The co-option of words

    It is well known that the Left co-opts language extensively.  One technique is by inventing new terms, which are then used to influence people's thinking in subtle ways.  But another way, which I want to discuss in this post, is keeping certain words the same, but in practice using them to mean entirely different things.  In particular, using a word with a positive connotation in an overly broad manner as cover for doing whatever they wanted to do anyway.  This has been very effective as a means of misdirection.  People become sidetracked into debating and discussing the original word or concept, while ignoring that in actual practice what is happening either has changed so greatly from the original word that it is something very different.  

    An example is shown in Bruce Charlton's post "The 'new socialism' is a fake": 

    "I have noticed (in my shallow, heaadline-perusing way of keeping in touch with current affairs) that both in the UK and the USA there is a pseudo-revival of 'socialism' as an explicit political platform in the coming elections - or indeed crypto-communism in the case of the UK Labour Party- where the leader Jeremy Corbyn, and the shadow Chancellor John McDonnel are both revolutionary communists.  

    But there are no real socialist or communists now; or at least none in public life or positions of power.  Not a single one.  The species is extinct."

    Charlton then goes on to contrast the primarily economically focused Old Left, of which socialism was a part, with the New Left, primarily focused on cultural subversion.  He explains that the Old Left has now completely given way to the New Left and so this talk of socialism is merely "window-dressing".  

    Another example is the discussion about saving liberal democracy.  In actual practice, liberal democracy is dead and had been on the way out for some time.  The Left does not care about liberal democracy; it is just words that they use because people like those words and then they do whatever they want once they have power.  While on the political Right liberal democracy does not provide a strong enough motivation to resist the left.  There are large numbers of people who truly believe in liberal democracy, but the vast majority of them have very little power.  

    And so, what ends up happening is that because the Left says that they care about liberal democracy, people on the right think that if they engage with these ideas they will be able to intellectually refute Leftism.  But on a purely intellectual level, Leftism has already been refuted in many different ways.  Some might say that these refutations are not sufficiently widely known.  And this is true.  But, even if any particular refutation was commonly acknowledged by everyone, Leftism would just pick some other idea to co-opt.  Bruce Charlton has discussed similar matters in his post "What is the meaning of Establishment language?  Manipulation versus communication"

    Yet another example is intellectual property and copyright.  The rulers this world do not care about the abstract concept of intellectual property.  If it is a tool that allows them to profit from another's creativity or labor, then so much the better.  If not, then so much the worse.  It is just one tool among many.  What is at work is primarily the duplicity of these individuals, not the nature of the intellectual property itself.  Discussing the concept, while worthwhile for one's own and other's understanding and in dealing with honest people, is beside the point in this instance.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Metaphysical Convergence

    Metaphysical convergence is when the same conclusion or idea occurs in different metaphysical systems but is reached by a derivation fro...