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Quotes / Newspeak

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Live-action TV

He refuses to bow, he refuses to drink! Do you know that we assigned him one of our best pain technicians?! ("Pain technicians". They used to be "torturers." Ever since they got organized, they're pain technicians.)
Cartagia, Babylon 5 ("The Summoning")


Language has always been important in politics, but language is incredibly important to the present political struggle. Because if you can establish an atmosphere in which information doesn't mean anything, then there is no objective reality.

Web Animation

Game consoles were so tainted in the eyes of the fickle public, that when Nintendo called their machine an 'entertainment system' rather than a game console, it sold fucking gangbusters. For you see, the public are fickle but not particularly smart.

web original

Matt: Stryker’s in the Oval Office asking the president permission for a “special operation” and talking about “school reform.” In my experience, that is pitch-perfect bureaucratic talk.
Chris: That’s the level that Stryker’s at, actually wanting a race war.
Chris Sims and Matt Wilson on X2: X-Men United

"Imagine being on fire, running up to a firefighter screaming for help, and they hook their hands in their pockets and say, "Actually, before we start, I think you should say you're violently oxidizing. Not all oxidization is bad. I mean, some of my cells are performing oxidation right now, and I think it would be better if we ..."''

A guy who likes to blame everything on the Jews. He's a former Klansman who claims that he left his racist days behind long ago, but that's bullshit. He uses the word "Zionist" more than he uses the word "the". It's essentially his subtle way of saying Kike.
Urban Dictionary on David Duke

It's tough to classify Alternative Right's ideology as either left or right, when really the ideas belong in some sort of padded room... they’re going to be white nationalists, but, by God, they're going to be a little fancy about it.

Even Christian Science is like "You know, we should really consider changing our name to something less confusing."
DListed, "Val Kilmer Isn’t Treating A Tumor In His Throat Because He’s A Hardcore Christian Scientist"

They refer to billionaires as "job creators" instead of "human hunters". They call it a War on Success if you apply basic economic theories to the financial crisis. And they accuse you of communism if you notice that any of this is retarded.

Sound science has two meanings. When used by scientists it means robustly supported science, confirmed by multiple peer-reviewed studies. When used in politics it means ideologically sound science, i.e. a euphemism for industry-funded pseudoscientific bullshit.

Every time a community springs up supposedly based only on mocking the 'excesses' of 'Tumblr activists,' the moderates who are in it just to make fun of the feminists or anti-racists who are 'actually crazy' find themselves joined by 'redpillers' (i.e. men’s rights activists) and advocates of 'human biodiversity' (a coy euphemism for scientific racism and eugenics).
Arthur Chu, "Occupying the Throne"

What person would proclaim themselves in favor of "force and fraud"? One of the little tricks Libertarians use in debate is to confuse the ordinary sense of these words with the meaning as "terms of art" in Libertarian axioms. They try to set up a situation where if you say you're against "force and fraud", then obviously you must agree with Libertarian ideology, since those are the definitions.
Seth Finkelstein, "Libertarianism Make You Stupid"

No seriously, the biggest block there is to fixing the myriad of things wrong with everything in our society is the fact that a dedicated bloc of our populace reacts like winged howler monkeys whenever an ever-growing list of verboten words are invoked. As such, something like this which is literally the least anyone could do about the problems surrounding rape in schools this country the world is deemed instantly bad evil wrong and needs to be destroyed simply because it involves 'White House' 'college' and 'sexual'.
Sadly, No! rebuts Jonah Goldberg's "What War on Women?"

So, what better way to combat this alarming list of school shootings than to redefine the term 'school shooting' itself? By doing this, according to gun-rights activists, you knock off, say, 59 of the 74 school shootings, leaving you with only 15 real, true, legitimate school shootings. ONLY 15! That’s nothing. We can live with that, right? The sad thing is, media outlets are now using this new 'revised' number.
Matt Binder

Real Life

Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. Newspeak was invented by Orwell, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the official language of Ingsoc, English Socialism. But elements of Ur-Fascism are common to different forms of dictatorship. All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning. But we must be ready to identify other kinds of Newspeak, even if they take the apparently innocent form of a popular talk show.
Umberto Eco, Ur-Fascism

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights... You follow me? Because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."
Lee Atwater, strategist for Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush

The British National Party isn't about "selling out" its ideas, which are your ideas too, but we are determined now to sell them, and that means basically to use the saleable words, as I say, freedom, security, identity, democracy. Nobody can criticise them. Nobody can come at you and attack you on those ideas. They are saleable.
Nick Griffin, addressing an audience with David Duke by his side

To be "Orwellian" is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening... and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever!
— Spin doctor Frank Luntz evokes Poe's Law

As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

Oppressive language does more than represent violence; it is violence; does more than represent the limits of knowledge; it limits knowledge.
Toni Morrison

The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious...We don't use the term "working class" here because it's a taboo term. You're supposed to say "middle class," because it helps diminish the understanding that there's a class war going on.
Noam Chomsky


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