Orwellian double think enters the gun grab debate

Second Amendment

George Orwell understood that good language clarifies and bad language corrupts.  He’d moved amongst Communists, so he understood how controlling people requires controlling language.  One cannot fully erase ideas if the language to express them still exists — so one changes the language.  In 1984, Orwell envisioned an Auschwitz-like world (“arbeit macht frei”) that takes old words and perverts their meaning so much that they become meaningless. He called this linguistic world “double think”:

“The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”

The three most famous examples of double think from 1984 are, of course, War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength.

Democrat Joe Manchin has flung himself with total abandonment into the world of double think.  In an interview on Fox News, Manchin vows to continue the fight to put limits on Americans’ rights to possess and use guns.  During that interview, he collapses into an Orwellian double think heap:

This not only protects your Second Amendment rights, it expands your Second Amendment rights.

Think about that for a moment.  The Second Amendment, as most recently interpreted by the Supreme Court, gives an un-infringeable right to bear arms, one that is predicated on a well-regulated militia as understood in the 18th century — a people’s army, not a standing army.  In other words, every American is a potential militia member and therefore has an absolute right to bear arms.

How in the world, then, can any legislation expand up on that absolute right that is inherent in every American?  By definition, our right to bear arms cannot be expanded because it is predicated upon 100% gun saturation.  That means that any legislation can only leave the right unchanged, in which case the legislation is unnecessary, or it can limit that right, in which case the legislation is unconstitutional.

Faced with this logical conundrum, Manchin does the only thing left to do, which is to pervert language:  By limiting your right to bear arms we will expand your right to bear arms.

George Orwell knew the Left and he knew how the Left thinks.  There are no surprises.  The only “surprises” that occur are when we let down our guard.

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  • Charles Martel

    A university-educated Jewish woman I know perfectly illustrates the love affair leftists have with cognitive dissonance. When Dan Rather’s forged evidence about George Bush’s misdeeds were fisked within hours by sharp-eyed observers, she introduced me to the concept of “truthiness” by saying that even though Rather’s proofs had been debunked, “everybody knows that they were essentially telling the truth.”
    I asked her if it made sense that this truth she was talking about seemed to have no evidence backing it up, just surmises and forgeries. She honestly couldn’t grasp my question, and responded by saying that we all knew the truth about Bush no matter what actual evidence was out there.
    I asked her if she had ever heard of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the famous Czarist forgery purporting to show in great detail the Jews’ plan for world domination. She hadn’t, so I explained to her how the forgery has led a century-long existence as a “proof” among Muslims, Nazis, and other anti-Semites of Jewish perfidy. Even though the book is a demonstrable fake, many people continue to claim that it contains “truthiness” about Jews.
    “How are you any different from those Jew haters?” I asked.
    She still didn’t get it. She had long ago surrendered her ability to reason logically or by analogy, and simply did not understand my question.
    There is a point—and Danny Lemieux can testify to this in the Episcopal Church—where two sides live in different conceptual universes. It may appear that we use the same language, but the meanings of its words carry completely different connotations. When “truthiness” replaces truth, you know that we are truly slouching toward Bethlehem.

  • Caped Crusader

    To be a liberal you must be stupid and brainwashed to the point that logic makes no sense; and for logic to make no sense you are stupid beyond imagination. The only other logical explanation is that they are a truly evil person with no soul, and know full well what they are doing, and are reveling in it, with a perverse sense of gratification.
    Several of you have mentioned that you are yoked to spouses with a liberal mindset. I truly do not know how you can stand it day by day. It would drive me crazy. In my extended family of “kissing kin” there are Protestants, Catholics, and Jews, and thank God there is not a liberal among them, making family events a true joy and not something akin to a high ice water colonic that must be endured, for I could not do it without coming to blows if the opposite were true.

  • Jose

    A few pro-gun people were in favor of the Manchin-Toomey compromise since it promised that the government wouldn’t collect additional data on gun owners from expanded background checks.

    Most of us don’t trust the government to keep it’s promises. Congress already had to step in during the Clinton administration to force the Justice Dept to stop storing that information past the legal 60 day limit. Not knowing where the guns are and who has them is an affront to all sincere anti-gunners.

  • Charles Martel

    Caped Crusader, I think there’s a third explanation: laziness. Most liberals that I’ve ever had serious discussions with don’t lack intelligence, they lack rigor. They simply don’t like to think. It’s much easier to recite the memes they’ve picked up from NPR, or HuffPo, or NBC, or the New York Times, or their brand-name college than get down to some serious thinking about their premises. That’s why a discussion with most liberals quickly devolves into a pouting match, with the liberal “feeling” that you’re being unfair, divisive, uncivil, mean, racist—whatever.
    As for living with a liberal wife who has not changed her thinking in 40 years, I simply choose not to fight a war of words with her. I have other outlets for my thoughts, including this wonderful blog, and I ignore what I cannot change. Dr. Laura was fond of quoting a Marine sergeant friend of hers who said he always weighed any decision to go into battle by asking himself, “Is this the hill you want to die on?” My wife, to mangle a metaphor and open myself up to a strike by SADIE, is not the hill I want to die on. Occasionally plant my flag on, maybe, but not die on.


    I am old enough to remember for about a quarter, you could walk into a house of mirrors and stare at yourself in a variety of mirrors that distorted your image. Skinny or fat – sometimes both. Even at seven, I understood when I left the house of mirrors what was real and what was perverting my image. Perversion in polti-speak is a language unto themselves and those that cover them.
    Joe Wilson to Obama, “you lie.”
    End result: Shock, disgust and made to apologize.
    Hillary Clinton “misspoke” when she told a story about arriving in Bosnia as First Lady in 1996 under “heavy sniper fire.”
    End result: Secretary of State.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    “Dr. Laura was fond of quoting a Marine sergeant friend of hers who said he always weighed any decision to go into battle by asking himself, “Is this the hill you want to die on?” ”
    That’s something people who are serious about living and facing death, often deal with.
    My personal resolution was that getting angry over injustice isn’t worth it unless I’m actually going to kill the source of that injustice. If not, then there’s no harm saving that emotion for a day when it is needed. Wasting it with actions that bear no change on evil or injustice in this world, is in itself an act of injustice. 
    The internet is a particularly difficult place to grow up in when it concerns seeing acts of evil when one is an ally of justice. Even if one wanted to, there’s not much Final Solutions that can be implemented, at least not by those that feel the strongest. That very helplessness and frustration, merely tends to aggravate itself, which is why often ignorant youths have the desire to do great things but often end up destroying things because of those reckless emotions. Even countries have been destroyed in such manners.
    The basis for why it doesn’t affect me much when people of strong belief come to talk to me, even if I disagree with them, is merely because I have the power to kill them in the physical world but refrain from doing so lacking justification and they do not have the power to kill or harm me even if they wanted to. There is no fear to generate aggression or anger. However, things would be different if any of those criteria changed.
    Evil will not disappear, for light and darkness exist only because of the other. That is why the conflict matters. That is why they must be destroyed, as much as possible, as soon as possible. There is no giving up, no surrender in this war. Even if you kill humans in the cause of evil, they will merely regenerate and be recruited back up to full strength from the masses. But that’s the same for the side of light as well. It’s not a mere matter of trying to win and then failing and resting in peace. There will be no peace for you or any one of your descendants in failure. Not even with death to counter balance things.
    The reason is simple but hard to grasp. When one runs out of energy, death is the natural result for all living things. The thing is, good and evil are a circle, the big O, infinity, or the ourobos. A snake that subsists upon nothing external, only itself. It only needs itself to survive. Just as the welfare state digests itself to give itself energy to live, then uses that energy to regenerate itself. True infinity is similar to true immortality, death cannot destroy it. Human artifacts, however, can be destroyed and killed for they were created utilizing entropy as its basic conceptual reality.
    The ancient forces that were present after the creation of the universe won’t go away, no matter whether evil keeps winning or losing. Human man made gods, Deus Ex Machina, however, are a different story. Those, even when constructed to become perfect entities, are still flawed and thus not eternal. Death has the power to equalize it with the universal harmony, to become still and non-functional. The reason why evil wins when good does nothing, is merely because the stale mate only exists when both sides want to fight and are willing to use titanic destructive forces.
    These days, only evil is willing to fight and good is out on vacation at the mall while others die at the front of the battle lines. It is not really sustainable. If the forces of light continue to lose in this fashion, they’ll just become another North Korea. Except world wide.

  • JKB

    Jose, The legislation actually prohibited the Justice Department from creating a database from the information, not the “government”.  There are lots of other departments and agencies that don’t fall under the Justice Department.  
    Not to mention, plenty of state agencies have kept background information and also provided it to the federal government in violation of law with little or no accountability when found out.  Sure one or two old guys retired but there were no real penalties.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    People should take care to remember that gun confiscation after registration is not a fantasy nor a slipper slope. It has already happened in the US at WACO and New Orleans before Katrina.
    Both ended up predictably considering government regulations and competency.

  • Michael Adams

    Ah, yes, Waco. Before Speed Bump and Flash Bang were killed or captured, Lefty pomposities were citing the numerous examples of Right-Wing violence.  There are very few, so they had to include Waco, as if the people in that religious center attacked the Federales, rather than being attacked by them. I discovered, a few years ago, that people in the Northeast were completely unaware that Vernon Howells went jogging outside nearly every day, and stopped at the local truck stop to drink coffee with the sheriff. Watching that house burn, on live television, with no fire engines in sight, I thought it was a horrible bungle.  When no one was fired, no investigation discovered just who might have made these horrible miscalculations, was truly the beginning of my re-education.

  • Call me Lennie

    I wonder sometimes whether “Arbeit Macht Frei” is really the brilliant Orwellian inversion concocted by Josef Goebbels or simply a psychopathically sick joke by one of the thugs at the camp.
    There are maxims in German that put a positive spin on hard physical labor such as “Arbeit Macht Die Lieben Sweise” (Hard Work Makes Life Sweet) which is something my great grandfather, a housebuilder, apparently said all the time.  And I would bet “Arbeit Macht Frei” (hard work makes you free, i.e, self sufficient) was another actual maxim.  This might tend to explain why Germans became such a force in world affairs during the later stages of industrialization; their people completed embraced the need to put in the grueling labor needed to make the system go.  This might also explain certain events during WWI — time after time, the Allies suffered horrific losses assaulting German positions even after enormous artillery bombardments (Battle of the Somme)  And it was all due to the Allies constantly underestimating the German’s superhuman ability to  dig trenches impervious to any bombardment
    Unfortunately, if you take this “sacred Arbeit”mindset too far, you could develop an extreme contempt for those you think don’t put in a hard day’s labor for their daily bread.  And by this I mean intellectuals, desk workers, finance workers; in short, the sort of occupations held by Jews.  Lay that over pre-existing anti-Semitism and you have the making of a horrible hostility that could explode at any time.
    And I speculate that this is the possible meaning of “Arbeit Macht Frei” — you never worked hard a day in your life; but now you will (snicker) and in the process you will be freed from your traitorous Jewish life

  • lee

    I have a friend back in California who is very close to retirement age, and looking for a job. She recently pointed out that she is qualified for any number of jobs that she sees posted–except that she is not bilingual, Spanish and English. She complained on Facebook about when did English cease being sufficient to work in the US.  She has also complained numerous times about the chunk taxes have taken out of her paycheck (at her previous job.)  She has also come darned close to complaining about “illegal aliens.”
    Here is the amazing thing:  She also was a BIG supporter of the Wun. thinks Obamacare is the cat’s pajamas, loves Hilary,* and will also decorate her facebook page numerous times with “Don’t take away my right to choose.” (I think Mother Nature already did that, by the way.) She used to post crap about “teabaggers” but I think someone (with more backbone than me) pointed out to her how offensive that is. She still rails about the Tea Party sometimes, but she refrains from the offensive language. I read her Facebook posts and the phrase “cognitive dissonance” ALWAYS comes to mind. She doesn’t seem to suffer from it, however. I suspect it has to do with living in Marin. 
    * The Hilary-lovers mystify me Not so much that they love her, which I will accept as a given, even though, it really is mystifying**, but that they ALL supported the Won, after he cheated and screwed over their favorite heroine.
    ** Yeah, I do find it mystifying that any woman, who claims to be for women’s independence, could support a woman who road her husband’s coattails, who claims to be on the side of the little guy, could support someone behind a scam like Whitewater… Talk about cognitive dissonance!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Lee, the best medicine for those kinds of people would be to introduce them to what the Left does to heretics. Her sentiments are dangerously close to excommunication offenses, which include being burned at the public stake.
    It’s easy to get people to defect when their own allies inflict such cruel and unjust punishments on them. If they cannot be convinced by sugar, then terror will do the job just as well.

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