... is scheduled
as the guest speaker for the 170th meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene
on August 18, 2008.
on "George Orwell's Politics and the English Language: An Update."
Orwell, champion and critic of both Left and Right, was the conscience
of the 20th Century. Absent his testimony, we'd know less about the
Bolshevik betrayals in the Spanish
Civil War. Absent his dystopian satires, Animal
Farm and 1984,
Communism may be more respected than it is today.
Orwell's 1946 essay, Politics
and the English Language, is an affirmation of radical politics, an
insightful cognitive psychological commentary, and a style manual for written
We will revisit his marvelous essay
by discussing Orwell's influence over the years, in particular its relevance
to the wretched English many of us speak, and the dismal fascism most of
us live under. In the spirit of Orwell, the speaker will admit his
own biases, and hopes the audience will do likewise.
We end with a plea to emulate Orwell
by building inner discipline to fight the revolution against outer oppression.
About Joe O'Neill
Joe O'Neill has been a Libertarian
since the Orwellian year of 1984.
He credits Orwell with inspiring his lifelong support of pro-freedom, anti-fascist
causes (e.g., gun rights, drug rights, civil liberties, and isolationist
Dr. O'Neill has studied Orwell, other
literature, and formal linguistics. He has worked as a translator
and teacher of languages, including English as a foreign language.
Together with KHC member playwright Ben
Pleasants, Joe is currently translating a novel by the East German
Hennig about growing up behind the Iron Curtain.
Dr. O'Neill is the author of over
30 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has spoken at numerous national
and international conferences.
He has been a KHC member since its
founding in 1994, but this will be his first presentation at the KHC.
Joe O'Neill's talk at the KHC can
be heard by downloading
this audio file.