[lg policy] The Point of the Dagger
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Sun Sep 6 17:08:40 UTC 2009
The Point of the Dagger
A dagger is pointed at the heart of America. Its point is the
deliberate misuse of the English language for the purpose of
influencing how Americans speak and think. If the dagger is driven
home, reason itself will be the principal victim. Reason is the human
faculty concerned with forming good conclusions and making sound
judgments. It is the power of intelligent thought, and it takes us
step by step on a journey to knowledge. We use words to take that
journey because, as the English philosopher Francis Bacon once
observed, words are the "footsteps of reason." But, as Bacon
understood quite well, words are a form of code. It is what they stand
for that carries meaning, not the words themselves. Thus, to be
meaningful, words must be faithful to what they describe. When words
lack fidelity, they cease to convey authentic meaning and become an
obstacle in the path to knowledge.
In America today, it isn't difficult to find linguistic infidelity. A
few conspicuous examples suffice to illustrate the point:
* Undocumented immigrants for illegal aliens
* English plus for Spanish language education
* Economic justice for criminally confiscatory tax policies
* Tax rebates for government handouts to people who pay no taxes
* Tax loopholes for legal ways that people can try to keep their own money
* Affirmative action for legally mandated racism
* Equal employment opportunity for legally required ethnic and gender quotas
* Reproductive health services for abortion clinics
Each of these linguistic deceits is an individual affront to reason,
as are thousands of others just like them. But what is more important
is that they are part of a deliberate campaign to manipulate our
language in order to control how Americans speak and think.
More than three hundred years after the death of Francis Bacon,
another Englishman by the name of George Orwell warned about the
dangers of totalitarian language manipulation. In his book 1984,
Orwell described a society that controls what people think by the
propagandistic use of a language called Newspeak.
Newspeak narrowed the range of human thought and shaped how people
perceived reality by using manipulative words and phrases instead of
authentic vocabulary. In Orwell's book, any ideas that the power elite
considered objectionable became literally unthinkable because "Big
Brother" simply eliminated the words that expressed those ideas; and
"Thought Police" made sure nobody used the remaining vocabulary in a
way that expressed ideas the power elite considered unacceptable.
1984 was published in 1949, and sixty years later an Orwellian
derivative of Newspeak is poised like a knife to strike at the vitals
of America. Of course, the modern power elite does not advertise
itself as the ideological descendant of Big Brother, and its
totalitarian functionaries don't call themselves Thought Police. But
the purpose of their movement is to strip the English language of its
ability to communicate in any manner that the power elite considers
unacceptable, and the apparatchiks of the elite are just as
determined as the Thought Police to control how people speak and how
We have all become familiar, of course, with the transformation of our
language by political elites who habitually invoke the name of "the
people" while governing in an arbitrary and dictatorial fashion. In
an excellent article for the National Taxpayers Union, Mark Schmidt
cites a few examples of this phenomenon and concludes that if the
Orwellian trend in American politics continues, "our language will
ultimately be useless to express the ideas that form the basis of
rational political discourse in a healthy republic."
The same process of Orwellian language manipulation is being pursued
by America's religious elite. In an article entitled "Making a
Revolution by Changing the Meaning of Words," Frank Mobbs alerts
Christians to the fact that "familiar religious words have apparently
lost their original meanings." Many leading Scripture scholars, he
says, "continue to use orthodox-sounding expressions, but behind these
are radically different intentions and definitions"
Yet, as alarming as Orwellian language manipulation is in politics and
religion, it is even more insidious in the American education system.
For at least thirty years, the education elite has been manipulating
words, textbooks, and course curricula in order to fabricate a
"narrative" that will reshape the thinking of American students in
ways that the elite considers more acceptable. In the process, the
education establishment has produced millions of supposedly
well-educated citizens who lack a critical understanding of the
significance of Western civilization in general and American history
in particular. Charlton Heston recognized this in a 1999 speech he
gave at Harvard Law School, in which he called the education elite to
account for subverting America's campuses with
"political correctness ... that's about to hijack your birthright to
think and say what resides in your heart."
In his speech, Heston noted that PC-speak is part of a "culture war"
being waged against America. A similar idea is expressed in a 2003
article for Newsmax by Paige McKenzie, in which she observed that by
"infiltrating ... the halls of government at every level -- along with
the movie theater, the media, the work place and particularly the
classrooms -- the radical left has taken control of America's culture,
political language and national identity."
McKenzie's article goes on to supply some illuminating quotes from
David Horrowitz's book Left Illusions.
Horrowitz, one of the intellectual luminaries of what used to be known
as the New Left, provides valuable insight into the culture war being
waged against America. He correctly observes that
"It is culture that is the crucial factor in shaping the American
identity, not ethnicity or race ...The left's multicultural offensive
is an attack on America's national culture, not on its racial or
ethnic composition. ‘Inclusion' and ‘diversity' are not the real
agendas of the left ... [Their] agenda is the deconstruction of
America's national identity and culture and particularly the American
narrative of inclusion and freedom. The multiculturalism narrative is
not about the assimilation of minorities into the crucible of American
freedom, but their liberation from American ‘oppression.'" [Emphasis
In describing the agenda of the radical left as the "deconstruction of
America's national identity and culture," Horrowitz exposes the real
purpose of the Orwellian language manipulation we are seeing in our
country today. But the end game of the radical left isn't just the
deconstruction of traditional America; it is the reconstruction of
America according to the precepts of a radical left totalitarian
ideology. In a speech entitled "The Origins of Political Correctness,"
Bill Lind traces how traditional economic Marxism morphed into the
"cultural Marxism" that drives the radical left's attempt to transform
America today. In his speech, Lind notes that economic Marxism and
cultural Marxism both:
* Give special status and power to certain people at the expense of
other members of society, not because they have earned it by their own
merit, but because they are members of a "victim" group. In economic
Marxism, it is the "workers" who are seen as victims and therefore
entitled to wrest power from the "capitalists" and the "bourgeoisie."
In cultural Marxism, it is blacks, Hispanics, feminists, homosexual
activists, and similar "victim" groups who are entitled to take power
from "white society." In both economic and cultural Marxism, anyone
who objects to the totalitarian tactics used by the members of a
victim group must be ridiculed, "reeducated" and punished.
* Look at history through the prism of a single-factor explanation. In
economic Marxism, history is seen as being determined by who owns the
means of production. Cultural Marxism says that history is determined
by which group - defined in terms of race, sex, etc. - has power over
which other group. Thus, "Deconstruction essentially takes any text,
removes all meaning from it and re-inserts any meaning desired. So we
find, for example, that all of Shakespeare is about the suppression of
women, or the Bible is really about race and gender."
* Rely on expropriation of wealth to empower members of the "victim"
group. In Russia, for example, "... they expropriated the bourgeoisie,
they took away their property. In America, "when the cultural
Marxists take over a university campus, they expropriate through
things like quotas for admissions." In fact, "affirmative action in
our whole society today is a system of expropriation."
Lind concluded his article by observing that although cultural Marxism
is on the rise in America, "we don't recognize it because we call it
Political Correctness ..."
He leaves his readers with this grim warning about political correctness:
"[I]t's growing and it will eventually destroy ... our freedom and our
These are frightening words. And they might be prophetic unless the
American people begin to resist the Orwellian language manipulation
that is taking place in our country. To do that, we have to recognize
that there is nothing "correct" about political correctness. It is a
propagandistic use of language designed to influence how we think to
such an extent that the cultural Marxists will have a free hand to
deconstruct America and replace it with their own totalitarian vision
In their war against America, the cultural Marxists are counting on
the assistance of a powerful tactical ally -- the tendency of ordinary
people to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without critically
thinking about the results of their action or inaction. That is why
the cultural Marxists put such a premium on the propagandistic use of
language in politics, media, and education. They know that if the
people can be lulled into complacency about political correctness, the
war is already half won. And they know that linguistic deception is
the easiest way to ensure people's complacency.
The cultural Marxists also know that Truth is their enemy, but they do
not understand that truth is more than a mere inconvenience --
something to be suppressed whenever they think it is expedient to do
so. What they don't grasp is that Truth is a palpable reality, an
actual force in the Universe; and it is far more powerful than the
ideology of cultural Marxism. Unbeknownst to the cultural Marxists,
Truth carries a unique resonance in the human heart, and regardless of
how long it takes the conscious mind to receive the messages of the
heart, anything less than the Truth will ultimately be perceived as
dissonant and rejected by the human spirit.
Contrary to the view of cultural Marxists, it is the human spirit -
not human ideology -- that is the infallible arbiter of human history.
And human history teaches that when we lay the foundations of civil
society on the ground of untruth, we build civilization on quicksand.
No matter how many resources we devote to propping up such a
construction, it will inevitably slip into obscurity. That is why the
forces of cultural Marxism that are seeking to build a totalitarian
society in America through linguistic deceit will ultimately fail. But
the death of the noble experiment that is America may well be the
interim price of their failure, and a great many American lives may
end up being sacrificed on the altar of their totalitarian ideology
before Truth can restore the balance.
Francis Bacon once said that "reason with speech" is a gift from God.
By divorcing words from their true meanings and delegitimizing words
with authentic meanings, the cultural Marxists are turning their backs
on a divine gift and threatening reason itself. For those who
understand that words are the "footsteps of reason," the lesson is
quite clear. The antidote to cultural Marxism in America is an
authentic vocabulary - one that vigilantly preserves linguistic
fidelity. "It is time," as Wendy McElroy put it, "to reclaim the
richness of the English language ... verb by verb, adjective by
adjective." Anything less will be inadequate to stay the hand that
holds the dagger that is pointed at the heart of America.
Jed Gladstein is an attorney, author and educator.
 There is a school of thought that reason is somehow opposed to
faith. However, reason is the mechanism we use to understand what is
currently knowable at the empirical level. Faith is the mechanism we
use to understand the exponentially greater part of reality that is
currently unknowable at that level.
 Largely by virtue of the book 1984, the word Orwellian has now
achieved the status of a colloquial expression in the English
language. It means the political manipulation of words by people in
authority for the purpose of concealing the truth and eliminating
ideas they consider objectionable. In 1984, any word, phrase or idea
whose existence made it more difficult for the power elite to
propagate and enforce its own point of view was ipso facto deemed
 America isn't the only country threatened by Orwellian language
manipulation. It threatens all of Western civilization. Indeed, even
the word civilized has now been delegitimized in England.
 A recent example is afforded by Homeland Security Director Janet
Napolitano's refusal to use the word "terrorism" even once during her
confirmation testimony before Congress. Although the primary mission
of the Department of Homeland Security "is to prevent terrorist
attacks" on America, and the department was created as a direct result
of the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Napolitano
insists on using the phrase "man-caused disasters" because "we want to
move away from the politics of fear." [Emphasis added.] According to
Napolitano, the American people are supposed to accept this Orwellian
manipulation of the English language as a mere "nuance."
 In a rare peek behind the façade of modern representative
democracy, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently announced
to a group of largely indifferent mainstream media reporters at the
Washington D.C. Press Club that the Obama administration intends to
"coerce people out of their cars." [Emphasis added.] The totalitarian
thinking that lies behind LaHood's remark is the rule, not the
exception, for the political elite in this country. Whatever one may
think about LaHood's professed objectives, his evident willingness to
coerce Americans, rather than persuade them, is inherently repugnant
to anyone who honors free will and understands the proper function of
law in society. (See: Law and Lawfulness in a Civilized Society)
 Although individual instances are easy to find, it would be a task
of almost herculean proportions to compile a complete list of
Orwellian manipulations by the education elite in this country. There
are, however, some excellent articles available on the World Wide Web,
and there are many books that deal with the subject, such as Diane
Ravitch's The Language Police - How Pressure Groups Restrict What Our
 Lind notes that "terror against anyone who dissents from Political
Correctness" is part of cultural Marxism, just as it has been part of
economic Marxism. His criticism is harsh but suggestive. We don't have
Gulags and involuntary commitments to "psychiatric hospitals" for
social dissenters in America (at least not yet), but cultural Marxists
are making significant inroads on our freedom of thought and speech.
As Wendy McElroy notes, American students are often required to attend
so-called "sensitivity training" sessions as part of a re-education
process that includes public ridicule and humiliation for whites and
males because of their race and sex. As for punishment, one only needs
to look at what happened to Carrie Prejean, who lost the Miss America
pageant and her position as Miss California because she publicly
declared her non-PC belief that marriage should be between a man and a
 Expropriation is the preferred method for totalitarians on both
the left and the right to seize power from those who disagree with
them, and to secure the grateful obedience of their followers. It
amounts to legalized theft and social bribery. It is actually a
tactical maneuver of questionable strategic significance, but it has
the short-term virtue of being easier to accomplish than creating new
 Hannah Arendt coined the evocative phrase "the banality of evil"
to describe the atrocities that can flow from "the tendency of
ordinary people to obey orders and conform to mass opinion without
critically thinking about the results of their action or inaction."
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