Going Tactical

by Steven M. Greer M.D.

Copyright 2004

As the cancer of terrorism metastasizes around the world, we would do well to pause and analyze how we got here – and how we might resolve the problem.

Currently, no world leader is actually addressing the roots of the problem, and presenting any meaningful solutions. To date, the US and world community have been engaged in purely tactical responses to a growing, intractable and predictable problem.

The asymmetric nature of terrorism in particular and guerilla activity in general makes a tactical solution ultimately unattainable. There is much talk that the current war on terrorism and other actions by the US and its allies are an effective strategy to resolve the problem. But in reality, it is a near-term tactical reaction to a larger and more fundamental problem that remains neglected.

This is not to say that tactical actions are of no value, or are always wrong. But such actions must not be confused with a meaningful strategic analysis and concomitant strategic plan to correct the underlying problem.

While there can be no sane defense of terrorism, religious fanaticism, murderous actions and the like, we must nevertheless frankly look at why the problem exists.

There have always been religious fanaticism, strife, and murderous fiends ready to sow mayhem for this or that ‘ism’. But the current world – wide proliferation of terrorism, directed at all things ‘western’ is fueled by a history currently much ignored by the main-stream media and world political leaders.

To wit: The West has outstayed its welcome in much of the world, and especially in the oil rich mid-east. This statement should not be confused with isolationism, but rather points to a dominant and at times bellicose presence. It should be remembered that Osama bin Laden et al. were actually allies of the US in our proxy support of ‘freedom fighters’ against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. That Saddam was our ally, after the Iran hostage crisis. And that the wealth, power and capabilities of many a despot in that region and elsewhere has been fueled by one thing: Oil.

For decades, US strategic national interest (apart from the Cold War) has been centered on securing a stable, steady and growing supply of cheap oil. Oil wealth gave Saddam and company the means to acquire weapons of mass destruction – and gave the mid-east region a central role in strategic affairs.

The first Gulf war against Saddam Hussein occurred because Saddam wanted the oil-rich fields of Kuwait – and because we wanted to protect Kuwait and Saudi Arabia who are ‘vital national security interests’ (read: oil). Our long presence in the region subsequently inflamed nationalists and religious fanatics, and our once-ally Osama became our mortal enemy.

The real tragedy in all of this is that we have not needed oil, coal or nuclear power since at least the 1950s – and most likely long before that. Replacements for oil, and technologies to greatly increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, have existed for decades – only to be ruthlessly suppressed.

Does anyone actually believe that we would have a long and over-bearing presence in the mid-east were it not for oil? (Israel is a separate but related situation and does not wholly apply to this analysis).

If so, why are we not in central Africa, South America or many other hot spots?

President Bush, in his 2002 State of the Union address, as well as many other national leaders, has said that it is a matter of our national security to become independent of imported oil. But how? Generally, our dependence is growing, and digging a few more holes in the ground in Alaska or elsewhere in the US will hardly affect the equation.

The recent multi-billion dollar “Energy Bill” passed by the Congress is really a sop to big oil. It does not contribute to any meaningful solution and in many ways compounds the problem.

TIn February of 2003, just before the US went into Iraq, a friend of the Bush family told me “…of course, this is really about securing the second largest oil field in the world, and everyone knows it.” Initially appalled, I listened as this gentleman explained how, with China rapidly industrializing (along with India) that our strategic interests required that we ‘liberate’ the Iraqi oil fields, and get them up to maximum production. Of course, Saddam was a monstrous dictator – but there are many monstrous regimes in that part of the world, and human rights abuses abound. But Saddam – he was blocking the full access to maximum development of the Iraqi oil fields. And that was the unpardonable sin.

Witnesses available to The Disclosure Project (www.DisclosureProject.org) as well as a substantial and growing body of scientific evidence establishes that the world’s dependence on fossil fuels and nuclear power is a contrived arrangement. The Big Lie that we have no other options and therefore must continue to find new sources of oil, and protect vital western interests related to oil in the Mid-east, must be exposed and put to rest. Granted, a multi-trillion dollar component of the global economy is now, sadly, dependent (or shall we say addicted) to oil, but this can be no excuse for the lack of bold leadership. The multi-faceted crisis of terrorism, petro-fascism, environmental decay, global warming, and the widening disparity between wealthy and poor nations has its roots in our dependence on oil and the excesses and abuses of power related thereto.

Promising developments in the area of so-called zero point energy and quantum vacuum energy, as well as more prosaic breakthroughs in internal combustion engine efficiency, have been ignored or actively and ruthless suppressed for decades. (See http://www.SeasPower.com) The public, the media, environmental organizations and the international community must urgently investigate these matters and take decisive steps to support civilian efforts to bring to full application these new energy solutions.

A clandestine and highly illegal group exists that has actively suppressed these technologies -even up to the present hour. More than one scientist with whom we are now working has been threatened, had his work sabotaged or confiscated and generally terrorized into a paralyzing silence. This, while we march into one oil war after another. This operation, a hybrid trans-national entity that has shadowy ties to the military, intelligence, laboratory, corporate and institutional communities (and yet is controlled by none) operates like a highly functional organized crime group, and has ruled by terror for decades. Indeed the Big Terror is the one that remains unacknowledged and unchallenged, while we dash around the world chasing the blowback from our failed, decades-long policy of oil dependency.

Having personally met with members of Congress, senior intelligence officials and senior Pentagon officers (all of whom are convinced such a group exists) I have witnessed first hand the fear this group engenders. But we have reached the point in our civilization that the risks of giving into fear, and refusing to act decisively, will cost us dearly.

The recent terrorists attacks will be a fond memory compared to future events unless we collectively act to correct this situation. Even the Pentagon has recently warned of the possibility of a sudden, catastrophic climate change related to global warming that could plunge the earth into environmental, social and military chaos. Are we to sit by idly while the solution to this crisis sits locked away in illegal ‘black’ military and corporate projects -projects funded by US taxpayer monies and withheld by an entrenched kleptocracy hell-bent on control – at all costs?

Indeed, such thinking, driven by fear, greed and a myopic world and cosmological view, is bringing human civilization to the brink of collapse. The suppression of these earth-saving and life-saving technologies has gone too far, for too long – so much so that those responsible are on the verge of consciously committing planeticide – the killing of an entire planet.

At this point, Space Energy Access Systems, Inc. (SEAS) has identified scientists capable of developing technologies to completely replace fossil fuels. We estimate that a generation one version of such an energy generating system can be ready for widespread application in 12-36 months. But such an undertaking, requiring millions of dollars in basic research and development funds, remains unsupported by either the government or financial community. Why?

The public must demand that our representatives at every level investigate seriously these technologies and begin an environmental Marshall Plan to get see that new energy solutions are fast-tracked into widespread application..

To date, inventors have funded their own efforts, and have created proof-of-principle systems. But they are immature technologies so far not supported by the private financial community and the government granting process has been unresponsive. Would the public support such an undertaking – bypassing the corruption and inertia of government and large financial players? We may soon find out.

But one thing is certain: Unless we change directions, we are likely to end up where we are going…

No national or international leader has presented anything remotely close to a real strategy to address the nexus of intertwined problems related to terrorism, oil dependency, geopolitical tensions, environmental destruction and global warming. They GO TACTICAL and mistake this for a strategy. It is not. It is a sham and a poor excuse for decisive strategic planning and action. This action has been needed for half a century, but out of fear, greed, corruption and power politics has been tragically deferred. Now we are paying the price.

Even if we tactically succeed in temporarily delaying the progress of terrorists, we will yet be left with the core of the problem: Our desperate need for oil and lots of it. The zero sum game of energy supplies based on oil, coal and gas necessitates a disparity that places at least two thirds of the world’s population in a state of perpetual poverty. Within this crucible, a thousands hells will be born, and it will not be ameliorated one iota by the current tactical response to 9/11, or the invasion of Iraq or even by establishing democracy in the Mid-east, laudable as that may be. The hard reality is that our civilization is on a terminal trajectory. We are at the crossroads of history at which we either crash or fly into the future intact. Real leadership is required, and a meaningful strategy to phase in these new technologies in an orderly and rational manner is needed now.

I challenge every concerned citizen to bring this matter to the attention of his representatives and to those aspiring to lead us -whether at the presidential or congressional level. Do not let them off the hook. They have the solemn responsibility of leading if they aspire to be leaders. At every campaign stop, at every rally, at every town meeting, citizens should be present to present the facts and demand action.

We have abdicated our sacred obligation to provide for a good and sustainable future and allowed rogue and selfish interests to hijack our destiny. Will we persist in this madness?

The solutions to these problems exist. But the ‘special interests’ that would deceive the public and our leaders are enormously powerful and ruthless. Shills in the media ignore, censor or ridicule the subject. And an army of paid disinformation hacks, pretending to be scientists, ‘experts’ and the like stand ready to hammer down any meaningful solution presented to the world. The task is, therefore, daunting. But the consequences of inaction are so dire, so potentially catastrophic, that every effort must be expended to correct the situation.

In discussing this problem with a large coalition of scientists, inventors and energy researchers, we have concluded that progress requires a serious research and development effort of some tens of millions of dollars. But this is a rounding error in light of the tens of billions of dollars spent by the US alone for bogus energy research and the so-called energy bill of 2003. The public should demand that at least seed funding be provided for such promising new energy research.

The environmental and philanthropic communities need to study the promise of these technologies and provide the support and funding to move the current state-of-the-art into applications to solve the energy crisis and environmental cataclysm facing humanity.

For years, promising advanced technologies have been gobbled up by corrupt corporations or by the military/industrial/laboratory/intelligence complex. We must collectively vow to support and protect these technologies, brought to proof-of-principle development by the heroic and sacrificial efforts of many inventors. Let our efforts redound to the benefit of humanity, and let us resolve to withstand any test, make any sacrifice and expend every effort in securing the good and sustainable future that awaits humanity.


Scott, Wm. B. To the Stars. Aviation Week and Space Technology/ March 1, 2004

Stipp, D. The Pentagon’s Weather Nightmare. Fortune/January 26, 2004

Schwartz, Peter and Doug Randall. An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States Security. October 2003. (report commissioned by the US Dept. of Defense – Available at: http://www.ems.org/climate/pentagon_climate_change.html#report).

From National Public Radio Living on Earth Segment Broadcast March 5th, 2004 on these issues a Dr. SCHRAG, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University was interviewed. He noted the following after Steve Curwood’s question:

CURWOOD: Why now all this attention to the question of abrupt climate change? The Greenland ice core samples that you told us about have been around for a long time, demonstrating that it didn’t take more than a few decades to change a lot of temperature. And yet today, folks like the Defense Department, folks in Hollywood, are suddenly paying attention to the question of abrupt climate change. Why is that happening?

SCHRAG: I think there are powerful forces in our society that have a lot of economic stake in our current energy technology, and are resistant to change. And therefore have promoted the idea that this was just a theory, that climate change was just an idea that scientists had that they weren’t sure about, and discouraged action on this front.

Steven M. Greer MD
26 March 2004 Albemarle County, Virginia

President Dwight D. Eisenhower Farewell Address to the Nation

January 17, 1961:

………”A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction… This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Pope Tackle: the second season

View it before youtube takes it down


Sexuality and The Bible: Fun Facts!

In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.

If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
MARK 10:1-12
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
MARK 12:18-27
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.

Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.

George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language," 1946

Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language — so the argument runs — must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes.

Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written.

These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad — I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen — but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that i can refer back to them when necessary:

1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien [sic] to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate.

Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression)

2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder .

Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossa)

3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity?

Essay on psychology in Politics (New York)

4. All the “best people” from the gentlemen’s clubs, and all the frantic fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis.

Communist pamphlet

5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion’s roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream — as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as “standard English.” When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o’clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma’amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens!

Letter in Tribune

Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose construction is habitually dodged:

Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically “dead” (e.g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgel for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a “rift,” for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning withouth those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase.

Operators or verbal false limbs. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are render inoperative, militate against, make contact with, be subjected to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc., etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purpose verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and the banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved by anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and so forth.

Pretentious diction. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up a simple statement and give an air of scientific impartiality to biased judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid process of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic color, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien regime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, gleichschaltung, weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i.e., e.g., and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in the English language. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political, and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, subaqueous, and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon numbers.* The jargon peculiar to

*An interesting illustration of this is the way in which English flower names were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, Snapdragon becoming antirrhinum, forget-me-not becoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific.

Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the size formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentary and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one’s meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness.

Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning.† Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in

† Example: Comfort’s catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness . . .Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bull’s-eyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bittersweet of resignation.” (Poetry Quarterly)

the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly ever expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, “The outstanding feature of Mr. X’s work is its living quality,” while another writes, “The immediately striking thing about Mr. X’s work is its peculiar deadness,” the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.” The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes:

I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Here it is in modern English:

Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.

This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit (3) above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations — race, battle, bread — dissolve into the vague phrases “success or failure in competitive activities.” This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing — no one capable of using phrases like “objective considerations of contemporary phenomena” — would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyze these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains forty-nine words but only sixty syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains thirty-eight words of ninety syllables: eighteen of those words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase (“time and chance”) that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its ninety syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still, if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes.

As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier — even quicker, once you have the habit — to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don’t have to hunt about for the words; you also don’t have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry — when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech — it is natural to fall into a pretentious, Latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash — as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot — it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in fifty three words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip — alien for akin — making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means; (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In (4), the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea leaves blocking a sink. In (5), words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning — they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another — but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: 1. Could I put it more shortly? 2. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you — even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions and not a “party line.” Orthodoxy, of whatever color, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestoes, White papers and the speeches of undersecretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, homemade turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases — bestial atrocities, iron heel, bloodstained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder — one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favorable to political conformity.

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism., question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, “I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so.” Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:

“While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.”

The inflated style itself is a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outline and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find — this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify — that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship.

But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one’s elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning’s post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he “felt impelled” to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence I see: “[The Allies] have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany’s social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe.” You see, he “feels impelled” to write — feels, presumably, that he has something new to say — and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one’s mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one’s brain.

I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists. There is a long list of flyblown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence*, to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases

*One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field.

and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable. But all these are minor points. The defense of the English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to start by saying what it does not imply.

To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a “standard English” which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear, or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a “good prose style.” On the other hand, it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one’s meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way around. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualizing you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose — not simply accept — the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one’s words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases:

(i) Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.

(ii) Never us a long word where a short one will do.

(iii) If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.

(iv) Never use the passive where you can use the active.

(v) Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.

(vi) Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in those five specimens at the beginning of this article.

I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase — some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno, or other lump of verbal refuse — into the dustbin, where it belongs.

Defense of the Indefensible

By George Orwell

     In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism., question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness.

Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers.

People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

     Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, “I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so.” Probably, therefore, he will say something like this:
While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement.

Suppressed Energy Technology

by Gary Vesperman

The U.S. Patent Office has a nine-member committee that screens patents in order to protect “national security”.

An understandable reason for suppressing certain types of energy inventions is that the knowledge behind them is also capable of producing tremendously destructive advanced electromagnetic weapons such as the “death ray” apparently invented by Nikola Tesla. Hence many such new energy technologies, particularly those using this kind of knowledge of advanced electromagnetic principles, are considered “dual use” technologies that are among the 4,000 un-numbered patent applications confiscated in a vault at the US Patent and Trademark Office because of their military potential and the need to keep that knowledge from America’s enemies.

A hidden purpose of this committee is to also find and remove from public access energy-related patents which could threaten the fossil fuel and power monopolies.

Canada’s patent office doesn’t have a similar screening committee. It is recommended that energy patents possibly in danger of being classified should be first applied for in Canada. Once granted, up to one year is allowed to apply for the same patent in the U.S. Patent Office. Now the patent can not be classified because it is already out in the public domain, courtesy of Canada.

Text of Generic Patent Secrecy Order
(Title 35, United States Code (1952), sections 181-188)
NOTICE: To the applicant above named, his heirs, and any and all of his assignees, attorneys and agents, hereinafter designated principals:

You are hereby notified that your application as above identified has been found to contain subject matter, the unauthorized disclosure of which might be detrimental to the national security, and you are ordered in nowise to publish or disclose the invention or any material information with respect thereto, including hitherto unpublished details of the subject matter of said application, in any way to any person not cognizant of the invention prior to the date of the order, including any employee of the principals, but to keep the same secret except by written consent first obtained of the Commissioner of Patents, under the penalties of 35 U.S.C. (1952) 182, 186.
Any other application already filed or hereafter filed which contains any significant part of the subject matter of the above identified application falls within the scope of this order. If such other application does not stand under a security order, it and the common subject matter should be brought to the attention of the Security Group, Licensing and Review, Patent Office.

If, prior to the issuance of the secrecy order, any significant part of the subject matter has been revealed to any person, the principals shall promptly inform such person of the secrecy order and the penalties for improper disclosure. However, if such part of the subject matter was disclosed to any person in a foreign country or foreign national in the U.S., the principals shall not inform such person of the secrecy order, but instead shall promptly furnish to the Commissioner of Patents the following information to the extent not already furnished: date of disclosure; name and address of the disclosee; identification of such part; and any authorization by a U.S. government agency to export such part. If the subject matter is included in any foreign patent application, or patent, this should be identified. The principals shall comply with any related instructions of the Commissioner.

This order should not be construed in any way to mean that the Government has adopted or contemplates adoption of the alleged invention disclosed in this application; nor is it any indication of the value of such invention.

(The harsh punishment for a violation of this secrecy order, should an inventor exploits or even simply discusses his or her invention which is classified by a patent secrecy order, is 20 years in federal prison.

In effect the US Government brutally and suddenly orders unlucky energy inventors to keep absolutely quiet and not do any more work on their inventions – without compensation for their well-meaning efforts. Thus a shocked, intellectually shackled and frustrated inventor would end up losing everything he or she had invested in his or her invention. The public is also ruthlessly denied any benefits from the invention.)