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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2002 17:17:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Michael Straight 
Subject: Re: (urth) Let a thousand averns bloom!

Great post.  Great title.  Great discussion.

Maybe Ascia is what you get when Mao reads Orwell.   That is, I agree with
Dan'l that Ascia's ("say only this") policy has more of a Maoist flavor
than Orwell's ("don't say that") policy, but mantis is right that it's
Orwell that actually came up with the scheme of trying to control thought
by controlling language.

One point that might be crucial:  is the Ascian language scheme a plot to
keep the people in line, or is it genuine zeal for the Group of 17 run
amok?  Dan'l's example was of a ferverent Maoist quoting Mao in every
situation.  And remember that story I sited a few months back of the
Muslim woman who was said to have communicated exclusively with quotations
from the Quran for decades?

Or, what if the Ascian language arose spontaneously as a sort of
more-loyal-than-thou one-upmanship, in an environment of snitching and
paranoia, and then ossified into a permanent part of the Ascian
culture?  I find that idea much creepier than that of a deliberate plot
to control thought and expression.



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