George Orwell and Double Speak

September 2021 Forums General discussion George Orwell and Double Speak

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
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  • #81783
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Not much point if I can't comment on my own thread – is there? 

    #91746
    ALB
    Keymaster

    For a short while towards the end of the 1930s Orwell held a position on war similar to ours. See:http://www.worldsocialism.org/spgb/socialist-standard/1990s/1997/no-1113-may-1997/george-orwell-spain-and-anti-fascismBut when the War broke out he reverted to type (Old Etonian and Colonial policeman) and came out as a British Patriot and War-supporter.

    #91747
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    well

    #91748
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Although his notion of double think is well known, the underlying thesis is broken. His idea was that if you control language and what people say, you will control their minds; however, the apparent truth is that people shape their language through their behaviour, and if a word doesn't exist, they will make one.  Whetehr this is down to some innate faculty for language (as per Chomsky) is debatable (and slightly beside the point).The facts are that language is not a mirror of the world, nor is ity necessarily direct.  The linguistic philosopher Grice came up with his maxims of implicature, to demonstrate how we communicate by flouting or breaking linguistic rules.  That is, that context and discourse determine meaning more than the mere words in themselves.  This leads to the revolutionary import of the idea of Marx & Engels in the German Ideology, that social being determines social consciousness.By the same token, the logical positivist J.L. Austin noted that language is performative: we "do things with words".  Swearing allegiance to a flag or democracy, even with fingers crossed or with a snigger still remains a declarative perlocution (as the terminology goes), partly because, as noted, language is social, and meaning does not reside internally to the anunciator but in the relations between speaker and hearer: peopel react to our words, and we in turn react to their (or are affected by their choices based on our statements).Language, thus, takes the form of a struggle for meaning and inetrpretation, to define our words and to struggle for understanding of others'.What matters most is what people do with their words, not the words they utter in themselves: for example, a poet praising another's work may be in reality promoting and praising themself by assuming they have the right/capacity to critique (or by inference of similarity).  Commitment to high ideals become a means of self promotion, that neglect or forget the practice that underlies those ideas or their actual meaning.

    #91749
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    Although his notion of double think is well known, the underlying thesis is broken. His idea was that if you control language and what people say, you will control their minds; however, the apparent truth is that people shape their language through their behaviour, and if a word doesn't exist, they will make one.  Whetehr this is down to some innate faculty for language (as per Chomsky) is debatable (and slightly beside the point).The facts are that language is not a mirror of the world, nor is ity necessarily direct.  The linguistic philosopher Grice came up with his maxims of implicature, to demonstrate how we communicate by flouting or breaking linguistic rules.  That is, that context and discourse determine meaning more than the mere words in themselves.  This leads to the revolutionary import of the idea of Marx & Engels in the German Ideology, that social being determines social consciousness.By the same token, the logical positivist J.L. Austin noted that language is performative: we "do things with words".  Swearing allegiance to a flag or democracy, even with fingers crossed or with a snigger still remains a declarative perlocution (as the terminology goes), partly because, as noted, language is social, and meaning does not reside internally to the anunciator but in the relations between speaker and hearer: peopel react to our words, and we in turn react to their (or are affected by their choices based on our statements).Language, thus, takes the form of a struggle for meaning and inetrpretation, to define our words and to struggle for understanding of others'.What matters most is what people do with their words, not the words they utter in themselves: for example, a poet praising another's work may be in reality promoting and praising themself by assuming they have the right/capacity to critique (or by inference of similarity).  Commitment to high ideals become a means of self promotion, that neglect or forget the practice that underlies those ideas or their actual meaning.

    Exactly!

    #91750
    admin
    Keymaster
    TheOldGreyWhistle wrote:
    Not much point if I can't comment on my own thread – is there? Edited by TheOldGreyWhistle on 16/01/2013 – 2:49pm

    ADMIN WARNING: The 'edit' feature was provided in order to provide posters with an opportunity to make spelling corrections and minor stylistic changes to comments. Using the feature to change the meaning of a comment and effectively derail a thread is out of order.The 'edit' function has temporarily been suspended until provisions enabling the reversion of edits are made.

    #91751
    SocialistPunk
    Participant

    Hi AdminYou may find this not to your liking, but I need to ask.Are you a school teacher in the real world? Because the behaviour you are displaying reminds me of my school days and one or two teachers who displayed an unhealthy zeal for control.

    #91752
    HollyHead
    Participant
    Young Master Smeet wrote:
    …. language is social, and meaning does not reside internally to the anunciator but in the relations between speaker and hearer: peopel react to our words, and we in turn react to their (or are affected by their choices based on our statements).Language, thus, takes the form of a struggle for meaning and inetrpretation, to define our words and to struggle for understanding of others'.

     Does this mean that our (the Party) objections to what we see as the misuses of  the word "socialism" are a waste of time? After all for the vast majority "socialism" is  what we call "state capitalism".

    #91753
    Young Master Smeet
    Participant

    Hollyhead,well, no, it's not a waste of time, we're contesting the meaning of the word.  Admittedly, we can call ourselves the Fishcakes Party and claim that Fishcakes is a moneyless, classless and stateless society of common and democratic ownership, but I think that is harder work.The word "Socialism" contains historical usages/meanings that we can recover and shift back to our needs: but that will only start to take off when people need a word to describe a project like the one I outlined above.

    #91754
    admin
    Keymaster

    WARNING TO SOCIALIST PUNK. Post #5 above. Offtopic / flaming

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