A political crime is what the power, or the elites, who are those in power, decide.

In George Orwell's 1984, the political order had become so pervasive, these offenses were called thoughtcrimes.

Not all that different from today, when the views of those who do not believe in the end of history are generally denied a voice--certainly not on CNN.

Thoughtcrime was actually a real offense, punishable by exile or death, in China during the Cultural Revolution. The exact details are blurry (that entire period of time was fairly badly documented, they killed all the intellectuals), but you can get persecuted for just about anything in that time of chaos and hell:

There is plenty more. Happened in Russia too, I'm sure. You must not just act like a revolutionary, you must think like one as well, or else you're the enemy and must be dispatched for the good of the socialist revolution, so the line goes. And some complain about thoughtcrime persecution in America and other capitalist countries. George Orwell wasn't exactly talking about capitalism in 1984 now, wasn't he?

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