Orwellian Doublethink and Controlled Insanity
by RONALD R. CHERRY, MD
May 5, 2011
George Orwell (1903 – 1950).
In order to control millions of people totalitarian governments find it necessary to somehow prod their subjects into accepting that which is not true. Intelligent people will naturally see the truth and thereby comprehend when government lies to them - and so that's the rub - how does totalitarian government deal with intelligent people when they must be lied to? George Orwell provides the answer - intelligent people must be conditioned to reject self-evident truth - to reject the sanity of common sense - to accept the insanity of Orwellian Doublethink - to accept the lie and the truth in their minds simultaneously - "with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth."
How do Dictatorships lie to intelligent people and get away with it? In the early stages of totalitarianism the use of Orwellian Newspeak is preferred to blatant in-your-face lies because Newspeak is the clever manipulation of words which mean one thing to the speaker and it’s opposite to the listener - Newspeak lies thereby tend to confuse or escape the notice of unsuspecting people. For example, government which confiscates middle class property through excessive taxation, while lining their own pockets and redistributing the stolen property to a lazy so-called proletariat class in return for votes, is government deemed to be a provider of "Equity" and "Social Justice." Never mind that equal property outcome destroys the work ethic of both the middle class and the proletariat class leading to economic collapse, and never mind that equal property outcome is a big Orwellian lie because, like the Pigs of Animal Farm, the elite government class empowered to take property ends up with the lion's share of property. Greed and theft by the people who administer totalitarian government cannot be publically identified as greed and theft, so the injustice is called “Social Justice” - Orwellian Newspeak for government greed and theft. Another example are the Newspeak words "Affirmative Action" - words used to describe the destruction of a student's right to gain graduate school admission based on an out-of-favor ethnic group or skin color - rather than admission based purely on academic achievement and studious preparation. We also have the phrase "Living Constitution" - Orwellian Newspeak for Dead Constitution. The "Living Constitution" is law which is not derived from We the People, law not derived from the majority, but law arbitrarily derived from a small minority. The "Living Constitution" does not take its breath of life from the amendment process (the real life and breath of our Constitution) but from the minds of an effete class of "Philosopher Kings."
Newspeak government lies are cleverly disguised in rhetoric - lies which can be received and accepted by otherwise intelligent people via the insanity of Orwellian Doublethink - simultaneous mental acceptance of both the lie and the truth. Taken together, Newspeak lies of totalitarian government and Doublethink insanity on the part of their subjects, rejection of truth within human minds can occur on a colossal scale. Insanity (or psychosis) is the mental state where reality (the truth) cannot be separated from falsehood (the lie). Since totalitarian governments lie to their intelligent subjects using Newspeak, and since such government requires them to accept the lie and the truth simultaneously via Doublethink (with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth); totalitarian government is in the business of "Controlled Insanity."
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously [the lie and the truth], and accepting both of them [Insanity]... with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth… Those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is; in general the greater the understanding the greater the delusion; the more intelligent the less sane… If one is to rule, and to continue ruling, one must be able to dislocate the sense of reality… If human equality is to be forever averted; if the "high," as we have called them, are to keep their places permanently; then the prevailing mental condition must be controlled insanity…" George Orwell - 1984
The Lies of totalitarian government must also be accepted by the less intelligent – no problem. George Orwell realized this was a much simpler problem to solve. This segment of society can be made to accept “the most flagrant violations of reality” without too much trouble - just expose them to 8-12 years of foolishness in government schools - and simply lie to them - even flagrantly - through the American out-of-mainstream mass media - the American version of Soviet Pravda and Izvestia. Since the out-of-MSM passes along government Newspeak lies without question, the lies of totalitarian government can be taken in and digested by dumbed-down gullible fools. Doublethink insanity is a requirement for the intelligent while the sanity of stupidity is needed for the rest.
"Crimestop…includes the power of not grasping analogies; of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc [Socialist Principles of Oceania], and of being bored or rebelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop in short means protective stupidity… The world view of the Party imposed its self most successfully on people incapable of understanding it. They could be made to accept the most flagrant violations of reality because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane. They simply swallowed everything, and what they swallowed did them no harm because it left no residue behind; just as a grain of corn will pass undigested through the body of a bird… In the long run a hierarchical society was only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance.” George Orwell – 1984
Totalitarian government can only exist through their clever or blatant use of lies which must be accepted through the controlled insanity of Orwellian Doublethink or the controlled sanity of Crimestop Stupidity. Orwell's 1984 character, Julia, an enemy of Big Brother's Totalitarian government, "did not feel the abyss opening beneath her feet at the thought of lies becoming truth;" where "the heresy of heresies was common sense." One way free people can remain free is to think - to recognize and accept self-evident truth - to reject the labyrinthine world of Orwellian Doublethink - to reject the depraved world of Orwellian Crimestop - to exercise the sanity of common sense. Common sense means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously (the truth and the lie), and accepting only the truth... with the truth always one leap ahead of the lie.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Ronald R. Cherry M.D. practices medicine as a pulmonologist and also writes for American Thinker and Right Side News.