Down the Memory Hole

As soon as Winston had dealt with each of the messages, he clipped his speakwritten corrections to the appropriate copy of ‘The Times’ and pushed them into the pneumatic tube. Then, with a movement which was as nearly as possible unconscious, he crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames….

…Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct, nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record.

As Orwell wrote in his monumental work, 1984, this is the goal to which all governments move until they reach full totalitarianism. Re-writing the past is a continuous task for the Ministry of Truth and their legions of slaves—the eternally suppressed Outer Party members.

Sound familiar? Of course, it’s going on now in our supposedly free and democratic societies.

Today, the Press, the media, the chattering classes, call that execrable mob what you will, blatantly re-write reality whenever they feel like it. The New York Slimes is a world leader in mendacity in journalism, CNN a world leader in lying about Trump.

Orwell campaigned ceaselessly for honesty in reporting and writing, especially when it annoyed the Establishment. In his A Review of Mein Kampf, published in England in 1940 when England was at war with Germany, he discusses the very real and powerful appeal of Hitler’s ideas and personality at a time when England was facing possible defeat by the Third Reich. A while ago, our illustrious blog “BarrelStrength” carried a discussion of Orwell’s review by yours truly.

Well, lo and behold, I stumbled on an extremely interesting video on YouTube [see here]. Searching the Web, you can find many links to Orwell’s review.  Most show Orwell’s review containing the following quote….

But Hitler could not have succeeded against his many rivals if it had not been for the attraction of his own personality, which one can feel even in the clumsy writing of Mein Kampf, and which is no doubt overwhelming when one hears his speeches …. The fact is that there is something deeply appealing about him.

Note the ellipsis. It denotes something missing. All the links to this essay show the same thing…EXCEPT for the original copy stored by Project Gutenburg [here]. Note what has been erased…


You see, Orwell did not fabricate fictitious feelings and emotions about the personality of Hitler. In our diseased times, everyone remotely active in the political sphere has to shriek their personal hatred at the top of their lungs, lest they be accused of fascist sympathies. Indeed, who would dare not to?

Hitler plays the role of Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984, the quasi-mystical figure whom everyone must hate, who never seems to be defeated, who lives eternally as a permanent threat to the rule of the Party.

Apparently, Orwell’s lack of the required hatred was enough to have some of his essay consigned to the memory hole.

Rebel Yell

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