When a Grunt will Do
By Evelyn Pyburn
With all the wrangling we encounter about words—what’s appropriate, what’s not, what a word means, and even if we dare speak words – if you think that is just an accidental manifestation in our society – think again.
To attack our language, to make communication difficult if not impossible. To create confusion and to intimidate, is a front line tactic of collectivists —socialists, communists, etc. To undermine society and the strength of the individual, really can be just a matter of words.
“The confusion and vagueness of terms always found in collectivist theories is not accidental; it is a reversion to the mental and verbal limitations of the primitive society it advocates, the inability to think in abstract terms,” writes Isabell Paterson, in God of the Machine, a 1968 book that explains why the Constitution works.
While most people use words to communicate, collectivists use words to create confusion. They want human beings to be cogs in a machine where no language is necessary, says Paterson.
Crippling our ability to communicate clearly or to articulate ideas is but one part of changing the words we use and the terms of their use, it is also used to subtly convey a concept — to infiltrate society with unchallenged perceptions. A good example is the change of the word employee to “team member.” It is almost anathema to be called an employee any more – you are a “team member.” The change underscores the collective as being more important than an individual. It diminishes individual achievement, automatically forcing the sharing of it with less productive members of a group. It also diminishes the role of the employer and what they must achieve in order to be an employer.
Paterson also underscores how the suspension of the real meaning of words allows people to speak utter nonsense without challenge, and advance concepts that make no sense. The example she gives is the claim that “All property is theft.” The definition of property is something that is owned. If it is not owned it is just something in nature. Theft presupposes rightful ownership – the forcible taking of something that is the property – ie. owned – by someone else.
Those who make such nonsensical utterances pay no attention to the meaning of words… they assign their own meanings. They would probably attempt to claim that the collective owns it – that it belongs to everyone — again, paying no heed to the insanity of such a concept, to the fact that words mean something. In practicality when everyone owns it, no one owns it. When no one owns it the government has total control. Aha, might that not be what they really advocate?
And we all have become aware of how words can suddenly change in their meaning and in unexpected ways. For example “woke” was self-adopted by those who wanted to claim they identify with a group but didn’t want to exactly say they were “politically correct,” which held its own negative connotations. But while “woke” was meant to be a positive change for obedient followers, it kind of boomeranged into a negative. Its meaning was far too well understood by many people, and now those who coined the term are begging that it no longer be used.
Of course, there is the most glaring way in which words are changed, to suddenly mean negative things about race so those caught unaware can be accused of racism. It is done as a political tactic even when those being “protected” object – such as the political agenda that forced the changing of the name of the Washington Redskins to Commanders because Washington Redskins was perceived as being a racist slur – apparently by those who were not Native American, because there is now an effort by Native Americans – by the “Redskins” — to try to undo the name change.
Of course language is always changing most often as a consequence of things that change our lives – other than collectivists. Your great grandparents would undoubtedly have no idea what you mean to hear you say you are going to “google” someone.
The term “I figure” or “I calculate” emerged in the early days of American life, as more everyday people entered business and used math as their means of earning a living – they really were “figuring” and “calculating” in this Capitalistic society.
So if in this new age world you don’t know what to say to some people, just grunt.