George Orwell's "1984"
I had heard of George Orwell's "1984" for many years but did not get around to reading it until 1984. The coincidental date was motivation for me to read this great book. Orwell was famous for showing how totalitarian systems of government change the very meaning of language and enforce these new meanings to stay in power. This was common under Nazism, but Orwell wrote in the context of Communism.
A totalitarian system is one that seeks to control all important aspects of society from the top down including media, religion, economics, business and the arts. In Orwell's universe slavery was defined as freedom, and democracy was redefined as dictatorship. Big Brother made sure that historical information supported the rulers - it was simply rewritten to maintain their power. If circumstances required, history could be rewritten over and over. Older histories and all factual information were simply discarded in the memory hole where all such information was destroyed.
Orwellian Behaviour in Free Societies
Orwell thought that a totalitarian state was required if such perversions of meaning and groupthink (socially coerced values) were to be imposed. If societies were free, then truth would eventually prevail. I think Orwell would have been surprised to see those same perversions becoming rooted in our so-called free societies (these types of perversions, of course, lead to less and less freedom). Groups now embrace language perversion (distortion of standard meaning) as part of their power assertion and media people embrace groupthink. People are pressured into political correctness whereby freedom of thought and expression are suppressed.
The terms 'right' and 'left' change in meaning and are sometimes not useful. We Jews have associated anti-Semitism with the far right, the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan and Skinhead movements. Today, in my view, the far left is much more of a danger than the far right; though in some ways all extreme movements are very similar.
Many who were responsible for educating our news people at university do not believe in truth. As postmodern relativists, they see all history writing as power assertion. They believe that one's community determines values and one cannot really transcend subjectivity. However, they are in favor of power assertion as long as it supports their values and beliefs. They are full of contradictions. The Orwellian left changes meaning-definitions to assert their power preferences. We see this in the homosexual lobby where marriage is redefined to include gay "marriages" or partnerships. However, marriage itself was by definition not a matter of various covenant commitments among people (there are many such legitimate commitments), marriage was defined as a heterosexual commitment by the very meaning of the word. So we find in "gay rights" a serious language perversion: the word 'justice' is interpreted to mean equality. Failure to recognize gay marriage in the same way as heterosexual marriage is considered 'unjust' because it is a clear inequality. However, justice is not synonymous with equality. For society to function properly some values and rights must be held in higher value than others; for example: the right of a child to safety over the right of a dangerous parent to access the child. Equality is an important justice principle pertaining to certain defined laws, equal punishment for crimes and human rights given by God. By definition, justice is God's order of righteousness. The current factions who seek to define justice as equality, by extension will level society to the point where no distinctions are allowed, including separate public bathrooms for men and women. Even today, there are people professing strange genders who say they have a right to use the restroom of their choice regardless of their gender.
The Orwellian Left Abandons Freedom of Speech
One of the great and bizarre turns in contemporary values is the far left's abandonment of freedom of speech. The left has perverted the word 'tolerance' to mean that one must in no way assert that another's religion or moral orientation is wrong since this is hurtful. However, this is not tolerance; tolerance is only needed when we strongly disagree. That is what the term had always meant. In some European countries and in Canada it is declared intolerant and considered hate speech to say that homosexual relationships are wrong. Yet it is the homosexual lobby and their supporters who won't tolerate free speech and views opposed to their own. In addition, the Moslem states seek to make the criticism of Islam illegal and to punish such criticism as hate speech. Some left orientated European politicians are ready to agree. Of course, Islamic peoples are under no such restraints when speaking about Christians and Jews!
Orwellian Behaviour in the Media Coverage of the Recent Gaza War
These values of the left can be seen in the media's response to the recent Gaza war. This was an operation where Israel took action against the Hamas government and armed forces to end rocket fire into Israel that targeted Israeli civilians. There are two dimensions to the Western response that are amazing. The first is how the media gave a perverted description of the conflict and the second is how the West is responding to radical Islam in general.
The same leftist relativists evaluated the facts through their political values. For example, international law specifically defines disproportionate response in war. It is defined as responses that are unnecessary to achieve the ends of the war against the aggressor. It includes the unnecessary killing of civilians. This did not matter to the media who re-defined disproportionate response according to the numbers killed on both sides. Arab and Muslim propagandists were all too happy to use such foolishness to gain their ends. They used hospitals and schools as staging areas, ambulances to position their fighters and to transport weapons. They purposely used human shields and targeted Israeli civilians - these really are war crimes!
I am sure that some of our readers have seen the cartoon on the last war where an Israeli kneels in front of a baby carriage with his weapon aimed and his body protecting the baby. On the Hamas side, the fighter kneels behind the baby carriage; the baby and the carriage protect him. Life is cheap to these Hamas ideologues, so using one's own civilian population as a shield to create propaganda to be taken up by the useful idiots of the West (to use Lenin's term) is a good strategy. The new Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the foolishness of the proportional claim with the fact that every victor in every war kills many more of the enemy, including civilians in collateral damage. There is no other way to win a war.
Orwellian Propoganda from the Arab World
Some suggest that the majority of Israelis would dearly love to leave the West Bank and allow the creation of a Palestinian state that would live in peace with Israel. (I am not speaking here as to whether or not this stand of today's Israelis is good.) Israel is blamed for not doing so, though if she did under the current circumstances, the result would be a terrorist base on her borders. The foolish left simply ignores this fact and condemns Israel as occupiers. It is the Palestinian leaders themselves that perpetuate occupation.
The refugees from Palestine, alone among world refugees, are not allowed to settle in other nations. Israel is seen as the oppressor even though she only has to lose one war and it is all over for her. She has Iran and its potential nuclear arms trained against her. Iranian proxies in Lebanon and Gaza carry out terrorist attacks against Israel, but that does not matter to the Orwellian left. They superficially identify the Palestinians as the oppressed, ignoring the fact that if they were really prepared to choose peace with Israel they could be the most prosperous of Arab populations. So UK Member of Parliament, Galloway, comes to Gaza and embraces Hamas leaders. Western media talk about engaging moderate Hamas members. The Hamas covenant explicitly declares their goal not only to destroy the Jewish State, but also the Jews as a people! No matter, there must be moderates among them, right? Note how the word 'moderate' is perverted!
The Orwellian Left Coddles Radical Moslems
How can the left coddle the radical Moslems who, if they came to world power, would completely destroy the liberties the left takes for granted? One only has to observe the situation in Moslem countries today; good-bye gay rights and women's equality. Where is the left on the issue of the brutal suppression of women? Their blindness astonishes me!
The Orwellian Left Embraces Anti-Semitism
The anti-Semitism of the left is frightful and growing. An alliance of some in the far left with radical Islam is amazing to behold. This all is beyond anything Orwell ever dreamed or thought possible! It shows how, when one loses a sense of objective truth rooted in Biblical values, any bizarre orientation can be embraced. This is a great danger to civilization. Where is Winston Churchill when we need him? Today's generation has produced a bizarre world that proves the truth that only grounding in the Bible preserves sanity itself.
|Let us know what you think - why not comment to this article. The authors of these articles are often involved in intense ministry and are thus unable to respond to most comments. As is normal with print and online magazines, Tikkun reserves the right to publish only those comments we feel are edifying in tone and content.|
Also in this issue of the newsletter:
|Avi Tekle: Passover Blessing|
|Moshe Morrison: A Quiet Proclamation|
|Eitan Shishkoff: "Face to Face" in the Desert|
|Asher Intrater: Gospel in Asia|
|Sahar: From Professional Soccer Player to Professing Believer|