The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Capitalism

Talking about George Orwell's 1984, and the book within the book, is always interesting. But this semester the discussion took some turns that seem to me worth sharing. The book by Emmanuel Goldstein, The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, is an intentional parody of Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto. It represents a plan to [Read More...]

Teach the Doublethink Controversy

On my post about the Orwellian character of young-earth creationism, a commenter pointed out that a popular t-shirt series which deals with young-earth creationism also has one for doublethink:     [Read more...]

Big Brother’s Young-Earth Creationism

I’ve been working my way through George Orwell’s 1984 again with my students. Not long ago, when a pastor said that if the Bible said that 2+2=5 he would accept it, it was pointed out that this was precisely something that comes up in the effort to recondition Winston Smith in 1984. But in fact, young-earth creationism [Read More...]

James McGrath, Star Trek Actor

Yesterday I started discussing George Orwell’s 1984 in my First Year Seminar class. To illustrate the way information about us is less than private in our time, I had them Google themselves, and also me if they wished to. One student found this: Apparently that James McGrath is J. J. Abrams’ father-in-law. It isn’t me. But I still [Read More...]

We Have Always Been At War With Science

For some reason, coming across an echo of George Orwell’s 1984, I found myself thinking about how it is paralleled in the revisionist history that has claimed that religion and science have always been at war. [Read more...]

Mythicist Language is Designed to Make Lies Sound Truthful

Neil Godfrey's latest rant includes a quote from George Orwell, and describes the fact that I will be addressing mythicism and religious freedom in a conference paper as “Orwellian.” And once again, there is no evidence of awareness of Poe's Law, as a mythicist writes things that seem like a ridiculous parody, something that no [Read More...]

Ignorance is Strength

I was struck today, rereading George Orwell’s 1984, at how easily one can substitute Christian terminology into a particular passage, which is from the book within the book, Emmanuel Goldstein’s The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism. Let me show you what I mean: Christian society rests ultimately on the belief that God is omnipotent and that [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Macra Terror

The lost Doctor Who episode “The Macra Terror” features that classic sci-fi trope, which had already appeared in Doctor Who prior to this, of a society that seems too perfect, and which in fact conceals a dark secret, as well as inevitably using mind control to keep people content. The scenario will likely also bring [Read More...]


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