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Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn discusses Orwell’s 1984, totalitarianism, thought police and the rewriting of history that threaten civilization

Posted By: NaturalWisdom
Date: Thursday, 21-Jan-2021 17:42:57
www.rumormill.news/164123

I like to equate doublethink to cognitive dissonance.
-NW

Orwell’s 1984 and Today
Larry P. Arnn
President, Hillsdale College
December 2020 • Volume 49, Number 12
https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/orwells-1984-today/

[snip]

The following is adapted from a speech delivered at a Hillsdale College reception in Rogers, Arkansas, on November 17, 2020.

In our time, the law of contradiction would mean that a governor, say, could not simultaneously hold that the COVID pandemic renders church services too dangerous to allow, and also that massive protest marches are fine. It would preclude a man from declaring himself a woman, or a woman declaring herself a man, as if one’s sex is simply a matter of what one wills it to be—and it would preclude others from viewing such claims as anything other than preposterous.

The law of contradiction also means that we can’t change the past. What we can know of the truth all resides in the past, because the present is fleeting and confusing and tomorrow has yet to come. The past, on the other hand, is complete. Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas go so far as to say that changing the past—making what has been not to have been—is denied even to God. Because if something both happened and didn’t happen, no human understanding is possible. And God created us with the capacity for understanding.

That’s the law of contradiction, which the art of doublethink denies and violates. Doublethink is manifest in the fact that the state ministry in which Winston is tortured is called the Ministry of Love. It is manifest in the three slogans displayed on the state’s Ministry of Truth: “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” And as we have seen, the regime in 1984 exists precisely to repeal the past. If the past can be changed, anything can be changed—man can surpass even the power of God. But still, to what end?

Copyright © 2021 Hillsdale College


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