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Newspeak of the Left poisons the language

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GEORGE Orwell, the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four, argues that one of the most effective ways totalitarian regimes maintain power is by controlling language. He writes: ‘But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.’ 

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, Big Brother and the Party employ slogans such as ‘war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength’ to enforce their dominance by ensuring citizens are incapable of thinking rationally and independently. 

Of Newspeak, the Party’s project to purge the English language of superfluous words, Orwell writes: ‘Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.’ 

Associated with language control is ‘doublethink’, described as the ability ‘to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it’. 
As citizens have been conditioned to accept and never doubt what are two contradictory ideas, they see nothing irrational or illogical with statements such as ‘war is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength’. 

While today’s woke world of cancel culture and political correctness is nowhere near as oppressive and dictatorial as the dystopian world of Big Brother, it’s increasingly obvious that cultural-Left activists are equally as intent on controlling language and enforcing groupthink. 

The most recent example involves renaming ‘breastfeeding’ as ‘chest feeding’ and ‘breast milk’ as ‘human milk’.  Supposedly, the biological description of a mother lactating and feeding her child offends those wishing to self-identify as either trans or non-binary. 

Other examples of enforcing politically correct language related to sexuality and gender include Australia’s airline Qantas asking staff not to use expressions such as ‘mum and dad’ and ‘husband and wife’. Then there is the Australian Association for the Teaching of English warning teachers not to use gender specific pronouns such as  ‘he’ and ‘she’ in the classroom. 

Radical gender theory also embraces doublethink, otherwise known as cognitive dissonance.  In the world of LGBTIQ+ theory, biological men can transition to be transwomen and women genetically programmed to be women can transition to be transmen. 

In themselves, such examples of politically correct language might not seem of great consequence.  In reality, though, erasing the distinction between what constitutes a woman and a man is a key strategy to radically change Western society and undermine Christianity by enforcing a neo-Marxist-inspired view of human sexuality. 

As argued by Roz Ward, one of the designers of Australia’s Safe Schools programme, its teaching that girls can be boys and boys can be girls (or anything in between), promotes ‘sexual diversity, about same-sex attraction, about being transgender, about being lesbian, gay, bisexual’ on the basis that ‘only Marxism provides the theory and practice of genuine human liberation’. 

Pope Benedict argues that radical gender theory, especially transgenderism, represents an existential threat to Christianity and the word of God.  His Holiness states transgenderism destroys ‘the very essence of the human creature through manipulating the God-given gender to suit their sexual choices’. 

More recently, Pope Francis has also condemned transgenderism by arguing it is wrong ‘to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality.  Let us not fall into the sin of trying to replace the Creator’. 

Pope Francis is especially critical of school programmes such as Safe Schools, which champion radical gender theory. He states: ‘This ideology leads to educational programmes and legislative enactments that promote personal identity and emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between male and female.’ 

Such is the power and dominance of politically correct cancel culture and its embrace of doublethink that activists see nothing contradictory or wrong in fermenting intolerance in the name of tolerance and denying freedom of expression in the name of creating a utopian society characterised by equality and liberty for all. 

As argued by Herbert Marcuse in his essay Repressive Tolerance, the cultural-Left in its struggle against capitalist oppression and Western imperialism has every right to silence opponents and to deny freedom of expression and the right to voice a contradictory opinion. 

Marcuse argues tolerance is no longer a social and personal good as it has been ‘extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behaviour which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery. This sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested’. 

As a consequence, in the name of tolerance Israel Folau and Margaret Court are denied freedom of speech and attacked and vilified for espousing Christian beliefs in relation to homosexuality and same-sex marriage.  Those opposing transgenderism, including Germaine Greer and Barry Humphries, are no-platformed and silenced for opposing transgenderism. 

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Dr Kevin Donnelly
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and author of just published Cancel Culture and the Left’s Long March (available at kevindonnelly.com.au)

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