Numerous are the ways by which the leftist rad-lib elites assert power over the Western world. If they do not re-write the past or are not wrecking statues, they adjust curriculums, invent new degrees and majors that licenses adherents. In the breaks they impose quotas that are not about equal chances but disperse pre-arranged “correct” end results. Controlling information, determining what is to be reported and how, is part of the instruments of control. The process means that innocent matters can become evidence of guilt and proscribed. One of the obnoxious ways to avoid a nasty label requires the proper use of loaded words. That is the theme of this essay.
The command of a decent amount of languages, and having repeatedly changed for the sake of the children the family language to avoid the majority’s, nurtures tentacles that are sensitive to phrases and to their usage. My first exposure to politicized terms came toward the end of the war. Being occupied we had Waffen SS quartered in our home that was called the “Black Castle”. I entered their quarters and smartly said “Heil Hitler”. Billy, an NCO, then said to me “kid, it is enough to say “heil”. The rest, he said, others can fill in according to their taste.
I comprehended my lesson in how silence communicates. Looking back, the case illustrates the erosion of morale during the final weeks. Naturally, there were also examples of tenacious confidence that registered as illogical blabber. Among those we had to harbor was a fairly important native Nazi. Once he, my grandfather and I stood at the entrance of our parc. The cannon from the temporarily stabilized front were especially loud. My grandfather could not control himself and said to the man “so, what do you think of that?”. Our “guest” straightened out, pulled in his stomach and blurted theatrically “we shall prevail because win we must”! Even at the age of eight that slogan, -it replaced thinking- sounded illogical.
Fanatics whose dictatorships wish to change human nature, will endeavor to re-pole the language. An extreme form of that is when a new language is imposed to change the identity of the subjugated. Russification is an example. In my case that begun with a surprise. Our French lesson was about to begin when a strange man walked in. He told us that from now on we will learn Russian. We started by learning that a Cyrillic “c” is a Latin “s”. Then, that a “m” is a “t”. “A” remained an “a”. Now we had “Sta”. The “L” was like the hump of a camel. We quickly added the “i” and the concluding “n”. We could now write “Stalin”. The instant antipathy for Russian grew when we learned “comrade” and “great”. With so much accomplished, we had to learn the Soviet anthem in Russian from a phonetical Latin-letter text. It is ironical, but nowadays I spend time daily to improve my Russian because I like it.
One of the odd things we do with words is to shred some and fill the gap with a new term. “Gypsy” had a bad connotation that reflected prejudice or experience. To overcome the problem, “Roma” was introduced. One day it will wear out, and the struggle against prejudice will lead to the invention of a new phrase.
When I got to America in 1956 -on Stalin’s birthday! - we were housed in Camp Kilmer that was operated by the military. A number of the soldiers were at that time Negroes. Problematically, in Hungarian the term for Negro is “Néger”. Sounds like the “N” word. Only it is completely “neutral”. (I saw my first Black a few months earlier and, totally amazed, I almost caused an accident.) So, we were urged not to use that word. The reason was not understood. Alas, the other word for a Black was last used centuries ago and few of us knew the term.
Since then, folks who used to be Negroes have been repeatedly repackaged. That skirts the problem of a visible minority that is left behind. From far away, it seems that “Black” is now the proper term. The newest about that is that, “Black” is awarded a capital “B” but “white” is not “White”. Not exactly equalitarian, it smells of racism, but considering that recently someone got shot for claiming that all lives matter, hardly a major surprise. The folks that write the rules of what Orwell called “Newspeak” are not conspicuous for their common sense.
On totalitarian pastures insane new words grow like weed in the garden. My favorite is the term for those that extracted confessions in the dungeons of State Security. In the USSR they were “body technicians”. Now, test your ingenuity. What could “social defense first grade” mean? The correct answer: A death sentence. “Cosmopolitan” used to be a praise. Not so in the “Peoples’ Democracies”. (In itself the term is a misnomer because these were neither of the people nor democratic.) Cosmopolitan was a coded way to say “dirty, treasonous rootless kike”. A related word which, if applied, caused trouble, was “Zionist”. A case comes to mind. It is a conversation between three old ladies with a Party-man they asked to help to avoid deportation. They have saved him during the Holocaust -by then a non-event, therefore an incendiary word in some quarters. They brought up the names of others they had rescued. Suddenly he twitched. “No, no, he is now a Zionist. He is not to be mentioned. He as well as the women would have become guilty for an earlier involvement with a person who was made into a political criminal later on.
A similar case of guilt after the fact comes from an interrogation. The accused claimed that in the Nazi era he had been involved in a famous action that demolished a rightist’s statue. The insane but honest reply: “anyone who blew up a statue in 1944 might do so after 1945”. A family member also found out that fighting the Nazis makes him suspect under communism, because resistance can be part of a DNA. For a related reason, the “little Nazis” were trusted and used.
Trust had no role in the system. No one could be trusted, and consequently, anyone could be made into a political criminal. (Newly, any trait you have can prove that you are a “racist.) Therefore, Stalin’s so-called “conceptual trials” were no slip-ups. Nearly all the original Bolshevik leaders were liquidated. Stalin has killed more senior Red Army officers than the Germans. An old joke tells more about distrust than a dissertation could. The scene a gigantic Stalin statue on Heroes Square. An old woman asks the policeman standing guard: “Son, why are you here?” “I have to protect the statue.” “From what?” “Someone might urinate on it”. “Who would do such a thing?” “Well, when off duty, I would”.
Currently an epidemy of purist extremist regulations are sweeping the West. The vocabulary used is being cleansed by those that like to exert control. My “Word” program goes ballistic if I write “mankind”. The problem is “man”. Which is why the chairman is now the “chair”. Not a piece of furniture is meant that one sits upon. Sit on such a “chair” and you get fired. Probably “manipulate” is safe. It has “man” but the term is mostly negative. The best creation of Newspeak is “people who menstruate”. The phrasing fights gender-related prejudice by demonstratively not accepting that men might have a problem with that body function.
The words of political combat can do more than to criminalize traits that used to be regarded as normal. Even places can be made to disappear. Some international organizations like to give Arab names to Jewish sites to lend support to certain claims. Using or not using place-names can have the purpose to root out the existence of indigenous groups. Also, a place can just vanish. There used to be a remote village in Hungary called Recsk. Then the Party built a death camp there. Since the humanist Party claimed respect for human lives, the place simply disappeared from the map. Only after the end of the communist era did Recsk reappear.
As Orwell had noted, words can change their meaning. A “peaceful protest” will destroy whatever its participants cannot loot. Combatted racist organizations do not include Black Power because it is only anti-White and only white supremacists can be really bad. Tolerance of certain things is an imposed “must”. Exceptions exist, such as for “The Nation of Islam”. It would appear that the highest degree of tolerance is when the intolerant is tolerated and subsidized. “Allah is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews” should shock even the UN’s Human Rights Commission. Well, Islamists do not hate because, to say that would be “racist”. Furthermore, the proponents of such slogans express their “honest opinion” and cannot be expected to subscribe to culturally alien Western concepts. The open but unmentionable question is whether such an argument is not, in itself, racist.
The selective application of general terms has a subsidiary aspect. Some words are only used within tight-knit groups. One of these is “concrete”. In the telling of someone, during or before the war, they arrested a woman suspected to be a Soviet spy. Then the interrogators came to conclude that she was innocent. The woman was told that she can go. “Is this concrete?” she asked. That made the handcuffs click and she confessed. “Concrete” happened to be a term used mainly by Marxists.
At times, those that regulate phrasings to create new realities, insane, unfair, and exaggerated as they might be, turn out to be downright silly. Perhaps the reader can recall the “niggardly” scandal of a few years ago. The outrage betrayed that those “hurt” and “insulted” suffered not from injury to their honor, but from a niggardly command of the English language. That case makes my recollections sway back decades to recall the “American Potato Bug”. Our socialist economy produced a lack of everything that used to be plenty without it. One year the lack of potatoes was so pressing that, even if we were “the land of plenty”, the Party had to take notice. So, the population had to be told that, yes, there was a, naturally only temporary, “inadequacy”. It was caused not by excessive colonial tributes to the Soviets, nor could the “Central Planning Bureau” be blamed. No, the culprit was the American Potato Bug. This imperialist infiltrator has ruined the crop. Once, as we stood in line for potatoes, a presumably naïve woman said “if they cannot defeat their bug, then how will they defeat the Americans themselves”. (By the way, a potato bug does exist and the Americans did not need to invent it.)
When imposed idiotic regulations descend upon us, nonsensical rituals are required to prove our partial innocence regardless of our suspected background. As a white male -not in America- put it, now all “heterosexual while males” are “nauseating”. Their redemption from a collective past of guilt, whose shadow condemns them, is only possible if reparations are paid to atone. Any protest calls for excommunication. Anyone that is hurt, angered, or made to feel uncomfortable, is justified by acting out his irritation in any way he deems to be proper.
Surveying what has been said so far, it appears that the reader got confronted with reactions to contemporary events that exploit an imaginary past. The phenomenon was used to interpret it as the evidence of a trend. The totalitarian finger-print the drift carries suggest a blueprint that depicts the contours of a new emerging order. The psychological sticks carried by the exponents of a totalitarian re-make of the democratic order, might explain why societal resistance to what undermines the system is, even in the face of numerous obvious provocations, rather feeble. Could it again happen, that once neutralized by the well positioned with disinformation, the people will be taken hostage, and freedom, being left undefended, will be shanghaied?
America is the community in which this threat is most pronounced. Her hither record is being invalidated so that little appears worth retention to a sedated and confused majority. Those that purge the past now will, once in control of the instruments, purge the entire people in the future. Now they rampage, accuse and intimidate. The coming terror is foreshadowed by the many who in “the land of the free” already do not dare to voice their views publicly. Control over the cities, rights to safety, property, and the rule of law are being replaced by “government by mob rule”. Even the instruments required to protect the lawful order are delegitimized. Protest is moving from the loud to violent, and newly it displays arms to threaten. From “riot” the progression is in the direction of “uprising”. The damage is great. Whether it will become catastrophic hinges on the ability of society, jolted defensive anger, to sense the threat and to react with the called-for appropriate resolution.