Newspeak: How to be good

In my last post I spoke a little about the book 1984, I also gave you readers an “exercise. Too speak Newspeak for a whole day.

Newspeak is a way to mentaly control people, it further enhances the idea that “If you control the past, you control the future”. In 1984, the Party (the bad guys) is constantly changing all records of past events, they have a whole department only working on with this, to make sure that the Party is never wrong. For exempel, they say that they are at war with Eastasia and allies with Euroasia, but when the alligences change, the change all the records so that they are at war with Euroasia and allies with Eastasia.

But retconning everything constanly, people can only use their memory to prove things were different. But memories can fade, and when written recrods and the ruling body states that you are wrong how can you be sure that you actually are not wrong? So what does all this retconning actually do, it makes it impossible for people to compare things. Which is the main purpous of Newspeak (according to me).

In newspeak, the word bad does not exist. What does exist is the word good. But people will still want to say that things are bad, so how do they do that if they cannot say bad. They say it is “ungood” and if it is something very bad you say “doubleplusungood”. If something is better than good it is “plusgood” and if it is even better it is “doubleplusgood”. What happens is that there is no way to actually differentiat between the different good and “ungood”. If something is good, well then it is good. But good is in and of itself a very “broad word”, good can range from “it was okey” to “it made me feel excellent”. But they do have ways to strenghten the word good. Yes, that is true, but how much better is “plusgood” than good? I do not know. Or how much better is “doubleplusgood” than good? It is better than “plusgood” but that does not help us at all, since the word good is to vauge and it makes it impossible to compare the “goodness” of things.

The same thing happens with “ungood”. What is “ungood”, well it is not good, but it is not necessarily bad. “Ungood” can be “it was okey”. So when you suddenly cannot truly compare things, everything just becomes a kind of gray indistinguishable mass. If I had seen a movie that feelt like throwing my money into a fire and had to express that in newspeak, I could only say it was “doubleplusungood”. Which is worse than “ungood” but whom ever I said it to could not really figure out how much I disliked it. And in the end, you would become mad since it is impossible to compare things.


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