". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wondering What It All Means

George Orwell's brilliant and classic work 1984 depicted a futuristic society so mind-numbed and devoid of the ability to think for itself that the government was able to rewrite history on a daily basis while promoting slogans such as "Ignorance is Strength," "Slavery is Freedom" and "War is Peace." Many elements of Orwell's vision have not come to pass, but when he perceived that the key to controlling people is controlling their language, and by extension their thoughts, he got it exactly right.

Now we have a presidential candidate who, in spite of having the most liberal voting record in the United States Senate, has managed through sheer rhetoric to convince his followers that he alone has the ability to unite the various factions in the country and who in spite of promoting tired policies that have long since been revealed as ineffective has managed to position himself as the candidate of "hope" and "change."

Moreover, one of his most vocal supporters--and perhaps the most influential woman in the country--is currently promoting a year-long course which acknowledges its goal as being one of "mind control" and "thought reversal" and which, although it cloaks itself in the language of historic Christianity, is designed to convince its students that in recent years Christ has issued a new revelation that claims, among other things, that there is no such thing as sin and that a "slain Christ has no meaning." (Source--please read this.)

Meanwhile, in our institutions of higher learning young people are taught that one cannot read a text and decide what it means because words in fact have no objective meaning but instead are these slippery things that "deconstruct" before our very eyes. And since nothing really means anything, we are left with nothing to cling to, no standard of right or wrong, but instead only perception, all of which logically leads to an apotheosis of tolerance and inclusion as the highest ideals.

When Hamlet contemplates murdering his uncle in Shakespeare's tragic play, one of the arguments he uses to try to convince himself that the act would be justified is that "nothing is either right or wrong but thinking makes it so." We call it postmodernism, but the same relativism that envelops us today has been tripping people up for eons.

I am more worried about this country than I have ever been.

1 comment:

Melody said...

I know I'M ready to buy an island!
I have said, for the past 16 years, that, if Hillary was elected President, I would move to another country. If Barack is elected, do I go to another planet?
Call me jingoistic, (I think I have the correct political term) but I don't just worry about OUR country. If we are the #1 consumer of most everything made by anyone, what happens if we go down? Maybe those references to the Roman Empire aren't so far off, after all...
BTW, have you looked at his voting record? Of course you have! http://www.votesmart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=9490 says he only votes half the time. Yes, he's liberal the other half, but, for pity's sake, why isn't the senator voting? If John's reference told his prospective employer that he only showed up HALF the time, do you think John would be hired?