Wednesday, August 15, 2018


By Ronald W. Fox


I find it difficult to put into a few words the contempt I have for Donald Trump and Israel’s “Prince of Darkness”, or, as I referred to him recently, “Net and Yahoo”.  The words, corrupt, immoral, unjust, venal and barbaric just don’t capture their essence. I have read a number of excellent articles that attempt to condemn them.  But, as I mentioned in a previous email, I was, and have finished, reading 1984 by George Orwell. This book, published in 1949, is a remarkable warning to us today. 

As Erich Fromm says in the Afterword, here is one option:
feeling there is still time, and by responding with greater clarity and greater courage.

Here are excerpts from the book and an excerpt from the Afterword by Erich Fromm published in 1981.


“If there was hope, it must lie in the proles, because only there, in those swarming disregarded masses, eighty-five per cent of the population of Oceania, could the force to destroy the Party ever be generated.

“It was not desirable that the proles should have strong political feelings. All that was required of them was a primitive patriotism .. and even when they became discontented, as they sometimes did, their discontent led nowhere, because, being without general ideas, they could only focus it on petty specific grievances. The larger evil invariably escaped their notice.

“DOUBLETHINK means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. The Party intellectual knows in which direction his memories must be altered; he therefore knows that he is playing tricks with reality; but by the exercise of DOUBLETHINK he also satisfies himself that reality is not violated. .. DOUBLETHINK lies at the very heart of Ingsoc, since the essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty… “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word DOUBLETHINK it is necessary to exercise DOUBLETHINK. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of DOUBLETHINK one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth … “Whatever the Party holds to be the truth IS the truth. It is impossible to see reality except by looking through the eyes of the Party.

(Note – I wrote here on the page “Trump and Nunes”)

“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power
“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but MORE merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress towards more pain. The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy — everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever.”

Erich Fromm in the Afterword refers to 1984 as a “negative utopia” which asks, “can human nature be changed in such a way that man will forget his longing for freedom, for dignity, for integrity, for love – that is to say, can man forget that he is human?” Or does human nature have a dynamism which will react to the violation of these basic human needs by attempting to change an inhuman society into a human one.  .. (Orwell) assumes that man has an intense striving for love, for justice, for truth, for solidarity … the basic question which Orwell raises is whether there is any such thing as “truth”. “Reality”, so the ruling party holds, “is not external”. Reality exists in the human mind and nowhere else …whatever the Party holds to be truth is truth”’ …  Certainly Orwell’s picture is exceedingly depressing,  .. One can react to this picture in two ways: either by becoming more hopeless and resigned, or by feeling there is still time, and by responding with greater clarity and greater courage.”


We are witnessing a situation analogous to that described in 1984. We have Big Brothers here and in Israel. We have The Party – Republicans here and Likud there.

We have an attempt to alter the truth in the United States with Donald Trump lying thousands of times and Republicans cravenly hiding their heads in the sand.

In Israel we have Hasbara – lies after lies intended to (and in the past successful) convince unprincipled and doublethinking politicians (Republicans AND Democrats) in the United States that brutal Israeli oppressors are simply protecting themselves and that Palestinian women, children and men seeking to end the stamping on their faces are terrorists.
Further, Israel’s 30 year Hasbara campaign (doublethink) is described in a powerful post Hasbara is Dead from Philip Weiss: “Hasbara has died. The Israeli effort to “explain” its actions to the world– that era is over. Israel has given up trying to explain itself to fair-minded people. Because the fair-minded have all made up their minds; the slaughter in Gaza has seen to that. And Israel doesn’t think they are fair anyway. No, its explanations are reserved now for the hard-core supporters. The hasbara is pure propaganda, aimed at rallying the base. And everyone else is tuning out.” This propaganda has been revealed and shredded in the  movie Occupation of the American Mind which can be viewed free.

In 1984 Winston is tortured as he is reeducated, learns the art of “doublethink” and finally believes that two plus two is 5. Reminds me of one of my favorite education songs that I used to play during the 1980’s for 1L’s at Harvard Law School in the six-session seminar I presented during their first three months before the law school began to funnel them to large law firms at high salaries so they could repay the law schools for the excessive cost to attend.

The disservice law schools did to women students continues today as women are still encouraged to take BigLaw positions when the law schools have known for decades about the mistreatment and abuse that lies ahead for women. 

(To me this song written by Harry Chapin, Flowers are Red, is a vivid explanation of the defects in most elementary, post-high school and graduate education – learning how to be a lemming).

Will we all soon believe that there were more people at Trump’s inauguration than in any other inauguration in history?

Winston’s experience in Oceania makes Offred’s life in Gilead seem like Mary Poppins’ work as a nanny or Maria’s position working for the Von Trapp family.


For what? Possibly the only solution. Last year, there was a movement for a National General Strike . Perhaps it was too soon in 2017. The organizers were prescient.  They saw what was coming.

To combat apartheid and oppression in Israel, support for the BDS movement is essential. Soon everyone will understand that the only solution that combines peace with justice is one democratic state with equal rights for all.


"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing." - Edmund Burke.

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