Stumble accidentally into a social justice dominated forum and you’ll find yourself dizzied by various barked phrases which don’t mean anything. That is, you’ll recognise the words, but their meanings will be hollowed out and corrupted.
This is because the activist left has a habit of twisting words to serve its own purpose. There’s a basic disrespect for language, and an unwillingness to be precise. Buzzwords abound, and if you don’t know what they mean, then your ignorance may itself be taken down and used in evidence against you.
This mangling obfuscation comes perhaps from the left’s fatal entanglement with post-modern thinking, in which nothing means anything and we may as well all just give up, deny the existence of gender, and spend our days berating strangers for not being gay.
Manipulating language leads us into a very Orwellian realm. Controlling what people say is a means of controlling their thoughts and behaviour. And redefining words can lead to dangerous places, in which subversive actions become normalized.
Anyone employing these practices—redefining language, obscuring the topics, eschewing clarity—should be regarded with deep suspicion. Here are some words and phrases whose meanings change when they’re employed by misanthropic leftists.
You can’t have missed that the left has been enthusiastically embracing violence recently. It’s a characteristic of left wingers that although they denigrate the military, oppose the Second Amendment in the US, and advocate ‘safe spaces’, they also harbour an elemental yearning to put dissidents against a wall and shoot them. We’re seeing a bit of this formerly repressed blood-lust at the moment, for example in this month’s Berkeley riots, and one way that the mob attempts to justify its latte-fuelled aggression is by sneakily redefining the word ‘violence’.
They’ve decided that words are violence. And not embracing gender neutral pronouns might be violence. We hear about ‘structural violence’, whereby just existing in the world can render one a victim of assault and battery.
And as a counter to that, it becomes acceptable for activists to use real violence. But this—burning things, smashing windows, beating people—is no longer bad violence. It’s self-defense. Or a legitimate expression of dissent. Or an act of noble resistance.
So the activists—just through existing in society, or knowing that somebody, somewhere is listening to some contraband words—are reconfigured as victims rather than aggressors, even as they crack skulls with metal rods.
This means that you’re uncomfortable with something someone has said, or with an opinion you don’t like, or perhaps even with someone’s mere presence.
Of course, if someone explicitly threatens you, or blocks your path and cracks their knuckles, it would be fair to say that you feel unsafe. But this kind of palpable danger isn’t required in social justice world.
The words which make you feel unsafe can be nothing more than a difference of political opinion. You can feel unsafe about someone’s presence even if they’re far away and you haven’t seen them. In US universities conservative speakers have been prevented from even setting foot on campus.
Using this logic, all that’s required to enforce your agenda by having dissent removed is that you claim a nebulous, subjective lack of emotional security. Opinions are presented as existential dangers, and again, words and ideas are conflated with physical threat.
Check Your Privilege
This means shut up , your opinions are not welcome. It means that you don’t get to have a say on the matter in hand, because you look/think/act wrong. That is, you belong somewhere on the nefarious side of the cis-hetero-white supremacist-gender conforming-Satanist-patriarchal-neo-Nazi oppresion spectrum. If you’re told to check your privilege then you should consider yourself persona non grata and stand silently in the corner facing the wall. The social justice caste system has declared you unclean and inherently guilty, and you’re permanently expelled from the debate.
Be aware though, that you’re not being discriminated against, because discrimination has also had its meaning changed. It now means what conservatives do all the time just by existing in the world, while it’s literally impossible for progressives to be guilty of discrimination. Because they’re the good guys.
This can be anything. Seriously, it means absolutely anything you want it to, as long as your complaint comes in pursuit of the left wing progressive agenda.
Hate speech regulation is a crude bludgeon used to silence naughty people who have their own ideas. It puts anyone who isn’t an intellectually jellified PC drone permanently on edge about saying what’s on their mind. It prohibits looking at the evidence before your eyes and articulating it in words. If you have the urge to express yourself in this way, you should report yourself to the authorities immediately.
Hate speech doctrines also function as a de facto blasphemy law, but only with regard to one religion. Can you guess which one? I’ll give you a hint: you can say what you like about Justin Welby, and the Zoroastrians are fair game, but if you were to, for example, drunkenly make fun of five-times-a-day prayer rituals, you’d be in an awful lot of trouble.
It’s not so bad being accused of maliciously spewing raw, primordial hatred though, as you’ll find yourself in respectable company. Just last year the police added our very own Home Secretary Amber Rudd to the list of people-who-say-bad-things. She’s actually in charge of the police, so if they can get her, they can get anyone.
This post can also be read at Country Squire Magazine.