LuckyOtter examines the control of the meanings of words.
Despots and dictators throughout history know how powerful language can be, and they know that by changing the definitions of words, without people realizing it, they can change the way people think and what they believe. Without language and the words that comprise it, propaganda and revisionist history (changing commonly held historical beliefs in order to fit a desired political or religious narrative) would become impossible, or at least a lot more difficult.
George Orwell described the insidious process of changing the meanings of words in order to change public attitudes in his classic dystopian novel, “1984.” He called this process “Newspeak.” It is a form of mind control commonly used by cult leaders and dictators to get people to abandon their previous ways of thinking and accept a lie as the truth (repetition of the lie is another way they get people to accept it). Sometimes the…
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