I have written in several places on the subject of Left’s manipulation of language (for instance, here and here). In a deep sense, this inclination of the Left reflects a tendency already identified by Burke, of worshipping abstract ideas, then imposing them on society.
“Equality, fraternity, and liberty sound great! Let’s destroy France and organize a reign of terror to administer them!”
“The proletariat should be freed of the tyranny of the bourgeoisie, let’s turn Russia into a giant prison for 70 years!”
Without getting too much into the philosophy of language, this devotion to the abstract leads the Left to an obsession with language. Concrete things, such as buckets or rocks are fairly independent of our language. A rock would feel as solid by any other name. But abstract things, such as “social justice” or “insurrection” are highly susceptible to linguistic manipulation. Convince enough people that “social justice” means screwing over traditional Americans, and you tap into people’s benevolent pursuit of justice, then manipulate it into screwing over ordinary Americans.
Convince enough people that “insurrection” means furry costumes and silly selfies, and you tap into people’s natural abhorrence of the original meaning of insurrection (that of Molotov cocktails and sniper fire), but manipulate it into abhorring a fake insurrection.
A fairly obvious, yet pernicious MO.
Interestingly, the Left thus creates a world of linguistic privilege or priviverbe. Privilege, from priva lex, means private law, rules applying to one person. Priviverbe, my own creation, comes from privum verbum, private word or private language. Privilege confers upon one all sorts of unearned advantages. Priviverbe confers upon one the unearned power to control the meaning of words.
Ironically, privilege is the gravest of sins for the Left – white privilege, male privilege, recently even “white-passing-Jewish-privilege.” Why ironically? Because by creating priviverbes, the Left creates its own privileged spheres of power. By controlling the language you use, I become a highly privileged priestly member of society. Hence the insufferably obscure post-modernist nonsense of the likes of Judith Butler, or her intellectually diminutive epigones such as Robin DiAngelo. Such unintelligible style actually serves a purpose: The priviverbe of “pre-discursive gender identity” or of “white fragility,” ideas that have no sense but in the minds of their creators, become great privileges once accepted as an authority by swarms of acolytes, all devoted to abstract ideas.
Conservatives, and men of honor in general, typically care very little about these abstract battles of language. We like our art realistic, our music pleasant, our families composed of mothers and fathers, and our children clean and polite. If the Left wishes to recognize the existence of an LGBTQIAE+?ZRT community, why should we care?
Unfortunately, such indifference is naive. Language like the nation, like culture, and like heritage is a public trust. Something entrusted to us by our forefathers, which in turn comes to define ourselves and our children. In the same manner that political privilege – private law – corrupts fair jurisprudence, linguistic priviverbe corrupts the language, and our way of interacting with one another.
And so, to appropriate one of the Left’s favorite phrases, we must #resist.
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