Newspeak from George Orwell`s 1984


A word which has two contradictory meanings. If it is used against an opponent it is a persistent claim that black is white, despite flying in the face of all known facts. If applied to Party members it shows an implied willingness to argue that black is white whenever party dogma demands it. But it also implies an innate willingness to utterly believe that black is white, and to have forgotten the existence of any previously held contrary views. To assert that the Party is always right, implies an extreme historical plasticity by continual alteration of any inconvenient facts or figures which may contradict Party dogma. This continuous alteration of the past is termed in Newspeak as doublethink. Of course, Orwell was writing from the viewpoint of the existence of Russian Soviet Communism; which like any single party totalitarian state, attempted to rewrite the past in order to influence and mould the present to ensure a healthy and sustained future for Stalinism. Modern politics are not immune to doublethink; politicians can be seen to hold contradictory views on the same subject while believing implicitly in both as a matter of course in their careers. To deny, or distance themselves from an argument they once vehemently supported is common place in party politics when attempting to navigate a way to the top of the greasy pole. To swear that black is white comes in handy when you wish to curry favour, be noticed, and flourish. It is very rare for a politician to behave with unbreakable moral and ethical honesty at the expense of self advancement, and so doublethink continues to spread it`s seed upon fertile ground.

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