The vital importance of language
Words matter. A lot. I think it is fair to suggest that without the ability to speak our species would not have gone from a few thousand poverty-stricken individuals scavenging the remains of lion kills in East Africa to seven billion people inhabiting just about every area of this planet. We can take a look at our closest relatives (chimpanzees, with whom we share about 98% of our DNA) to see what our lives would be like without language. Hyperbole? Almost certainly but a valid thinking point to begin with.
The greatest novel ever written – George Orwell’s 1984 – deals extensively with the importance of language. In the story, the leaders of the ruling party in Orwell’s dystopian future have invented an entirely new language called Newspeak that will make it impossible to oppose their power. Such is the corruption of the language that words start to mean exactly their opposite; the party’s slogan is…
“War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.”
The growth of social media and the power of the internet is creating the same problems Orwell wrote about in his novel. I would like to focus on two words/phrases – one favoured by the foaming right and the other by the pseudo-left. They are ‘political correctness’ and ‘racism.’ Continue reading “Freedom Of Speech Is Democracy”
For about the ten-billionth time, “Islam” and “Muslim” are not synonyms
I’m sorry to return to this topic again (it’s like an itch I can’t stop scratching) but it seems one cannot go more than a couple of days without someone or something being accused of “Islamophobia.” Often attributed to the late, great Christopher Hitchens but in actual fact said by Andrew Cummins, the best way to define this absurd word is…
“Islamophobia: a word created by fascists, and used by cowards, to manipulate morons.”
The fascists in question are the Islamist hard right whilst the cowards are the pseudo-leftists who inhabit the BBC and the opinion section of the UK Guardian newspaper. I will leave it you to decide who the morons are. For the love of all the gods that have never existed, why do people who loudly proclaim their anti-sexism, anti-homophobia and anti-racism support people who are violent misogynists, murderous homophobes and bigoted racists and anti-Semites? Continue reading “Challenging The Fascist Word “Islamophobia””
Islamophobiaphobia is all the rage
Interesting video here about a Sikh television channel in Birmingham that has aired a film that some have claimed encourages vigilante action against those accusing of sexually grooming Sikh girls. Doesn’t fit into the narrative of the old racists – the BNP/skinhead types – or the new racists – identity-obsessed so-called “liberals.” The old racists wouldn’t know a Muslim from a Sikh because they hate all “Pakis” (apologies for this offensive term) and the new racists would struggle to find how Sikhs complaining about folks from the same ethnic background is “racist”; bet they could though!
Original post here.
Islamophobiaphobia is all the rage
Asia is a vast continent. At more than 17,000,000 square miles, containing 48 countries (and six not recognised by the UN) and inhabited by over 4,000,000,000 people, it is the largest continent on Earth. Asia stretches from the Arctic Ocean in the north to Sri Lanka in the south and from Istanbul and Tel Aviv in the west to Shanghai and Tokyo in the east. It is the cradle of civilisations from Mesopotamia to the Indus Valley and the Yellow River. It contains numerous cultures and religions and people from different parts of the continent have very different “racial” appearances. But if you believe the BBC and the Guardian, the UK is suffering from an epidemic of “Asians” exploiting young girls in cities across the country – Rochdale, Rotherham and, most recently, Newcastle. Not only is this not true and insulting to the large numbers of Britons with “Asian” heritage, it contradicts the evidence in these cases. One might almost be tempted to say that this word – “Asian” – has been deliberately chosen as a euphemism. Continue reading “Is “Asian” A Euphemism?”
As I have written in several posts, one of the British Establishment’s favourite tools is identity politics. This is a variation of the classic tactic of dividing ordinary working people into mutually antagonistic tribes in order to stop them uniting against the economic oppression by the rich that has been the default setting of all societies since the emergence of the first civilisations in c.3500BC. The Establishment love to label anyone and anything they dislike as “far right” and I’ve noticed the re-emergence of “white supremacy” as a bogeyman on the Establishment’s own mouthpiece, the BBC. But I would argue that the real racists and the real white supremacists are the British Establishment themselves. Continue reading “What Is “White Supremacism”?”
With apologies to the Sex Pistols
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Throughout history we see the oppressor and oppressed in constant opposition to each other. This fight is sometimes hidden and sometimes open. However, each time the fight ends in either a revolutionary reconstruction of society or in the classes’ common ruin.” Karl Marx wrote these words in 1848 but they apply equally to 2017. The British Establishment only care about money and they hate people who don’t have money. They don’t hate you because of your race. They don’t hate you because of your religion. They don’t hate you because of your sex. They don’t hate you because of your sexuality. They hate you because you don’t have any money. Continue reading “Hatred In The UK”
Listen to modernist women not medievalist beard-wearers
In my first ever post I outlined my reasons for starting this blog. I said that I disliked the coarsening of political debate and the intolerance of differing opinions that has disfigured political discourse in the West over the past couple of decades. I also decried the triumph of emotion over reason and some people’s apparent inability to separate their opinions from their identity, as if disagreeing with the former was an attack on the latter. But most of all I wrote about how I was concerned about the ongoing march of aggressive, authoritarian, intolerant, far-right religion. Continue reading “Sara Khan Not Anjem Choudhary”