Hillary Clinton is wrong about a lot of things. She’s wrong on virtually every policy, she’s wrong to blame everything under the sun for her 2016 loss, and she’s wrong about each and every one of the excuses she offers for her shady behavior. Now, thanks to her new book, we know that she’s also frighteningly wrong about literature.
Here’s what she has to say:
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“Attempting to define reality is a core feature of authoritarianism. This is what the Soviets did when they erased political dissidents from historical photos. This is what happens in George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, when a torturer holds up four fingers and delivers electric shocks until his prisoner sees five fingers as ordered. The goal is to make you question logic and reason and to sow mistrust towards exactly the people we need to rely on: our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence, ourselves.”
Good Lord, where to begin?
Clinton - View - Orwell - Dystopia - Argument
In short, Clinton’s view of Orwell’s dystopia is the argument that the torturer is making.
As the Washington Examiner puts it:
Orwell - Leaders - Press - Experts - Policy
Orwell does not want us to rely on “our leaders, the press, experts who seek to guide public policy based on evidence,” only on the last element of Clinton’s quote: “ourselves”.
While Orwell favored the pursuit of knowledge, he also knew humanity’s innate susceptibility to political malfeasance. Orwell wrote 1984 in the years just following the Nazi eugenics-based human supremacism, and at the epoch of Stalin’s government-based human supremacism. Crucially, he recognized that both foul ideologies had originally won favor by claiming to serve human interests.
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Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.