“the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.”
“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.”
~ Orwell, George (1949). Nineteen Eighty-Four. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd, London, part 1, chapter 3, pp 32
In short, George Orwell is saying that doublethink is a means by which to directly control thought on a mass level. Now, let us jump out of the world of supposed fiction and into the world of politics…
The Euro Zone Crisis
The fiscal attempt to unify Europe is failing. It is not like nobody saw this coming a long time ago. In fact, when the Euro was created, even many people who shy away from political conversations even pondered as to how the few stable economies of Europe (such as Germany and France) were going to foot the bill for all the unstable countries within the zone. Now, we are sitting twelve years after the official adoption of the Euro thinking…well…I told you so. Even Germany and France are now at odds as to how much each is responsible for bailing out the rest of the failed economies within the zone.
With the recent news of the German bond fiasco, the Euro is now at an all time low next to the dollar ( about $1.33 to the dollar). Is the value of the Euro finally coming down to earth? What was the purpose of unifying the Euro zone in the first place. I mean, it really was not a very good long-term investment to think that two countries were going to be able to bail out and furthermore strengthen twenty other countries within the zone. So, what did it accomplish? Simply put, it made the rich countries richer and is shoving the poor or economically failing countries deeper into debt and despair.
At its inception, the creation of the Euro zone was hailed as the means to a solid, unified, Europe. In truth, it was a means for the already stable countries to acquire a sustained “owed” income from the other countries within the zone thereby solidifying not just liquidity and European banker status, but strengthening their political control or ownership of the entire zone.
I consider that to be doublethink. Are you beginning to think that George Orwell was on to something?
The United States Super-Dud Committee
The House members were chosen by Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The Senate members were chosen by Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The illustrious twelve supposedly entrusted to slash the mounting deficit are as follows;
U.S. Sen. Max Baucus, a Democrat from Montana who chairs the Senate Finance Committee. He was chosen for the Super Congress by Reid. In December 2005, following the public corruption probe of lobbyist Jack Abramoff—who was later convicted of fraud and corruption—Baucus returned $18,892 in contributions that his office found to be connected to Abramoff. Included in the returned donations was an estimated $1,892 that was never reported for Baucus’s use of Abramoff’s sky box at a professional sports stadium and concert venue in downtown Washington in 2001
U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat from California who is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the highest ranking Latino American (#5). He was selected by Pelosi.
U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Republican from Michigan who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. He was selected for the Super Congress post by Boehner. Camp is a member of both the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and the conservative Republican Study Committee, two groups with conflicting positions on policy. For example, the RMSP supports stem cell research and opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, while the RSC opposes stem cell research and supports the FMA. He also received a score of 50 out of 100 from the John Birch Society’s “Freedom Index”, a Congressional Scorecard.
U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, the third-ranking Democrat in the House and the highest ranking African-American . He was chosen for the post by Pelosi. Former South Carolina Gov. John C. West appointed him the state’s human affairs commissioner in 1974 in the aftermath of the Orangeburg massacre, a position which he held until 1992, when he stepped down to run for Congress.
U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas who chairs the House Republican Caucus. He serves as a co-chairman of the Super Congress. He was selected for the post by Boehner. Hensarling has maintained a conservative voting record: he has consistently voted against pro-choice legislation, stem cell research, same-sex marriage and hate crimes legislation, and consistently supported free trade policies, the PATRIOT Act, and a Constitutional amendment against flag burning.
U.S. Sen. John Kerry, a Democrat from Massachusetts who ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004. He was chosen for the Super Congress by Reid. As a child, Kerry served as an altar boy. Although the extended family enjoyed a great fortune, Kerry’s parents themselves were upper-middle class; a wealthy great aunt paid for Kerry to attend elite schools in Europe and New England. Kerry spent his summers at the Forbes family estate in Brittany.
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, a Republican from Arizona who is the second highest-ranking Republican in the Senate Republican Caucus behind McConnell. He was appointed to the Super Congress by McConnell. In 2010, he was recognized by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world for his persuasive role in the Senate.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington who serves as chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Chosen by Reid, she will serve as co-chairman of the Super Congress. Washington’s first female senator and former preschool teacher.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio who served as the White House budget director under President George W. Bush. He was appointed to the Super Congress by McConnell. During an election campaign, Portman was criticized by Real Estate Developer Jay Buchert for his previous law firm’s work with Haitian President Baby Doc Duvalier. Buchert also called Portman “the handpicked choice of the downtown money crowd” and “a registered foreign agent for the biggest Democrat lobbying firm in Washington,” labeling Portman as “Prince Rob.”
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania who once chaired the anti-tax group Club For Growth. He was appointed to the Super Congress by McConnell.
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He was selected for the Super Congress post by Boehner. Upton’s grandfather, Frederick Upton, was co-founder of appliance manufacturer and marketer Whirlpool Corporation, which is headquartered in Benton Harbor, Michigan
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland. He was appointed to the Super Congress by Pelosi. He is in charge of Maryland’s 8th District which hugs the northern border of Washington, D.C. and is one of the most educated and wealthy congressional districts in the nation. The federal government is the largest single employer in the district, and many private companies are funded by the government.
Six Republicans…Six Democrats. If you look at the track record of each of these members, you will notice that this group is one of the most polarized groups one could assemble to broker or bargain a deficit reduction solution. They might as well been charged to go on a quest to find the mythical unicorn that could magically fix all of our problems. You cannot tell me that they did not already know it was going to fail before it even started. Newt Gingrich waited in the wings quietly until the failure was apparent, then came out shooting in order to gain poll points going into the upcoming elections. He knew it would fail as well. I wouldn’t say he is a prophet. I would say he has the knack for pointing out the painfully obvious after it has occurred. Mr. Obama can even score points with this debacle insinuating that it is just another example of the inability of Congress as a whole to come to any type of bipartisan agreement as long as those pesky, war mongering, puppies to big business are still in any seat of power.
So, put together a committee that we all know will not work and make the mounting deficit look more scary than before. What exactly is that accomplishing? Some would say nothing at all. I would say that it accomplishes a great deal. What I believe it accomplishes is to make it seem like the government is working very hard towards a solution to a very serious fiscal problem, when in fact, they are not. The average Joe either is either scared of the deficit thinking that it will cause further hardship on their family or they could care less because they just want to survive. However, within the world of partisan politics, lobby groups, and politics in general, they simply want to get their personal agendas approved. More to themselves via tax breaks, tax increases, program cuts, etc. Miss direction…slight of hand…a means by which to control thought on a mass level. Hmm, where have I heard this before?
Personally, I believe the deficit issue is much like that monster under your bed you were so scared of when you were five years old. Guess what? It is not really there. It is a blame game, a number excuse, an abstract monetary bubble. Doublethink at its best.
So, as we stand today, we can either marvel at the failure of the new world order, be disgusted by it and go about our way, or we can rally against it. Did George Orwell create one of the most captivating pieces of fiction, or was it a prophetic warning?
I know which I will choose.
~ Erik Sudberg