George Orwell

The New Secular Puritan Covenant

Thanksgiving brings back memories for Americans of the Pilgrims and Puritans, carrying out their “errand into the wilderness” to build a “city on a hill,” surviving that first bleak Massachusetts winter of 1620-21. As a kid, I remember that cutting out Puritan hats from black construction paper and taping them to the school windows was [...]

The Babble of Babel

“Noise — Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile … We will make the whole universe a noise in the end.” – Screwtape Perhaps it was providence (or editorial insight) that led to two particular articles being published in Crisis Magazine on the same day. On the [...]

Two Views on Orwell’s Animal Farm

How does a lie become a truth? How does a person become brainwashed, and indoctrinated, and lose consciousness of reality? Why do thinkers believe in utopias and fantasies about classless societies that eliminate crime, poverty, and avarice? Why do ideologues imagine that there is no Mother Nature or God the Father who create and establish [...]

The Ukrainian Struggle: Freedom with Dignity Over Corruption and Power

In 1998 my family returned to the U.S. from our first home leave overseas, for what eventually ended up being twelve years living and working in Ukraine—including experiencing first-hand Ukraine’s Orange Revolution. News reports in recent days have rekindled memories of our Ukrainian experiences. My own personal recollections lead me to believe that what Ukraine [...]

Orwell’s 1984: Are We There Yet?

The second most terrifying thing about George Orwell’s 1984 is the supposition that it is possible to destroy humanity without destroying humankind. The first is how many aspects of our democratic nation resemble his dystopian nightmare. George Orwell wrote 1984 in 1948 as a political satire of a totalitarian state and a denunciation of Stalinism. [...]

Not-So Brave New World

 “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but a whimper.” These lines from T.S. Eliot’s “The Hollow Men” are often quoted, but seldom taken to heart.  Even those of us who consider ourselves students of Eliot’s work on civilizational decline tend to overdramatize what is really a quite tawdry cultural age. [...]

To Defeat Caesar Requires the Armor of Christ

The current situation in which American Catholics find themselves at sword’s point with a government bent on imposing an agenda hostile to both human life and religious liberty, puts me in mind of a similar dust-up forty some years ago.  The year was 1970, Paul VI was on the chair of St. Peter, and the [...]

Stupid Press, Stupid People: Non-Reporting the March for Life

When George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four, the novel describing a dystopia of mass stupidity and surveillance, he wasn’t making a prediction.  He was describing what he actually saw in England.  His protagonist, Winston Smith, works at the Ministry of Truth, whose enterprise is to engage in massive lying, altering history by sending documents down the [...]

Coercing Consciences

  During his homily at the Mass pro eligendo Romano Pontifice [for the election of the Roman Pontiff] on April 18, 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger cautioned his fellow-cardinals that John Paul II’s successor would have to deal with an emerging “dictatorship of relativism” throughout the western world: the use of coercive state power to impose [...]

Bonding with Baby: Why Ultrasound Is Turning Women against Abortion

  His baby had seemed real to him from the moment when Rosemary spoke of abortion; but it had been a reality without visual shape-something that happened in the dark and was only important after it happened. But here was the actual process taking place. Here was the poor ugly thing, no bigger than a [...]

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