Words are tools. Poets and writers have always known it. So have politicians, salesmen, propagandists and other undesirables. Words can carry messages beyond the direct and obvious. Another view is at Top politically incorrect words. The pick of the bunch was the BBC’s use of the euphemism ‘Misguided Criminals’ for Terrorists after the 7/7 Tube Bombings. Here are some source the some examples.
Populism versus Popular
Thoughts on Emma West - How to Argue with the Ruling Class
Emma West told the truth about blacks then Emma West found herself a political prisoner locked up in a lunatic asylum by the thought police. Sean Gabb comments.
How To Frame A Patriot
On December 13, 1994, Christopher John Farley of Time magazine invited public comment on his article on the Patriot movement. This document is my line-by-line analysis of Farley’s piece (a textbook example of how the media manipulates issues, evidence, and quotes to railroad its readers into a particular point of view). This CD-ROM version contains Farley’s reply to my analysis, as well as readers’ (and my) counter-reply to Farley. This come from Barry Krusch.
Mr. Krusch explains HOW the media manipulate us, as distinct from why.
Public Schools versus private schools
Public Schools educate the sons of English gentlemen while private schools give unfair advantages to rich children paid for by the ill gotten gains of Capitalist Swine who grind the faces of the poor into the dirt.
Jungle versus Rain Forest.
Xenophobia versus Racism
Racism versus patriotism
Bludgeon versus baton
English versus British
Fair share versus I want more
English team versus England team
Said/claimed/admitted/boasted carry their messages:-
He claimed that [ but he is lying ]
He admitted that [ but only because he was forced to ]
He boasted that [ he should be ashamed but he isn't ]
The crowd/mob/victims/refugees [ victims or perpetrators? ]
advanced/charged/fled from/moved toward/stormed/attacked [ victims or perpetrators? ]
the police officers/thin blue line/thugs/storm troopers [ upholders of the law or perpetrators? ]
and were repulsed/set upon/threatened/ fired on/dispersed [ victims or perpetrators? ]
Newspaper reports are not usually quite so blatant but have a look at 'Racist' police blocked bridge and forced evacuees back at gunpoint and see the contrast between the message and the facts as claimed [ also notice my presumption of their guilt ].
How To Frame A Patriot
Barry Krusch writes about HOW it is done. He is interested in the mechanics of media manipulation rather than being a sympathizer. It is in .pdf format unfortunately but well worth a read.
Newspeak for the Oldest Profession
Is a view from someone else on the same theme. He gives us:-
cripple >> handicapped >> disabled >> differently abled
idiot >> imbecile >> retarded >> special needs
deaf >> hard of hearing
sodomite >> homosexual >> gay
squatter camps >> informal housing
illegal immigrants >> undocumented workers
illegal immigration >> informal migration
crime >> informal employment
terrorism >> informal violence
extortion >> tax
Newspeak for the Oldest Profession
The Wikipedia takes a public position:-
This article contains weasel words, vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed.
Their public position is a mask for their real agenda.
Review of Robert Conquest's The Dragons of Expectation - Reality and Delusion in the Course of History
When Magical Thinking Enters The Arena
I was recently awoken from a Zyrtec-induced (allergies are the worst) stupor in my American Revolution seminar class when I heard my professor make an off-handed comment about “magic words.” Having recently spent an undisclosed number of hours watching multiple Harry Potter movies, I assumed that he was referring to words like “Wingardium Leviosa” shouted with a swish and flick of a magic wand. Needless to say, I was a little off. The magic words he meant have probably never echoed through the halls of Hogwarts, yet they have become unbelievably common in our cultural vernacular.
What my professor meant was words like “feminism,” “social justice,” and “fair share;” words whose meanings are perpetually twisted and stretched to fit a political agenda. Substantially speaking, these words are nothing more than fluff. They rely not on rationality, but on emotion. “Feminism” invokes feelings of female empowerment; “social justice,” feelings of equality and solidarity. For me, the words “fair share” usually evoke anger and frustration because of the common misuse of the phrase, but those “magic words” are intended also to invoke feelings of fairness and equality. While these “magic words” or broader—“magical thinking” are useful during campaign speeches, on holidays, or at memorials, when applied to public policy, they take a far more sinister turn.
When “magical thinking” invades the political arena, tensions are sure to ensue. Often, one side, either right or left, will hijack a word or phrase and claim that their definition is absolute. For example, “feminism” is commonly associated with liberal ideology. However, what does feminism actually mean? Here’s where the magic comes in. Feminism is commonly defined as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Sounds good, right? However, once an ideology grasps onto a “magic” word like feminism, its meaning changes entirely. For the National Organization of Women, feminism encompasses the idea of “reproductive rights,” and supports the full legalization of abortion. However, Sarah Palin has advocated for an emerging “conservative feminism,” which includes traditional family values and a pro-life agenda. Which side’s version of “feminism” is correct? In short, both of them and neither of them. That’s the magic of “feminism.” Slap on your own definition of feminism and bang, you’re a “feminist.” However, I can’t say it’s accurate to put Sarah Palin in the same category as Gloria Steinem.
“Magical thinking” is commonly associated with the words “social justice” and “fair share” as well. Social justice certainly paints a picture of serene equality and national solidarity, but in action, it often manifests itself as something quite different. The left-leaning Sojourners magazine portrays social justice as a concept of equality which encompasses positions like amnesty for illegal immigrants and affirmative action. I’m all for justice, but I can’t say I support either of those two positions. However, that doesn’t mean I’m for social “injustice.” Based upon the nature of “magical thinking,” the answer might be yes, depending on who you ask. The phrase “fair share” works the same way. I will personally shell out $10,000 to anyone who can give me a universal definition of fair share. Fair share is a concept defined both relatively and individually. It essentially means whatever the person saying it decides it to mean. For Occupy Wall Street, fair share means a massive tax increase for the “1%.” However, more conservative Americans tend to believe that our progressive tax system is unfairly targeting the rich and instead, the bottom 50% of taxpayers (or non-taxpayers, as the case may be) are not paying their fair share. Again, I’ll ask the question, whose definition is correct? It is impossible to tell. This sort of magical thinking makes consensus and rational debate all but impossible.
“Magic words” are bipolar. What I mean is, if your definition
of a magic word does not align with that of another person, then you must be
“wrong” and they must be “right,” or vice versa. If you’re against the liberal
conception of feminism, well then you must hate women. Uneasy about social
justice? You must, therefore, support injustice. If your concept of “fair share”
is too small, then you must hate the poor. It’s a vicious cycle, but one to be
expected. “Magic words” have to power to induce brief euphoria, but fade quickly
when actual policies come into play. This makes political debate all but
impossible. How can you possibly argue against amnesty for illegal immigrants
when your opponent labels it “social justice?” Sure, you can bring up solid
facts and a rational argument, but it’s still impossible to escape the
accusation that you are “against” social justice. That’s the true power of these
“magic words.” Bring them up in an argument and you’ve won, regardless of
whether your facts are accurate or your points logical. Who wants to argue
against fairness, equality, or even freedom for that matter? Magical thinking
and magic words must stay where they belong on the campaign trail and in holiday
speeches, where a politician’s main goal is to invoke passion or create
solidarity. When it comes to deciding public policy or arguing the facts in a
political debate, leave the magic words at the door. Progression is all but
impossible if we are not able to rely on reason and facts instead of meaningless
words and “magical” thinking.
Amy Lutz | Saint Louis University | Saint Louis, Missouri | @AmyLutz4
Miss Lutz has brains and beauty; a good combination.
Errors & omissions,
broken links, cock ups, over-emphasis, malice [ real or imaginary ] or whatever;
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Updated on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 16:16:44