Thursday, April 27, 2006

THE CHEAPENING OF THE LANGUAGE

Chirac’s hubris

So Chirac wants to set up a European search engine, Quaero, as a rival to Google. Here’s a good quote from a software guy, Mike Lynch, chief executive of Autonomy: a "a blatant case of misguided and unnecessary nationalism".

Rather than Americanism, the real threat to French comes from the rampant neologisms fostered by the Chirac regime and the EU bureaucrats. Words like NeoVal and BioHub are hardly the language of Rabelais, Moliere and Genet…

(See also Does France really need its own search engine?)

Vaguely related: Chapati Mystery: Yahoo Jail

Previous posts:
Cheese-eating surrender monkeys, Google in China, On hubris, The Paris Intifada, Google-bombing 1 and 2.


Orwellian

George Orwell and Hannah Arendt would be turning in their graves. Liberal infoolectual Simon Jenkins takes objection to Charles Clarke’s well-founded protest against the debasement of the moral language by Guardianistas and others who call the Blair government ‘totalitarian’. I agree with Jenkins that the Blair government is authoritarian, but to compare it with fascism, as he does, is obscene. It is true that they have used the war on terror to excuse unacceptably authoritarian legislation, but that does not mean Blair is wrong to compare Saddam Hussein to Hitler and militant Islam to Nazism. Appeasing Saddam is akin to appeasing Hitler, as the Ba’athist regime was one of the most revolting in history. Only those blinded by liberal ideology would deny this. ‘Global terror’ is real – as the Dahab atrocity demonstrates; it does not need scare quotes, or diminishing as ‘the posing of some global menace’.

Jenkins calls Guantanamo Bay a ‘totalitarian monstrosity’. It is to be sure a monstrosity, which weakens Bush’s claim to the moral high ground. But even this should not be called ‘totalitarian’. It was not the gulag that defined Stalinist Russia as totalitarian. It was the fact that all Soviet citizens lived in fear of the gulag, making dissent barely possible. Despite the creeping authoritarianism of Blair Britain and Bush America, dissent flourishes, and even liberal twats like Jenkins can print what they like without fear of damaging their cushy careers, let alone getting locked up.

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Here, by the way, is an extract from Clarke’s excellent article:

a pernicious and even dangerous poison is now slipping into some parts of this media view of the world. In the absence of many of the genuinely dangerous totalitarian regimes, the media has rhetorically transferred to existing democracies, particularly the US and the UK, the characteristics of those dictatorships.

So some commentators routinely use language such as "police state", "fascist", "creeping authoritarianism", while words such as "holocaust", "gulag" and "apartheid" are used descriptively in ways that must be truly offensive to those who experienced those realities.

The article, on CommentIsFree, attacks the likes of Jenni Russell, while Clarke’s similar speech picks on Henry Porter and Simon Carr. Russell, Porter and Carr: joining Mad Bunting and Jonathan Steele in the liberal infoolectuals’ corner.

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By the way, just to conclude, for new readers who assume I’m some sort of Blairite monster, I think Blair cheapened our moral discourse by lying about weapons of mass destruction and that Clarke remains a ‘contemptible little turd’.



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3 comments:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

"and even liberal twats like Jenkins"

While agreeing that Jenkins is a twat of the first order, I take an exception to the use of the term "liberal" in this conjunction.

The term "liberal" is misused and abused for no reason by both the left and right extremist fringes who cannot abide the thought that it is possible to retain some sense while disagreeing with both.

Apologies for lecturing.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Oh, and of course jenkingses of this world are anything but liberals, it should be made clear.

bob said...

So, is he liberal? What is liberalism will have to the subject of a future post when I've got more time, but I imagine he would call himself one. Presumably, Snoopy, you think a "real" liberal is a good thing, in which case Jenkins ain't one!