Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público "Dr. Humberto J. La Roche"
de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad del Zulia
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Esta publicación cientíca en formato digital es continuidad de la revista impresa
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Vol.39 N° 69
Recibido el 15/03/2021 Aceptado el 19/06/2021
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Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas
La re vis ta Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas, es una pu bli ca ción aus pi cia da por el Ins ti tu to
de Es tu dios Po lí ti cos y De re cho Pú bli co “Dr. Hum ber to J. La Ro che” (IEPDP) de la Fa-
cul tad de Cien cias Ju rí di cas y Po lí ti cas de la Uni ver si dad del Zu lia.
En tre sus ob je ti vos fi gu ran: con tri buir con el pro gre so cien tí fi co de las Cien cias
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ti ga do res; es ti mu lar la in ves ti ga ción en es tas áreas del sa ber; y pro pi ciar la pre sen ta-
ción, dis cu sión y con fron ta ción de las ideas y avan ces cien tí fi cos con com pro mi so so cial.
Cues tio nes Po lí ti cas apa re ce dos ve ces al año y pu bli ca tra ba jos ori gi na les con
avan ces o re sul ta dos de in ves ti ga ción en las áreas de Cien cia Po lí ti ca y De re cho Pú bli-
co, los cua les son so me ti dos a la con si de ra ción de ár bi tros ca li fi ca dos.
Re vicyhLUZ, In ter na tio nal Po li ti cal Scien ce Abs tracts, Re vis ta In ter ame ri ca na de
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nes Cien tí fi cas y Tec no ló gi cas Ve ne zo la nas del FO NA CIT, La tin dex.
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com ~ loi chi ri nos por til Te le fax: 58- 0261- 4127018.
Vol. 39, Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre) 2021, 261-272
IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas - LUZ
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and
political context *
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov **
Iryna Yu. Soina ***
The objective of the study was the phenomenon of doublethinking
as a special form of anomic thinking. Doublethinking leads to a
distortion of the perception and appreciation of political reality,
which is expressed in the inaccuracy of information about the
surrounding world. In methodological terms, the ethical theory
of Alasdair McIntyre and the idea of doublethinking of G. Orwell
were used. This allows us to conclude that in our time there is a
crisis of values, which consists in the simultaneous presence of
two normative-value systems in the human mind. One of them is inherited
by the idea of modern humanity from Christianity; the second, which is
preferred by many, was created by utilitarianism. This makes it possible
to formally recognize, in words, socially approved values, norms and
objectives, while at the same time devaluing them in actions, replacing them
with the principle of personal gain. As a result, a new political language is
emerging newspeak. The desire for constructive public action, mutual help,
respect, and altruism is replaced by corruption, hypocrisy, opportunism,
the decline of professionalism and productivity, the negative selection of
political elites.
Keywords: anomie; doublethink; Alasdair McIntyre; newspeak; ethical
and political context.
* The article was written in the process of dissertation research.
** Department of Social and Philosophical Disciplines of the Oryol Law Institute of the Ministry of Internal
Aairs of Russia named after V.V. Lukyanov, Oryol, 302027, st.Ignatova, 2, Russia. ORCID ID: https:// Institute email: Email authors: vakuzmenkov@gmail.
*** Department of Ukrainian and Foreign Languages, Kharkov State Academy of Physical Culture, Kharkov,
61058, St. Klochkovskaya, 99, Ukraine. Email address: o ORCID ID: https://Х. Email: o Email authors: soinairina2003@
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
Doblepensar y anomia: contexto ético y político
El objetivo del estudio fue el fenómeno del doblepensar como forma
especial de pensamiento anómico. El doblepensar lleva a una distorsión
de la percepción y valoración de la realidad política, que se expresa en la
inexactitud de la información sobre el mundo circundante. En términos
metodológicos, se utilizó la teoría ética de Alasdair McIntyre y la idea de
doblepensar de G. Orwell. Esto nos permite llegar a la conclusión que en
nuestro tiempo existe una crisis de valores, que consiste en la presencia
simultánea de dos sistemas normativos-valor en la mente humana. Uno de
ellos es heredado por la idea de humanidad moderna del cristianismo; el
segundo, que es el preferido por muchos, fue creado por el utilitarismo. Esto
permite reconocer formalmente, en palabras, valores, normas y objetivos
socialmente aprobados, al mismo tiempo que se los devalúa en las acciones,
reemplazándolos por el principio de benecio personal. En consecuencia,
está surgiendo un nuevo lenguaje político: neolengua. El deseo de acción
pública constructiva, ayuda mutua, respeto y altruismo se reemplaza por la
corrupción, la hipocresía, el oportunismo, el declive del profesionalismo y
la productividad, la selección negativa de las élites políticas.
Palabras clave: anomia; doblepensar; Alasdair McIntyre; neolengua;
contexto ético y político.
The study of political reality is impossible without taking in to account
the values of a person as a political subject. In recent decades, the study
of values in political science has gained wide popularity (for example, the
works of R. Inglehart, Ch. Welzel, Sh. Schwartz, and other authors). This
is largely due to the fact that the political sphere in many countries of the
world, including Russia and Ukraine, is aected by a number of crisis
phenomena, which include the denormalization of the struggle for power,
discrediting political rights, destruction of civil society, and the crisis of
political culture, the rise of absenteeism, political alienation and more.
Feelings of powerlessness and cynicism, emptiness and apathy towards the
political system are often encountered, which indicates a loss of values.
In science, this phenomenon is called anomie or lawlessness,
normlessness. Its study in a political context, among other things, is
related to the research of authoritarianism. Thus, T. Adorno, E. Fromm,
B. Altemeyer, and others came to the conclusion that reduced intelligence
indicates adherence to ultra-conservative ideology and love for hierarchy.
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 261-272
Right-wing authoritarianism provides simple answers to people with low
abstract thinking abilities (For example: Adorno, 2001; Altemeyer, 2006).
The American psychologist L. Srole established that there is a statistically
signicant correlation of average strength between authoritarianism and
anomie (+0.45), as well as between anomie and hostility towards social
minorities (+0.43) (Srole, 1956).
Anomie in the political sphere is associated with the loss of development
guidelines and political values and norms, expressed in the distortion or
complete disintegration of communications between the government and
society, the growing alienation of citizens from politics, the ctitiousness
of ocial legislation, the real dominance of “unwritten” rules, the growth
of authoritarian tendencies under the guise of democracy. This opens up
prospects for qualitatively new totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.
In this article we will try to reveal the nature of anomie in the political
sphere using the idea of doublethink proposed by the English writer J.
Orwell. The object of the study is anomie as a political phenomenon, the
subject is doublethink as a prerequisite for anomie.
1. Theoretical framework. Methodology.
Anomie as a philosophical, social, and political phenomenon has not
yet been studied well enough. In the scientic literature, it is often dened
as a value vacuum, spiritual sterility. For example, the American scientist
R. MacIver notes:
Anomy means a state of mind of a person who has undermined the roots of
his morality, who no longer has any norms, but only incoherent motives, who no
longer has any ideas about integrity, about the people, about duty. The anomalous
person becomes spiritually sterile, responsible only to himself, not responsible
to anyone. He scos at other people’s values. His only faith is the philosophy of
denial. He lives with a thin line of feelings that runs outside the future and outside
the past (Merton, 2006: 283).
At the same time, the very expression “value vacuum” did not go beyond
the beautiful, but indenite metaphor, related, as it seems, to “value
blindness” and “insensitivity to values” of M. Scheler and D. von Hildebrand.
The question of what this phenomenon is so far remains unanswered and
therefore should be considered in more detail.
In our opinion, the concept of “doublethink” proposed by the English
writer J. Orwell (Orwell, 2006: 218) allows us to penetrate into the essence
of both “value emptiness” and anomie. In our opinion, it is doublethink that
is the value vacuum, the most important condition for anomie. J. Orwell
himself was not, as is often the case, a pioneer, because about seventy years
before him, M.E. Saltykov-Shchedrin in the novel TheGolovlyov Family”.
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
A very deep understanding of this phenomenon was given by I.A. Brodsky
about his essay on I.V. Stalin (Brodsky, 2000).
Surprisingly, his idea, presented in one small essay, anticipates the
thought of the English-speaking philosophers A. MacIntyre and E.
Anscombe. Although they did not deal with the issue of anomie, their views
will serve as a basis for analyzing the nature of doublethink. I.A. Brodsky
wrote about Soviet society, but his idea is applicable to other social
formations, while it needs broader argumentation and substantiation.
Modern culture can be dened as a “culture of doublethink”, formed as
a result of Christianity losing its positions. Christian morality cemented all
aspects of human life, the departure from it caused the formation of value
pluralism as a clash of opposing subjects (M. Weber and I. Burlin), leading
rationally insoluble disputes. A. MacIntyre takes a rather radical point of
view, saying: “in fact, we have only a semblance of morality, and we continue
to use many of its key expressions. But we have lost – if not completely,
then for the most part – understanding of morality, both theoretical and
practical” (MacIntyre, 2000: 7). The reason for the crisis state of morality is
emotivism, but not only as an academic direction in ethics, but as a system
of modern man’s worldview.
The Scottish American philosopher actually speaks of doublethink,
although he does not use the term. The similarity of his argumentation with
the theses of J. Orwell and I.A. Brodsky undoubtedly:
I can accept any point of view, from the height of which everything can be
criticized, including the choice of a point by myself ...To be a moral subject from
this point of view means to stay away from any situation in which he is involved,
to deviate from any characteristic that he may possess, and pass judgment from
a purely universal and abstract point of view, from which all social concreteness
disappears completely. Thus, everyone can be a moral subject, since moral
subjectivity must be limited by the framework of the self, and not by social roles or
practices (MacIntyre, 2000: 48-49).
The elimination of the idea of the goal of a person’s moral development
left many prohibitive norms (the same norms of the Decalogue or the
Sermon on the Mount), consecrated by tradition and authority, but deprived
them of their intended purpose. It became dicult to combine Christian
commandments with the principles of liberal politics, economic utility,
or scientic and technological progress. The French Revolution became
the rst most striking embodiment of this phenomenon. Therefore, the
preconditions for doublethink began to form slowly: it is desirable to keep
the Christian commandments, but still, it is impossible to give up modern
the prizes of life. This idea is very accurately expressed by I.A. Brodsky:
As a result of the secularization of consciousness, which took place on a global
scale, a person inherited a dictionary from the rejected Christianity, which he
does not know how to use and therefore improvises every time. Absolute concepts
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 261-272
degenerated into mere words, which became the object of private interpretation, if
not a question of pronunciation. That is, at best, by conventional categories. With
the transformation of absolute concepts into conditional categories, the idea of the
conditionality of our existence was gradually introduced into our consciousness.
An idea that is very close to human nature, for it relieves everyone and everything
from any responsibility (Brodsky, 2000: 152).
As A. MacIntyre notes, a gap arises between the meaning of moral
principles and their use. Since each individual is autonomous and does not
want to compromise his status, he has only one option for social relations
– mutual manipulation and attempts to avoid it in the attitude to himself.
So, starting from the ideas of two writers (J. Orwell and I. Brodsky) and
two philosophers (A. MacIntyre and E. Anscombe), we will try to reveal the
essence of doublethink and reveal its connection with anomie.
We use structural, functional, sociocultural and value approaches.
Methods of comparison, analysis, deduction, induction, generalization,
analogy, classication, abstraction were also used.
2. Results and discussion
Using A. MacIntyre’s methodology, we can say that state and economic
institutions are based on the manipulation of people and are guided in
their activities by utility this in itself is enough to, rstly, cause an acute
confrontation between power structures and individuals, and secondly, to
concentrate more and more forces on the top stage of the social pyramid and
thirdly, to determine the critical importance of power for anomical society.
If atomized individuals, devoid of an objective moral criterion in their lives,
nd it dicult to unite to achieve a common goal, then it is easier for groups
to do this, if only because of the material and psychological interest in their
domination. Totalitarian regimes became the highest embodiment of such
domination, however, both they and the milder authoritarian and liberal-
democratic regimes choose the usual scenery, expressed by time-honored
formulas: “concern for the welfare of the people”, “guarantee of citizens’
rights”, “general prosperity”, “any power from God”, etc. Imitation of
rationality and tradition masks will and power. Utilitarian state-power
eciency dominates individual humanistic rights.
In our estimation, doublethink can be multi-layered. J. Orwell
exaggerated in a particular moment, considering the state machine as a
single whole, while in practice there are dierent levels of subordination,
which multiplies doublethink. Perfectly understanding the ctitiousness
of political slogans, or the impracticability of assigned tasks, or wanting
to hide violations (and most often all taken together), state ocials of the
middle and lower levels of government depict “unity with the people”, not
forgetting about the need to show unity with their leadership, endowed with
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
even more power. Here there is already multiple doublethink, reected in
statistical “sketches”, meaningless meetings and conferences, false reports
in the media, carried out only in nal reports, plans, target programs, etc.
Reality is distorted many times and it is already completely impossible to
gure out where true, and where a lie. Accordingly, values and morals
become ctitious.
Another important conclusion follows from the recognition of the moral
autonomy of the subject. In a healthy society, misdeeds are punished; a sick
society, on the contrary, reacts sluggishly to them or ignores them altogether.
The possibility of reacting to a violation and imposing a sanction for it means
the presence of an objective moral and legislative criterion outside the
individual consciousness. The oender is limited in rights or excluded from
society altogether until the moment of atonement. If there is no objective
criterion or is recognized as questionable, the oender often remains part
of the social space, setting a negative example for other individuals and
further multiplying anomie. Such an individual is undoubtedly an anomical
personality and a moral relativist. For an anomalous personality, such a
good exists only within oneself and manifests itself in disobedience to the
law, which is usually characterized as legal nihilism.
Moral relativism, legal nihilism, anomie lead to the destruction of
orderly social activity, primarily the organization of labor. In this sense, the
concept of practice by A. MacIntyre is interesting (MacIntyre, 2000: 255-
256). The main thing that follows from it is that the practitioners determine
the objective external authority of a certain social standard and require
obedience to it on the part of a particular person. The latter must admit his
incompetence, lack of knowledge in order to learn from an external force. It
is necessary to agree with the priority of internal benets over external ones,
i.e. honesty, responsibility, professionalism, etc., over external indicators –
money, power, the number of completed projects and written works, etc.
You need to be grateful to those who introduced you to the practice, taught
new values. An anomical personality who denies the values of other people
is incapable of this. He rejects the historical heritage and the memory of the
past. In this regard, it becomes possible to interpret anomie as the loss of
social standards of practice, professionalism, and conscientious attitude to
work. Not surprisingly, this negatively aects labor productivity, disregard
for its results and relationships with labor participants.
Social and political institutions in a state of anomie exist only for the sake
of external benets. The anomical person is interested in raising his status
in the organization not for the common good (although he may be rmly
convinced that he “knows how best”), but for personal gain, and also tries to
acquire a new post by legislative or morally condemned means. Therefore,
the acquisition of status is often divorced from the real merits of a person,
and the title may not say anything about the merits of the individual. The
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 261-272
goal is not to improve the quality of practice, but to acquire material wealth.
Careerism based on conformism is one of the leading principles of anomical
society. It is not surprising that this greatly aects the quality of the social
elite: it turns out to be unable to manage and predict the future. There is a
deformation of the consciousness of the representative of power: he loses
control over himself, lies and broadcasts his false ideals to all members of
In a situation where the acquisition of a certain social status becomes a
goal that is not supported by the inner virtues of a person, the appearance
of a role arises. The anomical person wants to have the appearance of a
professional / honest person / conscientious family member, etc. in the
eyes of other people, not to be one. He creates numerous decorations
around himself that distract from the inner moral emptiness. This is a life
focused on others, but it is realized not for their benet, but to create a
certain image of oneself. This pretense gradually penetrates into the self of
man, becomes his “I”. In medicine, this is called Munchausen syndrome:
The purpose of such a simulation is to draw attention to your own person.
A person with Munchausen’s syndrome, creating another image of himself, gives
birth to an alien world of subjectivity, introducing a certain disharmony. In the
mode of his I, there is a lot of unreal that has no place in reality (Emova, 2014: 14).
Doublethink is manifested in the fact that a person realizes (at least at
rst and in the depths of his soul) his moral inconsistency with the role, but
gradually gets used to it.
If there is no single system of right and wrong, the normative eld
of human existence acquires new dimensions, which in fact mean the
devaluation of old norms. An example would be the existence of several
systems of morality, regulatory structures: religious, secular, political,
corporate, etc. – each of which is perceived as mandatory. So, you have to be
a Christian at the same time; when coming to work, observe organizational
rules, even if they contradict Christian foundations; show loyalty to political
hierarchs even to the detriment of religious and corporate norms; after all
this, demonstrate their citizenship and respect for the law, etc. An individual
in an anomical society should be able to change masks with the speed of a
professional actor. There are many criteria for what is permissible and what
is forbidden, and they themselves become conditional. Since it is impossible
to comply with such a set of criteria, adaptation with simultaneous attempts
to “nd a loophole” and bypass the existing rules becomes the dominant
model of behavior of the anomalous personality. This also gives rise to a
situation of endless and universal deception, which is why there can be
no trust in other individuals or public organizations. Social contracts are
found to be impaired, except those based on personal gain. Unsurprisingly,
this destroys both social capital and social communication, and forms
loneliness, alienation, and meaninglessness in life.
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
Another sign of anomie is “newspeak” a new language used in the
information space, while it is not created only at the initiative of the political
elite, as J. Orwell believed, but also appears in society itself. This question
in itself can become the subject of a separate scientic work. We only note
that the “newwords” carry a meaning strictly dened by the socio-cultural
system, which is necessarily lost when translated into another language or
in another culture. The most accurate translation will not convey all the
sensory and emotional shades. The phrases from the Russian past and
present can be the examples: “the fth column”, “enemy of the people”,
“disenfranchised”, “from the former”, “new Soviet man”, “internal and
external enemies”, “I have not read, but I condemn”, “battle for the harvest”,
“overfulllment of the plan”, “ve-year plan in four years”, “turn to the east”,
“conservative modernization”, “managed democracy”, “special path”, etc.
Many concepts arise suddenly in the lexicon of the mass media information
and just as suddenly disappear from it when the political situation changes.
This is not “newspeak” in the understanding of J. Orwell, but it is important
to understand the function of these words: masking problems and forming
goals to justify the existence of social institutions. However, these goals are
dened within the moral codes of these same institutions, not society as a
whole. The local is passed o as universal.
Moreover, individuals who think in “Newspeak” put their own meaning
into it, while other meanings remained in the previously existing cultural
forms. There is a confusion of ideas. When some political “newword” turns
out to be unnecessary, it is replaced by another, so the mind of a double-
thinker begins to resemble a vessel in which uid is periodically renewed.
English writer E. Burgess quite rightly notes (Burgess, 2017) the fact of
loss of the exact meaning of a number of words in the absence of a traditional
system of moral values. This primarily refers to words that express spiritual
concepts “honor”, “duty”, “loyalty”, “betrayal”, etc. Political regimes can
assign their own denitions to them. An example is the phrase “duty to
the fatherland”, used exclusively in the context of military service, as if
observance of laws, respect for family and friends, caring for nature are
not the duty of a person and a citizen. That is, any more or less logically
coherent, “rationally similar” interpretation of moral concepts can serve as
the basis for authoritarian control and substitution of meanings. The more
utilitarian eective they are, the more likely such regimes will emerge.
Improving living standards, foreign policy gains, or curbing crime can lay
the foundation for such phenomena. It turns out that good will become
identied with social eciency regardless of the motives and ultimate goals
of the activity. Such a utilitarian interpretation of good is, of course, evil
from the point of view of moral absolutism.
According to J. Searle, multiple repetition of value judgments forms
the norm and at the same time streamlines and expands social reality. If
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 261-272
you attach a strictly denite meaning to any word (remember Orwell’s
“Ignorance is power. War is peace. Freedom is slavery”), then, on the
contrary, a narrowing and distortion of reality will occur, the signicative
function of speech will be disrupted. Vivid examples can be the words
“democracy” or “capitalism”, which in Russia periodically change their
meaning from unambiguously positive to unambiguously negative. Also,
the constant inux of foreign words and slang expressions complicates
communication. Therefore, one of the domestic works rightly notes: “We
call assasins “killers”, stock dealers and speculators “brokers”, legalized
robbery “raiding”, theft of ideas and technologies – “benchmarking”,
bribery and covetousness “corruption tax”or”status rent”, electoral foul
language and profanity – “black PR”…” (Krivosheev, 2008: 50).
In our assessment, these terms are a formal reection of essential
doublethink, and they contribute to moral relativism. If the “old” words
clearly conveyed a value-normative connotation (bad – good, worthy –
unworthy, sacred profane), then “new” words make the language seem
“sterile”, indenite in relation to Good and Evil.
It is worth noting an interesting study of the denition of the power of
metaphor in political language, conducted by linguists at the University of
Amsterdam in 1998. The object of analysis was the speeches of more than
seven hundred members of the European Parliament from 1981 to 1993.
Having calculated the metaphorical coecient using a certain method,
scientists proved a direct relationship between in the country and the
frequency of the use of metaphors in politicians’ speeches.
Scientists have found a direct relationship between the socio-economic
situation of a country and the frequency of the use of metaphors in its political
discourse. The more dicult the situation was in the state, which was represented
by the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), the more often they used
metaphors in their speeches, and, as a rule, live metaphors of pessimistic or
aggressive content. In other words, during economic crises, the metaphorical
coecient increases, thereby indicating “social stress”. In this regard ... a political
metaphor can be considered an indicator of social tension (Gavrilova, 2004: 131).
Doublethink in anomical society also acts as a defense mechanism,
the ability not to go crazy in a multitude of impossible rules and a feeling
of general distrust, which still does not make it normal. This function of
doublethink seems to be one of the most important.
This implies one important rule: in an anomalous society, those
individuals who are consistent in their values are socially unsuccessful (or
at least less successful), while those who are constantly reevaluating values,
i.e. nihilists, are socially successful. Professionals, in their doublethink,
have more opportunities for conformal careerism than individuals with
rm convictions and loyal to them.
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
In anomic society, this creates a negative consensus. If everyone seems
uneducated, unprofessional, cheating, etc., then there is no need to be kind
to them. Solidarity is paradoxically based on mistrust and fear, deep and
hidden contempt for others, competitiveness and, as F. Nietzsche and M.
Scheler showed, resentment. That is why anomalous personality is usually
armed by belittling others, rst of all, their ideals and moral dignity.
Self-assertion occurs through insulting the values of other people. This is a
reaction, on the one hand, to the primacy of power in a state of anomie, on
the other hand, it is a cynical culture, a rejection of everything that is high
and positive.
Doublethink does not lead to a bifurcation of reality: the social world
is recognized by individual consciousness as devalued, unnecessary, and
only subjective, inner being is genuine. In this regard, one cannot reliably
know anything about the world outside oneself. The concept of truth is not
applicable to the devalued world, because the line between good and evil is
broken in it. Moreover, the other cannot be right in essence, from the point
of view of “reality, in fact”, his view can only be subjectively acceptable or
not. The consequence of this dualism is, rst, ethical solipsism, the denial
of any moral criteria outside oneself; secondly, epistemological and, if I
may say so, social skepticism, denial of the transformability of society to
a qualitatively better state. (This attitude can be expressed by the phrase
“society is incurably sick”).
Solipsism, paradoxically, turns into a priority of collective perception
of reality. Since an individual cannot live without knowledge, he needs
information about the outside world, for example, about the economic
situation in the country. To satisfy the information hunger, the solipsist
performs an act of doublethink: for example, he takes an ocial position,
deep down in his soul, being sure of its distortion. The individual is
psychologically uncomfortable to be in the minority, so he tacitly identies
with the generally accepted point of view, thereby creating a collective
perception. By virtue of doublethink, any value projects – political, religious,
others – are doomed to failure.
Spiritual vacuum, value emptiness is doublethink, which has become
the basic principle of thinking and behavior of a person. The fundamental
sociocultural reason for its appearance was the processes of transformation
of the value system. Modern ethics and axiology are post-Christian and
post-Aristotelian, and the language of each of them continues to coexist
with modern forms of worldview, nally confusing the situation. Many
moral terms (good, evil, duty, honor, love, law, norm) were inherited from
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 261-272
Christian and ancient cultures, but due to certain processes they lost their
meaning and began to acquire a new one, locally and voluntarily dened.
This creates a fundamental split between classical ethics and modern,
predominantly utilitarian, and pragmatic ethics. Cultural traditions
prescribe the old interpretation, and the surrounding reality – a new one.
Therefore, a person begins to think twice in order to remove the conict.
A utilitarian understanding of values, in particular of goodness, generally
leads to the displacement of truth by utility. The requirement to “do the
right thing” and “understand rightly” becomes the basis of social morality.
This leads to the assertion of moral and value relativism. Therefore, E.
Anscombe notes:
If it is psychologically possible, one should get rid of the concepts of obligation
and duty – that is, moral obligation and moral duty, from the concepts of morally
right and wrong, as well as the moral meaning of obligation. After all, these
concepts are relics or consequences of relics of an earlier ethical concept, which
as a whole no longer exists; and without it, they only harm (Anscombe, 2008: 70).
The purpose of doublethink and relativism seems to be to maintain
impersonal political and economic domination. This is power, cleansed
of any socio-cultural layers, subordinating to itself all objects of public
space. The constant reassessment of values is actively supported by social
institutions, and therefore anomie itself becomes a “structuring” factor of
society in the sense that it allows creating instability, instability in order to
maintain power. This is power in a very broad sense of the word; it is not
associated with any specic political forces. Power, no matter how strange
this denition may sound, is the ability to overestimate values, to impose
certain models of behavior. It is no coincidence that all kinds of words with
the prex “post-” are widespread in modern times: postirony, post-punk,
post-rock, postmodern, post-capitalism (P. Drucker), post-social society
(K. Knorr-Cetina), post-secularism (J. Habermas) and so on, that is, a lot
is immersed in a continuous process of revaluation of values. In this sense,
technological progress opens up wide opportunities for the imposition of a
certain will through utilization, deindividualization, dehumanization.
So, the highest form of human anomalous consciousness is doublethink
– the simultaneous coexistence of two value-normative orders. Apparently,
in order to overcome the situation of doublethink, it is necessary to search
for an objective basis for values: in society, in religion and in the moral
dignity of a person.
Vladimir A. Kuzmenkov y Iryna Yu. Soina
Doublethink and Anomie: ethical and political context
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Esta revista fue editada en formato digital y publicada
en julio de 2021, por el Fondo Editorial Serbiluz,
Universidad del Zulia. Maracaibo-Venezuela
Vol.39 Nº 69