Orwellian Terms That Mask the Mailed Fist of the State

Below is the intervention read today by Stephen Coughlin, representing the Center for Security Policy at the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Session 12 “Combating Hate Crimes and Ensuring Effective Protection against Discrimination”, Warsaw, September 29, 2015.

Working Session No 12

Specifically Selected Topic: Combating Hate Crimes and Ensuring Effective Protection against Discrimination

OSCE / ODIHR, Warsaw, Poland
29 September 2015

Thank you madam moderator, ladies and gentlemen,

In Orwell’s 1984 the point was made that:

In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it. It was inevitable that they should make that claim sooner or later: the logic of their position demanded it. Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality, was tacitly denied by their philosophy.

It was while being interrogated by the full force of the Orwellian state — with his job and his freedom put risibly at risk — that O’Brien turned to his affable interrogator and proclaimed that true freedom was the freedom to say: ”Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four”?

In 2013 at an OSCE Side Event here in Warsaw, we got principal advocates to acknowledge that “Islamophobia” had no definition, at a time when OSCE participating States were undertaking the initiative to criminalize “Islamophobia” as hate speech, as they still are to this day.

In May 2015 at the OSCE event in Vienna, at a formal OSCE forum, we got members of the event to say that facts known to be true can constitutes hate speech when suggesting that calling the Islamic State the Islamic State can constitute hate speech – even as it was acknowledged that the Islamic State self identifies as the Islamic State.

The “Hate Crime / Hate Speech” narrative is emerging as an attack on free speech that is an assault on the truth. The truth can never constitute hate speech.

Whether through direct action or under coercive third-party color of authority, state control of speech is an Orwellian assault to the very definition of free speech. Properly understood, free speech needs to be defended from the state, not protected by it.

Those that claim the authority to protect “protected speech” have the power to decide what is and is not to be protected. In the United States, the First Amendment did not give the state the power to protect speech; it was created to deny the state that power. Properly understood, free speech is a right inherent in the person, not a privilege granted by the state.

The term “hate crime” is emerging as one of those Orwellian terms that masks the mailed fist of the state to determine what is and is not to be deemed “protected speech” — another term that has increasingly taken on Orwellian proportions — as contrasted with what is to be designated as not “protected” and hence identified as hate speech. Orwell got it right:

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.

The Center for Security Policy recommends that the OSCE and all participating States not make Orwell a prophet but instead rethink the suppression of thought through the unbridled assault on its expression through the thinly veiled hate speech narrative. Thank you.

For links to previous articles about the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, see the OSCE Archives.

12 thoughts on “Orwellian Terms That Mask the Mailed Fist of the State

  1. I maintain there is no such thing as “hate” speech, there is only free speech which should be available to every human on earth. If it sounds hateful to you, so sad, too bad, get over it.

    Everyone has a right to free speech, period.

    and I will maintain this as long as I live. What the hell is wrong with people these days? do they not believe in free speech for all? No matter what it sounds like it should be free and available. I have every right to speak of that which I don’t like, maybe even hate — free speech! It is free to all in a civilized society.

  2. Oh, and hate crime is an oxymoron, as any intelligent person can perceive. If I hate you, theremay be a reason for why I hate you and it it is not illegal for me to hate you if I wish to do so. And you are welcome to hate me in return.

    What comes to mind: sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. When you die, you’ll suffer and cry for all the names you called me. (I learned this in grade school).

    Let us be satisfied with that, it is modest enough. Sheese.

    What is the matter with people these days?

  3. Why are they so concerned about one religion? IF this was an honest attempt to protect against phobias then anyone criticising Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc., would also be guilty but it seems no one in positions of power seems to care about protecting those religions.

    Or is it the one religion that we dare not name and which seems to be demanding protection is the one openly making hate speech against all other religions and would be the first to be prosecuted if this was done fairly?

    • When he was a little child, my son LOVED to listen to us read the Harry Potter book series for him. (As he grew up, simply disappeared with an new book and would show up much later–bleary eyed–having read the entire thing in one sitting.)
      Voldemort was the evil character and main central force for evil throughout the series. He twisted, lied, bent and corrupted both men and the systems of his era. He was NEVER referred to by name–his name was too dangerous–but was always referred to simply as “HE WHO MUST NOT BE NAMED”. Fear, loathing, dread, and repulsion was wrapped up in that one phrase–always whispered quietly and in fear.

      Now it seems that Muslim, Islam and other loathsome terms have to be treated the same as Hogwarts did Voldemort.
      A mosque of THE RELIGION THAT CANNOT BE NAMED (TRTCBN for short).
      A riot of TRTCBN folks in the town center. A TRTCBN rape squad in Rothingham , Paris, Munich, Berlin, Copenhagen, Brussels, Malmo………..etc.
      Don’t do XXXXXXX–or TRTCBN adherents will get mad. And riot. Again.

      And so it goes.

  4. Stephen Coughlin erred in his quotation: “It was while being interrogated by the full force of the Orwellian state — with his job and his freedom put risibly at risk — that O’Brien turned to his affable interrogator and proclaimed that true freedom was the freedom to say: ‘Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four’”?” Actually, it was Winston Smith who said it to his “affable” interrogator, O’Brien. And since Smith was already a prisoner and being tortured, his job and his life were as good as over. He was eventually converted to doublethink and held some meaningless bureaucratic job until he was presumably liquidated. He is last seen in the Chestnut Tree Cafe, loving Big Brother.

    • I thought it was off, but then decided I hadn’t paid close attention. YOU have, definitely, paid attention. I’ll find some way to bring this to his attention.

  5. I think we’re portraying the tail as wagging the dog.

    The posting, and the replies, argue that the suppression of “hate speech” in reality serves to suppress the freedom of speech, and therefore should be opposed by the government.

    The fact is, it is the objective of the government and its fascist supporters on the outside, to suppress debate and discussion of its policies. The appeal for the suppression of hate speech is simply a tool, to be discarded as soon as its usefulness is over. Of course, the suppression of “hate speech” stifles the freedom of speech. That’s the whole point.

    Does anyone have any doubt that were it not for the First Amendment, the US government would long since have moved to limit and criminalize free speech. As it is, the past few Presidents have packed the Supreme Court with justices who take a “creative” and “flexible” view of the meaning of words, and who believe it valid to substitute their own idea of what is desirable for what is actually written.

    In a few years, given the current trends, we will see a strong movement to build in “public interest” exceptions to the First Amendment, led by the Supreme Court.

    • I hate to say it but based on the last few Supreme Court decisions I would have to agree with that.
      What was it in Alice and the Looking Glass? Words mean what I mean them to be at the time I say it, or some such. I think we have arrived.

    • And it’s that amorphous, omnipresent but poorly identified, Institutional Left that’ll getcha every time.

      “Microtriggers,” anyone? Just learning about this newest of on-campus speech restrictors is making me crazy every time I read about them. I *had* been thinking of trying again for a Master’s, but maybe not:

      1) It costs money, which is in short supply at Chez Nous.
      2) It takes place on a Campus in California. The particular Campus I have in mind was a stable, moderate sort of place when I attended from 1986 through 1988, but that was a while back….
      3) The quickest Master’s would be in (God help us) English–the history of the language and Eng. literature; the least political would be mathematics–but it would also be the slowest and thus the most expen$ive.

      Maybe I should just continue with my private study and reading list. My cats and dog (and rabbit!) don’t care what I say and rant about here at home. 🙂

  6. “that O’Brien turned to his affable interrogator”

    That sentence doesn’t sound right. In 1984. Winston Smith was arrested and O’Brien was the interrogator. And he was not affable at all.

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