The Rise of Newspeak

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What we think the talking heads are talking about when they condemn racism, misogyny or some other form of bigotry is entirely detached from what they are actually talking about.

If you are reading this, the odds are that you define racism as an expression of racial bigotry. That is the formal definition, but it is as meaningful to the actual use of the terminology as reaching for a Latin dictionary or trying to make sense of the vocabulary of the Picts. That definition has long been as outdated as the steam engine.

To the progressive left, and by that I mean the people who actually write the policies, set the agenda and control the national dialogue, racism is not about race, misogyny is not about gender and anti-semitism is not about ethnicity or religion. They are forms of reactionary behavior and thinking.

Remember that definition because it’s important. It is why asking questions like, “What about liberal misogyny?” is as useless as asking Nazis why their leadership didn’t seem to include a lot of blonde supermen. The Nazi definition of Ubermensch was not based on physical or intellectual qualities, but on political ones. It was impossible to be a true member of the Master Race and not be a Nazi. It is equally impossible for a liberal to be a racist.

The left describes bigotry not in terms of the act, but in terms of a reactionary mentality. To be a reactionary is to be beholden to a more primitive era like the 1950s or the 1850s and its backward attitudes. Even when a progressive engages in bigoted mentation, that is the reactionary attitudes that he picked up from his father or grandfather or some other member of the patriarchy coming into play. A warning sign that he needs to properly cleanse himself of those reactionary attitudes to be a proper progressive.

Anything done in a progressive cause is inherently not reactionary. Racism and misogyny is completely acceptable when attacking reactionaries. It is even encouraged.

How can that be possible? Simple. Why does the left view bigotry as wrong? Because it’s a reactionary attitude that prevents the mobilization of all sectors of society in the struggle for universal social justice. Beneath all the word games, all the people of color sessions, the plays, the movies and the impassioned appeals for a better world– this is what it all comes down to. Bigotry is wrong because it inhibits the ultimate goals of the left.

You won’t find this definition in modern sensitivity guidebooks, but it is the real one, the root of the thing and the one that matters. It is why the left opposes bigotry and campaigns against it, not for moral reasons, but for tactical ones. It is also why racist and sexist attacks against conservatives are completely acceptable. Women and minorities on the right have opted out of the global struggle for social justice. The rationale against bigotry does not cover them. They are fair game.

If this sounds strange, surreal or irrational to you, pick up your copy of 1984 or Animal Farm. Orwell saw political language seeping through the left all along and its usages repelled him. Newspeak was the endgame, a language in which it was impossible to express dissenting ideas or to think clearly. It was a purely political language. But English and the languages of most First World nations are becoming Newspeakified.

The division between English and Newspeak pops up when you encounter political words. Some of those words are new. Others are existing words retooled with new political definitions. Their goal is to teach you to think in the appropriate ways. No matter how specific they seem, their definitions are always vague and subject to constant revision, requiring teams of experts to “educate” you on their true meaning.

This deceptive transition is often confusing. You think that you are speaking in the mother tongue, but you have actually slipped into Newspeak and it is not intended to allow you to express the ideas that you might wish to say. You might wish to use Newspeak to call for the authorities to be held accountable, but the authorities cannot be held accountable with dictionaries that they create.

Most terms for bigotry have a different usage by the left and the people trained by them than they do for the common man or woman. They also have a different purpose.

Bigotry is used by the progressive left to detect and expose reactionary attitudes with a member of the persecuted group acting as the representative of her people culminating in a demonstration of how such reactionary attitudes inhibit social progress for her people. This show has been playing in American theaters for generations and will go on playing for generations until the walls cave in. It is a basic teaching tool of the left that plays on emotions and is utterly immune to truth or reason.

The victim approaches, the lawyer passionately argues against the westernocracy, the patriarchy or the something-or-other-cracy or -archy, so long as it’s not the progressive-ocracy, the oppressed applaud, the reactionaries are shamed, and everyone goes on to pull the lever for the left. Social progress has once again been achieved. But the entire Punch and Judy show, which as an adult you have probably already encountered in multiple novels and movies, has nothing to do bigotry. It is about power.

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  • truebearing

    Great analysis. Political Correctness is just another name for Newspeak. Intended to supplant morality and trap the moral. Its mutable rules give the Left infinite opportunities to mock, discredit, and demean conservatives. Suddenly "insensitivity" becomes something to be condemned, though how much sensitivity required is never clear. Ultimately, what the Left is doing is making not only thoughts, but even emotions, against the law.

    The Tea Party scared the hell out of the Left with their focused emotion in 2010, so naturally they went after the Tea Party to diffuse its emotional appeal and cohesion. The Left knows the power of fear too. They use the fear of being ostracized to control the weak. Political Correctness keeps people emotionally off balance and terrified of being labeled. The insidious emotional alchemy the left uses to destabilize people seems to work quite effectively on fairly intelligent people too. They've discovered that humans, intelligent or not, are insecure and vulnerable emotionally, and they are evil enough to exploit it.

  • Stephan

    While liberals see the 1950s or the 1850s as backwards they feel very well very good going more backwards to Rousseau's "animal" (18th century) or to the "Noble Savage" (16th century).

  • MikeWood

    Brilliant work! You can see from this why the left and muslims feel such an affinity for each other. Both the left and Islam are amoral systems ultimately driven by one thing: will to power. On top of that the muslims are exploiting the left to achieve their aims and the left is exploiting muslims to achieve theirs. The left also gets to feel inwardly warm and holy by "helping" those who they see as fellow victims of the current power structure. To maintain this cozy relationship the left has to continually deceive itself about the real nature of Islam, something the muslims are happy to let them do – for now. Hence the left has to intensify the level of denial as more and more information contradicts their view of Islam. Denial is the most primitive mental defence and comes with the cost of severely impairing mental and moral clarity. The left's world will implode as reality finally blows in.

    • Jaladhi

      Both Muslims and liberals are chronic liars and deny the truth about Islam and and left. Bingo – both are in bed together!! No surprise here!!

      Question is when is the John Q. Citizen going to realize this and drive both of them out into oblivion??

  • theleastthreat

    In other words, the Left can never be proven wrong or held to account. I think the word for that is sophism. You're pure because your motives are pure, and your motives are pure because you say so. Likewise, your enemies are worse than Nazis because it's just so obvious to you. Anyway, whether you like him or no, tMr Limbaugh is not the equivalent of a Nazi any more than rudeness is the equivalent of genocide.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Interesting that Nazis are qnd were leftist. They proffered the same type of system as the commies.

    • Jim_C

      Wrong. Nazis hated communism as much as the next person. They were fascists–"the merging of state and corporate power."

      • Alvaro

        "Nazis hated communism as much as the next person."

        Nazism was in essence a conservative reaction to Marxism, where they copied certain elements of Marxism in order to defeat it, including reaching out for the workers. Politicians like Goebbels were conservative nationalists at heart, but also attacked the social democrats of the SPD from the left.

        "They were fascists–"the merging of state and corporate power.""

        All power was in essence the hands of Hitler. He could easily smash any corporation that would not submit to the "interests of the people" – that he, coincidentally, thought himself as an incarnation of. Corporate power was probably lower in Nazi Germany in 1940 than in the USA, because the dictator could do whatever he pleased with them: Corporate power was therefore quite low.

      • reader

        Fascists were Italian and Spanish socialists. Nazis were German National-Socialists of the German National-Socialist Workers Party (NSDAP). All being one or another form of statism, yet Italian and Spanish fascists being benevolent compared to both Commies and the Nazis.

      • mrbean

        Jim C. again shows he is somewhat intellectually challenged. Statism includes Fascism and Communism only as variants of statism. The only opposition between Communists and the Nazis in the 1930's was a disagreement between the Communists desire for dissolving of national soverignty in favor of one world government and the ownership of the means of production by the state, and the Nazis who were "National Socialists who wanted to preserve national soverignty and to control by not own all the means of production. Got it.

      • aspacia

        Not really. The hated and wanted to conquer the Soviets, but they were very similar totalitarian tyrannies that outright murdered millions for political reasons, and massacred millions in wars.

  • Danny

    "The right is morally oriented, it identifies improper behaviors that represent universal standards and tries to abide by them."

    The right identifies and then abides by improper behaviors? Attaboy, Daniel. You've managed to identify the core nature of the right in your own version of Newspeak. Or is it just a version of English that the rest of us is unfamiliar with? Or maybe a Freudian slip?

    I also like this one:

    "[Newspeak] is a language of obsession that inaccurately describes the unreal for the purposes of those who pull its strings."

    Daniel, let me try to resolve your confusion. One can't inaccurately or, for that matter, accurately describe the unreal. That's why it's unreal. Get it?

    BTW, many community colleges do offer remedial English courses. You might want to look into them.

    • davarino

      "Or is it just a version of English that the rest of us is unfamiliar with? "

      Heheheh yes please school us in the English language because you are such a master hehehehe. Touche, you have rendered him helpless with your mastery of English

      • HermitLion

        It is just a version's of the englise that de rest of us am unfamiliarz widz0rz!

    • Mike

      Danny, I think you have a problem with interpreting the English language.

      • Danny

        No, I just can spot pretentious writing that is barely coherent and utterly fails to substantiate any of its claims. Like e.g.

        "The left and the right both consider hating people for the color of their skin to be wrong, they just differ on the definitions of hate and people."

        I dare anyone to explain what the hell this idiot is trying to say. What is his definition of hate and people? How does it differ from those of anyone (pick someone, anyone) on the left? Or on the planet earth, for that matter?

        • pagegl

          Then please explain all the invective from the left towards people like Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, and other blacks who don't follow teh party line. Also, you might try to explain the left's contention that disliking Obama's policies makes folks on the right racists, but their dislike for the political leanings of Rice and Thomas is not.

          • Danny

            Simple enough. Yes, there are bozos on the left who claim that any criticism of Obama smacks of racism. I have no use for them. I have certain beliefs that can reasonably be categorized as leftist (well, sort of) but I judge criticism by its merits, not by what skin color the criticizer or criticizee (is that a word?) happens to be. There are bozos of every political persuasion and I'm not going to engage in a debate about whether our side, whatever that is, has more bozos than your side. Anyway, there are enough bozos to go around.

            As for the left's dislike of Rice and Thomas (more for Thomas, I would say), for the most part, the impetus for that dislike is no more or less racist than that for the right's dislike of Obama, regardless of how vehemently it's expressed.

            How's that for a balanced approach? :>)

          • aspacia

            Greenfield's claim revolves around how pc speak resembles the Newspeak of 1984. Evidently, you do not know the text, nor Animal Farm, nor who Winston is.

            Now, this blogger is kindly asking you to not continue making a fool or yourself.

        • intrcptr2

          "…what the hell this IDIOT is trying to say."

          I would suggest that this is a pretty good example of it.
          You disagree with his thesis, largely because it seems you can't find it, but also because you fall under it, so you attack his intellect.

          Good one, danny-boy.

          By the way, e.g. means "like".

          • Danny

            Actually I was able to locate his thesis. I just wasn't able to locate any evidence for it in the article. A minor omission, I guess.
            As for your BTW, sorry for being redundant. I was trying to use some spoken everyday language rather than be grammatically correct. Like, this is how we talk in real life, y'know?

          • aspacia

            intrcptr, he doesn't know Orwell.

        • aspacia

          If you have read 1984, you would know what his claim is. Evidently, you have not.

    • aspacia


      I'll bite; what is unreal about moral clarity?

      Answer the question, and remember I hold 4 degrees, and one in an M.A. in English Composition.

  • David

    "Why does the left view bigotry as wrong? …– this is what it all comes down to. Bigotry is wrong because it inhibits the ultimate goals of the left."

    Spot on! This is the most comprehensvie analysis of the left I've ever read.

  • tanstaafl

    "Everything is political." I forgot who said this.

  • maturin20

    Newspeak certainly does abound. It used to be that "leftist" meant a Jewish Communist who is blacklisted because he hates Christianity and infiltrates literature and movies and tries to destroy the monetary system. Now a "leftist" is someone that a Zionist Jew blacklists for protesting against the destruction of the monetary system. A "leftist" is now any non-evangelical Christian. A "leftist" is anyone who criticizes totalitarian states or national resource communism. A "leftist" is anyone who criticizes trotskyite Israelist samizdats.

    • נגד המנוולים

      Hey putz, take a deep breath.

      Hold it.

      Stay that way.

      • maturin20

        It is very telling that people are trying to hold an intelligent and civil conversation and a belligerent Zionist with a belligerent name jumps in and starts hurling puerile insults. It really shows what Israeli Nationalism is about.

        • 2.718…

          Every moment that Israel exists, you lose. Too bad for you. Now go swallow an avocado pit, you filthy bunghole.

        • aspacia

          The problem is that your are not intelligent, and lack substance, and are a waste of time.

    • HermitLion

      It used to be that a "Zionist Jew" merely meant a Jewish person who approves of the return to his ancestral home, and now it is used by hateful people such as yourself for mental ejaculation of personal frustrations.

      • maturin20

        It is hateful to counter someone who is falsely accusing every non-zionist of leftism? It's a mark of hatred to disagree with a Jew? Or is this just some canard that you pull out because I am right?

        • reader

          A person who insists that the Jews don't deserve to have their state, the only Jewish state, and they must turn their land and their sovereignty and their destiny to the Jew-hating Arabs who already have 22 states, or thereabout, and who thinks that this stance makes him right, is a straight away Jew hater.

        • aspacia

          Answer why should not enjoy the sanctuary of the homeland they purchased. All the ME political boundaries are artificial, and so are Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, et al. So What?

          Look at a map and read the facts about Arab discrimination against their brethren in the hopes of destroying Jews and Israel.

          And do not give me the bs drivel you normally do. Read a book, or go to Jewish Virtual History for facts.

          Muslims lie and actually claim that they built Jerusalem because David did not realize he was a Muslim/???????? Yikes.

          And you support this idiocy.

    • aspacia


      I thought you were banned! Go back to you dung heap and enjoy the maggots, they suit you.

  • tagalog

    The photograph of a woman demonstrator holding a sign that contains the message "SLUTS VOTE" suggests to me that the woman carrying that sign, and interesting in stating that message, gets some sort of charge out of using language like that. Surely a lady would find a better way to express her sense of outrage.

    • Questions

      This is called irony. She's not implying she's a slut. She is saying that women like her are likely to be labeled as such by Rush Limbaugh and his army of dittoheads. Voting is a way of resisting such stigmatizing.

  • tagalog

    The message carried by the female demonstrator in the photograph preceding this article suggests the woman's fascination with using the word. A more refined person would have found an effective method of getting the message across without making a further display of the word in question. As my deleted post that uses the actual word, and this subsequent post, amply demonstrate…

    One other question: when a person carries a sign saying that "______S VOTE," it appears that she is referring to herself by that term. Not exactly Newspeak, but a sort of perverse use of protest to accuse oneself, or so it seems.

    By the standards set out in the article, one asks: is her use of the word a bigoted/reactionary act, inherited from father or grandfather, which requires re-education and re-grooving, or is it a progressive use of the word that is inherently praiseworthy?

    • Jim_C

      You're just trying to be cute, right? You do actually "get" the sign, right?

      • tagalog

        As I understand it, she's carrying a sign that says "SLUTS VOTE," and its intended meaning appears to be that she votes and candidates for election should keep that in mind. But the implication that HER carrying such a sign carries with it is that she herself is a slut, albeit a slut who votes. Is that what you meant? If not, will you please explain what else there is to "get?"

        • Jim_C

          Rush defined a sl_t as someone who requires birth control medication. Therefore, the girl carrying the sign is saying "If requiring birth control medication (or supporting those who do) makes me a sl-t, then fine I'm a sl-t who will remember your charming attitude when I vote."

      • intrcptr2

        The point, which he does likely get, is that this woman's sign proclaims her solidarity with the "victim" of Rush's tasteless joke.
        Where it becomes Newspeak is in the adoption of an obvious and irredeemable slur as a badge of honor.
        At the same time this is the fruit of the sexual revolution; the condemnation by pampered children of the morals of their parents; what our grandparents would have instantly recognized as behavior suitable only for a tramp is now considered not only normative and healthy but as an aim of full individual realization.

        Is Ms Fluke a slut? I've no idea, but considering how, to be simplistic, the left has successfully rediefined that word in the past generation-plus, I don't know how to answer the question. But holding that sign up seems to be saying that even in today's atmosphere, being a slut (And I do think we men have a lot of growing up to do in this regard, too; Hugh Hefner is a pox on this nation) is no big deal.

        I'm inclined to disagree. You?

        • Jim_C

          The Left has redefined the word in the past generation? I take it to mean someone who is promiscuous. It is Rush who has redefined it.

          Rush seems to define the word, rather, as "someone who requires birth control medication," while bafflingly equating the amount of pills taken to the amount of sex they're having.

          The girl with the sign is saying "I use (or support the use of) birth control; therefore, by Rush's definition, I am a sl-t."

          You can't unspin this my friends. I don't think most conservatives have backwards attitudes like Rush clearly has demonstrated over the years; but the fact they can't simply say "Rush was way out of line" and instead try to point the finger elsewhere doesn't speak too well of them. Sorry. You can't turn this into "Aren't people too promiscuous these days?"

          • aspacia

            True enough. Any comments about Maher?

  • Jim_C

    So no one here could simply say "Rush was being a jerk." That could lead one to believe that the prevailing attitude is akin to Rush's: that women who use birth control are "sl_ts."

    Certainly, it can't be "My taxes pay for your birth control," since A. they don't; and B. You've likely been paying for people's birth control through your insurance for years and years and didn't have a problme with it, until it came time to defend Rush's ill-treatment of this young woman.

    On this site, in regard to the Rush kerfuffle, a knuckle dragging dimbulb named "matamoros" made copious reference to Obama's race–even though Obama and his race have nothing to do with this issue. His comment got something like a +16 votes.

    No bigotry here! No sir!

    • reader

      "That could lead one to believe that the prevailing attitude is akin to Rush's: that women who use birth control are "sl_ts.""

      Oh, how clever. This particular woman is obviously not about using birth control; she is a front for the coordinated attack on the 1st amendment. Anybody with half-functioning brain knows that if there is one country on earth, where people have no problem with accessing birth control, it is the United States.

      • trickyblain

        The First Amendment applies to individuals — people. Nobody is advocating forcing individuals to take birth control. If a Catholic opposes birth control (for reasons that are in no way Bibically based, but I digress), he or she can choose not to use it. But not everyone that goes to a Catholic school, or is employed by a Catholic entity.

        • reader

          The First Amendment likewise applies to religious institutions. The entire issue has risen over the mandate for Catholic institutions to pay for something they oppose. In fact, there is simply no need for ANYBODY to pay for contraceptives, when ANYBODY can get it FREE at any of the many Planned Parenhood locations. This is PURE First Amendmend issue.

          • fightwarnotwars

            I find it even more offensive that "religious institutions" don't pay taxes and yet want to have the right to determine what benefits they can offer or not offer to their employees.

          • fightwarnotwars

            also…reader, contraceptives are not free, you can't just walk-in to a PP and demand them.

            As with every other service, you have to apply for it and qualify for it… usually only if you are poor or low-income.

          • reader

            So, if you're not poor, you're having a hard time getting a condom? Send an email to just about any college campus, where the contraseptives are distributed for free, they'd be happy to oblige. And yes, religious institutions have the right to determine what they should and should not provide to their employees. This right is called the First Amendment right – the ral constitutional right, not the made up right, like "the right for contraseptives", for example.

      • passer-by

        This particular woman (why hasn't anyone stated her name??? – because we already know it or because of FEAR?) was a planned TRAP which seems to have caught Rush off-guard. He stepped right into it and it sprung a flurry of barbs intended to demean Rush and destroy his career. To the dismay of the Lefties, Rush is resiliant and unflappable as is his audience. Too bad his sponsors are so weak and self serving. They are the real losers!

        • Jim_C

          If it was a planned trap, then it was a damned good one, and makes my party seem awfully smart.

    • tagalog

      Do you have any specific details on how the average, mainstream-type health insurance plan pays for peoples' birth control?

      Are you able to make the distinction between a health insurance policy that is voluntarily subscribed to and a government health insurance plan that is mandatory? Or are they both the same because both might cover birth control?

      A person who might criticize Rush Limbaugh on the level of "Rush Limbaugh is a jerk" is the same kind of person who might call a person a "slut" for doing something they don't approve of.

      • Jim_C

        "Are you able to make the distinction between a health insurance policy that is voluntarily subscribed to and a government health insurance plan that is mandatory?" That's a good question. In this case I truly don't give a damn what that distinction may be.

        • reader

          That's because you don't even understand the founding basics. So much for enlightened progressive mind.

          • Jim_C

            Coming from you, 'tis a compliment! I thank you. But for the record, my comment can be paraphrased as "I understand the distinction (hence "good question"), but I find it irrelevant in this case.

            If you want to know where I'm coming from personally, I like the Swiss health care system. Check it out.

            You mention the founding. Were you aware they approved of socialized medicine?

  • BS77

    When the liberal attack dogs went after Sarah Palin, they used language and intimations that were gross and horrible, but the mainstream hacks said nothing in her defense. Rush LImbaugh said some unsavory things about Ms. Fluke, and the libs predictably went bonkers. We live in a hypocritical, hysterical media environment….hard to keep your rationality grounded.

    • Bob

      It is called two facedness:-)

  • Sandy Nobes

    Thank you Mr. Greenfield. Your explanation helps in understanding why we never seem to be able to keep up with what those in power consider "proper"

  • Ozzy

    It is too bad a conservative writer always has to justify Conservatism in these essays which often start out brilliantly. The fallacy that the right or the left is a monolith is at the bottom of it. The Right is not in accord about abortion, the rights of sexual minorities and many other issues; it is the same with Liberals, like David Horowitz for example. This analysis of language, however is spot on and finding English alternative to these terms colonized by the Commie left would be a great achievement.

  • Tychicus

    This is really well done article:
    "Anything done in a progressive cause is inherently not reactionary. Racism and misogyny is completely acceptable when attacking reactionaries. It is even encouraged.

    How can that be possible? Simple. Why does the left view bigotry as wrong? Because it’s a reactionary attitude that prevents the mobilization of all sectors of society in the struggle for universal social justice. Beneath all the word games, all the people of color sessions, the plays, the movies and the impassioned appeals for a better world– this is what it all comes down to. Bigotry is wrong because it inhibits the ultimate goals of the left."

    Any issue the left is fighting resolves to this type of behavior. It is really no different than the lefty movements in the past and present. Just look at the attempt to suppress the rape of women in the occupy movement. The same type of thinking applies. Just look at all the death and murder of their great Che and all the other Communist/Socialist/Fascist thugs. Even the lefty defense and apologetics for Stalin's show trials and other death regimes.

    This is something I always point out. The facade of "social justice" and other such terms "diversity" are all code words (re-defined) to fool people into thinking that there is some real common good cause here. The reality is simply that the agenda must be pushed at all costs. Any real liberty, right, governing body, must be violently hammered into submission no matter how small the minority of lefties may be. Just look at the proposition 8 in CA.
    Courage and Godspeed,

  • fightwarnotwars

    I love "articles" like this one that are based on pure speculation and fantasy. Where the author attempts to define "others" and attribute "causes" to certain types of behavior/action without using an actual examples or facts that affirm his so-called "hypothesis". If the intention was to "say a lot, without actually saying anything" then this article is fantastic.

    • reader

      Someone who seriously wrote this kind of tripe can't possibly be able to read and comprehend any article anyway.

  • SexShop

    Your explanation helps in understanding why we never seem to be able to keep up with what those in power consider.

  • Marti

    If you want to be a s–t , feel free to be so, but not on my tax dollar please.
    You poor baby, can't afford 9.00$ a month?
    My solution would be to abstain until you can afford it!!!!!
    A better idea would be, as long as you are in school, go to class, sit down, take notes, and shut up, until you can do these things you are not adult enough to be having sex!!!!!!!!!

  • Louis Vuitton Outlet

    $%$Cheers for the info. Greatly appreciated.