Category Archives: George Orwell

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 Jewish Left Lies About Tikkun Olam

This is not my friend Curt Biren. But I could not resist using this picture by the great photographer Roman Vishniac of A Jewish Elder of the Village, Vysni Apsa, Carpathian Ruthenia, Ukraine c.1935
This is not my friend Curt Biren author of the excellent article about the real meaning of Tikkun Olam. . But I could not resist using this picture by the great photographer Roman Vishniac of A Jewish Elder of the Village, Vysni Apsa, Carpathian Ruthenia, Ukraine c.1935

by Robert J. Avrech

I pay particular attention to the use and abuse of language by the left. The left has always lied and twisted reality to conform to its utopian ideology. But Barack Obama and the leftist media have ushered in a new Orwellian age where their morally depraved rhetoric has gone mainstream. George Orwell understood that those who control language control thought. Thus the American left have staged a quiet coup of public grade schools, most colleges and universities. American children rarely learn. They are now indoctrinated in leftism.

Jewish leftists have long tried to use Jewish texts to support their ideology. It’s a heavy push because Torah Judaism is inherently Conservative. Which is why over 80% of Torah Jews are Conservative Republicans.

Most abused by the Jewish left is the concept of Tikkun Olam. The literal translation is Repairing (or Perfecting) the World. Not surprisingly, leftist/secular Jews claim this concept as part of the social justice movement. But in Torah Judaism there is no such thing as social justice. There is only justice. Social justice is, let’s be clear, code for Marxism.

Every once in a while I run into a well meaning but tragically ignorant Hollywood Jew who proudly identifies himself with the Tikkun Olam movement. When I ask where the concept comes from and what it really means, I’m met with either blank stares or cold contempt. It’s about justice for the poor, or equality, or peace, or vegetarianism, I’m told. The ignorance of my Hollywood colleagues is appalling and ultimately destructive.

My close friend Curt Biren, who studies Talmud with me in Daf Yomi, and who is one of the smartest people I have the honor of knowing, has authored an excellent article about the origins and true meaning of Tikkun Olam.

There’s nothing like studying the Talmud to learn more about Judaism.  I’m not referring to long hours in a Jerusalem yeshiva with one’s head buried in the text, but rather to the study program called Daf Yomi.  Reading a page a day, one can get through the entire Talmud in seven and a half years.  In the current Daf Yomi cycle, followed throughout the world, I along with my Talmudic haburah are now four years into it, with another three and a half years to go.

As anyone who has cracked open one of the many volumes knows, the Talmud offers extensive discussions on just about every conceivable moral issue imaginable.  It’s undoubtedly archaic in context, but it’s no less relevant in concept today than it was thousands of years ago.  The analyses that the ancient rabbis bring to bear in debating the various issues is beyond impressive.  It’s no wonder yeshiva buchers end up being among the very best law school students.  For novices like myself, it’s a challenge just to keep up.

A few months ago, while studying tractate Gittin, the volume dealing with divorce law, we came across the well-known concept of tikkun olam.  According to everything I had learned growing up as a typical reform Jew, tikkun olam means “repair of the world” — sometimes referred to as “social justice” — often entailing government programs to make the world a better place.  However, delving into the Gemara, the Talmudic commentary, I was in for a little surprise.

Read the rest 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.