13 February 2014

The Spirit of Neologism

Each new accession of an “issue” leads to the demand that we demonstrate our “commitment.” Not coincidentally, the desired commitment invariably involves swelling the bureaucratic class and its power over our lives. 
The spirit of neologism is perhaps best illustrated when it fastens on a word in common use. Note the recent career of the word “diversity.” This term denotes a key conservative theme. As is pointed out by Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in writings including his classic Leftism (1974), a devotion to diversity arguably distinguishes the Right from the Left. The elements of this devotion are many; consider, for example, respect for regional traditions, the insistence that human beings are not interchangeable, the tendency to think in terms of distinct persons rather than large classes of people, support for various institutions that shield individuals from the State, as well as the related belief in decentralization. We are now expected to restrict the term to one explicit, technical meaning, one that refers to a specific demographic distribution. Not surprisingly, the new usage is explained and enforced by a phalanx of experts. Note also that, in a characteristic tour de force, the term is now compatible, not only with intellectual conformism, but also with the pursuit of economic and political integration on a global scale. 
- Rein Staal, "On Being Reactionary." Modern Age, March 1996.

3 comments:

  1. Good find. I never thought about this before but that is how the Left's Newspeak works. "Tolerance" at one time meant that you just had to accept that people would think or act differently to what you wanted. Now Tolerance means unquestioning adherence to a set of dubious beliefs, the slightest deviation from which incurrs hatefests and non-personhood.

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  2. Most people I know think diversity means restaurants offering a range of ethnic cuisines and twee stores selling Peruvian knitwear, all located in the town they moved away from to qualify for a better school system: a cliche but a truism

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