Recently, 1984 had hit the top of Amazons book list. You either know 1984 as a classic work of political science fiction or that book that keeps getting quoted by stoners who want pot legalised very badly. It vastly improved the vernacular with which we tackle politics and the discussion of ideology. Orwell’s had fantastic insights into how totalitarianism and how the manipulation of language was core to the fascist’s playbook.
In honour of the George Orwell Classic, I’m going to perform a biopsy on some of the “newspeak” terms floating around today. Pray for me. There are a lot of them. I’m going to need a bigger scalpel. This will be a recurring series because these things keep popping up in new forms every few weeks.
Let’s get this show on the road:
“Alternative Facts” – Lies. There’s no grey area, Kellyanne. It’s just lies.
“Race Realist” – A new word bigots use along with pseudo-scientific jargon to bolster whatever claims they have of ethnic superiority. Think Calvin Candy’s monologues about the ‘size of black people’s brains’ from Django Unchained delivered by a wheezing pervert instead of Leonardo DiCaprio. It’s a neat trick they’re using, where they can accuse other people of not embracing “the truth” about race so they can espouse whatever brand of ethnic purity tingles their fancy. Even the wiki links straight to “Scientific Racism”. I suppose it exists because even the irrational fears we have need to be given the appearance of rationality, because no one wants to admit they’re an idiot. What a simple world that would be.
“Alt-Right” – Rebranded White Nationalists, basically. For the white supremacist who doesn’t like being called a white supremacist (I wonder why?). They have basically the same ideas about ethnic control but they jazz it up with obnoxious Internet memes and cosmopolitan sounding terms for the same shit (Read “race realist” above. They say they’re not nazis but they hang out on the same websites as nazis, share the same memes as nazis and do nazi salutes at convention gatherings. But they’re totally not nazis… nope. They just want a completely white America. What’s so nazi about that?
“Political Correctness” – PC has gone bloody mad! The roots of political correctness are very vaguely left-leaning, but it’s a term that was coopted by the right-wing and the modern neo-reactionaries as a buzzword to refer to anything they didn’t like. “Can’t call black people niggers anymore? It’s political correctness gone mad!”, “I can’t smoke in a bus full of people? PC gone Mad!”, “I can’t call gay people fags? PC Police!!!”. Here’s a brilliant read by Moira Wegel outlining the history and reinterpretation of the term.
“Neo-reactionary” – Nowadays its a bit vague to dub anyone neo-reactionary. They may not fulfil all of the characteristics here and there but they all have one thing in common. It’s a movement that rejects the strives society makes towards egalitarianism in favour of removing the rules with clubbing each other to death with pool cues… or something. They aren’t really clear about what they want. They just kind of hate whatever is there now with no vision of what to replace it with. It’s always some vague “things were so much better in the good old days” nonsense. Basically, a group of neo-reactionaries is like an old folks home with access to Twitter and a lot more lodged colons.
“Feminazi” – That’s just name-calling. and because irony is a cruel mistress, it usually comes from people in the Alt-Right, who often have no problem with literal nazis. Sure there are radical feminists, but no one has yet been able to define what is or isn’t radical. Worst of all, most people who use this word itself are usually guilty of a dangerous fallacy where they assume the worst segments of a fringe are representative of the entire movement.
Recommended Reading‘1984’ by George Orwell (duh)Other than being a cultural landmark and depressingly relevant, it’s just a damn good book.