Greetings from the gnomes of The Memory Hole, currently hosted on the Pierre J. Proudhon Memorial Computer. Since Jan. 1996 we've been engaged in a web publishing project intended to make accessible certain materials otherwise generally unavailable owing to the political squeamishness of the American public, vide infra Theodore Roosevelt and his ilk. As time allows, more items will be added. Please consult The Gnomic Tracker for news about the most recent additions and changes to the site. Feel free to comments or suggestions for improvement to the web editor, Alan Koontz. Alternatively, you may prefer to fill out our convenient albeit antiquated survey form.
The possibility of such events occurring again in the U.S., although, highly unlikely, presents a tantalizing opportunity to quickly and efficiently spread the greatest possible fear throughout the land and beyond and thereby enable the State to become ever so much further entrenched. To this end, we are providing our special visitors ready access to the Fatherland National Security State Enhancing System, where they can experience first-hand the power of mind control in the hands of supreme experts and witness the monstrosity of State-sponsored terror.
This site is, of course, named after a document disposal system described in George Orwell's famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. The candidates for this system were generally documents whose continued existence would very likely undermine the legitimacy of the State. For the sake of preserving that all-important legitimacy the inevitable fate of these documents was incineration. They were erased from living memory through a highly bureaucratised system of bookburning.
A central theme of George Orwell's classical novel about a dystopian future...is the authoritarian control of history. Winston Smith, the novel's protagonist, falsifies history as part of his job at the Ministry of Truth. People who have said or done the wrong thing are written out of recorded existence. They go down the memory hole.
Much of what one is apt to find here are not only examples of a literature of historical and intellectual interest, but also, in the eyes of the State, quite suitable candidates for the torch. That is not to suggest these specimens have managed somehow to escape the inevitable. Nor is it claimed they have been rescued from the flames. It is simply in keeping with the purpose of this site to present examples of what, at bottom, is not in the interest of the State.
The following passage from Lysander Spooner's No Treason is just such an example of what may be found at this site:
The highwayman takes solely upon himself the responsibility, danger, and crime of his own act. He does not pretend that he has any rightful claim to your money, or that he intends to use it for your own benefit. He does not pretend to be anything but a robber. He has not acquired impudence enough to profess to be merely a "protector," and that he takes men's money against their will, merely to enable him to "protect" those infatuated travelers, who feel perfectly able to protect themselves, or do not appreciate his peculiar system of protection. He is too sensible a man to make such professions as these. Furthermore, having taken your money, he leaves you, as you wish him to do. He does not persist in following you on the road, against your will; assuming to be your rightful "sovereign," on account of the "protection" he affords you. He does not keep "protecting" you, by commanding you to bow down and serve him; by requiring you to do this, and forbidding you to do that; by robbing you of more money as often as he finds it for his interest or pleasure to do so; and by branding you as a rebel, a traitor, and an enemy to your country, and shooting you down without mercy, if you dispute his authority, or resist his demands. He is too much of a gentleman to be guilty of such impostures, and insults, and villainies as these. In short, he does not, in addition to robbing you, attempt to make you either his dupe or his slave.
My Brain Hurts!
As such, it probably would have been of little interest to Orwell himself if the following passage from The Road to Wigan Pier (1937) is anything to go by:
...In the end I worked out an anarchistic theory that all government is evil, that the punishment always does more harm than the crime and that people can be trusted to behave decently if only you will let them alone. This of course was sentimental nonsense [or as Mr. Potter played by Lionel Barrymore would have said in the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, sentimental hogwash!ed.]. I see now as I did not see then, that it is always necessary to protect peaceful people from violence. In any state of society where crime can be profitable you have got to have a harsh criminal law and administer it ruthlessly; the alternative is Al Capone.
We therefore at the outset apologize unreservedly for any association with Orwell the site's namesake may imply and accept full responsibility for the site's content regardless of the alternative, be it highwayman or sovereign. Bon appétit!
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...When compared with the suppression of anarchy every other question sinks into insignificance. The anarchist is the enemy of humanity, the enemy of all mankind, and his is a deeper degree of criminality than any other. No immigrant is allowed to come to our shores if he is an anarchist; and no paper published here or abroad should be permitted circulation in this country if it propagates anarchist opinions.
--President Theodore Roosevelt,
Message To the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Regarding
Transmission Through the Mails of Anarchistic Publications
April 9, 1908
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Today we celebrate the first, glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology, where each worker may bloom secure from the pests purveying contradictory thoughts. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on Earth! We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death. And we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!
Open source is an intellectual-property destroyer ... I can't imagine something that could be worse than this for the software business and the intellectual-property business. I'm an American; I believe in the American way. I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don't think we've done enough education of policymakers to understand the threat.