Orwell’s Boot

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.”

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