Column | Washington’s Bayonette
The language war is one of the most important battles we can fight in America today. Some people might scoff at that, but it’s true. Why? Because the words we use shape how we think. A tyrant might be able to control the actions of people, but a propagandist has the power to control the minds of people. Many of the woke idiocies overtaking society, politics, and education today go back to our conceding the language war—and thus our thoughts on certain subjects—to the radical Marxist leftists.
One would think this truth of the power of language would be self-evident; and it used to be. The British, while ruling and oppressing Ireland, specifically tried to destroy the use and knowledge of the Irish Gaelic language. Even earlier, when the Anglo-Saxons invaded modern England, they successfully caused the Britons’ Celtic language to be eradicated. The Catholic Church has used Latin as its official language for most of its 2000-year history because to be universal for all countries it needed one language that everyone could learn and refer back to, a sort of common tongue or lingua franca. And leading up to the modern reincarnation of the state of Israel, the Jews specifically revived the Hebrew language. The words we use matter very much—they inform our thoughts, our actions, and our perception of reality.
In the Gospel of John, the Second Divine Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God Who became incarnate as Jesus, is called the “Logos.” It is usually translated “word,” but it also means “reason.” God the Son is therefore both Divine Word and Divine Reason; God creates through His word alone in Genesis, and it is through the Word Become Flesh as Jesus that all men are saved. Therefore, in both the Jewish and Christian traditions, there is an understanding of the immense creative power of words. Not only do we shape reality with words (though not quite in the way God does, of course), but we can alter people’s understanding of reality with words. And therein comes the profound danger. God creates through His word, but evil humans sometimes destroy through their words.
I will give just a couple highly relevant examples to illustrate what I mean. Firstly, we have “gender” versus “sex.” In fact, “Gender” and “sex” are totally different things, one a grammatical construct and the other a biological reality. It was a deliberate language manipulation from the leftist Marxists to pretend they were interchangeable, and we fell for it. Even most conservatives use the words as interchangeable now, after years of conditioning. We accepted the equivalence of a subjective grammatical concept with biological reality, and used gender-neutral replacements like “flight attendant” for “stewardess,” or dropped the female-specific altogether (e.g. actress and authoress), and echoed the lie that men and women can and should do all the same things. We conceded both the language and our thoughts on this subject. And then we wondered why young children might think they could alter their sexes to “identify” as the opposite “gender”!
Indeed, the whole of LGBTQ ideology is founded on language manipulation, which is why we cannot use the silly vocabulary they demand of us. We are told to use people’s “preferred pronouns,” even if they are entirely fictitious or contradict biological reality; LGBTQ ideologues demand that we say “zim/zir” with a straight face, or refer to a single individual as “them,” or call a hulking man in a dress “she.” There is “cake gender” and “demigender” and “two-spirit” gender, and a human can identify as a cat, and a middle-aged adult can identify as a toddler, and a man can “chestfeed.” And if you question the insanity or refuse to use the prescribed language, you are accused of being a transphobe committing literal violence. There is a reason leftists have argued that speech can be violence—it’s because they know that they have to control the language to control people, so they censor and suppress any disagreement.
Another instance of the language war now is racism, which highlights another key part of language: definitions. Racism has been redefined to mean not “hatred or prejudice on the basis of race” but “white people’s dislike of what I’m currently supporting.” America’s racial minorities cannot be racist, we are told. On the other hand, white people are supposedly inherently racist. Racism is not something one is born with, but that is what children are being taught and have been taught for years now. Sleeping is racist, and exercise is racist, and white babies are racist, and math is racist. It’s all meant to allow Marxists to divide people, to make them see themselves not as individuals but as mere members of classes, to cause them to hate each other without reason and without redress.
The overwhelming majority of moderns seem to believe the utterly false assertion that if two people are using the same words, they mean the same thing; it also seems never to occur to them to reflect on what they mean by the words they use. So scholars claim the French Revolution and the American Revolution are founded on the same principles because they both talked about liberty and equality, even though the most cursory reading of the two Revolutions’ founding documents and the barest review of the motives, tactics, and results of the two Revolutions shows that they could hardly be more different. What George Washington and Alexander Hamilton meant by “liberty” was wildly different from what Maximilien Robespierre and Antoine Focquier-Tinville meant by “liberty.”
Or again, I have found myself dozens of times making someone furious purely on accident, simply because I asked what seems an obvious question, “What do you mean by that term? How would you define that word?” People get angry because they do not know; most of us haven’t the slightest idea how to define many of the words and concepts we think we believe. If I can’t define “love,” how do I explain that homosexual relations are contrary to the Judeo-Christian understanding of love? If I don’t know what “gender” and “sex” mean, how do I debate the transgender radicals? If I don’t know what “capitalism” or “racism” or “democracy” or “rights” means, how do I debate and win over radical leftists?
We are almost all lacking in this precision of language, but we must begin to examine and understand all the words we use. If we do not, the Marxists will continue to control our minds, and we have only to look at America’s current cultural, economic, and political crisis to realize how existentially dangerous that is. We must win the language war, because our survival as free individuals and as a Republic depends on it.