Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Some Double-Speak / Mocking / Love and Hate

It's been a very long time, decades in fact, since I've read George Orwell's book, so I should beware of alluding to it.  But... here we go. It was written in 1949.

This is how Wikipedia has "double-speak":

Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms, in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.
Ha!-- but that is not what Orwell used; this is how far off I am, but:

 In "1984" Orwell introduced us to the words doublethink and newspeak.  A word he DIDN'T use - but which combines the two - is doublespeak.
Doublespeak is saying one thing and meaning another, usually its opposite.
In 1984 when BIG BROTHER and the Party say PEACE they mean WAR, when they say LOVE they mean HATE, and when they say FREEDOM they mean SLAVERY.

Lately, I've come across some stuff--which I am actually trying to forget because it is not helpful--but I feel I need to put it down in order that I can put it behind me.

It involves someone saying that love is not what Paul is after in 1. Cor. 13.  That it is not an imperative.  That actually "love" and "grace" are really "hate."   So now "grace" means "hate" and "hate" is good.  But those who are too nice or afraid to "hate" are "goodies", which is very bad.  These are people who won't criticize or rebel, struggling being the answer to the question of life's purpose.   In any case, "grace" does not mean mercy, forgiveness or joy.  In fact, one should not repent or be sorry because that is a waste of time and energy.  We should be putting our energy to use in "struggle" or in "wrestling" (bring in a Biblical story here to make the thing palatable to some.) One should not apologize, ever.

The person who thus engages everyone in fighting and struggling is thus being "gracious" but those who claim some faith are not at all "gracious."  They are the ones engaged in hypocrisy because they claim to be captive to grace but they are not really "gracious"--whatever "gracious" now means.

The ambiguity in all this is supposed to be fertile ground for breaking down former concepts and birthing something new and creative, a dying and rising, not by coming logically to see the error in one's ways but by simple breaking down what was seen as clear before.  People are approached in a duplicitous way, priming the pump so to speak, to gain their trust or influence over them.  Then they are ambushed by this "gracious hatred" of surprising put-downs and illogical and anti-intellectual twist and turns of deliberate attempts to confuse them.  This is considered some kind of public service.

Love is now the highest good, but really love is some kind of hate.  "Comfort" is very bad. Almost the worst thing because it causes no rebellious kind of change.  Being good is bad.  Wanting to be good is bad.  Jihad comes to mind.  Really it is a kind of jihad, an attempt to subjugate by force rather than by making sense or by being trustworthy in relationship.

Christians are stupid dupes putting up with crosses and guilt and, oh, no, doctrines, when there should be assertiveness and aggravation.

Well, Mr. Orwell was a practicing Anglican who always wrote against Totalitarianism, and we also have this from him:

Throughout his life Orwell continually supported himself as a book reviewer, writing works so long and sophisticated they have had an influence on literary criticism. He wrote in the conclusion to his 1940 essay on Charles Dickens,
When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer. I feel this very strongly with Swift, with Defoe, with FieldingStendhalThackerayFlaubert, though in several cases I do not know what these people looked like and do not want to know. What one sees is the face that the writer ought to have. Well, in the case of Dickens I see a face that is not quite the face of Dickens's photographs, though it resembles it. It is the face of a man of about forty, with a small beard and a high colour. He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry—in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.
George Woodcock suggested that the last two sentences characterized Orwell as much as his subject.

Orwell  has Dickens as always fighting against something without "malignity", laughing with a touch of anger but not triumph, as "generously angry."   The invocation of the "19th-century liberal" reminds us of what we've read about Heinrich Mann and others.  Ever these people are writing novels to re-educate the public (-- changing their own minds every other year or so, themselves, however).  It seems that the word "liberal" has had many incarnations so that one wonders what it is supposed to mean.

Liberal and Progressive seems to be a word that anyone likes to use for their own position.  It is always the other man or woman who is not liberal or progressive.  It is the other guy with the "smelly little orthodoxy".  I wonder about Orwell. --I think by "orthodoxies" he meant Communism and Socialism and Nazism, and National Socialism.  Maybe Eugenics, too, which held sway for some time, even now really with the selective abortions and racial factors.  And, of course, we still have Darwinism.  And lately the Dawkinism, Dawkins being as doctrinaire and vicious as any one could meet, a doctrinaire baddie with totalitarian leanings.  It happens. There he is, love him or hate him, love it or hate it.

Dawkins not having the brains of a Dickins or an Orwell, however, encourages everyone to mock with hate. There we have it, he probably calls it "love", too.  Ravi Zacharias makes a good response on some grounds.

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