At the core of Orwell's new political system were four critical elements-the use of perpetual war for political purposes, the control of human sexuality, the cult of personality and antipersonality, and the abuse of language and history. The current application of the first principle is transparent. There was the war on drugs. Now there is the war on terror. It is indisputable that we were attacked by a brutal and cowardly enemy. Does this mean that any domestic or international action taken by the government is now justified in the name of security? There is the Orwellian logic: "Iraq is now the enemy. Iraq has always been the enemy." We need to engage in doublethink and forget about the Reagan administration support for Iraq and its tacit acceptance of the use of weapons of mass destruction by the murderous tyrant, Saddam Hussein. We need to forget the Bush administration's stated reasons for war against Iraq. We need to forget that we have left in anarchy much of Afghanistan where we periodically wipe out families and wedding parties by unfortunate accidents. There can be no doubt about the success of the exploitation of the war for the stirring of nationalist passions in support of the political party in power.
Bush is trying to use the Anti-Homosexual-Marriage Amendment, anti-abortion laws, and abstinence-only sex programs to control human sexuality. The cult of personality, "Big Brother," is definitely Bush himself. He cannot make a mistake, he is strong and resolute. The cult of antipersonality -- the person who is against all that we believe in -- has changed over time. It started out as Osama bin Laden. Then it became Saddam Hussein. Now it is the "Islamofascists" as a group, with Zarqawi getting prominent play. It is curious that Osama is no longer in the spot light. I think he is either dead or otherwise incapacitated, and Bush needed someone else to keep as The Villain for the public's focus. With current news media and short public attention spans, The Villain needs to be someone who is seen or heard from regularly, to remind the public how evil he is. This part has definitely weakened, especially when Saddam was captured and seen to be just a man.
The abuse of language and history has been rampant. "Clean Skies Initiative" to help polluters. "Healthy Forest" laws to help lumber mills. The war on Iraq was not for WMD, it was because Saddam was evil. Before the Iraq war, the administration was lambasting the CIA for not taking the Iraqi threat seriously. Afterwards, the same administration claimed that the CIA pushed them to attack Iraq, using faulty intelligence. Human rights are being systematically abused, but are supposedly only caused by "a few bad apples."
By the way: my current congressman, Steve Buyer, was a House Manager in the Clinton impeachment trial, called for nuclear strikes in Afghanistan, and falsely claimed to be called up by the Army last spring. He must go.
9 8 days.