John Schnatter is being erased. And, he’s neither the first nor the last person to be erased. We will see more and more of this in the next few years. The tragedy is that it was predicted years ago. The tragedy is that we allow it to happen. The pendulum has swung too far from the center, and that bodes ill for us all.
“The sacred principles of Ingsoc. Newspeak, doublethink, the mutability of the past,” and now, fake news and political correctness. These are the children of our social conscience. These are the dread offspring of George Orwell’s “1984” which – more like vultures than chickens – have come to roost in this country in 2018.
John Schnatter is being erased not only from the corporation he established and nurtured, but also from his charitable works. And George Orwell predicted this. Explore with me, for a moment, the mind of Winston Smith, the anti-hero of “1984.”
It is my hypothesis that John Schnatter was encouraged to use the “n-word” during a corporate training exercise. Nothing in the news reports contradicts that. Further, it is a technique I’ve seen employed in such training as early as a “race relations” course mandated, and offered by a government contractor as early as 1973. There are always “fresh dupes waiting to be seduced,” Winston thought. He was right. No matter how unbelievable are the pronouncements of “racism,” no matter how inconsequential the sound bites offered by politicians, no matter how confusing the statements and contradictions of the president, there are people who continue to be seduced by them.
I was duped in 1973 into using the “n-word,” and watched the instructor’s pleasure as he made an example of me. I will not say John Schnatter was duped, but I will suggest the instructors might have been equally pleased when he fell for what was likely a trap.
The attacks on reason are “so exaggerated and perverse that a child should [be] able to see through [them], and yet they are just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in…” Someone who would neither use the n-word or the q-word might easily be led to say them in a training session – but without the euphemisms, “nigger. … queer.”
Winston Smith’s job was to “alter, or, as the official phrase had it, to “rectify” news articles later shown to be incorrect – or inconsistent with current thinking. He did so not only by adjusting numeric predictions, or, “substitution of one piece of nonsense for another,” but also by rewriting history until “the chosen lie would pass into the permanent records and become truth.”
Smith chose to do this with “a piece of pure fantasy.” This included the erasure of a real Comrade Withers, replacing him with a fictitious Comrade Oglivy.
In like manner, the management of “Papa John’s” and the popular press seem to have decided to erase John Schnatter.
But with what is he being replaced?
That is, indeed, the question.
References and notes.
All quotations are from the Kindle edition of George Orwell’s “1984.”
Winston Smith thinks “Ingsoc” might have once been “English socialism.”
Trump and his camorra lie and defend their lies with more lies. They deal not in truth, but in alternative facts, which are nothing but lies. Their behavior and the environment they have created is a frightening patchwork of lies, naked arrogance, and abuse of power and position to suppress free speech and enrich themselves.
It’s no wonder that George Orwell’s “1984” is currently Amazon’s bestseller.
My fear is that Trump’s coterie of vultures is buying the book thinking it is an instruction manual.
Will Trump create a Ministry of Truth? While truth seems to be anathema to the current administration, Orwell’s Ministry of Truth was dedicated to creating alternative history that supported the party line. Perhaps Trump will create a Ministry of Alternative Facts with the same mission.
In Winston Smith’s London, “nothing is illegal, since there were no longer any laws…” Trump and his gang of sycophants and plutocrats have given ample evidence that they think nothing is illegal if it will enrich them or enhance their power. Witness the delays in providing financial disclosures, Trump’s personal refusal to release his tax returns, the failure of Trump and several appointees to divest themselves of properties and income which bring them into a real conflict of interest and perhaps put them in violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution.
Trump and two highly visible spokespersons seem masters of “doublethink,” a feature of Winston Smith’s musings. Trump claimed that God stopped the rain specifically for Trump’s inaugural address, and that the sun came out. Both are lies. It rained on his speech, and the rest of the day in DC was overcast. His press secretary made clearly false and contradictory statements about the size of the crowds at the inauguration; a spokeswoman later declared those not to be untruths (i.e., lies) but “alternative facts” (i.e., lies).
Trump’s rhetoric (the art of effective or persuasive speaking or tweeting) nicely fits Winston Smith’s description of the speech during the “Two Minute Hate”—“so exaggerated and perverse that a child should have been able to see through it, and yet just plausible enough to fill one with an alarmed feeling that other people, less level-headed than oneself, might be taken in by it.”
There have been reports that some of Trump’s supporters have begun to question whether they were right to support him, and that some have left his camp. Not to fear. As Winston Smith said, “Always there were fresh dupes waiting to be seduced by him.”
It’s not hard to draw parallels between the Trump administration and the world of 1984. While the latter may seem implausible, even impossible, it is neither.
All quotations from “1984” are from the Kindle edition, downloaded 2017-01-25.
Trump and his people’s actions that I compare to themes from “1984” were taken from multiple news sources. A Google search can provide many legitimate news sources as references.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.