Curtis Dahlgren
In George Orwell's mind, in real life, Big Brother was WHOM??
By Curtis Dahlgren
February 18, 2012

"The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience, be in any manner, nor on any PRETEXT, infringed."

James Madison, original draft of the 1st Amendment (hint, hint — for the Supreme Court — re ObomaCare)

THAT SOUND YOU HEAR IS MADISON SPINNING IN HIS GRAVE. My last column was an interesting topic that stirred up some "commenters" (although the main point of my column went right over their heads like a boomerang). I'll try to get back to that "point" next week, but this week's is a rerun (I recently found out that I broke my right arm in November, and I've typed at least 13 columns with a broken arm, so I'm going to let it rest a little this week).

August 16, 2007

"FRESHMAN ORIENTATION WEEK, part 4; with words by George Orwell"

By going to and reading a few Orwell quotes, I have belatedly come to realize that he was a greater writer than I even imagined. Today's colleges and universities either quote George Orwell out of context, or, ignore most classical writers (selectively). Orwell was briefly intrigued by British Socialism, but quickly came to see it for what it was — a "rebel without a cause" (sort of like James Dean or Elvis Presley, only more dangerous). As a result, Orwell isn't as "popular" as he once was. He was too much of a "prophet" to have any "honor" among his own people — the English-speaking peoples. Well anyway, here's Orwell!!

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.

We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns, as it were, instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.

He was an embittered atheist, the sort of atheist who does not so much disbelieve in God as personally dislike Him.

Enlightened people seldom or never possess a sense of responsibility.

So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot.

All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.

In a time of universal deceit — telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.

Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper.

In our time political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.

Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

No advance in wealth, no softening of manners, no reform or revolution has ever brought human equality a millimeter nearer.

One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes a revolution in order to establish a dictatorship.

Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, . . .

Liberal: a power worshipper without power.

A family with the wrong members in control; that, perhaps, is as near as one can come to describing England in a phrase.

As with the Christian religion, the worst advertisement for Socialism is its adherents.

Progress and reaction have both turned out to be swindles.


Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness.

To survive it is often necessary to fight and to fight you have to dirty yourself.

I sometimes think that the price of liberty is not so much eternal vigilance as eternal dirt.

Political chaos is connected with the decay of language... one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

Language ought to be the joint creation of poets and manual workers.

We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

War is war . . . There is hardly such a thing as a war in which it makes no difference who wins.

Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals.

At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.

The aim of a joke is not to degrade the human being, but to remind him that he is already degraded.


It is most likely true that the biggest flaw of the Lefties who rule institutions of "Higher" learning is that they take themselves too seriously. Orwell wrote:

"Saints should always be judged guilty until they are proved innocent."

This is especially true of those tenured professors who strive for "sainthood" in the church Ann Coulter sees as the godless Church of Liberalism (hipper-than-thou"). These aging hippies see themselves as sort of the "witch doctors" around whom the captive audience of tribes-people must gather to hear their "words of wisdom."

My best advice to the incoming freshman class would be: Do NOT assume that your professor is the smartest thing since sliced white bread.

Orwell said, "A tragic situation exists precisely when virtue does not triumph but when it is still felt that man is nobler than the forces which destroy him."

Even though they believe that "Man" is an animal and may behave like an animal whenever he so desires (and it feels good), these Establishment eggheads' first mistake was to believe that man is basically good (and therefore doesn't need any religion — and certainly no "redemption").

Orwell said, "If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics — a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage — surely that proves that you are in the right?"

The implication there is that this is ridiculous. Both the secular and the religious pharisees could take warning from those words. Orwell was a "prophet" in the sense that a prophet is not necessarily more righteous than his fellow beings, but that he has a heightened sense of observation — as in "What is wrong with this picture?"

P.S. As the nation falls deeper and deeper into debt, we ought to be hoping that we don't get the "government" we REALLY DESERVE.

Orwell said, "Advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill bucket," and the 2012 presidential election campaign is becoming a non-stop advertising marathon (the washing machine is stuck on spin cycle). The question remains, "Would a good man really want the job any longer?"

PPS: One more from Orwell: "Society has always seemed to demand a little more from human beings than it will get in practice."


© Curtis Dahlgren


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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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