Language As A Marker of Political Division

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The Balkan knows many languages: Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian…Some, not all, but some are actually pseudo-languages. Serbo-Croatian does well enough to describe the lingo that is mutually understood by its speakers. The division comes with the ethnic divide and more so with the political divide. Words convey how a situation is seen by one group.


We see this also eating up the Western world. Unlike the Balkans, the West is not yet going to war over the divisions, but the language indicates the substantial division.


Before I start with German, I want to give an American example. Republicans see their political system as a republic like the founding fathers who drafted it. Democrats mean the same institutions but refer to it as a democracy. While democrats have no reason to fight the notion of a republic, it is still more likely that conservatives compromise and use the word democracy or democratic republic. The problem of the right is that it tries to convey that their system is the opposite of a mob rule. Primitive tribes can be guided by the fancies of the mob. The political system of the West is something more sophisticated and Republicans are often grinding their teeth while bowing down to the left-wing lingo.


The question is, “when did this start?” When did the left decide to call the system democracy? What it does is a reflection of the power play. One side picks a term for something very important and shames people with different views to use a misleading terminology. Whether you speak of a “refugee crisis” or a “migration crisis” identifies immediately your position in the controversy. You can work with air quotes and the prefix “so-called” to join in the acceptable lingo or you can stand your ground. You can use the standard, misleading lingo and just concentrate on the issue to get to the point with fewer interruptions from people with opposing views.


Besides marking opponents effectively, introducing a new speech is also a bench mark for domination. The German language gives a myriad of opportunities to “gender” something. It sucks on purpose. The gullibility of a speaker can be determined by how many concessions he makes. Like English German has the “generic masculine form.” This is the grammar rule that when the gender of a person is unknown or unimportant, you proceed referring to him with “he.” It also means that when you refer to individuals pars pro toto for a group or for a group itself, you may use the male name only. It is “actors and managers” and not “actresses, actors, managers, and managresses.” In normal speech you would also proceed with a hypothetical pars pro toto sentence like “If an actor speaks to his manager…” and not “If an actor or actress speaks to his manager or manageress….” To make it worse nearly all professions or nouns that describe people have both a male and female form.


A compromise to get the awkwardness going is the interim-I (German: Binnen-I). The equivalent postfix of “(r)ess” in English is the postfix “in” in German (e.g. ManagerIn). So you can write “actRess” and the capitalized “I” means that men are also addressed. When reading it out one is supposed to fill in “actor and actress”. But we are past that stage now and have two equivalent additional options that are prefered to the interim-I: the gender star (*) and underscore. This is to remember all the other genders. So Lena Dunham is an act*ress or an act_ress. In case of Ms Dunham I would prefer the (Kleene) star because it makes it look more like an expletive. German knows far more words that can mark the female sex and the more you want to address women (and aaaaall the other genders) separately, the clumsier the sentences become.


Many Germans are laughing this newspeak silliness off and while the domination benchmark is low enough this clumsiness serves nicely to red-pill people. However, in the long run the submission will be judged by the crude language. Do you belong or do you speak concisely? Clumsiness also makes it impossible to get one’s point accross in a debate. You only have as much air time.


We see this when we talk about Islam. About every second sentence or subsentence is spent in clarifying what you don’t want to say and that you still want to belong to the noble group of the righteous. I once even saw a talk show with a guy who started a sentence with “we” and interjected an extensive explanation as to how problematic the word and the thinking in groups is. I don’t even remember with what his sentence ended. It was so irrelevant that I cannot remember it and no explanation was needed for “we”.


“We” is not forbidden yet, but mind you not to “generalize over groups”. Of course, this means only left-wing groups. You are free to characterize conservative groups all the way you want. But “Muslims” are not even in the language really. If you dare to even begin a sentence with “Muslims”, you will not hear the end of it. Some dubious workaround at the moment is to claim that “Islam” is somehow separate from Muslims and one would only talk about the abstract. With the curtailing of language, dropping “Muslims” and recurring on “Islam”, an entire spectrum of the discussion goes away. I am sick of pseudo-Imams scouring the Quran and lecturing everybody what “real Islam” means, either in a good or in a bad light. I don’t care about Islam, I care about the well-being of the Muslim community and its smooth interaction with the environment. But the word “Muslims” is taboo in most speaking situations.


Judaism is also taboo. It is eradicated from the German mind. People unintentionally whisper when they use the word “Jew”. Some still do that when they talk about “gays.” There is still a shame and Germany knows a fair deal of crypto Jews like Tanit Koch, former editor of boulevard paper Bild, or comedian Hugo Egon Balder. The acceptable speaking situation is pure theology or if you report antisemitism. But I would argue that neither the gay taboo nor the Jew taboo are a success of or a power demonstration of the left, it is rather a psycho issue because Germans were unable to really talk through the Third Reich. It is a by-product of the left smothering the free exchange of views and its psychological consequences.


But the language police has attacked so many words that many foods have to change their names. The “moor in shirt” (Mohr im Hemd) is a choco cake with a dark chocolate sauce poured over it and grazed with cream. For no reason other than the islamisation the word “Mohr” has become a focus of many zealots whereever it appears (street names, adages, old artworks…). One very popular food also has it in its name: the “Mohrenkopf”, the “moor’s head”. It is a waffle with sugared, whipped egg white and a choco gloss. To add insult to injuries, some regions of Germany refer to it as “Negerkuss”, a “black man’s kiss”. Neither “moor” nor “Neger” (black man) was ever an insult before the left decided to make it one.


As far as I know, “Neger” was once the only possible way to refer to a black person in German. The German “Schwarzer” is a translation of American-English “black” and it was introduced as a proper choice of words during a limited period of time in the US civil rights movement. While America moved on to “African-American” and is paddling back at the moment, Germans did not know how to deal with it and stuck with “black” all along. There is no debate about “Mohrenkopf” and “Negerkuss” because people roll over more quickly. It is less clumsy to say “Schokokuss” than to rework your entire sentences to address all genders. What annoys me is that most Germans did not even have much contact with blacks over centuries and a traditional animosity never grew. This one is pure PC garbage. There is also a schnitzel with bell pepper which may no longer be called “gypsie schnitzel.” You get the idea.


Currently there is a weird woman going through the media that is advocating propaganda techniques. Her name “Elisabeth Wehler” is unknown to most. She presents herself as a “language expert” who “scientifically” speaks with authority about her stuff. A google video search returns around 1.500 results. For comparison: novelist Cora Stephan gets 640 and bestselling author Monika Maron 1.230 hits. While the conservative authors with their successful pieces of work hardly make it into the mainstream media, Wehler videos are high quality productions on German TV shows. She sneaks in and speaks with a soft, female voice what a man could not say without sounding authoritarian. She exclusively uses acceptable terminology and claims that people are manipulated by language. She does not see this as a problem.


Whether language as such manipulates is hard to tell, but it does mark those who disagree as enemies if you deliberately change a terminology top down. And this is what she guns for. Her shtick is claiming that the others, the right, do it and that therefore the left should catch up with this neurologically sound “framing” method. The right supposedly says “flood of immigrants.” This were dehumanizing. Therefore the left should deliberately introduce terminologies to make clear that this is about emotions, children, refugees etc. The difference she fails to mention is that the right does not introduce “flood of immigrants” as a terminology that everybody is expected to use. I don’t even know a single person in the public sphere who has used it. It is just some genuine phrase. But now that the right had attacked, the left has to fight back. This pattern comes up a lot anyway. It’s silly. It is the left and only the left that is constantly telling people what words they should use. They attack and they do it to ostracize wrongthinkers.


John Minehan Added Sep 21, 2018 - 6:13pm
"There is also a schnitzel with bell pepper which may no longer be called 'gypsie schnitzel.' You get the idea."
I remember that as a Teufelschnitzel or a (I may have the spelling wrong) "Ziegrunerschnitzel." 
Might this be Hesse-centric?  I think that was also true in Bayern, though.
Tamara Wilhite Added Sep 21, 2018 - 6:36pm
This type of division isn't new. In English, a thousand years after the Normans, we still associate French loan words with the upper class.
Johnny Fever Added Sep 22, 2018 - 1:26am
My favorite example of what you’re talking about in this article is how our military forces are described in Iraq (other places I imagine too).  Call them “occupying forces” and you immediately out yourself as a liberal against the war.  Call them “coalition forces” and you immediately identify yourself as a supporter of the effort.  When it comes to language I tip my hat to the liberals.  They always come up with the better words.  For example, as it relates to the climate debate, conservatives are always equated to Holocaust Deniers. 
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 22, 2018 - 3:21am
John M: "Teufelschnitzel" would be pc, one of innumerable alternatives restaurants came up. I never heard of it. It is the Zigeunerschnitzel.
Tamara: Good example. Sometimes milieus do pick words simply to show that they believe that they were superior. Recently, I saw a woman on TV who spoke about Brexit and in the middle of the German sentence she dropped the English phrase "muddle through." The British were supposedly famous for their "muddle through." Let's say that she didn't sound as sophisticated to me as to herself.
Jonny F: Yes, "occupation" is a good one. America is probably the only "occupation" that the elected local officials beg to stay.
Stone-Eater Added Sep 22, 2018 - 4:11am
Super ArtikelIn (heisst ja DER Artikel, was für eine Diskrimination!) LOL
He's to a 100% right, I can confirm that as being Swiss with German mother tongue. What happens here is so far out that one can only sigh and give in - or react the other way (what I usually do - no matter if they will call me chauvinist or macho or uneducated or any other shit).
I think I even saw that talk show too a few days ago about that "we" Can't remember if it was Will or Maischberger or another. Hilarious. I was surprised that I agreed on most of the arguments of Altmaier (if it was the same show).
And you're right, it is what people call the "left". But that "left" is not what WE used to call "left". It's a mere bunch of never grown-up adolescents who want to make themselves important by advertising and using such crap.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 22, 2018 - 5:30am
Folks, like as birds imbued humans with the idea of flying, as sea creatures did regarding marine vehicles, did lower animals and other creatures teach them to talk--informing the diverse languages?
Lindsay Wheeler Added Sep 22, 2018 - 5:49am
Language is the door to reality. Changing words and controlling speech is about changing reality. 
“He who desires or wishes to reform the condition of a city and wishes that it be accepted and that it be able to maintain itself to everyone's satisfaction is forced to retain at least the shadow of ancient modes so that it might seem to the people that order has not changed—though, in fact, the new orders are completely alien to those of the past. For the universality of men feed as much on appearance as on reality {ed. note: this is Plato’s cave}: indeed, in many cases, they are moved more by the things which seem than by those which are....And this much should be observed by all who wish to eliminate an ancient way of life (un antico vivere) in a city and reduce it to a new and free way of life (ridurla a uno vivere nuovo e libero): one ought, since new things alter the minds of men, to see to it that these alterations retain as much as the ancient as possible; and if the magistrates change from those of old in number, authority, and term of office, they ought at least retain the name." (Machiavelli as quoted by Rahe, Vol II, p. 291 ª)
Machiavelli was an Atheist and advocated changing definitions under words to bring about revolution!  It is all right there---The Father of Modern Republicanism.
Dino Manalis Added Sep 22, 2018 - 8:13am
 It's good to know several languages, but a common language should bring us together, like Greek or English.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 22, 2018 - 8:32am
In the states Ebonics has that effect.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:26am
Jeff Jackson Added Sep 22, 2018 - 8:48pm
I thought schvartze was Yiddish. As I understand it, shwartz was a description of black, like shwartzkat meaning black cat. English is a Germanic language, with all kinds of other languages thrown in, from Latin to Spanish to French. Culturally, many descriptions in almost any language are literal, with a discrimination tone more implied than actually meant, though the slur might come in later interpretations or cultural implications. An example would be "zoot suit" as an article of clothing that was later turned into a racial slur.
China is a republic, though it would be quite a stretch to call it much of a democracy. Republicans and Democrats are only the surviving names from names such as Know Nothings, Greenbacks, Federalists, Whigs, and others. Interesting article. I am told that French is an language that is very descriptive, as certain things described in it do not translate well, such as, still used in English, "je ne sais quoi."
Benjamin Goldstein Added Sep 23, 2018 - 12:18am
Thank you, SEF. But that "left" is not what WE used to call "left". I also had an easy time identifying as a left-winger in the past.
Wheeler: There is also the habit of keeping a word for something while changing anything it represents. I think 'parliament' is an example. Whatever this gathering in Berlin is, parliament does not really describe it. They don't talk, parler, because the decisions are made by the Chancelor anyway.
Jeff Jackson: West Yiddish is a German dialect. Neger also means black. It comes from Latin niger, just like negroe or the n-word. though the slur might come in later interpretations or cultural implications. In the 1960s it was decided by some students that the words, until then untainted, were offensive. China is neither a republic or a democracy in any meaningful way. It is a monarchy. They just pretend to be something that they are not.
Every language has words that don't translate well. I have to leave a lot of translation remarks if I have to be very precise. Here is an example:
Stone-Eater Added Sep 23, 2018 - 6:03am
That article in're right. Some things just don't translate correctly. Maaßen became a victim of PC.
James Travil Added Sep 23, 2018 - 2:35pm
I'm not sure when precisely, but it was sometime in the early twentieth century that people began to refer to the United States as a democracy. Before that it was always called a republic. 
Stone-Eater Added Sep 24, 2018 - 6:10pm
As far as I know it IS a republic. I guess the origins of that "renaming" come from Europe, where the systems are similar. In my strict view, democracy can only mean that the people decide DIRECTLY on matters, not electing some elite that is supposed to respect their interest when deciding on matters.....

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