George Orwell’s 1984 has made a profound impact on our society.  I knew the concepts of Big Brother and newspeak even before I read the book.  Now I understand them so much more.  The book illustrates how profoundly powerful language is.  If one can control language, then one can control how people think.  It has enlightened me as to how people seek to define language in order to sway people in an election.

In a previous post I brought up child porn in Canada.  Part of the controversy is that someone who wrote his sick fantasies down was not convicted because what he wrote was deemed to have artistic merit.  A lot of people were outraged but I think there is another side to the issue.  I think it is inherently dangerous for the government to start convicting people for having criminal thoughts.  In 1984 it is called thoughtcrime.  The situation changes if people are writing down their thoughts and distributing them. 

  1. #1 by Marc Vandersluys on June 23, 2004 - 8:57 am

    Good point. Never thought of it that way.

  2. #2 by Justin Baeder on June 23, 2004 - 1:48 pm

    Are people saying that punishing this man would be punishing thoughtcrime? Otherwise, I don’t see the problem. And I agree – it shouldn’t be punished, even if he has the right, however sick, to think it.

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