George Orwell would probably be astonished at the accuracy of his predictions.
The linguistic looseness of this presidential campaign (Bush, Inc.: "X." America: "Why did you say 'X'?" Bush, Inc.: "I never said 'X.'"), for instance, has really put the screws to any semblance of critical discourse in this country. Power accrues not to those who use language for the purpose of reasoning, but to those who use it as an instrument of forceful definition. George Lakoff has some interesting things to say about this process (and how to counter it) in his latest book.
But it's not just presidential politics. I find it amazing, for instance, that the RIAA has managed to turn "sharing" into a dirty word.
The point of this post, however, is to reference this site, the purpose of which is to "reclaim the term 'hacking' for the good guys--innovators who explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on their own."
Lots of neat publications there.