Category Archives: 1984

Reclaiming our language from transgender activists

The speech demands that transgender activists and other Leftists make on us exceed the bounds of good manners and enter the realm of pure totalitarianism.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” — United States Constitution, First Amendment (which, through the 14th Amendment, applies to all governments in America, not just Congress).

“The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible. Its vocabulary was so constructed as to give exact and often very subtle expression to every meaning that a Party member could properly wish to express, while excluding all other meaning and also the possibility of arriving at them by indirect methods. This was done partly by the invention of new words, but chiefly by eliminating undesirable words and stripping such words as remained of unorthodox meanings, and so far as possible of all secondary meaning whatever.” — George Orwell, 1984.

“Monsieur l’abbé, I detest what you write, but I would give my life to make it possible for you to continue to write.” — Voltaire, letter to M. le Riche, February 6, 1770 (summarized in 1906 by S.G. Tallentyre as “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”). [UPDATE: But see the Babylon Bee’s take on the modern version of Voltaire. It’s satire . . . or is it?]

At this blog, I have written at some length about the lack of science behind the whole transgender movement. My two main posts on the subject are here and here. You can find most of my other posts about the transgender movement here. My point, over and over, is that the claim that someone is “transgender” has no basis in science, but that we are nevertheless being forced to change our language and even our thinking to accommodate a minute percentage of Americans who have severe body dysmorphia.

Speaking in a PragerU video, Abigail Shrier spells out in clear terms the way in which Leftists, through transgender activism, are upending the First Amendment and trying to implement IngSoc in America (AmSoc?).

I would sum up the video by saying that, without losing compassion for transgender people, who I believe suffer either from mental illness or imbalanced hormones (which should by treated by balancing those hormones), we must resist this totalitarian movement. Sympathy should not equal surrender.

Even before I was aware of the video, I added my mite to the debate only this morning when I put up the following tweet (which still lives there because my following is too small for Twitter to care about my challenges to the Leftists’ AmSoc):

Transgender

It’s also worth pointing out that, until a few years ago, only Queen Victoria (the probably apocryphal “We are not amused”) and those whom people castigated as a-holes referred to themselves in the plural. Moreover, even Queen Victoria and the a-holes, while referring to themselves as “we,” did not insist that others refer to them as “they” or “them.”

In other words, that demand on us pluralizes the a-hole quality of those who insist on being referred to in the plural. The problem for them, of course, is that they can’t acknowledge that the English language has a very specific pronoun for a person or animal that is neither male nor female: “It.”

The post Reclaiming our language from transgender activists appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

The past is present : a book and a movie from the 1940s have useful warnings for today’s socialist urges

Leftists love to rewrite the past, a creative totalitarian approach that allows them to forget all the lessons — both good and bad — that history teaches. For today’s lesson about the past’s relevance, this post looks at one movie from 1946 and one book from 1948 and uses their wisdom to expose socialist fallacies, both about economics and about human thought.

The movie from 1946 is Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, the perennial Christmas classic that sees Clarence the Angel teach George Bailey that even an apparently undistinguished, and often frustrated, life can have inestimable value. It popped into my mind when I read an article giving tips for talking to a Leftist about “income inequality,” a catch-phrase justifying government wealth redistribution.

According to Beverly Hallberg, the first thing a conservative should do is seek common ground with the Leftist. After all, conservatives are as hostile to poverty as Leftists are. It’s just that conservatives seek a market-based approach, while Leftists seek a government redistribution approach. The second step in the dialog is to explain that we no longer live in a feudal age that saw wealth locked into

The second step in the dialog is to explain to the Leftist that we no longer live in a feudal age that sees wealth locked into generational land ownership and that is no longer socially or economically stratified. Instead, wealth and class are fluid commodities, with the former working best when constantly reinvested in the marketplace, thereby reinvigorating both the original investor and those downstream from that investment. According to Hallberg, the conservative needs to remind the Leftist about the fact that handing money to the government takes it away from small business owners that create most of the dynamism in the American marketplace:

Read more here.

The Bookworm Beat 8/22/16 — the “as the world turns” edition and open thread

No wonder 1984 is no longer required reading in high schools. One of the Little Bookworms, after a summer of sloth, decided to read something noteworthy before returning to school. Her choice was George Orwell’s 1984, which I would include in any top 25 or even top 10 reading list.

Despite how wonderful 1984 is, both in terms of style and content, my Little Bookworm managed to pass all the way through a very highly rated public school without any exposure to Orwell at all — no 1984, no Animal Farm, no The Road to Wigan Pier, and no Politics and the English Language. George Orwell is persona non grata in our local high school.

My Little Bookworm did give me some insight into why public schools are loath to teach one of the greatest writers and thinkers in the English language. When we asked what her takeaway was from the book, she had this to say: “That whole Thought Police thing Orwell wrote about — it’s just like Political Correctness. There are no clear rules, but you have to think correctly or you get into trouble.”

Islam, the rapey religion. Not all Muslim men are rapists. Indeed, most Muslim men are not rapists. But when we look at the vast increase in rapes in countries such as Sweden or Denmark, or when we see sexual assaults across Germany, or when five-year-olds are raped by a group older boys here in America, it’s not a coincidence that a disproportionate number of these rapists and assaulters were raised in the Muslim tradition. As Robert Spencer explains, rape is hardwired in Islam.

Read more here.