Although The Rape of the Mind was published in 1956, its description of how to commit textual assault is timeless: "facts are replaced by fantasy and distortion. People are taught systematically and intentionally to lie. History is reconstructed, new myths are built up," all in order "to confuse the luckless citizens of the country" and "strengthen and flatter" the rulers. Big Education, Big Journalism, Big Entertainment, Big Tech, Big Climate, Big Race, and Big Woke, all in service to Big State.
"In the semantic fog that permeates the atmosphere, words lose their direct communicative function." Paradoxically, communication as such is no longer occurring, even though something is being communicated -- just not reality-to-other-minds.
Recall the dual vector of language, which links to reality at one end and minds at the other. Let's say I tell you that inflation is transitory -- or that the U.S. is systemically racist, women earn 70 cents to the manly dollar, Monkeypox doesn't discriminate, elementary school children need to be groomed, etc. These are all obvious lies, so what is being communicated? Easy: power.
Note also that each lie pretends to "empower" this or that client of the state, whether stupid and unhappy feminists, dysfunctional blacks, promiscuous compulsive homosexuals, or mentally ill teachers and students. The Lie promises increased empowerment, but "power to live in unreality" is like "freedom from truth," a contradiction in terms.
The word, once considered a first token of free human creation, is transformed into a mechanical tool (Meerloo).
True, but the person who assimilates the Lie also becomes a tool, which is the greater purpose of the exercise: for credulous fools to become power tools for lying ghouls.
For example, it is critical for you to believe in climate change in order for the incredibly lucrative grift to continue for wealthy Democrats. You will never benefit from the lie, but consenting to the lie will certainly benefit the powerful.
I suppose you also get some virtue and status, in that you get to signal your superiority to people like me, so that's something. It reminds me of how poor whites were harmed by the institution of slavery, but at least they got to signal their superiority to blacks.
Why do the words keep changing? Because you can't keep language separate from reality forever. Rather, reality eventually comes roaring back, no matter how hard you try to keep it at bay. Indeed, reality may be defined precisely as that which comes back despite all our efforts to redefine it.
Politicians seeking power must coin new labels and new words with emotional appeal, "while allowing the same old practices and institutions to continue as before... The trick is to replace a disagreeable image though the substance remains the same" (ibid.).
Which reminds me of what we said a few posts back about how this represents the opposite of "transubstantiation," in that the Liar changes the semantic accidents while the underlying substance endures.
For example, killing a baby is still killing a baby even if we call it "a woman's right to choose." Taxes are taxes even if we call them "investments," and men are still men no matter how much we pretend that guy is Female Athlete of the Year. Less than ten percent of the population still commits more than half the violent crime, even if woke prosecutors don't charge them.
My morning indoctrination from the NY Times contains the following howler: although 98% of Monkeypox cases afflict less than 1% of the population, "Nothing about the virus limits its spread to only men who have sex with men (not all of whom identify as gay or bisexual)." So, even if it does in fact disproportionately affect homosexual men, they aren't necessarily homosexual men, so there.
Ever wonder why they hate us so much? Totalitarians fabricate "a hate language in order to stir up mass emotions." Again, the ghouls lie to the fools in order to turn them into powerful tools. It may be sick, but you can't say it doesn't work.