[lit-ideas] Re: The continuation of Realpolitik -- a rant

  • From: Eric Yost <mr.eric.yost@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 2008 10:58:02 -0400

>>We must begin by taking the power out of words.


You'll never take power from words.

On the other hand, I insist on calling the Indian city "Bombay," rather than "Mumbai." (A change decreed, as Ian Buruma, notes by "the leaders of the powerful Maharastran community" just to show their clout.)

Similarly, I refer to "Burma" rather than sheepishly following a military junta's command to speak of "Myanmar."

The best way to take the power out of CERTAIN putatively-offensive words is to consider whether they are really offensive, or just a way that authoritarian groups--or professional "minority spokespeople" for that matter--use to assert their power over you.

Freedom of speech, guy, freedom of speech. Not freedom of hate speech obviously, but freedom of speech against those who use faked offense to assert control over us.

Thinking the Dutch should erect a statue of Theo Van Gogh on the spot of his murder,

Eric
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