My shop is in an over-sized two-car garage attached to my home. My work is a calling, in the theological sense of the word. Ethical and moral questions arise every day – they are hard, sharp, unambiguous and unavoidable.

The Politics of Language – a moto-free bit of rather gloomy new year froth

Posted: December 30th, 2011 | Author: Administrator | Filed under: Editorial, Motorcycle Repair | No Comments »

Contention: Reality – daily/lived/meaning-full reality (what “everybody knows”)- is produced/reproduced/challenged/defended/changed through language – and particularly through every-day thought-less language.

Here’s an off-the-top-of-my-head example:

“He’s unconstrained by the facts.”

“He’s a compulsive liar.”

Same facts, different realities.

Here’s a reverse example:

“Muslim fundamentalist”

It used to mean a very strict and pious old man.

Now it means “terrorist” which means “legitimate target” which is a thing and not a fully-paid-up member of the human tribe.

One more example (addendum 12/31/11)

The here-and-now meaning of “Marxist” is subjugation of the individual to the will and whim of the State apparatus – generally an oppressive/totalitarian State.   Karl Marx would be horrified at much of what has been done in his name.  Marx was a humanist – a historically-informed romantic/utopian.  The dignity and fulfillment of the individual within a complex society was his main concern.  He accurately saw and foretold the subjigation of the individual, social life, and, eventually, the apparatus of State itself/the government to the heartless self-legitimating logic of capital.  Greed is good. (G.Geko)

Who chooses the language we use? Language is power, yes – the power to create reality. It happens every day – every time you write or speak or hear or read language. Who chooses the language we use? Do you like the reality they have chosen for you?

Let’s all pay a bit more attention this new year,
Chris



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