Sunday, July 28, 2019

double-think from Trump and Progressives

From George Packer's review of a book about Orwell's 1984 in The Atlantic...

It's a noteworthy piece as a general review on a vital topic. And Packer applies some of his discussion to obvious problems with Trump's rhetoric. But then at the end, he drops bombs on a more "insidious" problem: the rhetoric of Progressives, particularly in response to Trump. Packer warns objective folks to keep a watchful eye for both types of trouble. And ultimately, with the last line of his essay, he warns us that "the central drama of politics is the one inside your skull." Take care, when you're playing with the fire of politics and power. 

We stagger under the daily load of doublethink pouring from Trump, his enablers in the Inner Party, his mouthpieces in the Ministry of Truth, and his fanatical supporters among the proles. Spotting doublethink in ourselves is much harder...Progressive doublethink—which has grown worse in reaction to the right-wing kind—creates a more insidious unreality because it operates in the name of all that is good. Its key word is justice—a word no one should want to live without. But today the demand for justice forces you to accept contradictions that are the essence of doublethink.

Orthodoxy is also enforced by social pressure...can be more powerful than a party or state, because it speaks in the name of the people and in the language of moral outrage...
This willing constriction of intellectual freedom will do 

lasting damage. It corrupts the ability to think clearly, and 
it undermines both culture and progress. Good art doesn’t 
come from wokeness, and social problems starved of 
debate can’t find real solutions. “Nothing is gained by 
teaching a parrot a new word,” Orwell wrote in 1946. 
“What is needed is the right to print what one believes 
to be true, without having to fear bullying or blackmail 
from any side.” Not much has changed since the 1940s. 
The will to power still passes through hatred on the right 
and virtue on the left.

Will Lloyd takes a similar angle here-- in talking about how govt force is not required to achieve/push conformity. 


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home