The utopian reformers of the early 20th century used a variety of tools to help making their vision a reality. Orwell’s famous novel “1984” introduced us to one of those tools and named it Newspeak, in this short article I will refer to this tool as Newspeak as well. The main idea of Newspeak is that as thought is worded in words, narrowing down the language to an essential minimum will help limiting the range of possible thoughts. Newspeak is designed with the intention of limiting thoughts that are not consistent with the applied doctrine (be it communism, socialism, different forms of nationalism, religion and sects, or other).
Orwell writes “…the sole purpose of Newspeak is to limit the range of thought, in the future, thought crimes will not be possible as words to word them will not exist… by that time the entire past literature shell be destroyed, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Byron ? All those will continue to exist only in Newspeak version. Their translation to Newspeak will not only make them different, but contrary to what they essentially were… The entire thought climate will be different, actually thought as we know it, will no longer exist, orthodoxy (conservatism, conformity) means not to think, not to be in need of thought”
We in Israel got Newspeak in the course of yet another utopian reform which began in the first half of the 20th century – The generation of the new Jew, the sabra, and the establishment of the Jewish state.
The ancient Hebrew language was selected as Newspeak. Read more