seen America’s progressives begin implementing the 21st century version of Newspeak.

A more sophisticated and harder to detect aspect of Newspeak is to also reduce the information carrying capacity of the language. This is achieved by contracting authorized word usage and making the meaning of surviving words more ambiguous (languages expand their information carrying capacity by introducing new words to identify new things and capture more nuanced meanings so as to efficiently communicate them — think of “the cat caught a mouse” vs. “the domesticated furry, four-legged predator with claws caught a mouse”).



A recent ratcheting of Newspeak is found in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new spate of laws for California, as described in Terry McLaughlin’s Jan. 13 column in The Union. Starting this year, the word “alien” will be struck from government materials (as already picked up by the left wing media), to be replaced by “non-citizen” and “immigrant” to describe people in America who are not citizens.

With these newly restricted usages, the reader cannot distinguish between, say, a legal tourist or business person and anyone illegally in the country, or a recently arrived person under a legal two-party agreement and anyone who came here in violation of our laws.

Again, the Democrats’ motivation here is clear — not only make it hard to distinguish but also harder to think about illegal aliens flooding through porous borders to weaken America’s traditional culture, its sovereign nation-statehood, and to ensconce a growing electorate that will ultimately guarantee a one-party monopoly in the United States.

And Newspeak, promoted widely through our government and academic institutions, co-operating corporatists, and unionized public schools makes it all possible.

As an exit exercise, consider also the new meanings of “racist,” “white supremacist,” “insurrection,” “the rich,” “Nazi,” “socialist,” “violence” … To confirm the success of this insidious program, just have a conversation with anyone under 30 years old.

As former Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker observed in “The News Media Becomes Fluent in Newspeak,” “We are facing nothing less than a concerted, sustained and comprehensive effort to re-educate Americans in service of a radical ideological agenda.”

George Rebane lives in Nevada County and hosts Rebane’s Ruminations online.

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