Language Manipulation = Coercion   Leave a comment

Do you ever think about how we misuse language today? Probably not. Most people don’t. But we should … really … think about it because it affects all of us.

The Nazis and the Communists both changed the meaning of words in order to manipulate their populations. Consider how the leaders of Soviet Union used to pontificate against the “Imperialist West” when it in fact had one of the largest Empires in the world at the time. The Nazis included “Democratic” in their name for their country.

Image result for image of coercionThe same manipulation of words and ideas appears in the language of the progressive and radical “left” in America today. Just how successful this has been can be seen in getting people both to forget the past and accept the title “progressive” for all those who look forward to a collectivization of contemporary society.

Today’s “progressives” were the socialists of a century ago. Back then, they were confident that Marx’s “laws of history” made a socialist planned society inevitable and inescapable. But “socialist” soon came to possess too many negative connotations such as central direction and command of everyone in society under what was likely to be a dictatorial political regime. People rejected that, so the socialists performed a linguistic trick to prevent anyone from taking such a critic seriously. They used some language sleight-of-hand sleight-of-hand to transform themselves into the new and “true” or “progressive” liberals. Their goal, they insisted was entirely in line with the unfinished political program of the old, 19th-century “individualist” liberals who only spoke of “negative” freedoms from coercion and interference by other private individuals or governments.

They explained that the old-style liberals had left the program unfinished and this required a new “progressive liberal” agenda to the fulfill “positive” freedoms through governmental guarantees to a wide variety of redistributed benefits for the “needy,” the “exploited,” and the toilers of the earth who were the “real producers” of all things, but who were unjustly treated and abused by “the rich” — those capitalist owners who cared nothing about the little guy on whose back these capitalist exploiters rode to their unethically acquired wealth.

And, it didn’t matter how ethically or morally you’d acquired your wealth, how well you treated your workers, or paid them. If you were wealthy, you’d obviously become so through exploitation of people who couldn’t defend themselves from your rapacity.

Eventually, liberal” became a swear words due to negative attacks by political conservatives and, well, just about anyone with observation skills, so “liberal” was jettisoned and replaced with simply “progressive,” meaning a person looking forward for the achievement of more “social progress,” connoting what used to be considered a “socialist” program of a century ago – welfare redistribution, along with extensive government control and regulation of economic and social life.

These days, if you accuse a “progressive” of being a socialist or interested in advancing portions of a traditionally socialist agenda, you will be labeled a “right-wing extremist,” a “hater of the poor,” and an opponent of “social justice,” … if they just don’t call you insane, stupid or evil. It’s a linguistic trick to prevent anyone from taking your critique seriously. Clearly, you  have no logical and historical basis of your argument so to take it seriously shows that such a person has fallen victim to “reactionary” ideas outside of legitimate and acceptable political debate. No need to talk further. Discussion closed.

From “Class Warfare” to the New Race Collectivism

Traditional Marxist political economy was based on “class struggle.” Society is divided into two main “social classes” defined as and identified by whether an individual is or is not an owner of the means of production. If he is an owner, then he is a member of the capitalist “exploiting class.” If he is not an owner, then he is a member of the exploited, oppressed and victimized workers’ class.

Property ownership determined the social status and place of any and every individual person in society. What the individual believed, how he personally acted in his social and economic interactions with others were essentially meaningless. You were praised or condemned based upon your “class status” in the society.

Today, we’ve modified the the Marxian conception to transform it into the new notion of irreconcilable social conflict. We cast it in racial terms – you’re benefited by “white privilege” or a sufferer of “white oppression.” Instead of your status relative to the ownership of productive property determining your classification of social “saint” or social “sinner,” there is racial collectivism to tell you who you are.

Being “white” condemns a person as an implicit and explicit beneficiary of a social and economic system (“capitalism”) that has been placed at the service of a limited segment of the human community to gain power, position and wealth for itself at the expense of all those other “persons of color” everywhere else around the world.

The race advocates will insist that “white people” either fail to understand this or oppose admitting it in demonstration of just how embedded “white racism” really is in modern American society. Failure to accept this new race collectivist argument is taken to be proof of the racist mindset that the “progressive” opposes and is determined to overthrow by virtually any means.

Nobody cares what the individual’s own background is. It doesn’t matter if his ancestors owned slaves or conducted a waystation on the Underground Railroad. Did those ancestors come to the United States after slavery had ended in America? Were they, themselves, immigrants escaping oppression and discrimination in the “old country” and advocates of equality of rights for all in their new land of America? It doesn’t matter. You are unable to transcend your own accident of birth to be a thinking, willing, acting individual.

How has the individual standing accused of “white privilege” merely due to the pigmentation color of his skin acted in his own personal life toward others? It doesn’t matter because the color of his skin is all that’s important. How has he earned his own place in society … through fair dealing in what remains of a free market in the United States or through “crony capitalist” favors and benefits from the government? The question is never asked, and any attempt to offer answers to the the false assumptions of the progressives is rejected as smoke screens and rationalizations for maintaining “white privilege.”

Individuals are submerged within and reduced to social categories defined and imposed by ideologists reflecting their notion of a new racial- and ethnicity-conscious society. Yes, it dehumanizes the individuals who happen to be the descendants of Caucasian parents, and it does seem eerily reminiscent of racial stereotyping against blacks and Hispanics in earlier generations, but whites are not considered to be “victims” because they are not “persons of color.” You are an inescapable captive of your race, with only a “progressive” government able to guarantee you a “just” place in society.

Yes, this sounds a lot like the Nazi assertions that everything undesirable thing in German life was due to the machinations and intrigue of “international Jewry.” The failure of so many others in the world to see the insidiousness of Jewish manipulation and exploitation demonstrated the extent to which “the Jew” had succeeded in his control of the social and economic affairs of the world, and how many others were either their unwitting victims or the degenerate accomplices of their attack on “civilization” and race purity.

And, yes, there is a creepy similarity to the Soviet method of debate and argument-stopping. If you disagree with the politically correct statement, you are a dupe of the capitalist exploiters, and therefore should be ignored or condemned. Your refusal to admit the justness of the socialist cause shows that you must be in the pay of the capitalist bosses, and thus your arguments should be rejected as special pleading. Your arguments against communist and socialist planning should be discounted and ridiculed because you are simply a “red baiter” trying to demagogically arouse emotional resistance against those interested in “social justice” and “world peace.”

That’s really how it feels on some American campuses now. The techniques used are very similar to those used by the “Red Guards” during the Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao in China during the 1960s and 1970s. Mobs of shouting, bullying and physically attacking young thugs spouting meaningless and ideologically vacuous phrases from the “little red book” of quotations from Chairman Mao, to mentally and physically crush any and all who failed to parrot the Party Line or who were the objects of Chairman Mao’s political purges and personal vendettas against real and imaginary opponents.

 

A distinct difference between the proponents of this new race collectivism compared to the 20th-century episodes of German Nazism or Soviet socialism is that this linguistic totalitarianism and word indoctrination is being advanced and imposed without any direct coercive and monopoly apparatus of governmental power. Academia, who were the opposition in Germany and the Soviet Union, is the headquarters of the new indoctrination. Schools with heavy taxpayer funding that allows comfortable salaries, programs, curricula and lifetime tenure are freed from the system of market-based work and reward to become islands of educational socialism with “safe spaces” within which there can be cultivated, to use George Orwell’s phrase, “some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual can believe them.”

An increasingly successful Orwellian-like thought police of politically correct “newspeak” is imposed on people in almost every circumstance of social life.

The assertion and repetition of “white privilege,” “the one percent,” “social justice,” “racist,” “gay-basher,” “LGBT-hater,” “gender insensitivity” have had numbing effects on private and public discourse, which produces self-censorship out of fear that the wrong word, the misplaced phrase, the wrongly understood witticism, or an unintentionally offending double entendre will bring down an avalanche of criticisms and threats to one’s job, social status, or acceptance among professional and informal circles in society.

The politically correct world of American progressivism and race collectivism threatens to drain human interaction of spontaneity and the real and relevant diversity of views, voices, and modes of expression and argumentation. Increasingly, people feel that they have to be “walking on eggshells,” never knowing who might take anything said or done as an offense against some ethnic or racial group or person.

Another technique of race collectivism and progressivism is to take what is normally accepted as reasonable and appropriate modes of polite and courteous behavior and turn them into a weapon to serve their own agendas. We all know and usually attempt not to intentionally say or do something that will offend or be embarrassing to someone we are associating with in some social setting. We just know it’s not the “right thing” to do. And if we see someone going out of their way to act in this improper manner, we find it inappropriate and “not right,” even if we remain silent and don’t do anything in response to it. Race collectivists and progressives have learned to use this notion of proper etiquette and good manners that acts as a break on most of us in the social arena as a weapon to silence and beat down anyone or anything not consistent with their worldview and political agenda. Anything said or done inconsistent with their ideas and ideology is “hurtful” to some oppressed minority or subgroup in society. We show insensitivity and misunderstanding of that group’s experiences, history, culture or degree of suffering caused by – “white privilege,” or “the capitalist system,” or . . .

Made to feel guilty in thinking some thought, saying some word, or expressing some idea, and fearful about the consequences of doing so, an increasingly successful Orwellian-like thought police of politically correct “newspeak” is imposed on people in almost every circumstance of social life.

In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, the anti-hero, Winston, works in the Ministry of Truth. His task is to go through the pages of old newspapers and rewrite the articles in them to make events and statements made in the past consistent with and supportive of the government’s current Party line. The words and events of the past are made to conform to the ideological “truths” of the present.

And that happens today. In another tricky technique, race collectivists and progressives insist that historical events and the people who lived in the past must be remade to fit the “truth” of these new totalitarians. When Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that all human beings are created equal and have certain unalienable rights among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, this was all “really” code words and rationales for a society of white racism.

If James Madison helped to author a constitution for the United States that had as a leading purpose restraints on the passions of potential individual rights-violating majorities that would threaten a free and prosperous society, this is “really” the institutionalization of the power of an oligarchy of the “the rich” to thwart the progressive will of the majority of “the people” for “social justice” against the exploiting “one percent.”

Stalin rewrote the actual history of the Russian Revolution to make himself, a relatively minor player in those events, into the right-hand comrade of Vladimir Lenin. Making the past conform to the politics of the present is often followed by a purge of those who might remember otherwise.

Everyone who believes in freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of association, in freedom of exchange of ideas, must oppose and prevent this new racial collectivism and its accompanying “progressive” linguistic manipulation from imposing a new dark age of diminished human discourse.

The wit, charm, creativity, and humanity of words and the ideas expressed through them, must not be stunted and then petrified by those who wish to reduce individual human beings to collectivist categories of ideological control and command. Liberty of thought, deed, action, and association is too precious to be lost to these coercing thugs bent on intimidating the human mind.

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