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Thread: I found some old notes from 2007-2008 in my copy of 1984. This one stuck out to me.

  1. #1

    I found some old notes from 2007-2008 in my copy of 1984. This one stuck out to me.

    I'm not quite sure if this is the ideal forum for this, but it's the closest fit I could find.

    When i first read Orwell's 1984 in 2007-2008, I wrote some notes in the Emmanuel Goldstein tract to keep my thoughts straight. Most aren't all that interesting today, but one of them stood out:

    Quote Originally Posted by Young Mini-Me
    This section swims in and out of focus to me, in the sense that it sometimes clearly applies to today's world and sometimes does not. Doublethink is very real in our world, but the conscious element of deliberate self-deception is much less applicable. Furthermore, the globalist elites of the world seem a somewhat different kettle of fish from 1984's Inner Party.

    I almost feel like I'm exercising double-think reading this section, since the real-life parallels swing so frequently from obvious to seemingly rare.

    Random thought: Although I usually think of western parallels, 1984 scares me the most because North Korea resembles it so closely...and still hasn't collapsed. Just how long can its regime stay in power without outside intervention?
    The answer to the last question was, "Well, at least 12 more years," but that's not the interesting part.

    The interesting part is this: In 2008, I could only find accidental cognitive dissonance and plain old lies permeating our politics, not deliberate self-deception. The closest parallel was when the Bush administration derided the "reality-based community," but even then they were effectively arguing, "The current state of the world is irrelevant to the action we take next, because we're omnipotent." They were deluded, but they treated beliefs as a tool to control others, not a tool to control themselves. They were changing objective reality arbitrarily, not layering contradictory subjective realities in their minds. That's still a profound perversion of reality, but it's not quite the same thing.

    In 2008, we lived in a world where objective reality existed to virtually everyone (even our resident skeptics and absurdists) on a functional every-day level, even if different people interpreted and interacted with it differently or made philosophical claims against it. For the past five years, I'd forgotten that such a world even existed. Reading that passage was a swift kick to the face, because we live in another world entirely now. Today, deliberate, purposeful, gleeful self-deception presents itself everywhere as people's default mode of operation. I can barely remember, how could it have ever been any different?

    Deliberate self-deception is the backbone of our social media culture and nearly the central premise of the Cult of Woke: Every human motivation must be reduced to the dynamics of power and privilege, not objective truth or universality. This is the foundation of their internal belief model, not just something they impose externally. They believe all moral claims are relative and farcically based solely on rationalized class self-interest, yet they also believe their class oppressors are morally repulsive, because their hierarchy of victimhood reflects the feelings that rule their reality. Their moral zealotry seems contradictory, because they never explicitly state that the root cause of their moral disgust is weirdly self-consistent with their premise after all: All of reality is subservient to a feeling, and that feeling happens to be hatred borne of envy. The motivating feeling comes first causally, and its maintenance and satisfaction is also first priority. It's the only thing that's permanently real to them, and the beliefs are temporarily real so long as they reinforce the feeling.

    Out of all the weeks I could have reread that note though, I couldn't have picked a more fitting time. This was the week the media gaslit us so heavily about the riots that people are switching goalposts by the day from,
    "Peaceful protest! (No arson, looting, or communist insurrection here!)" while actually in the middle of smashing things, to
    "Okay, there's violence, but it's awful, and it was white supremacists!" to
    "And by white supremacists, I mean the Hawaiian shirt Boogaloo people, because that's a more direct way to smear relevant political opponents!" to
    "...but uh, the violence still isn't the important part, except for its symbolic importance to the great moral cause!"

    Some people can emotionally make all five claims almost at once with the conviction of a true believer. Even when different people are making them, none of them really debate those points amongst themselves. That's not important. Belief isn't supposed to flow from reality; reality flows from belief, so any beliefs can coexist without conflict. It doesn't matter to them which if any of the false narratives is even correct, because correct doesn't exist. When beliefs are a grab-bag of tools to them, any one could work well enough to sustain the central prearranged conclusion they zealously espouse: That America is built primarily upon systemic racism and must be fundamentally transformed to atone.

    "The cause" is axiomatically the highest possible good, except the stated cause isn't even the real cause. It too is a MacGuffin. They don't really care about "systemic racism" or black lives (David Dorn?), at least not at a deep level. They choose to fervently believe in it of course, but only as long as it's useful. Later, they can believe something else, shedding and sliding into beliefs that serve their underlying desire: Subjugate your enemies any way you can, because you hate them, and it feels good. That's the highest moral good.

    This whole display is extraordinary. It's terrifying, but it's also fascinating. Each of us has a primary motivation deep down that's probably fundamentally a feeling, but the weirdest part about this is that even the most feelings-driven people generally navigate objective reality the best they can. That's what helps them understand the best way to fulfill that motivation. As far as I know, every single time in history when a feeling has completely subverted and fractured reality like this, that feeling was envy (especially the Soviet Union). Why is this? What's so special about envy, that it entails deliberate self-deception and turns belief into jelly like this? Is envy just the ultimate expression of subjectivity? I suppose pathological narcissism may be similar...

    The imagery at the end of this passage has always haunted me more than anything else in all of literature. I always come back to it, but only recently did I realize how strikingly accurate Orwell is throughout the entirety of the chilling text:
    Quote Originally Posted by O'Brien, 1984, page 267
    There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no employment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always--do not forget this, Winston--always will there be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever.
    I understand that Orwell had studied the Soviets, but so did many others. How was he alone so prescient about the relationship between subjective reality, and envious hatred? (Or is my premise wrong? Is this well-studied?) It's like he lived it personally, like we do now. Even the stipulation, "There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness" is a heavily stressed element of their "no absolute reality" ideology, and not just in an aesthetic sense. It's just uncanny.
    Last edited by Mini-Me; 06-05-2020 at 05:01 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by President John F. Kennedy
    And we must face the fact that the United States is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. That we are only 6% of the world's population, and that we cannot impose our will upon the other 94% of mankind. That we cannot right every wrong or reverse each adversity, and that therefore there cannot be an American solution to every world problem.
    I need an education in US history, from the ground up. Can you help point me to a comprehensive, unbiased, scholarly resource?

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  3. #2
    I think what the genius of Orwell was to be able to follow Marxist political theory to it's logical end.

    +rep Enjoyed your musings as I always do.

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mini-Me View Post
    They choose to fervently believe in it of course, but only as long as it's useful. Later, they can believe something else, shedding and sliding into beliefs that serve their underlying desire: Subjugate your enemies any way you can, because you hate them, and it feels good.
    Feelings, emotion.

    I have mentioned many times how the Myers-Briggs Thinking vs. Feeling categories explain many things in politics. As a statistical generalization, 75% of men are predominately T, while 75% of women are predominantly F. Have you noticed that Antifa and much of this “movement” are female, or feminine males? Feeling people will have a great capacity for love and compassion, but also for hate and intolerance. Feeling does not require consistency or logic. It changes like the wind. Contradictory emotions can exist simultaneously. We must love everyone, and also hate and ruthlessly eliminate anyone who disagrees.

    What we have today is a society that has swung too far towards feeling and emotion. Pure emotion is chaotic and volatile. Balance has been lost.

    "Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country, and giving it to the rich people of a poor country." - Ron Paul
    "Beware the Military-Industrial-Financial-Corporate-Internet-Media-Government Complex." - B4L update of General Dwight D. Eisenhower
    "Debt is the drug, Wall St. Banksters are the dealers, and politicians are the addicts." - B4L
    "Totally free immigration? I've never taken that position. I believe in national sovereignty." - Ron Paul
    They are what they hate.” - B4L

    The views and opinions expressed here are solely my own, and do not represent this forum or any other entities or persons.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post

    +rep Enjoyed your musings as I always do.
    Never attempt to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

    Robert Heinlein

    Give a man an inch and right away he thinks he's a ruler

    Groucho Marx

    I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.

    Linus, from the Peanuts comic

    You cannot have liberty without morality and morality without faith

    Alexis de Torqueville

    Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Those who learn from the past are condemned to watch everybody else repeat it

    A Zero Hedge comment

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