April 21, 2008

What Nightmares May Come

It's a curious fact of human psychology that we can be looking at something for a long time before the true picture finally becomes clear. For instance, the citizenry of most 'Western democracies' have known for many years that their system isn't perfect; in fact, many people (perhaps most, as they get older) have become rather cynical about politics and politicians. On the surface, then, we seem to be sophisticated to a degree. But, getting below the surface, the fact remains that we have little understanding of just how corrupt and totalitarian our political systems have become.
It finally hit me recently that the utterly perverted and inverted use of language foreseen by George Orwell in his amazingly prescient novel, '1984,' has within these few opening years of the 21st Century, become entrenched in our political apparatus.
Yes, I know that politicians have been lying to us since the dawn of civilization. Yet it was recognized that they were expected to be truthful and when discovered in their lies, shame and apologies were also expected. Today, the problem is that mendacity has infected the political rhetoric like a semantic cancer, wherein the practitioners believe they have some kind of elite dispensation from the rules of normal, truth-based speech. They employ a specialized vocabulary in which things mean the direct opposite of what the word says. Thus, they can speak with full assurance before media interviews, public enquiries, legal proceedings, and what have you, never missing a beat. You want examples? They are legion, especially since 2001 when the art of Orwellian 'doublespeak' or 'newspeak' (as he labeled it) reached new heights in the American sphere.

Think back to '9-11' and the resulting actions termed by the Bush administration as a 'War on Terror.' Despite this being a so-called 'war,' the unfortunate suspects rounded up by US troops and sent to Guantanamo prison were not considered as 'soldiers' by the White House, therefore not subject to the Geneva convention! It makes no sense, except when seen in 'newspeak' terms. The Bushmen vowed to deliver 'peace and security' to the American public; what they really intended was 'war and insecurity.' But because they were using newspeak, they could proclaim their crusade with complete assurance and bluster. In Canada, the Conservative party under Stephen Harper promised to make the federal government open and transparent. No sooner had they taken office when they became secretive and closed to all but tightly orchestrated press releases. The politicians have no shame over these 'apparent' contradictions because they were uttered in newspeak-- If you don't understand the lingo, don't blame them!

The same use of Orwellian newspeak is becoming the hallmark of all institutions of authority and power, such as the police, military, and corporations. Police officers used to speak with media reporters; now they have 'spokespersons' who are fluent in newspeak, and trained to give minimal information to the public. The military, as we know, are masters at doubletalk, and invent all kinds of vocabulary and acronyms to hide the truth of what they really do. Civilian casualties became 'collateral damage;' enemy targets are not killed, they are 'taken out;' detainees are not tortured, they are merely subjected to 'harsh interrogation.' Even real-estate sales agents have not taken the use of newspeak to the lofty heights pushed by military spokesmen. When the PR statements from big corporations assure us that they are dedicated to preserving the environment, to fair wages, and to social responsibility, you can understand that they are planning on moving to an underdeveloped country where there are no environmental laws, where a local fair wage is a pittance in Western terms, and where there are no meaningful laws to protect employees or citizens from corporate priorities.

One writer, Henry Makow, has described the phenomenon in slightly different terms: "Thus, we always must discern between the formal and the informal, the subjective and the objective. Formally, we live in a free society. Informally our "leaders" are dupes and traitors dedicated to our ultimate enslavement. [...] Formally, elections express the peoples' will and desire for change. Informally, elections are required to maintain the illusion of freedom and secure the taxes and bodies needed for endless wars. Formally, they believe in our country. Informally, they are doing everything they can to undermine it so the population will accept world government."

This analysis is perceptive, and is another insight into the use of newspeak as the medium for concealing what he calls the informal (true) agenda from the public. When members of the elite, the presidents, prime ministers, CEOs, the generals, the chiefs, say one thing, what they really mean is the opposite. This is endemic, institutionalized hypocrisy; this is Orwellian newspeak, the argot of the ruling class in the 3rd Millennium. Orwell warned us more than 50 years ago when it looked like literary excess; today we are living the nightmare.

A moment's reflection should convince the reader that prolonged use of newspeak is highly dangerous to the health of society. It was the dialect used in Nazi Germany, and we know how that story ended. It was the language of choice in the USSR, and mercifully, merely led to internal collapse and disintegration. However, in both those notorious examples, the elite made the game obvious, with dictatorial suppression of human rights and blatant abuses of power. The people knew it was a giant scam, and discounted every official pronouncement accordingly. The new globalists must have learned something; or perhaps the Nazi and Communist experiments were just part of their plan. Today, they skillfully use newspeak and media 'info-tainment' techniques to baffle the minds of the public and to artfully conceal the malignancy behind their soothing words. Since the primary myth of America is that it is a democracy, and that myth is nurtured from birth to death, the vast majority believes it as they believe in the law of gravity. Thereby, American society, by and large, does not realize that they are being scammed, and even the 'well-informed' don't understand the degree to which their information is, in fact, highly shaped and even manufactured to achieve desired outcomes in public consciousness.

There may still be readers who can't accept the idea that our political leaders deliberately state one thing when they really mean the opposite. To convince those lingering skeptics, let me supply a few examples from recent history-- which I hope most people will recall. In the early 1990's, Western leaders ('G7' at the time) pledged to divert a specified small percentage of their GDP specifically towards the eradication of child poverty-- a noble goal, and certainly one that was quite attainable. Today, hardly 20 years later, all reports are that the rate of child poverty in the G8 has not only not improved, but has shown some further erosion. For years now, western governments have all paid dutiful lip service to the necessity to care for the world environment. Some signed on to the Kyoto Accord, some did not, but continued to announce their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Today, worldwide pollution continues its rise, virtually unabated from the earliest days of public acknowledgement. During the horrendous civil war in Rwanda, despite the fact that the UN had troops on the ground, and capable commanders practically crying for authority to intervene, the UN members sat on their collective and individual hands, watching as 800,000 Africans were butchered. Again, regarding Africa, George Bush, in his inaugural address of the 2004 election, pledged millions of dollars of aid to combat the AIDS epidemic. A noble sounding pledge that astounded me at the time (before I woke to the reality I present here). Four years later, it emerges that, in fact, there were unacceptable strings attached to Bush's offer and essentially no money has been forthcoming. When another civil war broke out in the Darfur region of Sudan, the world community once again showed its utter indifference towards Africa (apart from oil-rich Nigeria) and to this day, has done nothing substantive to end the bloodshed. During the fabricated crisis that led to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 2006, the UN and notably, the USA, simply sat on the sidelines wringing their hands in mock dismay while the IDF proceeded to destroy the once-viable nation of Lebanon, finally lobbing deadly cluster bombs against the civilian population in frustration. I could go on, but you should get the picture by now. In all these situations, the leaders spouted high-flying rhetoric in archetypal newspeak, had the power and authority to do something; and chose to do nothing. You can't watch this hypocrisy time after time and simply write it off as coincidence or whatever. Make no mistake, this doublespeak is deliberate as is the inaction. One of the principle factors the elite depend on for promulgating their hypocritical statements is the ridiculously short attention span of modern society-- which, in turn, is fostered by communications media that maintain a relentless torrent of 'news' and entertainment to assault the minds of the public.

No society can function in a sustainable healthy manner when there is such a disconnection between its language and the meaning behind the words-- when those in authority are perverting linguistics for self-serving ends. It may take one, or two generations, as with the USSR, but inevitably, the system must collapse under the weight of its accumulated inconsistencies with reality. We are seeing the economic illusion start to unravel, as the true dimensions of its fundamentals demonstrate their contradiction to the glowing depictions of the financial gurus and overlords. Once that key sector crumples, the guano will really hit the fan. As the masses begin to realize the name of this sorry game, they will be very upset and will look for leaders to blame. To distract the masses and deflect the blame, the leaders will resort to the usual tactics-- create an emergency, like a war, or more likely, another concocted 'attack' on American soil. And because everything has to be on a gigantic scale these days to have any lasting impact on public consciousness, you can be sure it will be a terrible event, indeed.

Having had such dramatic demonstrations of the failure of elite dictatorships, why, one wonders, would anyone want to go back and do it again? Especially in this modern age when the misuse of military technology could have virtual catastrophic consequences on a global scale. (Indeed, we have the capacity to destroy our race, in the extreme.) The whole concept is insane, fraught with destruction, death, and chaos. Partly because of the convolution of language, the protagonists in question really believe that their utopian ends justify whatever means can be devised to attain them. When evil is presented as good, ongoing war as peace, ignorance as happiness, murder of 'enemy' civilians as justice, invasion as liberation, predatory capitalism as democracy, and so on and on... then what else can anyone expect, but chaos? And in the sick minds of the globalists, chaos is the desired, unavoidable path to final order, as their motto 'Ordo ab chao' optimistically proclaims. One can find various plausible, psychological explanations that attempt to account for why patently crazy ideas are embraced and promoted by a certain segment of power-mad individuals. It's difficult, but they try to rationally analyze decisions and actions that, to any sane observer, make no sense, defy reasonable notions of human decency and preservation of the common good... including that of the mad elite themselves. Yet, most of these explanations leave one still pondering how supposedly 'intelligent' human beings could pursue courses of action that can be predicted to be ultimately self-destructive. The Bible offers what I regard as a credible explanation when it refers to 'the mystery of iniquity.' In other words, this kind of insanely destructive behavior has no rational basis-- its cause is a mystery.

I'd like to conclude on an optimistic note... But any student of history knows full well that what we are seeing is part of a cyclical process-- the waxing and waning of civilizations, the 'rise and fall' of empires, the ebb and flow of human progress. It's obvious we are nearing the zenith of an historical expansion. Most of our cycles are not sinusoidal-- i.e. smoothly rising and declining, but rather 'sawtooth' in profile-- exhibiting an increasingly steep rising phase and followed by a sudden and abrupt plunge as the bubble bursts. What the latest collapse is going to be like, we cannot predict. There are numerous possible scenarios, most of them not very pleasant. As the chaos increases, the idiom of newspeak will demonstrate its bankruptcy of meaning. People will finally 'get it;' but by then, it may be too late.

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