Joe O'Neill


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... is scheduled as the guest speaker for the 170th meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene on August 18, 2008.


    Joe O'Neill on "George Orwell's Politics and the English Language: An Update."


George 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 English prose.

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 foreign policy).

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 writer Falko 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.