Sunday, September 23, 2012

Caveat Lector! Beware Subtext in Political Writings

George Orwell wrote years ago about how to impart ideas into people's head correctly.  That is to say, create images in the way in which you want the reader to see not the way that the reader may interpret your writing.  This means that when attempting to write white propaganda for a corporation or a government writers must select their words carefully.  After all, they don't want to be caught lying in the future.

So they run into the problem of audience and reception.  They can't flat out lie, they can't make obfuscations too obvious, and they can't tell the truth.  The truth won't keep the public support anymore than lies will.

George Orwell explains in "Politics and the English Language" (1946) and in "Propaganda and Demotic Speech" (1944) that government bureaucracies use language unfamiliar to the layman to sell ideas.

When you examine Government leaflets and White Papers, or leading articles in the newspapers, or the speeches and broadcasts of politicians, or the pamphlets and manifestos of any political party whatever, the thing that nearly always strikes you is their remoteness from the average man. It is not merely that they assume non-existent knowledge: often it is right and necessary to do that. It is also that clear, popular, everyday language seems to be instinctively avoided. The bloodless dialect of government spokesmen (characteristic phrases are: in due course, no stone unturned, take the earliest opportunity, the answer is in the affirmative) is too well known to be worth dwelling on. Newspaper leaders are written either in this same dialect or in an inflated bombastic style with a tendency to fall back on archaic words (peril, valour, might, foe, succour, vengeance, dastardly, rampart, bulwark, bastion) which no normal person would ever think of using. Left-wing political parties specialize in a bastard vocabulary made up of Russian and German phrases translated with the maximum of clumsiness. And even posters, leaflets and broadcasts which are intended to give instructions, to tell people what to do in certain circumstances, often fail in their effect. For example, during the first air raids on London, it was found that innumerable people did not know which siren meant the Alert and which the All Clear. This was after months or years of gazing at A.R.P. posters. These posters had described the Alert as a ‘warbling note’: a phrase which made no impression, since air-raid sirens don’t warble, and few people attach any definite meaning to the word. (1946)


In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

"While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement. (1944)

Similarly, in our war, the white papers are worded as if these very concerns were in mind.

Here are two war related examples:

Which Path To Persia? (Brookings Institute) - One of the authors was arrested for spying and informing to Israel.  The other authors are from the oil/military/intelligence complex or academia.

Rebuilding America's Defenses (Project For A New American Century) - There aren't many newspapers that net the sinn (sense) of what is said in the following,

[quote]Control of the sea could be largely determined not by fleets of surface combatants and aircraft carriers, but from land- and space-based systems, forcing navies to maneuver and fight underwater.  Space itself will become a theater of war, as nations gain access to space capabilities and come to rely on them; further, the distinction between military and commercial space systems – combatants and noncombatants – will become blurred. Information systems will become an important focus of attack, particularly for U.S. enemies seeking to short-circuit sophisticated American forces.  And advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool. (page 60)[/quote]

Space weapons.  Old news. Underwater Navies. blah blah... Ope! Did you get that there at the end?  Race-based bio-weapons as a useful population control tool?  And this under the section about "trasforming America's conventional

They'd never publish that...oh my...

Yes, both documents are obviously propaganda, but they are absolutely useful when one can discern between propaganda (usually who it is aimed for) and the actual guts (sinn) of what is being proposed. We'll call this "legitimate propaganda" (something to be used on an official capacity) for now and its purpose to "persuade" the underlings of the bureaucracy.  I know, it is the furthest thing from "legitimate."  =/  Words...

This is similar to how Chemtrails is polarizing term, scary and laughable, but Unilateral Geoengineering is serious, scientific, and happening.  There is no reason for them to hide it.  How many people would associate the two things? They both refer to, "injecting light-reflecting particles into thestratosphere, that might be used to modify the Earth’s atmosphere-ocean system..." (UG 1)

Take this for instance this quote from "Unilateral Geoengineering":

The danger of stopping once geoengineering starts
If albedo-adjusting geoengineering were to proceed for an extended period while CO2 emissions continued or grew, cessation of geoengineering could yield rapid, large and damaging shocks to the climate system. While this issue has not been studied with much detail, one recent simulation suggests that if a system reducing solar flux abruptly failed or was terminated, carbon sinks would weaken, potentially leading to unprecedented global temperature increases of 2-4°C per decade (more than ten times the current rate of temperature change). Such a rapid increase would surely have profound negative impacts on ecosystems and much else that depends on climate.

Developments that could justify geoengineering
Despite great uncertainty about geoengineering, and the likely negative environmental consequences that it could have, if we are surprised by unexpectedly rapid or large climate change, there might be situations in which the governments of the world would be justified in taking collectively action. Here are just two examples... (pages 9 & 10)

The underlined words and phrases are meant to lessen the mental impact of reading them and their logically associated actions or events.  Since this post is about reading and it is late, I'll leave the reader to click the links read and try and notice when phrases are hiding a true meaning because they are vague and or esoteric.

Caveat lector!

Then take note: