By changing the meanings of words,  some try to change public attitudes. This is a form of mind control 

Throughout our history, dictators and despots have known how powerful language can be. They change the way people think and the way they believe by changing definitions of words. All this take place, without people realizing it.

In his classic dystopian novel "1984",  George Orwell described this process. He called this process “Newspeak.”  By changing the meanings of words to change public attitudes. This is a form of mind control used by cult leaders and dictators. So people abandon their previous ways of thinking and accept a lie as the truth. Repetition works this way too, nowadays social media is being used for this purpose a lot. Sometimes the lie they push may be an actual reversal of a before held truth. We can see this happening these days. And is not only by political parties. Many extremist or radical religions and fundamentalist churches make use of this.

Freedom” is the word that comes to my mind about the ways language is used as propaganda.  Including its synonym "Liberty".  It appears in both religious and political rhetoric. The definition of “Freedom” or “Liberty” has become almost reverse of what its definition is. 

Freedom as a concept allows us, all Americans individual liberty. The ability to make our own life choices. It is the absence of oppression. 

Someone who doesn’t need to worry about going bankrupt or dying if he should become sick or injured is freer than someone who can’t afford the necessary surgery and loses his home trying to pay for it, or even his life. A person who can take time off from their job to recover from illness. This one is freer than someone forced to work even when he or she is ill. Because of their wages being too low to allow them to take time off.

Back during the time of Lyndon Johnson and his “War on Poverty,” this was generally understood.  Empathy still existed within high levels of government and in both parties.  There were measures taken to reduce poverty. One of the most oppressive and limiting things a human being can experience.  Poor people are not free. They spend so much trying to survive they cannot reach their full potential.

 Another phrase used by many to manipulate people's opinion is "Wealth redistribution". It shifts the causes of poverty from society to individuals.  And "Personal responsibility". This one became used to influence public attitudes. These are to make people perceive poverty as a personal weakness. Rather than a real affliction.

 Some people suggest, that those in high power and wealth should contribute to the common good. Through a higher tax rate or not gut laws that protect human health and well being. But they would argue that it restricts their freedom. Which is free to exploit their workers, not pay them a fair wage, deny them a safety net, and destroy the planet. It seems freedom is no longer the freedom of the people. Looks more than the free is the wealthy elite, free to oppress the powerless.

The word democracy itself has gone under a transformation. From the government by the people and for the people. To where the wealthy and powerful are perceive as superiors. And so entitled to do as they want with no accountability. 

I say real democracy, at least in circles of greatest power and influence, has become a pejorative.  Something they think is bad and worthy of destruction.

Religious freedom.

Religious freedom or religious liberty has also been redefined. Most people would agree that religious freedom means the right to worship the way you choose. Or to not worship at all.  Separation of church and state. This was one of the key elements the Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution. Knowing that mixing religion and government not only doesn’t work, but it’s also dangerous. And has always led to wars, oppression, and violence.   

We see this today in Middle Eastern countries. Where Islam is the state religion and written into their laws. These countries are at war, including civil war. Violence and terrorism are rampant. Women, children, and minority groups victimized every day by the harsh of Sharia law.

Our Founding Fathers might have been religious. But influenced by the Enlightenment and the primacy of reason. And open-mindedness over medieval superstition and intolerance.  America was founded as a secular, not as a “Religious nation” nor is saddled by any other “state religion.”  While Christianity is the most common religion found in America, to declare it as a state religion would automatically make anyone who wasn’t Christian or even not the right kind of Christian a second-class citizen.  The Founding Fathers knew this, and that’s why they rejected the idea of a state religion.

Extremists dominionists and reconstructionists. They actually want the Constitution rewritten and replaced with Old Testament Law. 
If that happens, living in America, especially for vulnerable groups such as women, would be no different from living in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan. Yet Christian extremists say that imposing old biblical law on everyone through the government is actually religious freedom!  
By their logic, if religious were enforced, you would become free of the temptation to sin. Knowing that sinning might result in draconian punishment or even execution, you would not sin anymore. And thus be more pleasing to God.  What this sound to you like?  

I can’t think of anything more un-Christian or unloving. If you believe in God, why wouldn’t he want you to have free will and choose to worship him? I AM a Christian, but a forced religion of any kind isn’t a sincere declaration of faith, it’s kind of spiritual terrorism. It’s a way to control and oppress the people. It uses fear of punishment rather than the promise of love as a motivator.   

I doubt God wants his people to worship him or behave a certain way only because they’re afraid of the consequences. I believe we were given free will and that it ought to be respected.  That means leaving religion out of government and its laws. Nothing good has ever or will ever come of it. It is religious fascism.

Are other words and phrases that have been redefined, but freedom is one of the most pervasive and common. We need to become aware of this and other words that are being redefined by extremists to mind control and propaganda. This to change our thinking patterns by religious or political fanatics. 

Critical thinking is necessary to make the distinction. This is why education and science are so maligned by political extremists and fascist groups. Including extremist religious groups, like extremist Islam and some fundamentalists religions.

Until next time, I say...