Chile backs off from Orwellian change

January 7, 2012

The conservative government of Chile is “backing off a plan to remove the word “dictatorship” from school textbooks in reference to the government of Gen. Augusto Pinochet,” the Associated Press reports:

President Sebastián Piñera’s new education minister, Harald Beyer, started a political uproar when he discussed the plan on Wednesday, which was publicized in a local newspaper. He suggested that grade-school students be taught a more “general” term by calling the 1973-90 rule of General Pinochet a “military regime.” The Socialist Party leader, Osvaldo Andrade, said: “It has the ears of a cat, the body of a cat, meows like a cat and some people want to call it a dog.” Publishers will remain free to decide what words to use, and schools free to choose which books to buy, Mr. Beyer said.