FROM INGSOC AND NEWSPEAK TO AMCAP, AMERIGOOD, AND MARKETSPEAK
Edward S. Herman
Although 1984 was a Cold War document that dramatized the threat
of the Soviet enemy, and has always been used mainly to serve Cold
War political ends, it also contained the germs of a powerful
such applications in his essay on "Politics and the English
Language" and even more explicitly in a neglected Preface to Animal
Farm.  But doublespeak and thought control are far more
important in the West than Orwell indicated, often in subtle forms
but sometimes as crudely as in 1984, and virtually every 1984
illustration of Ingsoc, Newspeak and Doublethink have numerous
counterparts in what we may call Amcap, Amerigood, and Marketspeak.
The Doublethink formulas "War Is Peace" and a "Ministry of Peace"
were highlights of Newspeak. But even before Orwell published 1984,
Defense," reflecting the Amcap-Amerigood view that our military
actions and war preparations are always defensive, reasonable
responses to somebody else's provocations, and ultimately in the
interest of peace.
Furthermore, Americans have been much more effective dispensers
of propaganda, doublespeak, and disinformation than the managers of
Ingsoc, in either 1984 or in the real world
of information control in this country was displayed during World
War I in the work of the Creel commission, and in its aftermath the
advertising. Both of these industries have long been mobilized in
the service of politics. During the 1994 election campaign in the
with the aid of a consultant who first polled the public to find
out which words resonated with them, and then incorporated those
words into the Contract without regard to the Contract's substance.
This yielded, for example, a "Job Creation and Wage Enhancement"
title for proposed actions that would reduce the capital gains tax.
Consider also the fact that in this country, as the element of
rehabilitation of imprisoned criminals has diminished, the name of
their places of incarceration has been changed from "jails" and
"prisons" to "corrections facilities." Or that civilians killed by
therefore morally acceptable, although there is always an official
disinterest in such numbers, and sometimes even an effort made to
keep this toll under wraps. Or that the 2002 war in
briefly called "Infinite Justice," altered to "Enduring Freedom"
after complaints that only God offers infinite justice. Amcap
represents a significant advance over Ingsoc.
The Role and Mechanisms of Thought Control
In fact, a good case can be made that propaganda is a more
important means of social control in open societies like the United
States than in closed societies like the late
former, the protection of inequalities of wealth and power, which
frequently exceed those in totalitarian societies, cannot rest on
the use of force, and as political scientist Harold Lasswell
explained back in 1935, this compels the dominant elite to manage
the ignorant multitude "largely through propaganda."  Similarly,
in his 1922 classic, Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann argued that
"the common interests [sometimes called the "national interest"]
very largely elude public opinion entirely, and can be managed only
by a specialized class whose personal interests reach beyond the
locality," "responsible" men who must "manufacture consent" among
the thoughtless masses. 
The claim that such collective action is impossible in a free
society, and that it implies some form of conspiracy, is mistaken.
This claim is refuted both by the record of collective action,
discussed and illustrated briefly below, as well as by an
examination of how Amcap is implemented. Amcap works in part
because it is the responsible men (and women) who own and run
newspapers, TV stations and networks, and the other power centers
in society. They manage national affairs, and "crises in democracy"
are identified by the fact that, as in the infamous 1960s,
important sectors of the usually apathetic general population
organize and press hard for recognition of their needs. The power
of this responsible elite is also reflected in society's
ideological assumptions and ways of thinking about issues, as this
elite manages the flow of advertising and the work of public
relations firms and thinktanks, as well as controlling access to
the mass media. It takes only a small extension of Beckerian
analysis–which insists on economic motives explaining virtually
anything–to understand how a powerful demand for particular lines
of economic and political thought might well elicit an appropriate
supply response, which will be a "responsible" economics and
politics that serves the "national interest."
This system of thought control is not centrally managed, although
sometimes the government orchestrates a particular propaganda
campaign. It operates mainly by individual and market choices, with
the frequent collective service to the national interest arising
from common interests and internalized beliefs. The responsible men
(and women) often disagree on tactics, but not on premises, ends,
and the core ideology of a free market system. What gives this
system of thought control its power and advantage over Ingsoc is
that its members truly believe in Amcap, and their passion in its
exposition and defense is sincere. In their patriotic ardor they
put forth, accept, and internalize untruths and doublethink as
impressive as anything portrayed in 1984. But at the same time they
allow controversy to rage freely, although within bounds, so that
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