The recent news about how the FBI filed a lawsuit to block disclosure of surveillance camera locations because it would “violate the privacy” of those surveilled has prompted the editors of SurvivalBlog to start a new awards contest for the most egregious examples of Orwellian Newspeak in the past year. This is in part to remind our readers of the prescience of George Orwell, in his novel 1984. We intend to issue these awards annually (like the Darwin Awards) each July 4th, and post descriptions and links for the top three examples, as well as for several Dishonorable Mention awards, with links.
To give you an idea of what we are looking for, I’ll start out with some examples that we’ve spotted in the news from recent years:
- Affordable Care: Commentator Victor Davis Hanson pointed out how the much-touted Obamacare legislation that promised that we could “keep your health plan” (when many could not), “create four million new jobs” (when it did not) , and “save you $2,500 a year in premiums” (when premiums actually increased, repeatedly.) Now that gives new meaning to the word: “Affordable”!
- Presidential Memoranda: When an Executive Order might garner too much attention, Presidents can now slip them quietly out as a “Presidential Memorandum.” (This is not quite as good as Orwell’s “Memory Hole” to make something completely disappear, but it’s close.)
- Soçial Justice: This new term outwardly sounds so wonderfully benign. But the real meaning in the modern context is: Forcibly taxing people who are productive and handing it out to those who are unproductive. Our individual liberty, which is celebrated each July 4th, is under concerted attack.
Please send us examples of where the English language is being twisted with Newspeak in ways that degrade our liberty, our dignity, our heritage, and the truth – in the past year. Be sure to include links to the original news sources. On July 4th, we will publish our first list of Orwell Award winners.
Many Thanks! – JWR