Friday, November 26, 2004

When I Use a Word ...

"When I use a word . . . It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less." These are Humpty Dumpty's words to Alice in Through the Looking Glass.

Hoping that you will continue to comment on our discussion of Vietnam under "Athena and Aris #3" I wanted to get some frustations off my chest.

Thucydides speaks of alloying the currency of the vocabulary - mixing base metal with the pure gold for the exchange of truth. He gives examples of words currupted: Justice used in place of vengence, recklessness presented as a pollution of courage, indecision tainted to mean open-mindedness.

Words are weapons - they can injure or inspire; they can manipulate our emotions. Emotion is the province of the Relativists. The "if it feels good do it" philosophy that calls forth the burning in the bosom that leads to Jehad.

There are at least four ways the Relativists use words as weapons. First, choosing the words that will frame the discussion, secondly twisting the meanings of words themselves, thirdly - using words to foist off lies, and finally declaring entire points of view off limits for discussion.

This fourth method is exemplified in placing all praise of our efforts in Vietnam and Iraq off limits. Such praise is called propaganda while any contrary points of view, no matter how false were and are defended as diversity of opinion, "a constitutional right"! Consider the different ways in which Mike Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" has been treated by the media, actually called a documentary, while the Swift Vets were routinely called liars without evidence to support such allegations, and the film "Stolen Honor" was keep off the air by threat of lawsuits and boycots.

One big example of choosing the words for discussion is the term "Pro-Choice". What a clever turn of the phrase which makes the killing, dismembering, and discarding of a defenseless human being into a "humanright".

Four other examples of misdefining terms relate to the election just past:

1. Lame Duck - The true definition of a "Lame Duck" is a person finishing out their term after losing an election. It is therefore impossible for George Bush to be a lame duck. Yet, there are those who want to call him such now or claim that after the 2006 election he will be one. This is intentional deception in a hope to challenge his legitimacy.

2. Gloating - any conservitive or Republican commenting on the outcome of the 2004 election.

3. Explanation - any Democrat or Relativist commenting on the causes or effects of the outcome of the 2004 election.

4. Moral/Value issues: Democrats claim these are gay marriage and stem cell research when in reality they are much more identified by most Americans as the lies of Mike Moore, the actions of Hip Hop, the behavior of Whoopi Goldberg, and the flip-flopping of John Kerry.

These are examples of the twisting, misrepresentation, and misuse of words used to discuss the wars in Vietnam and Iraq.

1. Invasion and Occupation are used to describe the fight against the spread of Communism and the Liberation of Iraq by the US led coalition.

2. Iraqi Nationalism used to describe the terrorist fighting against US and UN forces in Vietnam and against the coalition of Iraqis, American, and other allies who have liberated Iraq from Saddam. This "nationalism" is then compared to American desire to defend the world against Communism and our nation from terrorism. Thus the Relativists equate American patriotism to acts of genocide, racism, class extermination, religious fanaticism, and ethnic cleansing.

3. Revolution and Rebel are used to describe the terrorist, who both in Vietnam and Iraq seek to impose their will through acts of violence and brutality. In Vietnam these murderers fought for power and domination supported and supplied by the USSR as weapons against Western interests. In Iraq these "rebels" are often not even Iraqis but foreign terrorists seeking to spread world-wide Islamic power and bent on the destruction of Israel and the West. The misuse of words equated and equates those who fight for freedom and justice with those who daily murdered and murder, and who sought or seek to destroy the hope and peace of the Vietnamese and the Iraqis.

Insurgent is a term used for terrorists who murder and kill innocents. The misuse of this term makes these killers sound like underdogs fighting against injustice.

Here are some more misnomers to consider: US imperialism, American colonialism, Blood for Oil, US arrogant foreign policy, unilateralism, UN Peace Keepers, (The guys who cut and run every time - rather than defending peace.) and religion confused with Fanatic Islamic Terrorism.

Fianlly here are some examples of overt lies cooked up in someone's head and repeated over and over again to give them credibility:

1. The melting of artic ice flows by "Global Warming."

2. 100 species a day becoming extinct due to tree cutting.

3. 100,000 civilian deaths caused by the US liberation of Iraq.

There are absolute truths which apply to all people. For these truths we use words: Liberty, Life, Justice, Truth, Justice, and Beauty. All these words are under attack by the obfuscations of the Relativists. As the language of discourse is corrupted, these noble ideas are hijacked by those who lead us to doubt our actions in Vietnam, and who attempt to confuse and confound our efforts in Iraq.

I think we need to give Humpty Dumpty a good push off the wall and not let Relativists take command of our words as they did during and after Vietnam.

7 comments:

Rumpole said...

There are two points I would like to add to Lysis' most recent post, as follows:

1. Relativists do not accept that absolute truth exists. Nowhere is this exhibited more strongly than in the loss of presidential election. It has been truely amazing to watch the Left in their search due to their thirst for answers as to why the election was lost; indeed, this is a thirst that cannot be quenched while the relativists maintain their current framework.

It does not occur to the relativist that a principle may be supported not because of promoting and marketing. It does not occur to the relativist that a principle may be supported simply because it rings true. In the quest to reason away the loss, the left has abandoned the possibility that the loss was one of truth and substituted that possibility with the misguided notion that the loss occurred because the opponent had a superior strategy.

This shifts the battlefield for the conservative movement to a new plane. Conservatives must recognize that as long as 51% of the electorate continues to vote based on principle rather than on promise, on substance rather than on symbolism, the United States will prosper as a nation. If, however, the day comes when that percentage is reversed and the majority chooses promise rather than principle, symbolism rather than substance, we will no longer prosper.

For the Democracy to survive, then, the electorate must be educated. I include myself in the following indictment when I suggest to you that our educational system is failing even what appears to be the most enlightened. For example, some of Lysis' most recent posts have dealt with the Viet Nam War. Several comments from interested bloggers followed the loose refrain, "I really don't know enough about Viet Nam to intelligently discuss the subject".

It is not the lack of knowledge of that subject that needs to be convicted, rather it is an educational system that has fostered the lack of knowledge on that subject that must be convicted and hung. The Left recognized long ago that this battle over ideals could be won with the dumbing down of America. For Conseratives to succeed, that trend must be reversed.

2. Lysis left out one term that the Left has twisted beyond recognition. Why do people believe that "compassion" is defined as the condesention of big brother reaching down to little brother to raise him up where he otherwise could not rise? Would it not be compassionate defined to allow little brother the struggle in the development of the skills to rise to that level on his own?

We cannot eliminate failure. Failure must exist for the Democracy to succeed. An educational system that encourages achievment while allowing for failure must be reborn.

A_Shadow said...

I can't do much beyond re-affirm what you have both stated. It bothers me to no end when an opponent uses an old word to a new definition, and the example of "Pro Choice" was a perfect one. Pro choice, to me, would signify any one who is a democrat, which again breaking down to the root of the word means essentially "the people rule", not someone who supports abortion or is liberal. The problem with debating on the political scene is with those that use the old words with new definitions, and their confusion when confronted with the truth. It's always easiest to correct the definitions to the litteral sense before beginning a debate... It seems to cut a lot of the leeway given when you're each debating with inconsistent rhetoric.

As for the educational system, I would be lying if I could say I were pleased with it. I am a product of it, and though I couldn't give you a presidential speech on how I'd make it better, I do recognize that it has much in the need of improvements. But perhaps there, we need attack the problems in the legal system which disallows teachers in California from teaching about the Declaration of Independance because it uses the name "God"!

I suppose, in this wonderful digression, that I have opened topics for another time.

Beef Jerky said...

DOUBLETHINK - That's what it all sounds like. I just finished reading 1984, a book I first read after taking Lysis' Great Books class. The romance story always about makes me cry, but the political side of the book fascinates me tremendously. The Ingsoc way of thinking is so unbelievable that it is almost believeable. In fact it's a more exagerated version of what relativists are pushing today. Doublethink (related to doublespeak, if I remember correctly) consists of believing undauntedly in both sides of an oxymoron. "Oceania was at war with Eurasia; Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia." Even though Oceania was at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia just a week before, the Party had stated that Eurasia had always been the enemy, and Eastasia the ally, and that was that. 2+2=5. At one point in the book Winston Smith sees O'Brien's 4 fingers in the air and actually believes that he sees five. That's some pretty crazy stuff. Also let's recall the four Ministries of the Party: the Ministry of Truth, where only lies are produced by rewriting yesterday's news, the Ministry of Peace where war is produced, the Ministry of Plenty where new rations plans are designed with less and less, and the Ministry of Love, which deals specifically with brainwashing and torture. I bring up this topic because we are seeing these "Ingsoc" lies all over the place: "Pro-Choice" (of which discussion has already been made), "Liberal" (which in truth takes away "free" agency and, more specifically, constitutional rights and personal income (if you need examples I'll happily give them)), "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People" which, in my opinion through crooks like the Reverend Jackson arrouses new levels of racism and does not allow for the advancement of "any" people, "Freedom of Speech" which is generally used as justification for vandalism, slurs and childish activity - the list goes on and on. My question is: How close to Oceania are we allowing our own society to become? Relativists would unconciously agree that the principals of Ingsoc are desireable in order to patriotically control the "Outer Party" members, and after reading 1984 that thought scares me. The scariest part is that the Party is so successful in it's deception. What if the relativists became successful at applying "Ingsoc" to our own society? The thought of this outcome sends chills down my spine, because it appears to already be occuring.

Zytsef said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Architect said...

Lysis,
I am a student of yours and thought that i would visit your blog and see what you are most recently ranting about. I was wondering if i could get extra credit for this.

Lysis said...

Architect - write something worth points and I'll give you some.

About Medicine Blog said...

He gives examples of words currupted: Justice used in place of vengence, recklessness presented as a pollution of courage, indecision tainted to mean open-mindedness.