Oh Dark Thirty
Orwell was correct. If you control vocabulary, you control thought. I wrote a book in 1981, Dream Pirates, for college students who couldn't read above a third grade level. It taught me a lesson about “Newspeak” that I've never forgotten.
The publisher provided me with a vocabulary of 1,200 words. I was allowed to use only them, but could introduce ten more. I had to use them repeatedly and in a context that would help students learn them. Unfortunately, I wrote my story outline using my own vocabulary. “Unfortunately” because it was impossible to convert some concepts from my vocabulary into the limited one of the students. It was like trying to write algebraic formulas without using letters for unknown values. Allow me to provide a simple example.
I created a scene in which a person was on the outside of a group listening to their conversation. I wanted to say “...he looked over her shoulder...” “Shoulder” wasn't on the list and I had already exhausted my ten new word limit. I could say “...he looked past her head...” but that doesn't work, does it?
Think about that. A limited vocabulary limits the ability to conceptualize a thought. Most people think in their native language and if they lack a word for a thing, it's difficult for them to understand that thing. Orwell demonstrated that concept in 1984 using “Newspeak”. He imagined a world in which the overlords controlled the masses by limiting their ability to conceive of subversive ideas. Isn't that the same result achieved by Political Correctness employed today by the Left?
Control of History and Information
Unarguably, the Left set out to control the flow of information and has largely succeeded. Every extant survey of teachers and journalists show conclusively that they are in the thrall of the Left. From the entertainment industry, headquartered in Los Angeles, and the news media, headquartered in New York, and the halls of academia located throughout the nation, one hears little other than the mantra espoused by progressives, globalists, and collectivists.
The simple fact is that the Harvard professor was altering history in an attempt to persuade Americans to support the Paris Treaty on Climate Change.
Climate Change is a natural cyclic phenomenon which cannot be predicted nor controlled. However, Global Climate change is a perversion of science initiated by globalists who wish to use the threat of climate change as a unifying factor. The Left is using fear of natural catastrophe to herd the masses into one world united under their control. We would be far better off using our wealth to deal with its effects rather than attempting to alter it, but that does not suit the purposes of the Left.
In the Orwellian world of 1984, the party controls all information. It alters the past to justify the present just as this Harvard professor has attempted.
Where the Harvard professor may have failed in misleading the general public, she succeeds with her students. She and others in academia live in an isolated world surrounded by walls of intolerance towards contrarian ideas. She uses the natural inclination of youth to rebel to inculcate them with Leftist ideas and ideals. This is why we see students demonstrating the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome whenever their world is broached by “the enemy”, people exercising critical thinking and freedom of speech.
Stockholm Syndrome causes hostages to form a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy. Anyone who doubts that students are hostages and teachers are captors should visit a modern classroom..
One of the more interesting discussions that I've heard often repeated among those on the Right concerns cognitive dissonance. They misuse the concept in an attempt to understand the resulting behaviors of those in thrall of the Left.
However, the Left is not aware of any such difference. They have developed the Orwellian skill of “Doublethink”, the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in one's mind at the same time. They would have no problem harboring the idea that they are good people even though they tell lies. After all, their intentions are good.
For example, almost everyone with only an elementary education understands the scientific process. It is, as this illustration demonstrates, a cyclic, never-ending process. In other words, the science is never settled. The only time we hear “the science is settled” is when we are being told to sit down and shut up, stop critical thinking.
Yes, we are well past 1984, but the date is Orwell's selection of that date was arbitrary. The strategy expressed in the book is well advanced though far from completely implemented.