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The 60th anniversary of 1984

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 8, 2009 03:55 PM

Sam Kazman at CEI reminds me that today is the 60th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s 1984.

The Independent has an authors’ roundtable/retrospective on Orwell’s influential novel.

Kazman applies the lessons of 1984 to the battle over global warming/climate change/whatever the latest Newspeak is for the eco-radicals’ embrace-bigger-government-or-fizzle up-and-die agenda:

Sixty years ago this week, George Orwell’s most important work of political fiction, 1984, was published. Orwell’s novel warned of the centralization of political power and the lengths that a totalitarian regime, led by Big Brother, would go to maintain its control over society.

On this anniversary, the Competitive Enterprise Institute reminds those who value freedom of a more current threat – the crusade for global governance led by environmental activist groups in the name of combating global warming. With calls for limits on energy use, new global taxes and the regulation of individual behavior, the recent development of environmental policy has tended ever more toward greater government control and less personal freedom.

“Environmental campaigners have long benefitted from the assumption that they have good intentions,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “Unfortunately, the modern environmental movement has focused increasingly on policies that increase government control over what business can sell, what consumers can buy and what individuals can do with their lives. Truly harmful emissions have been successfully restricted for the most part. But with the war on carbon dioxide being escalated to extreme levels, as demonstrated in the new Waxman-Markey bill, we see expanding government control become a goal unto itself.”

CEI’s 90-second video campaign dramatizes this threat. The video follows in the steps of Apple Computer’s 1984 Super Bowl ad and the 2007 anti-Hillary Clinton “Vote Different” parody. It shows – in place of Big Brother – Al Gore lecturing a captive audience on the need to crack down on energy use, economic growth and personal freedom.

Mr. Kazman stated: “Orwell’s nightmarish society rested on a never-ending war fought on constantly shifting battlefronts. Nothing in our experience comes closer to that war than the current campaign to restrict humanity’s carbon footprint.”

***

“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. That was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.’

1984, p. 37

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