Bob Rae on Orwell's Politics and the English Language, totalitarianism and genocide


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By Nigel Beale. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Bob Rae is a Canadian diplomat, lawyer, former Premier of Ontario, and former interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. A Rhodes Scholar and graduate of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, he is currently Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations. He has been elected to federal and provincial parliaments 11 times (between 1978 and 2013), and reveres the English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic George Orwell. Because of this I invited him to engage in a conversation with me about Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language." Politicians have always abused language. Current political tensions have only ratcheted this up, here in Canada and around the world. It needs to be called-out, because, as Orwell reminds us, getting rid of bad habits in the use of language encourages clearer thinking, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration, something that we need big-time in 2022. During our conversation we discuss: stale imagery, lack of precision, meaningless words, quotes from Alan Sandison's book George Orwell: After 1984, the use of cliche, Orwell's contradictions, the word "totalitarian," ramifications of using the term "genocide," U.N.-speak, the definition of "recent," and much more, on this, the most recent installment of The Biblio File Book Club.

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