[This theft of language, this technique of usurping words and deploying them like weapons, of using them to mask intent and to mean exactly the opposite of what they have traditionally meant, has been one of the most brilliant strategic victories of the tsars of the new dispensation. It has allowed them to marginalise their detractors, deprive them of a language in which to voice their critique and dismiss them as being “anti-progress”, “anti-development”, “anti-reform” and of course “anti-national” – negativists of the worst sort. Talk about saving a river or protecting a forest and they say, “Don’t you believe in progress?” To people whose land is being submerged by dam reservoirs and whose homes are being bulldozed they say, “Do you have an alternative development model?” To those who believe that a government is duty-bound to provide people with basic education, health care and social security, they say, “You’re against the market.” And who except a cretin could be against a market?
This language heist may prove to be the keystone of our undoing. Two decades of this kind of “progress” in India have created a vast middle class punch-drunk on sudden wealth and the sudden respect that comes with it – and a much, much vaster, desperate underclass. Into the Inferno: Hollow Language and Hollow Democracies by Arundhati Roy
Science, Culture and Integral Yoga Sat 18 Jul 2009 07:32 AM PDT Permanent Link
Published on Thursday, July 16, 2009 by The New Statesman]
Leftists have enjoyed the monopoly of manipulating words during the whole past century. Good that they are now feeling the pinch having tasted their own medicine and are complaining. [TNM]