Has Hillary Lost Her Grip on Reality? 'Rely on Big Brother' Was NOT the Message of Orwell's 1984
In her new book What Happened, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a shot at literary interpretation — and twisted George Orwell's book 1984 to mean the exact opposite of what it really means.
"Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism," Clinton wrote. "This is what the Soviets did when they erased political dissidents from historical photos. This is what happens in George Orwell's classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, when a torturer holds up four fingers and delivers electric shocks until his prisoner sees five fingers as ordered."
So far, so good. Then Clinton draws the exact wrong message from Orwell's classic. "The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust toward exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves," she bizarrely added.
But Clinton wasn't done. "For Trump, as with so much he does, it's about simple dominance," she concluded.
Writer and lecturer James Heartfield noted that Clinton's interpretation is a "bizarre misreading."
One Twitter user cleverly pointed out how Clinton's own interpretation of 1984 uses "doublespeak" to subvert the very message of the classic work.
This literary analysis of Clinton's paragraph hit the nail on the head. The former secretary of State started out by correctly explaining Orwell's point — authoritarianism does indeed try to redefine reality.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is famous for the term "doublespeak" — a powerful form of propaganda that deliberately obscures, disguises, or reverses the meaning of words. In the book, the government destroys the very purpose of language by insisting that "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength."
Both the Left and the Right have pushed narratives that dismiss and demonize the other side, but Clinton's use of propaganda here was rather obvious. Again, she wrote, "The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust toward exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves."
In 1984, every single one of those groups besides "ourselves" is in on the propaganda game. The political leaders are controlling the narrative, erasing history and even words from existence. The press is an arm of the state, pushing the big government's propaganda (sound familiar?). A powerful group of "experts" use their position to oppress the people, and Orwell reveals this system directly, as the main character works in the administration.