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Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Orthodoxy is unconsciousness." - Orwell

"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thought crime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. Already, in the Eleventh Edition, we're not far from that point. But the process will still be continuing long after you and I are dead. Every year fewer and fewer words and the range of consciousness always a little smaller. Even now, of course, there is no reason or excuse for committing thought crime. It's merely a question of self-discipline, reality-control. But in the end there won't be any need even for that. The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect. Newspeak is Ingsoc and Ingsoc is Newspeak," he added with a sort of mystical satisfaction. "Has it ever occured to you, Winston, that by the year 2050, at the very latest, not a single human being will be alive who could understand such a conversation as we are having now."

"Except- " began Winston doubtfully, "and then stopped".

It had been on the tip of his tongue to say "except the proles," but he checked himself, not feeling fully certain that this remark was not in some sense unorthodox. Syme, had divined what he was about to say.

"The proles are not human beings" he said carelessly. "By 2050- earlier probably- all real knowledge of Oldspeak will have disappeared. The whole literature of the past will have been destroyed. Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron- they'll exist only in Newspeak versions, not merely changed into something different, but actually changed into something contradictory of what they used to be. Even the literature of the Party will change. Even the slogans will change. How could you have a slogan like, 'freedom is slavery' when the concept of freedom has been abolished? The whole climate of thought will be different. In fact there will be no thought, as we understand it now. Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness."

One of these days, thought Winston with sudden deep conviction, Syme will be vaporized. He is too intelligent. He sees too clearly and speaks too plainly. The Party does not like such people. One day he will disappear. It is written in his face.

George Orwell - 1984

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