Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

‘Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban... At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals ... If liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.’

George Orwell

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Orwell was very perceptive and insightful. Looking down at history it seems that each age has its own 'forbidden' thoughts. A hundred years ago I suspect it would have been impossible to say anything derogatory or questioning about the the Monarch (I am in the UK and we have a Queen here). Now such ideas are hardly shocking.

Even earlier it would have been unheard of for some one to ridicule Christ. Now it is commonplace.

Today we have are own forbidden thoughts. These in all probability will change over time to be replaced by other forbidden thoughts.

So as I see it each age will have its assumptions and associated forbidden thoughts. These may change over time but the basic requirement of being forbidden remains.

WizardKing78 said...

I find that a strange thing for a card-carrying COMMUNIST to say.

Heretic said...

I don't think he was a card-carrying Communist. Ever read Animal Farm? Or 1984? He was certainly a leftist, but he was very critical of the Left. He was a much more complex thinker than Communism allows anyone to be.

tiredofitall said...

@ WizardKing78

If Orwell was a "card-carrying communist" he only used it to scrape dog doo off of his shoes....

WizardKing78 said...

I read 1984. I always regarded it as a portrayal of the future, not as a warning. Essentially "this is how it's going to be, so you better get used to it".

tiredofitall said...

WizardKing78 said...

I read 1984. I always regarded it as a portrayal of the future, not as a warning. Essentially "this is how it's going to be, so you better get used to it".


I'd suggest you work on your reading comprehension then. Orwell outright states that "1984" was his worst case scenario of what could happen if events during post WW2 and the beginnings of the Cold War had kept moving in the same direction.

From the man himself:

My recent novel [Nineteen Eighty-Four] is NOT intended as an attack on Socialism or on the British Labour Party (of which I am a supporter), but as a show-up of the perversions . . . which have already been partly realized in Communism and Fascism. . . . The scene of the book is laid in Britain in order to emphasize that the English-speaking races are not innately better than anyone else, and that totalitarianism, if not fought against, could triumph anywhere.
—Collected Essays

BrusselsLout said...

TiredOfItAll

Remember our enemy is the feminist establishment. :) Wizard has been posting here for years and makes a good contribution against our common enemy.

I think 1984 is already here. It started happening around 1983 (oddly enough) with the election to power of the second Thatcher government, and has been getting insufferably worse by the end of Brown's term.

The CamClegg coallition is so far looking promising with the proposal of a British Bill of Rights. But I'm not holding my breath until I see more detail.

Anonymous said...

Had George Orwell lived through the bad years of Labour government (they were all bad or deceptively good), I am sure he would have stopped being a Labour supporter.

He correctly saw the socialist/communist paradox that all animals are equal but some are more equal than others and he saw the dangers of a surveillance society, but, as far as I know, he didn't foresee the social degeneration that the welfare state and sexual and social equality would bring about.