Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Crimestop Now!

I recently went on a few days' trip to Las Vegas to spend some money in style, and read George Orwell's "1984" on the drive.

The passage I found the most striking is the definition of the newspeak word "crimestop" found in the book-within-a-book, Emmanuel Goldstein's The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, most particularly because I encounter just this attitude so very often in debate with leftists as to almost be unsurprising:

"Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of through which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity. But stupidity is not enough. On the contrary, orthodoxy in the full sense demands a control over one's own mental process as complete as that of a contortionist over his body."


Since compared to Orwell I am but a lightningbug to a kleig light, I've been calling it "willful ignorance" for years. The act of consciously denying and dismissing logic and fact, combined with the ability to force the conscious act of such denial completely out of one's memory as soon as it is committed, therefore rendering all illogic and denial inexistent and any of one's arguments remain unchallenged. Of course, if you are unchallenged, you win. Right?

For an excellent example of the functioning of crimestop in real life, engage in a discussion with a 9/11 "Truthist." I play Orwell bingo every time I do and invariably hit all 4 crimestop signifiers.

Try it yourself and report back!

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2 Comments:

At 14/8/07 8:14 AM , Anonymous earl west said...

What a great old metaphor to drag out. Good for you. Also excellent is Orwell's old essay, "On Nationalism".

 
At 8/9/07 10:33 AM , Anonymous Jered said...

Very interesting.

 

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