Orwell’s Boot (n.) – phrase describing metaphorically the end result of the mechanical functions of tyranny.
I’m sure someone said “Orwell’s Boot” before I did, but strangely it hasn’t come into common use, so I guess I can take credit for a formal definition (although obviously Orwell conceived it). It’s based on this passage from 1984:
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.
I use this phrase to describe the acts of oppression and tyranny engaged in by dictators and other authoritarian bad actors, particularly when it involves group oppression – sexism, racism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry. Often I get the feeling from people organizing “against oppression” that rather than trying to rid the world of oppression, some folks are just waiting for their turn to be the oppressor; this was the context of formally labeling the Orwell’s Boot metaphor for reference in other conversations.
Example sentence: “Either you want to eliminate Orwell’s Boot, or you want to wear it. If wearing it is your goal, you’re no better than whatever you’re fighting against.”