I’m fond of pointing out that language is the currency of a culture. Charlemagne figured out that if you can control the currency, you can turn your economy into a weapon against rivals. Seigniorage had the benefit of making the crown wealthy, but control of the mint allowed the King to stabilize the economic life of his kingdom, thus attracting foreign investment. King Offa of Mercia figured this out around the same time.
Similarly, radicals figured out that if you control the language, you can control the politics of a society. This can be as simple as picking an appealing name for a cause or as complicated as reframing an issue so that their preferred option appears to be the default, thus putting traditionalists on their heels. The use of rhetorical sleight of hand allows the radicals to set the terms of public debate, thus giving themselves an enormous edge.
The Vox story from the other day I used as a jumping off point for some good old fashioned Merkel bashing is a good example. By focusing on the fact that the exploding jihadist are technically citizens of their host countries, the radical can both muddy the waters and shift the focus. Instead of talking about the guys named Mohamed suddenly exploding in public places, the debate can be shifted to other topics like racism and xenophobia.
Open borders, which is a central part of the new radical ideology that is replacing old fashioned Progressive ideology, is relying on the same old tricks to warp the language. Illegal invaders are called “refugees” and helot labor is re-branded as “guest workers” to make it sound better. The point is to give them a pleasing name. After all, only Hitler would be hostile to refugees and guests.
Of course, there are two big problems with selling the New Religion of a borderless world to the citizens of the western countries. One is that many of the people on the other side of the border are savages. There’s no hiding the daily atrocities that are just a normal part of Muslim life.The other problem is that Muslims have a habit of exploding in public places, like airports and train stations.
People tend to notice these things. When you are walking to the train station, you may not notice the Hungarians or Ukrainians. The Greek or Italian will stand out in Sweden, but are otherwise of no interest. The guy screaming “Allahu Akbar!” before he explodes is going to leave impression, assuming you live through it. People have figured out the the Mohamed-to-Suicide Bomber Index.
What to do?
The solution is to re-brand the exploding Mohamed as a citizen. This NY Magazine article is a pretty good example of how the radical utopians are trying the muddy the waters to obscure reality. Instead of asking why Mohamed keeps exploding, the story is “why are so many citizens of Western countries going on jihad?” We’re supposed to believe that ISIS is now loaded with gingers from Ireland, I guess.
The associated chart is here:
The article does not bother to look into these numbers. The Russians on the list, for example, are Chechen warriors, who have a long history of being a sort of Varangian Guard for Arab potentates. The French are almost certainly Algerians. The Germans are Turks and Moroccans. The Canadians are the little mushroom people of Nova Scotia, known for their tunneling skills.
The point here is that instead of looking at the data with clarity, the effort is to obscure. Let’s not notice that second and third generations Muslims are prone to Sudden Jihad Syndrome. That’s an argument against the importation of Muslims. Instead, the effort is to pretend that these are nice boys who become disaffected and go off in search of belonging and purpose.
This is why guys like Trump and Geert Wilders are so horrifying to the globalist fanatics. They make observations and statements that are clarifying. When they point out that Muslims do poorly in the West and are a massive burden on their host countries, it makes the arguments for open borders sound ridiculous. How can anyone justify importing people who peak at being welfare spongers? Why risk the two or three percent that suddenly explode?
The flip side of this is that it is crucial to never surrender the language to the radicals. They are extremely good at this game so it is hard to win these battles, but they must be won. As soon as we stop talking about the ethnic and religious aspects to terrorism, we have accepted it as a part of our daily life. This is an unnecessary elective cost no society should incur just so managerial elites can get some grace.
“The exploding Mohamed”. Brilliant use of the language! Hard to obscure the meaning of that phrase. You must trademark that one immediately.
@ Vic P, Z Man should make an exploding Mohamed action figure. Just press the button on his chest and watch all his spring-loaded appendages separate from his torso. Like the Rock’em Sock’em guys!
Wait! Are we to understand that Affirmative Action does NOT mean minimum hiring quotas, because pale penis, or something?
Are we to understand that a little birdie did NOT land on Bernie’s podium?
(Personal peeve:I used to make stages, choral risers,scenery podia, and lecterns)
The Chinese, as in many things, were probably the first to enunciate this doctrine of statecraft:
“A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve. If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success. When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot. Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect.”
— Confucius, Analects, Book XIII, Chapter 3, verses 4-7, translated by James Legge.
@ Christopher S. Johns Too true. I believe the only man we can look to now that has been so bold and fits this description is Hungary’s prime minister: Viktor Orban. He’s spoken no lies in his many speeches, where he takes to task the EU and their evil plans. He’s not held back in his description of exactly what muslims are, and how he doesn’t want them near his Magyars. I wish we had an Orban of our own, damnit.
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This has been one of the big draws for Donald Trump. His forceful use of the language, the whole “non-pc” language that he uses. Puts the wreckers on the defensive finally.
Whoever controls the language controls the social narrative, controls the policy, controls the nation. Time to start another language. This language will be called Truth. Learn it.
The bane of our lives in the UK, the BBC, always refers to muslims from these islands who join the fight for ISiS (or ISIL or whatever we have to call it now) as British men. Or British women in some cases.
But they have never been British in the true sense of the word. There is nothing in their upbringing that endeared these people to the crown. Being born in the UK and hating everything about their free education, free healthcare and soft welfare services paying for their air fares to Turkey hasn’t made them the least bit British, yet these shaggy airheads trying to kill Christians and westerners — better still, western Christians — doesn’t in Al-Beeb’s eyes, deny them the title of Brit. It allows the horrified looks on the faces of the BBC newscasters to say “A British man was killed by Kurdish fighters,” and then it slowly emerges that the “Brit” was trying to kill Kurds or anyone else while shouting praise to a Saudi Moon goddess.
Ha. We have the same thing here. If the news calls someone a “[fill in name of town] man” you know he is a foreigner. “Two Milford men” that robbed a liquor store will eventually be Hector and Pedro from Guadalajara.
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Sometimes you have to play the little word games. I read this in the history books, but convincing Army and Marine officers to bribe Sunni Arabs to behave was a real tough sell. It was against everything they had been taught since becoming cadets and wasn’t going too well. Then Petraeus or one of his smart guys renamed it “money as a weapons system” and everything went swimmingly. The alternative would be to get tens of thousands of dudes and dudesses to “reframe” their understanding of what was bribery and that it was OK in some situations. The beat-downs would have been endless and nothing of any import would have been accomplished.
The renaming is a cheat to avoid the reframing. (I miss when we called frames “schema.” It made me feel smarter.) It’s kind of amazing that something so simple is so effective — even working on a bunch of well-educated, hardened killers in fairly short order. I guess that Scott Adams would call it the work of a Master Wizard, but it scares me to think that so many of us are so easily manipulated.
I understand “framing” as a tactic, but what do you think about the people who seem to believe it? Guys like George Lakoff, who invented “frames,” really seem to think that if they call it, say, “Patriotism Plus,” we won’t notice that it’s just plain ol’ technocratic socialism. Are they just self-deluded academics, living in their bubble? Or is there a whole other thought process here that I’m missing?
The fanatic sees only that which confirms his fantastic. It really is amazing what people will do to maintain belief in something, even when the something is insane.
It’s worth thinking of this in relation to NLP, which is all about changing the words we use to describe reality.
The question is: does NLP work? It’s supposed to change attitudes and perception. For example, who would deal with an obstacle better, someone who thinks of it as a ‘problem’ or ‘obstacle’ or someone who thinks of it as a ‘challenge’? Surely the latter. So NLP enthusiasts would encourage someone who sees something as an obstacle to frame it as a ‘challenge’. The idea is for us to change the mental map we have of the world by changing the words. Another example, instead of thinking “I would like to do X but Y”, they’d encourage you to say to yourself “Despite Y, I would like to do X”, since the latter keeps your focus on your goals rather than the problem.
They believe change can be effected through deliberately altering the words we use.
What I do know is that once we talk about “Islamic Terror” it’s apparent that bringing in lots of Muslims from the middle-east is dangerous. If we’re in denial about there even being such a thing as Islamic Terror, then terror has nothing to do with Muslims/Islam and there’s no barrier to importing middle-eastern Muslim society.