2 September 2016
I think all traditional Christians should reread, once a year, George Orwell's 1984 (written, of course, in 1948). It makes two points:
(1) Language is remade to suit new ideologies. A lexicographer in the story is described as explaining that when the process is completed, it will be impossible to express, even to think, ideas that had existed half a century earlier. (We think of 'Equality'; 'Choice'; 'Inclusive'; 'Diversity' ...)
(2) History is rewritten. The central figure in 1984 is employed to 'correct' earlier records, and then to destroy the originals, so that there will be no evidence that what happened did happen.
The sort of 'hard' totalitarian society 'predicted' by Orwell, influenced as he was by memories of Hitlerism and Stalinism, has not come about as he described it; instead, subtle perverts are successful in imposing on us a 'soft' totalitarianism. But his predictions about the corruption of language and the rewriting of History are, it seems to me, pretty well bang on.
For us as Catholic Christians, Freedom will reside in our being aware of what is being done, and in refusing to be complicit. We must be prepared to use words which are now proscribed, or in the process of being proscribed. A gaggle of totally random examples:
... "Pregnancies are being terminated", they tell us; we must insist that unborn babies are being killed. Notice also here the use of a passive verb to elide agency ("We are killing babies ...").
... Why are we no longer allowed to use the word pervert, except, of course, to describe a paedophile?
... I once heard a nurse, who had been efficiently brainwashed, explaining that a certain Pill was not an abortifacient; "It's Emergency Contraception", she insisted.
... Spurious Hellenisms or Latinisms are coined: dysphoria and gender reassignment sound so very scientific and medical. Why can't we just talk about castration and eunuchs? (Fr Blake of Brighton has, in the past, been attacked for speaking English.) And, as I will write later, we now have Homophobia and Transphobia. The philologically agile need to be able to juggle with cismen, transwomen ... the nonsense is and will be endless.
... Then there are all the mechanisms of Management Talk, designed to make the Manager appear aloof, objective, passionless. So, instead of frantically and humanly saying "You make me hopping mad by doing XYZ", the Manager will adopt measured and disdainful tones in order to say "Concerns have been expressed to me that you XYZ."
... The shed at the bottom of the garden is being filled to overcrowding with invented bogeymen. Even ecclesiastics take part in this work of invention. The term Lefebvrian is generally a meaningless way of hurling unargued abuse at a victim (I would say the same about Cryptolefebvrian). It was used when some bullies in Rome attacked the Franciscans of the Immaculate.