Thursday, January 26, 2017

1984, ALTERNATIVE FACTS, THE NEW NEWSPEAK

After incorrect or unprovable statements made by Republican President Donald Trump and some White House aides, one truth is undeniable: Sales of George Orwell's 1984 are soaring.
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Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway coined an instant catchphrase Sunday when she called his claims about crowd size "alternative facts," bringing comparisons on social media to "1984".
Heh heh. We're back to Newspeak with another name, and Orwell's book is as relevant today as it ever was.

"Quotes from Orwell's 1984 :
“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”
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"Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else."
And now, for Donald Trump, reality exists only in his own mind and in the minds of his followers who choose to believe his reality.

UPDATE: Adam Gopnik's essay in The New Yorker on Orwell's 1984 is excellent.
"1984” seemed...too brutal, too atavistic, too limited in its imagination of the relation between authoritarian state and helpless citizens.

An unbidden apology rises to the lips, as Orwell’s book duly climbs high in the Amazon rankings: it was far better and smarter than good times past allowed us to think. What it took, of course, to change this view was the Presidency of Donald Trump. Because the single most striking thing about his matchlessly strange first week is how primitive, atavistic, and uncomplicatedly brutal Trump’s brand of authoritarianism is turning out to be. We have to go back to “1984” because, in effect, we have to go back to 1948 to get the flavor.
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Meanwhile, the Republicans in Congress, thoroughly intimidated, fear shining from one eye and cupidity from the other, will exploit the “question” of voter fraud to pursue policies of actually suppressing minority voters. 

6 comments:

Purobi Phillips said...

But June, in Lump's Reality, his party the Rs are looting the country. From National Parks to NATO. Nice to hear from you though. Miss you my friend.

June Butler said...

Yes, as one of the talking heads on TV said yesterday, "There's too much news!" While we're watching Trump, GOP members of Congress are looting the country, so they won't complain about the madness till he goes too far, or till they get what they want.

Dave Slater said...

Here on the border his reckless rhetoric is creating almost panic. We depend on our Mexican neighbors. Much of the retail community has a majority of sales to Mexicans. Warehousing in the "free trade zone" has been experiencing a building boom. We can see how unreal it is to expect any benefit from a wall or fence, that which was built here is almost a joke in the area. And yet, I have friends who continue to say "support him, give his actions a chance." I sadly fear our nation is in for a frightening reality check.

June Butler said...

Dave, so much of what Trump has said and is still saying about immigrants is despicable. Who knows how far the lily-livered GOP members of Congress will let him go? They are drunk with power now, and they will have their way.

Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, of all people, was on TV last night saying that a wall was not the solution for the entire border.

susankay said...

I, somewhat like you, am feeling so tired. I started with protesting the segregated lunch counters at Woolworths in 1960 and really thought that during the subsequent years of working for racial, women's and GLBTQI rights that I had fought the good fight and could rest. And OMG -- here we go again from the very beginning.

June Butler said...

We understand progress with two steps forward and one step backward, but Trump is dragging the country, not to a time in the past when "America was great", but to an autocracy that never existed in this country, and we don't know how to begin to make our way out. We hear "uncharted territory" to describe the times, but the phrase is literally true right now.