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History

Historical background related to current issues and/or events.

The language boa constrictor

You think, I dare say, that our chief job is inventing new words. But not a bit of it! We’re destroying words — scores of them, hundreds of them, every day. We’re cutting the language down to the bone. ... Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.

George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four

Hat tip... "The Gradual Abolition of Language".

Nineteen Eightyfour: Orwell's dystopian novel and its relationship to today

When I read George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four, over 40 years ago, I hoped that knowledge of the possible abuses of government would be a sufficient warning to prevent it. I hoped that the dystopia it described would never come to birth. George Orwell was way ahead of his time, yet he had already seen the possibility of the deluded polity that would enable the creation of this system.

Diagnosing Republican factionalism. What is the cure?

The basic problem with the Republican Party is that it suffers from dissociative identity disorder, colloquially referred to as a split personality.

It's possible to identify at least the following distinct political personalities in the G.O.P.

Secularism vs. Sectarianism in Domestic and International Power Politics

Secularism began as a philosophical reaction against Christianity in the 18th century in Europe. Like the religious rebellion of the 16th century, it had its roots in outrage at the vices of religious and royal officials. And, like its earlier religious counterpart, it began to invent and to live by its own rules. As a movement, therefore, it exhibited all of the tendencies of moral and cultural drift that all major cultural movements and even civilizations have displayed throughout human history.

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