The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.
Alexander Boot, a Russian by birth, left for the West in the 1970s, only to discover that the West he was seeking was no longer there. This led him to write the book How the West Was Lost. I disagree with his criticism of post-Enlightenment civilization in general. Still, he is articulate and original, which makes him worth reading.
Boot believes that democracy, or in the words of Abraham Lincoln, the government of the people, by the people and for the people, has been replaced by glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word.
Modern glossocracy can be traced back at least to the slogan of the French Revolution, “Freedom, equality, brotherhood.” As it later turned out, this meant mass terror, martial law and authoritarian rule. According to Boot, the more meaningless the word, the more useful it is for glossocrats. The impulse behind Political Correctness consists of twisting the language we use, enforcing new words or changing the meaning of old ones, turning them into “weapons of crowd control” by demonizing those who fail to comply with the new definitions:
“Like the Russian intelligentsia of yesteryear, the glossocratic intelligentsia of today’s West is busily uprooting the last remaining vestiges of Westernness. The press is one gardening implement they use; education is another.”
One example of how language is power is given in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll:
“‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that’s all.’”
According to Boot, glossocracy depends upon a long-term investment in ignorance: “A semi-literate population is a soft touch for glossocratic Humpty Dumpties insisting that words mean whatever they want them to mean.”
As I’ve said before, Political Correctness was pioneered by feminists, including the totalitarian changing of the language to make it more gender-neutral and less “oppressive.” Those who successfully manage to enforce their definition of words win the ideological contest.
There was an interesting book called The New Totalitarians written by British historian Roland Huntford about Sweden in the early 1970s. It is especially noteworthy how the Socialist government deliberately broke down the nuclear family. This was presented as liberation from the oppression of women, but was in reality about tearing down the religious fabric of society and eliminating the Church and Judeo-Christian thinking as ideological competitors.
It was also about increasing state control over all citizens by breaking down a rival institution that obstructed the uninhibited state indoctrination of children. Besides, the state could foment animosity between men and women and step in as an arbitrator, thus further enhancing its powers. During the past few elections in Sweden, there has been virtually no debate about mass immigration, but a passionate debate about “gender equality” in which almost all contestants call themselves feminists, and only debate which ways to implement absolute equality between the sexes.
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Mr. Huntford demonstrated how, when it was decided that a woman’s place was not at home but out at work, there was a rapid change in the language. Page 301:
“The customary Swedish for housewife is husmor, which is honourable; it was replaced by the neologism hemmafru, literally ‘the-wife-who-stays-at-home’, which is derogatory. Within a few months, the mass media were able to kill the old and substitute the new term. By the end of 1969, it was almost impossible in everyday conversation to mention the state of housewife without appearing to condemn or to sneer. Swedish had been changed under the eyes and ears of the Swedes. Husmor had been discredited; the only way out was to use hemmafru ironically. Connected with this semantic shift, there was a change in feeling. Women who, a year or so before, had been satisfied, and possibly proud, to stay at home, began to feel the pressure to go out to work. The substitution of one word for the other had been accompanied by insistent propaganda in the mass media, so that it was as if a resolute conditioning campaign had been carried out. Very few were able to recognize the indoctrination in the linguistic manipulation; in the real sense of the word, the population had been brain-washed.”
For my own part, I find it interesting that the same people who, in the 60s and 70s, broke up the traditional family structure in Western countries and warned people against the dangers of overpopulation, telling people to lower their birth rates, come back a few years later and say that we have to import millions of immigrants because we have such low birth rates.
Author Daniel Horowitz has written about the highly influential American feminist Betty Friedan, whose 1963 book “The Feminine Mystique” is widely seen as marking the beginning of the Second Wave of feminism. Horowitz documents how Friedan had for decades before this been a hardened Marxist. It is revealing that she tried to hide her background, presenting herself only as an average suburban housewife. In the early drafts, Friedan quoted Friedrich Engels, but these quotations were cut out before the book was published. In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels had called for the abolition of family. Friedan denounced the American suburban family household as “a comfortable concentration camp.”
Roland Huntford noticed that the teaching of history was severely curtailed in Swedish schools because it was “impractical.” Religion, and Christianity in particular, was presented as superstition designed to fool the masses, which had been liberated from this ancient oppression by the Labor movement.
As he noted, “Scrapping historical knowledge deprives pupils of the instrument for criticizing society here and now. And perhaps that is the intended effect.” Journalist Christopher Hitchens later wrote that “For true blissed-out and vacant servitude, though, you need an otherwise sophisticated society where no serious history is taught.”
“The State,” in the words of Mr Ingvar Carlsson, then Minister of Education, “is concerned with morality from a desire to change society.” Mr. Carlsson, who was later Swedish prime minister until 1996, also stated on one occasion that “School is the spearhead of Socialism.”
According to Huntford, the word “freedom” was almost entirely confined to the sexual field in Sweden:
“The Swedish government has taken what it is pleased to call ‘the sexual revolution’ under its wing. Children are impressed at school that sexual emancipation is their birthright, and this is done in such a way as to suggest that the State is offering them their liberty from old-fashioned restrictions.”
He describes a meeting with Dr Gösta Rodhe, the head of the department of sexual education in the Directorate of Schools. She stated: “You see, since there’s a lack of tension in Swedish politics, younger people have got to find release and excitement in sexual tension instead.”
Herbert Marcuse, one of the major theorists of the Frankfurt School of cultural Marxism, identified faith-based morality as the chief obstacle to a Socialist society. In his 1955 book Eros and Civilization, he argued for freeing sex from any restraints. He made a huge impact in the 1960s. Although he may not have coined the term “Make love, not war,” he undoubtedly endorsed it.
Mr. Huntford ended his book with a warning that this system of soft-totalitarianism could be exported to other countries. This was in the early 1970s, and he has been proven right since:
“The Swedes have demonstrated how present techniques can be applied in ideal conditions. Sweden is a control experiment on an isolated and sterilized subject. Pioneers in the new totalitarianism, the Swedes are a warning of what probably lies in store for the rest of us, unless we take care to resist control and centralization, and unless we remember that politics are not to be delegated, but are the concern of the individual. The new totalitarians, dealing in persuasion and manipulation, must be more efficient than the old, who depended upon force.”
“As political and economic freedom diminishes” said Aldous Huxley’s in Brave New World, “sexual freedom tends compensatingly to increase.” This fits perfectly with Huntford’s description. The state strips away your personal, economic and political freedom, yet grants you sexual freedom in return, boldly hailing itself as your liberator.
Language is underestimated as a source of power. Those who control the language and the school curriculum control society.
George Orwell said: “If freedom of speech means anything at all, it is the freedom to say things that people do not want to hear.” In his book 1984, a totalitarian Party rules much of Europe. Their three slogans, on display everywhere, are: War is peace, Freedom is slavery and Ignorance is strength. It’s the ultimate glossocracy, even creating an entirely new language called Newspeak:
“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.”
I love Orwell’s book, but frankly, it fits an openly totalitarian society more than it does Western nations. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, with its hedonistic society where people derive pleasure from promiscuous sex and drugs, is closer to the mark. Scholar Neil Postman contrasted the worlds of 1984 and Brave New World in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death:
“Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny ‘failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.’ In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.”
Postman warned against the pitfalls of our mass media society:
“What started out as a liberating stream has turned into a deluge of chaos. Everything from telegraphy and photography in the 19th century to the silicon chip in the twentieth has amplified the din of information, until matters have reached such proportions today that for the average person, information no longer has any relation to the solution of problems. It comes indiscriminately, directed at no one in particular, disconnected from usefulness; we are glutted with information, drowning in information, have no control over it, don’t know what to do with it.”
This can potentially be exploited by those in power. In an openly totalitarian society such as the Communist state of East Germany, authorities can enforce censorship at gunpoint. The German Democratic Republic, as it called itself, claimed that the Berlin Wall was an “anti-fascist protection barrier,” while it was really designed to make the country into a prison.
In 2007, former German president Roman Herzog warned that parliamentary democracy was under threat from the European Union. Between 1999 and 2004, 84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from Brussels. According to him, “EU policies suffer to an alarming degree from a lack of democracy and a de facto suspension of the separation of powers.”
At the same time, German chancellor Angela Merkel told the public that she did not intend to re-launch a broad debate on the revised EU Constitution but would rather focus on confidential talks with governments. This is especially sad because Merkel grew up in East Germany and should know better than to back an intrusive anti-democratic system. Maybe she’s a glossocrat and simply went from one glossocracy to the next.
At the Gates of Vienna blog in January 2007, Englishman Paul Weston vented his frustration over the situation in the UK. The big story that week in British TV had been the supposed racist remarks by an English girl to Indian actress, which attracted over 9 million viewers. They were participants in “Big Brother”, a trashy reality television show that has become massively popular in many countries. At the same time, “Undercover Mosques” had an intrepid journalist with a hidden camera put his life on the line to record what was being said in leading mosques in Britain. He found they preached Islamic supremacism and hatred of non-Muslims, with statements such as: “You have to live like a state within a state until you take over.” The viewing figures for this highly important program were between 1 to 1.5 million people. British media were interested in one thing and one thing only, Big Brother.
There were two other stories in the papers that week. The British Parliament would nod through a watered down version of the EU Constitution without, as previously stated, a referendum, and the German Chancellor was intending to re-introduce said Constitution. Both stories, according to Mr. Weston, went nearly unmentioned by the TV media.
The irony of this is that the name Big Brother comes from George Orwell’s novel 1984, where Big Brother is the all-seeing leader of the totalitarian state. In 2007, Big Brother is real, but a sensual distraction, not an oppressive tyrant.
In the 19th century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by Napoleon. The British people rose to the occasion and defeated the threat. In the 20th century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by Adolf Hitler. The British people rose to the occasion and defeated the threat. In the 21st century, Britain was threatened with subjugation by the combined forces of Islamic Jihad and a pan-European superstate. The British people didn’t notice the threat, as they were too busy watching semi-naked people do obscene things on TV. I bet even George Orwell didn’t see that one coming, but maybe Huxley did.
I quoted The Road to Serfdom recently, and was told that it was “irrelevant” since it was written in the 1940s. I disagree. Here’s a passage from it where Friedrich Hayek accurately describes Political Correctness. Page 117:
“The most effective way of making people accept the validity of the values they are to serve is to persuade them that they are really the same as those which they, or at least the best among them, have always held, but which were not properly understood or recognised before. (…) The most efficient technique to this end is to use the old words but change their meaning. Few traits of totalitarian regimes are at the same time so confusing to the superficial observer and yet so characteristic of the whole intellectual climate as the complete perversion of language, the change of the meaning of words by which he ideals of the new regimes are expressed. (…) Gradually, as this process continues, the whole language becomes despoiled, words become empty shells deprived of any definite meaning, as capable of denoting one thing as its opposite and used solely for the emotional associations which still adhere to them.”
Hayek was particularly concerned with words such as “equality” and “justice,” especially in combination:
“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treat them equally, the result must be inequality in their actual position, and that the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality are therefore not only different but are in conflict which each other; and we can achieve either one or the other, but not both at the same time.”
There is reason to fear that words such as tolerance, diversity and dialogue have become just as perverted, twisted and meaningless in the West under Multiculturalism as words such as freedom and democracy were in the East under Communism.
Every time something bad involving Muslims in Europe happens, the solution is supposed to be “dialogue.” But what created the problem in the first place was the Euro-Arab Dialogue. Dialogue is thus the cause of Europe’s Islamic problems, not the solution to them.
The peculiar thing about “diversity” is that the more ethnic diversity you have, the less diversity of opinion you have, since everybody is scared to death of saying something that might “insult” somebody. Moreover, people cry for more surveillance to counter the turbulence caused by all this diversity. A survey showed that a full 80 percent of Swedes favor increased surveillance to tackle terrorism and serious crime. 87 percent think that the police should be able to secretly bug telephones and access computers of ordinary citizens. Diversity, thus, leads to internal and external censorship and a more totalitarian society.
Besides, those who praise diversity the most are frequently those who are the least tolerant of diverging opinions. As British newspaper columnist Richard Littlejohn puts it: “The Fascist Left have turned the Nanny State into the Bully State. There is no limit to their intolerance in the name of tolerance.”
“Tolerance” has been defined as support for Multiculturalism and continued mass immigration. Tolerance thus means that Western populations should eradicate themselves and their own culture. It means a slow-motion surrender to Islamic culture and Islamic rule. Yet if you are against tolerance you must be some kind of evil racist or something. Who doesn’t like tolerance and diversity?
When Americans try to explain the extraordinary passivity displayed by Europeans in reaction to the massive onslaught against their countries, they tend to focus on restrictive gun laws. Our problems cannot be reduced simply to a matter of guns. After all, Americans face many of the same challenges even though they are armed.
The real reason behind this passivity is not just that Westerners have been disarmed physically, but more importantly that we have been disarmed culturally, verbally and morally. Cornered linguistically, deprived of words to formulate what we fight for and against and cut off from our historical roots, Westerners have become easy prey for our enemies.
I have heard individuals state point blank that even if Muslims become the majority in our countries in the future, this doesn’t matter because all people are equal and all cultures are just a mix of everything else, anyway. And since religions are just fairy-tales, replacing one fairy-tale, Christianity, with another fairy-tale, Islam, won’t make a big difference.
Modern Westerners tend to have a poor knowledge of our own history, and what little we do know we are taught to hate. We are taught, simultaneously, that our culture doesn’t exist and that it is evil, which seems like a contradiction in terms, but both claims serve to undermine traditional loyalties, which no doubt was the intended purpose. Since our Multicultural Humpty Dumpties have already decided that there is no such thing as Western civilization, only a random collection of cultural impulses from a variety of sources, you look silly, ignorant and uneducated if you defend it, a bit like a Don Quixote tilting at windmills.
One must give Muslims credit for inventing the term Islamophobia, thus demonstrating that they understand the workings of Western glossocracy better than many Westerners do themselves. While nobody had heard of Islamophobia a mere decade ago, it is now the subject of international conferences and is quite literally treated as a threat to world peace.
Yet even though we now have a word for an imaginary problem, Islamophobia, we still haven’t coined a term for a very real problem, the pervasive self-loathing and desire by some Westerners to eradicate their own culture. I’ve noticed that in many stories involving magic, a magician gains power over something once he gives it a name. So let’s give the anti-Western self-hatred a name. What about self-termination? This is an historical epoch where the West has gone from self-determination to self-termination.
If language is used to assault Western culture, regaining control over it should constitute our first line of defense. We have a right to resist those who advocate our nation’s self-termination. A policy which deprives us of self-determination and maybe our children of self-preservation is evil, and we have not just a right, but a duty to oppose it, even if it is championed by our own government; in fact, especially then. It is unacceptable that those who put the survival of our countries at risk are allowed to claim a monopoly on goodness.
I’ve been pondering how it was possible to pull off a stunt as large as the creation of Eurabia. There are many reasons for this, not the least the emotional scars in Europe following two world wars and the passivity bred by generations of intrusive bureaucracy. But one major factor has undoubtedly been the skillful manipulation of language employed by its creators. The key to hiding something in an information society such as ours is not to ban mentioning of it. Prohibitions only trigger human curiosity. It is rather to make it sound innocent, vaguely benevolent and above all exceedingly boring, and then drown it in the cacophony of noise and impressions we get bombarded with every single day. Since most people have short attention spans, they will soon move on to something else even if they have a vague idea of what’s going on. If you implement your agenda gradually over many years and refrain from openly stating your end goals, you can get away with quite a lot.
Here’s a quote from the Algiers Declaration for a Shared Vision of the Future from 2006. It states that: “It is essential to create a Euro-Mediterranean entity founded on Universal Values.” “Universal Values” sounds ok, doesn’t it? Well, the problem is, for Muslims the only universal values are Islamic values. As Tariq Ramadan says, “Muslim identity is the only true source of universality.” In other words: Arabs will see this as an admission that Europe should in the future be based on Islamic values. So a betrayal of breathtaking proportions is made to sound entirely innocent, and is tucked away in boring-looking documents that 99.99% of EU citizens have never heard of. In the odd chance that an outsider might read one or two of them, he would still have to penetrate layers of incomprehensible Eurabian Newspeak to decipher their true significance. It’s clever and it works, especially if the most plainspoken agreements are not made public or put in print. It then takes a person of Bat Ye’or’s intellectual stature and trained eye to see through the glossocratic fog and connect the dots.
Through such methods, the EU has managed to do what nobody has been able to do since the Roman Empire, and hardly even then: To unite most of the European continent, from Spain to Romania and from Finland to Italy, in one political entity. Whereas the Soviet Union was, in the words of Ronald Reagan, the Evil Empire, perhaps the European Union will be remembered as the Glossocratic Empire, probably the first empire in human history built primarily through the ability to manipulate words. This was achieved by downplaying crucial information and drowning the public in irrelevant information, and by boring people into bureaucratic submission.
However, just as Neil Postman warned against the pitfalls of the information society, he also said that “Technology always has unforeseen consequences, and it is not always clear, at the beginning, who or what will win, and who or what will lose.”
It is no coincidence that the newest and most decentralized medium, the Internet, has become the preferred medium for opposition to the ruling glossocracy. As author Bruce Bawer has noticed: “Thank God for the [Inter]Net. I tremble at the thought of all the things that have happened during the past years that I would never have known about without it. (…) If Europe is saved, it will be because of the Internet.”
One comment, later censored at a BBC online discussion forum, said:
“That the BBC does not allow a link to LGF [Little Green Footballs, major anti-Jihad blog] will come as little surprise to those of us familiar with the BBC’s output and editorial tone. What has come as a surprise to me, a relative newcomer to the ‘blogosphere’, is the degree to which the news the BBC chooses to present to us is filtered and censored. Whole stories that cause a sensation on the blogosphere and are of undoubted public interest are either mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all by the BBC.”
Just as Nicolaus Copernicus in the 16th century demonstrated that the sun does not revolve around the earth, so too the traditional media outlets are slowly discovering that the information society no longer revolves around their editorial policies. It’s the Second Copernican Revolution. We have yet to determine just how significant it is, but it is already creating visible cracks in the edifice of the Glossocratic Empire.