Watch your language

Brett Weinstein was the bloke who ruffled progressive feathers by refusing to participate in a “non-white” day at Evergreen University a year or so ago, thus becoming revealed as a “Nazi”. He was recently interviewing the journalist Andy Ngo, beaten up a few days ago by Antifa thugs as per my last post (and therefore a fellow Nazi, of course, in woke eyes).

Weinstein pointed out a key truth about the whole increasingly tiresome, though still dangerous, radical mindset: it delusionally sees Nazis, fascists, racists, homophobes, mysogynists, white supremacists and so on in every face it sees (its own face being masked, of course).

Most ordinary people realise this is at least a gross exaggeration where they themselves are situated. But when the mantra is repeated in mainstream headlines about huge and increasing numbers of transphobic attack on British streets (but where do the Neonazi attackers find all the trans people they attack?), and the BBC reports its own pay structure as oppressive of women on six-figure salaries, and every Christian group is “far-right,” it’s easy to accept the narrative, if not the numbers. It must be happening somewhere else, or why would there need to be such extreme measures to combat it?

This, of course, is the political intention: to divide the world into broad classes of oppressed and oppressors. Such a move makes ordinary people feel perpetually guilty, and/or unjustly accused, whilst it gives the particular “victim” groups involved a victim mentality which both isolates them and holds them back. In this way, society is put into a state of permanent conflict, and hopefully of collapse, in the vague hope of a future Utopia where every day is a Pride Parade, God forbid.

This phenomenon is not new: I’ve mentioned before how my Marxist medical student friend regarded himself as the only oppressed socialist amongst 600 fascists at medical school. But of course, if everyone is a fascist, it’s merely another word for “normal.” The coercive element lies in convincing you that you’re a fascist, or a male chauvinist, or a racist, without even realizing it.

This too is not a new trick – when Freudian psychoanalysis was in the ascendant (and it was only really beginning to be picked apart when I was studying psychology, in 1973) the fact that you had no awareness of your own oedipal complex was because you had repressed it, rather than the fact that it was an ill-founded myth.

And that brings us to the language aspect of the delusion. Freud invented his own language, some of which we still use, subconsciously (!), and today’s Newspeak is equally designed to channel our thoughts into changing our worldview. Pretty well the whole vocabulary of the progressives consists of neologisms that are more or less interchangeable, because almost meaningless. So once you are a male supremacist by virtue of being male, you are also an honorary fascist and Nazi. Homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, transphobia, and so on come free in your membership pack, wether you ordered them or not. Inasmuch as any of these words have definitions, they are catch-alls designed to intimidate the ordinary, rather than to mark out the genuinely extreme.

For example, an all party UK parliamentary group, heavily influenced by Muslim pressure groups, has produced a definition of Islamophobia, already adopted by two of our main political parties, thus:

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.

So if a policeman on London Bridge literally targets (with his gun) a man who is butchering civilians whilst yelling “Allahu akbar!” the definition includes the policeman risking his life … unless, I suppose, he is able to prove that he did not perceive any “Muslimness” in the terrorist’s actions. But “racism” in the mind can only be shown by actions – in this case, shooting a perceived Muslim. The policeman is an Islamophobe, by (crap) definition.The definition, like all “hate” politics, seeks to put windows into men’s souls.

By contrast, the UK government’s definition of “antisemitism” appears, whilst much longer, to mean something because of the verbal precision, checks and balances: it would not, for example, deem condemnation of the Frankfurt School anti-semitic simply because many of that school were Jews.

The situation is compounded by the deliberate obfuscatory euphemisms of groups like Antifa, who at least until now have had a free-pass to the moral high ground by the crass argument, “They’re Anti-fascist – it’s in the name, right?” Well yes, but by that token North Korea is a democratic people’s republic, Hitler was a socialist, and an act of deliberate mass starvation was a great leap forward. Chanting “Hope Not Hate” doesn’t stop your sole motive being hatred, which is actually what matters.

My main point today is to alert us to the danger that, even when we have debunked an idea like Neo-Marxist progressivism, we run risks by continuing to use its language. One example from another sphere I’ve mentioned already is how glibly using the word “subconscious” leans us towards thinking in terms of a discredited Freudianism. Another example, to which I plead guilty, is using the word “meme” for a prevalent or trendy idea. Without the scare quotes, it’s an invitation to buy into Richard Dawkin’s pseudo-biological theory of culture, and particularly religion as a disease.

In a few cases, old falsehoods are so long-gone that their vocabulary poses little danger. To call someone “phlegmatic” or “humorous” poses little danger of reviving the mediaeval theory of humours, though I did once start writing a spoof “medically proven” diet book based on that theory. And we can say that something is “in the lap of the gods” in a way that would have meant apostasy to a first century Christian.

Progressive Newspeak is a more dangerous matter, though. To accept a word like “transphobic” even, as is inevitably the case, to deny that it applies to you, is to accept its entire narrative about the nature, frequency and importance of an agenda formulated by political activists. In truth, the word is merely the penultimate stage in a progressive series of shock-words designed from the start to destroy society, its basis, the gendered family, and its ultimate patriarch, God. This is working out even in Evangelical denominations, as I outlined here.

This does not alter the need for compassion for the tiny minority of gender-dysphoric individuals. But it’s a completely different issue: the activists were never really concerned for them anyway, any more than the attempts of radicals from the 1960s on to abolish the age of consent were really concerned for the sexual welfare of children.

In fact, the age tabu appears to remain the ultimate “shock” yet to overcome, but well on the way as one hears about drag-queens being widely employed to read to children in libraries, an increasing trend for pre-pubescent kids to perform as drag-queens in gay clubs, and mainstream news lauding the “gender inventiveness” of small children. The fact that there appears little public shock, and not much more concern, at these developments shows the power of language. “Paedophilia” is probably irremediably tainted, but how long will it be before some term like “liberophobic” (from Latin “liberi,” children) is coined to condemn opposition to the free expression of childhood sexuality?

Shun the words themselves, friends, if you would oppose the narrative. But which words? Perhaps a good criterion is to reject any new word that is designed to classify people according to group identities, rather than individually. So “white supremacist” is designed, essentially, to label a perceived oppressor group, flying in the face both of genetics (see “Genealogical Adam”!) and individual character.

But no differently, “people of colour” divides the human race entirely arbitrarily into two, one an implicit victim-group, and the other (necessarily) a particular oppressor. But tell that to the Batwa after millennia of persecution by Bantu tribes in Africa, or to Muslim Hui suffering terribly under the Communist government run by Han Chinese. Or even to black Mexicans whose ancestors were the slaves of Hispanics no less than those in the US were of whites – but also not infrequently of blacks.

For the same reason, beware of terms like “institutional racism,” which at least in this country crept into the common mindset through Sir William MacPherson’s report into the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, and the subsequent mishandling of the police investigation. But the term originally came, consciously or unconsciously, from the socialist US Black Power movement, and such concepts have the effect of taking away individual responsibilities and, once again, defining the whole human experience in terms of oppressive power structures into which one is incorporated, rather than moral accountability. And hence sixties students yelled “Kill The Pigs,” whilst the modern Antifa chant “Cops and Klan go hand in hand” before they throw rocks at low-paid public servants.

The more I look at the world we’re in, the more the very words we are encouraged to use appear to be lies. We are deceived by them, and we deceive others when we use them. The linguistic deception is now so ubiquitous that our world looks increasingly like that of which we are warned in 2 Thess 2:5-12. Look it up.

Finding new ways to speak that differentiate real issues from manufactured ones will be a challenge – and no doubt will make the way we talk sound as unusual, even quaint, as the traditional Quaker’s “thees” and “thous.” But how refreshing it would be for words to mean something again!

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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