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Fallacies History Methodology

Newspeak and Other Lies

In George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the fictional language imposed upon the characters by the totalitarian government is Newspeak. This language consisted of specific vocabulary and simplified grammar approved by the government that met certain ideological requirements and was meant to limit not just the speech of the masses, but their very thoughts. Newspeak imposed itself upon every facet of self-expression and free will so much so that those who are familiar with the book will remember the eventual criminalizing of ideas as “thoughtcrime.” It’s no wonder books like Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World are at the top of book sales in these past few months as we’ve seen an uptick in propaganda promoting the idea of limiting words, phrases, and yes even ideas. Thoughtcrime has become a recurring joke on social media, but it rings true in a terrifying way. Even big social media platforms like Twitter have begun indoctrinating the masses with Newspeak words and phrases that are meant to include, but in actuality hinder creativity, freedom of expression, and create and sow division among people groups of different ethnicities, religions, and ideologies.