By Cynthia Chung
Disagreement has become an extremely sensitive issue lately; it was once thought that debate was an essential component to a strong and healthy democracy, however, we are now told that it is extremely dangerous, in fact, it may soon be categorised as a form of domestic terrorism. [This article was originally published January 27, 2021.]
“I drafted a terrorism bill after the Oklahoma City bombing, and the bill John Ashcroft sent up was my bill.”
The bill passed by Ashcroft was known as “The Patriot Act”.
As early as mid-Nov 2020, just a couple of months into his Presidency, Biden was already discussing the need to pass further laws against domestic terrorism. This is interesting since under the 2001 Patriot Act (which was meant to be a temporary enforcement in reaction to 9/11, however, is still in place 21 years later), domestic terrorism is already defined as;
“activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state; (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.”
So, the question begs, what else needs to be added to the Patriot Act, which was recognised at the time of its enforcement as something that should only be temporary since it was understood that it infringed upon civil liberties? Come to think of it, why is the Patriot Act still in place, which allows for the indefinite continuation of human rights violations such as warrantless wiretapping; illegal torture, kidnapping, and detention; mass surveillance; government secrecy; Real ID; no-fly list; political spying; abuse of material witness statutes; and attacks on academic freedom?
As Glenn Greenwald wrote in his formidable paper The New Domestic War on Terror is Coming, “what needs to be criminalized that is not already a crime?”, keeping in mind that as of June 2020, the United States has the highest prisoner rate in the world, followed by El Salvador, Turkmenistan, Thailand and Palau.
Well, the answer is apparently simple and as always for our own good. We have come to a point in time where the enemy is not some radicalized ideology, it is not some foreign despot, it is not even the threat of war (whether it be economic, cyber or nuclear), but rather it is ourselves. We, the people, are the new enemies of the State.
You may protest “Not I! I am a model citizen! I pay my taxes on time, I am never late or call in sick for work, I make sure to be up-to-date with the newest ‘woke’ revelations and I don’t engage with anything outside of the mainstream matrix during my free-time.” Such thoughts may lead to thinking that it is justified when the Biden Administration calls for tougher laws against domestic terrorism, and that this is obviously meant for the ‘other guy,’ those uneducated bigots who are screaming at the top of their lungs “Treason!” and inciting what we are told to be forms of ‘insurrection,’ all in the name of the archaic ideas of ‘patriotism’ and the ‘U.S. Constitution.’
You may , unlike so many others, have no problem recognising that the U.S. Constitution is actually part of the problem, that by the standards used today, the U.S. Constitution is itself responsible for ‘inciting violence’ and thus guilty of domestic terrorism, and thus needs to be revoked.
But you see… that’s just not good enough.
Though you are well on your way to becoming a model citizen in the 21st century, you still have a little ways to go. It is for this reason that a guide to 21st century Newspeak has been recently released to make sure that well-intentioned citizens like yourself are fully informed of what is required of you in terms of appropriate behaviour, as well as appropriate thoughts, and though this will take a little more time, appropriate instincts.
21st Century Newspeak
The first alteration that will need to take place is freedom of thought. It has been shown through peer-review studies that individual thoughts are susceptible to forming erroneous beliefs and can lead to dangerous behaviours such as refusal to integrate into a community standard.
Once an individual refuses to integrate into its designated community, it is only a matter of time before this individual shows opposition and even antagonism towards said community. Thus failure to integrate is one of the first signs that an individual is on the path to becoming a domestic terrorist.
Because the individual mind is flawed, it can no longer be trusted to be the standard of its own judgement of what is right and wrong. It is for this reason that we are introducing groupthink. This concept is not new, however, the difference is from now on the individual’s environment will only be allowed to reciprocate the values of groupthink, and all other thoughts outside of groupthink are to be banned and punishable under the new laws.
Even if thoughts outside of groupthink appear as harmless to the collective, they are not, for any thought that is not groupthink threatens to lead to a different outcome than that intended by groupthink and thus is a threat to the security of the collective.
In order to ensure commitment to groupthink, it will be mandatory that every individual engage in at least 2 minutes of Hate every hour throughout the day, every day. This can be achieved either by watching 2 minutes of Hate news, or by engaging in a public 2 minutes of Hate with a colleague, a friend or family member via social media.
It is imperative that an individual watch the 15 minute morning and evening “What to Hate” news provided by the Ministry of Truth (or Minitrue), in order to be the most up-to-date with what are the ongoing and new subjects of Hate, and what were previous subjects of Hate which are no longer deemed to be subjects of Hate.
It is most important that an individual never refer to a former subject of Hate as such. Any present subject of Hate must be seen as having always been a subject of Hate and any former subject of Hate must be seen as having never been a subject of Hate.
This may appear as an impossible task, but we assure you it is entirely possible with the use of doublethink, which many of you have already been practising. Doublethink requires that one be both conscious and unconscious of the fact that they are telling deliberate lies while genuinely believing them; to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies. This makes up a part of our new Party slogan: FREEDOM IS SLAVERY.
Those who excel the most in doublethink will receive the highest stations within our newly organised community, as safe-guards against the renegade, the domestic terrorist.
Another alteration that will need to occur is how we think and refer to the past and the future. With the newly enforced groupthink, the present is what groupthink dictates it to be, which is subject to change, however, must be regarded as having always been.
The past is what the present dictates it to be, if it were not, it could challenge the basis for the present. Thus to preserve the present, the past must serve the present, only justifying why we Hate what we presently Hate and why we Love what we presently Love and can do nothing to contradict these Party lines. There will be permitted no records of an alternative past, there will be no way to prove that the past was ever different from what the present dictates it to be, the only threat to this narrative is the record of the individual mind, and once this ceases to be there will only be the Minitrue record as the recorder of past Truth.
In effect, the model citizen will perceive the past as dead and the future as unimaginable. The future is unimaginable because it is impossible to think of an alternative to the present, in fact, the mere act of thinking of an alternative to the present is considered a challenge to the status quo of the present, and thus is a challenge to groupthink, and thus is a form of domestic terrorism, which we will call from now on thoughtcrime.
Thoughtcrime is essentially any thought pertaining to memory, judgement of right and wrong, thoughts of an alternative reality, and self-reflection, which are now all deemed forms of thoughtcrime. If an individual is to engage in any of these sorts of thoughts, it is only a matter of time before they will come into conflict with groupthink and the Party line, thus private thoughts are banned and punished under the new laws.
It may seem an impossible task at first not to engage in private thoughts, but again, we assure you it is entirely possible using crimestop. Crimestop is the practice of not grasping analogies, failing to perceive logical errors, misunderstanding the simplest arguments, of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop is essentially, protective stupidity.
It is imperative that one practice crimestop during any interaction with another individual, however, it is also imperative that one practice crimestop within their own inner-dialogue, such that even from your own conscience you will be protected from committing a thoughtcrime.
Newspeak will also help dissuade from thoughtcrime. Newspeak is to be the new acceptable vocabulary, anything that references words outside of the most-up-to-date edition of the Newspeak dictionary will be considered Oldspeak and something to be construed as counter to groupthink. It is understood that by reducing the vocabulary to revolve around a few words such as good; which for example can be used as plusgood, doubleplusgood, ungood etc, it will serve to narrow the range of thought an individual is capable of, and thus reduce the capability of committing a thoughtcrime. How wonderful! That in the future we will be unable to commit crime for we will be incapable of its thought! This makes up another part of our new Party slogan: IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.
In terms of the new laws, in effect, nothing will change. Unacceptable behaviours and thoughts will not be designated as illegal per se; one reason for this is because we do not plan on having any public trials. Anyone who is in violation of conduct will simply be removed either temporarily into a “re-education facility” or will be vaporised. Any subject that has been vaporised will be removed from the collective memory records and can never be referred to as having ever existed.
The reason why no public trials will be held from now on is because, as we have seen, dissent is infectious. Thus, holding public trials risk further encouragement towards dissent. It is for this reason that dissenters must be removed swiftly and quietly in the middle of the night. Such disappearances will occur relatively regularly and will eventually become the new normal, however, it will not be traumatic for the collective. The subject will simply cease to exist as if it were all just a dream, the structure of our daily routine unaffected.
In order to ensure utmost compliance, the collective will be employing the use of children spies, this has already been occurring abroad, and proves to be very effective.
Purges and vaporizations will be a necessary part of the government mechanics and will become the new normal. We have already discussed the necessity for vaporizations, as for the necessity of purges, it is because the community will be built so as to remain in stasis, however, this can only be accomplished through artificial means, for it is not natural that a thing remain the same but rather that it either improves or deteriorates.
However, in order for the Party to maintain absolute control, there can be no change to the present except for that chosen by the Party, thus any change is a challenge to the Party. In order to facilitate an artificial environment of no change, resources must artificially be kept low, and purges need to occur so that this environment of scarcity is tightly controlled and maintained.
In order for us to achieve this, our economy will have to go through stagnation, we will need to decrease the amount of land used for cultivation, we will no longer add capital equipment needed for industrial growth and great blocks of the population will be prevented from working and will be kept half alive by State charity. The wheels of industry cannot be allowed to turn so as to increase the real wealth of the world. Goods must be produced, but they must not be distributed, and in practice the only way of achieving this is by continuous warfare.
War will continue under the Old Cold War doctrine. War will always be present, and yet will never be seen by the majority of our citizens, the reason for this being that war will not be about a real threat to security nor about real conquests but rather will be about maintaining the present status quo by exhausting the surplus of consumable goods, while also helping to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs.
However, real war will be purely an internal affair, the war waged by the ruling group against its own subjects, with the object of the war as to keep the structure of society intact and unchanging.
A peace that is truly permanent under this new ideology is no different than an invisible permanent war. For peace in our new era will equate to stability through no change. This makes up our first Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
All of these means are necessary if we are to realise that the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism, and that oligarchy is the only means to achieving peace, freedom and strength for the collective.
However, we are still very far from this ideal and there is much that threatens its becoming, namely, the masses, or what we call the proles. So long as the masses believe that they are entitled to freedom of thought, our endeavours cannot succeed.
The individual must voluntarily relinquish this. It cannot be taken from them no matter the degree of control and no matter the threat of physical harm. An individual’s mind is theirs and cannot be taken, instead, the individual must be led to believe that it is in their best interest to relinquish their mind.
Let us do our best then to convince the individual that they are no longer fit to use their mind and let us pray that we are successful, for if we fail, our entire system of control fails with it.
“You would not make the act of submission which is the price of sanity…Reality exists only in the human mind, nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the Party, which is collective and immortal. Whatever the Party holds to be truth, is truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.”
– O’Brien in George Orwell’s “1984”