Title

THE DANGER OF LANGUAGE CORRUPTING THOUGHT

Presenter Information

Ashleen Williams

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

George Orwell, whose political writings emphasized the pervasiveness of injustice, claimed in 1984 “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” This research project is an analysis of the authoritarian regime governing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its policies. Orwellian political philosophy has often been equated with dystopian political theory. One can use his critique of ambiguity in language, the relationship between power and enforcement mechanism, and his view of human relationships to analyze the policies of Authoritarian states. Using Orwell’s critical approach to politics as evaluation criteria, I analyzed the use of technology, gender relations, law enforcement mechanisms and the use of language within the Kingdom. Ultimately this research sought to address the question of what the international and domestic implications are for a regime exercising policies that Orwell sought to warn mankind against.

This project focused on how elements of the Orwellian dystopian vision have seemingly reappeared in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, and its government’s pursuit of an ideal Islamic society through regulation, as well as the use of technology were used to evaluate elements of the regime. Using personal accounts of citizens from Saudi Arabia, current news articles, and primary documents provided by the Royal family, I was able to evaluate the regime and address some of the implications for its long term stability. An exploration of authoritarian ethics and dystopia has led to a better understanding of the causes for a potential revolution in the Kingdom.

Category

Humanities

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Apr 15th, 9:40 AM Apr 15th, 10:00 AM

THE DANGER OF LANGUAGE CORRUPTING THOUGHT

UC 333

George Orwell, whose political writings emphasized the pervasiveness of injustice, claimed in 1984 “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” This research project is an analysis of the authoritarian regime governing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and its policies. Orwellian political philosophy has often been equated with dystopian political theory. One can use his critique of ambiguity in language, the relationship between power and enforcement mechanism, and his view of human relationships to analyze the policies of Authoritarian states. Using Orwell’s critical approach to politics as evaluation criteria, I analyzed the use of technology, gender relations, law enforcement mechanisms and the use of language within the Kingdom. Ultimately this research sought to address the question of what the international and domestic implications are for a regime exercising policies that Orwell sought to warn mankind against.

This project focused on how elements of the Orwellian dystopian vision have seemingly reappeared in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, and its government’s pursuit of an ideal Islamic society through regulation, as well as the use of technology were used to evaluate elements of the regime. Using personal accounts of citizens from Saudi Arabia, current news articles, and primary documents provided by the Royal family, I was able to evaluate the regime and address some of the implications for its long term stability. An exploration of authoritarian ethics and dystopia has led to a better understanding of the causes for a potential revolution in the Kingdom.