George Orwell published “1984” in 1949 as a warning against totalitarianism.

The book describes a dystopian society controlled completely by “The Party.” The book was so influential that it added words to our language: Orwellian, Big Brother, Thought Police, Doublespeak, Doublethink and more.

I am reminded of the book I read so many years ago by today’s “cancel culture“ (Thought Police) and the compulsion many have of thinking, speaking and acting in a “politically correct” (Doublethink/Doublespeak) manner all “enforced” by the majority of print, TV and online media.

From "1984": “To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it. … Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.”

And, “Do you realize that the past, starting from yesterday, has been actually abolished? If it survives anywhere, it’s in a few solid objects with no words attached to them, like that lump of glass there. Already we know almost literally nothing about the Revolution and the years before the Revolution. Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book has been rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street and building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And that process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

JOHN J. DRISCOLL

financial analyst/corporate finance consultant

Metairie