Monday, December 21, 2009

Of Potentates, the Lie and Altered States of Reality

Russian writer and Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote in 1974: "In our country the lie has become not just a moral category, but a pillar of the state." Think about that profound statement for a while!

The Berlin Wall was raised by the Soviets for a purpose: it marked the border between the real world and the altered state of reality that the Communists had created. The manuscript of his book The Gulag Archipelago had to be smuggled out. This is how the public in the West learnt what was going on. But not everyone wanted to. Some had erected their own altered states of reality.

I am reminded of Solzhenitsyn's profound statement with every encounter with Orwellian Newspeak. That is, with increasing frequency.

For novices to the phenomenon, Newspeak is politically correct language and a tool for thought control. Often a word is used in a way that it means the opposite (as in German "Democratic" Republic, "the religion of peace", "social justice" as synonymous with the freedom of property, or that ethics consists in good intention and never in bad outcome).

Subjectivism is based on a fallacy - that truth "as such", does not exist, but entirely depends on your perspective. This fallacy is the enemy of reality, fact, objectivity, wisdom, truth and ultimately, of liberty itself.

From the error a string of fallacies ensues, amongst others about the nature of language, and even of thought itself. Thought and language become ends in themselves, and are perceived to create reality, rather than understanding and describing it: a reversal of the cognition process.

There is an uncanny relationship between tyranny and the lie. All tyrants are subjectivists. Truth and reality are the given, and as such much be accepted but once malleable, this opens up entire new vistas to those who seek control.

Bullies and potentates - seeking power for themselves or for the sake of the common good - want as much control as possible; so the ability to change reality in the perception of the people is a tool they can't pass up. First they resort to coercive measures. Political correctness, relativism, incrementally shifting definitions, and Newspeak fall into the Nudge category. Later on there are other means at their disposal: punishment, violence, terror, purges, oppression, arbitrary rules and regulations, forced labor and lunatic asylums.

If the nudges are properly executed - which is true today - reality will be turned on its head, truth turned inside out, and mental and intellectual chaos result. This dis-ease is known as cognitive dissonance: the feeling that all isn't well, without being able to pinpoint the precise trouble spot. I believe it is responsible for much of the psychological trauma people experience today.

Yesterday it was reported that the cast iron sign over the gate of the Auschwitz Memorial, "Arbeit Macht Frei", was stolen but recovered, cut into three pieces. Arbeit Macht Frei (work will set you free) in relation with a death camp is a powerful symbol of the Newspeak utilized by philosophical and political psychopaths.

Leonard Peikoff in "The Ominous Parallels" makes the case that the Nazi death camps may have been controlled experiments in mass mind control: what does the absurd, something that bears no relation with known reality whatsoever, do to the human mind ... absurd, as in Vienna walzes accompanying human beings to the gas chamber?

This is why I have devised the "Arbeit Macht Frei" banner, to be used whenever there's a Newspeak alert, to remind ourselves of what is at stake when truth and reality itself are being manipulated to suit the purposes of evil.


-  The Newspeak Dictionary

- Sparknotes: "The Principle of Newspeak"
- "The Left's Default Position: Coercion" (series)
- "Postmodern Ravages" (dossier)
- "Pomo Lingo" (dossier)


RatePoint Business Reviews