In the dystopian novel 1984, the Party encourages “doublethink” as part of its strategy to control the people.
Orwell defined doublethink as the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs as correct, often in different contexts. It was the Party’s way of controlling thought through the manipulation of language.
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, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself – that was the ultimate subtlety; consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word ‘doublethink’ involved the use of doublethink.
I was doing some research and I found a textbook example of doublethink in the Nevada Constitution’s Declaration of Rights.
Sec:2.Purpose of government; paramount allegiance to United States. All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it. But the Paramount Allegiance of every citizen is due to the Federal Government in the exercise of all its Constitutional powers as the same have been or may be defined by the Supreme Court of the United States; and no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith or perform any act tending to impair, subvert, or resist the Supreme Authority of the government of the United States. The Constitution of the United States confers full power on the Federal Government to maintain and Perpetuate its existance [existence], and whensoever any portion of the States, or people thereof attempt to secede from the Federal Union, or forcibly resist the Execution of its laws, the Federal Government may, by warrant of the Constitution, employ armed force in compelling obedience to its Authority.
This has to be the worst Declaration of Rights article.
First off, what does this have to do with the rights of the people?
Secondly, it’s completely incoherent. Simplifying it really illustrates how this one short paragraph expresses two entirely separate and mutually exclusive ideas – textbook doublethink.
All political power is inherent in the people. Government is instituted for the protection, security and benefit of the people; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it…no power exists in the people of this or any other State of the Federal Union to dissolve their connection therewith.
Bottom line: either We the People stand sovereign and have an inalienable right to politically associate as we see fit, and as the Declaration of Independence asserted, “Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”
Or – some government is sovereign, and the people must obediently submit, no matter what, because it says so, or they get obliterated by agents of said sovereign government.
I’m going to go with We the People…Lincoln’s cannons notwithstanding.