Words are the building blocks of thought, and therefore critical to assembling a coherent, rational grasp of reality. As a tool of political power and control however, words or concepts are debased and made worthless, much like the approach used on currency.
Words are literally redefined (functionally erased) in order to alter their original meaning and use them as a weapon rob you of the ability to accurately or completely think the thought the word(s) made possible. The objective being that the thought itself nor the memory of it can form or mature completely. Moreover, if some thought does manage to form, it is likely that it will turn out stunted, malformed, difficult to retrieve, and most importantly, nearly impossible to share with other.
As Syme, the Newspeak engineer said to Winston in Orwell’s “1984”:
“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. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”
– Eric Arthur Blair, aka George Orwell, “1984”
Since totalitarians are psychotically obsessed with immanentizing their eschaton – bringing about a final, heaven-like stage of history- and bringing it about artificially through the use of force if necessary, in the immanent world, to establish a paradise habitat-penitentiary for us all, they know well what the powers of words have and why words and their meanings must be destroyed in order to neutralize the human mind, the will it contains, and the independent purpose and destiny it is naturally inclined to seek for itself.
As Ghandi pointed out:
“Watch your thoughts; they become your words. Watch your words; they become your actions. Watch your actions; they become your habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny”
– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
We must be on guard for situations where the meanings of words used in speeches or pamphlets remain undefined. Watch for the use of ambiguity of meaning, or doublespeakk.
As Humpty Dumpty tells Alice:
“When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all. “
– Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll
This is why slogans are such powerful tools. Particularly ones that contain only one word.
The person writing the slogan has his or her dictionary or agenda as to what it really means, knowing full well that you have your dictionary. They are counting on yours (which may contain your hopes and dreams) to drive your decision to support them. Intellectual and electoral armed robbery illustrated, no?
The remedy of which is studies or reinforcement – remedial reading and or education – in the following disciplines: Grammar, rhetoric and logic. These are known as the Trivium. These disciplines will back fill and compensate for what you were deprived of – which are the real building blocks of original critical thinking – during your public schooling.
Grammar is the art of inventing symbols and combining them to express thought; logic is the art of thinking; and rhetoric, the art of communicating thought from one mind to another, the adaptation of language to circumstance.-Grammar is concerned with the thing as-it-is-symbolized (and is known to the senses -“who, what, where and when”)-Logic is concerned with the thing as-it-is-known” (the “why” of something free of logical fallacies) and-Rhetoric is concerned with the thing as-it-is-communicated.” (the “how”of something in a persuasive, descriptive and compelling manner).
-Adapted from Sister Miriam Joseph’s, “The Trivium”
Populations that do not read, think critically, nor are capable of forming long lasting, accurate memories of actual facts, and who are ruled primarily by opinion and emotions, remain in child like state throughout their adult life.
Ready made lumps of clay for the totalitarian to fashion as he or she wills, since there is no other informed and mature will armed with any meaning, to resist it.