“Language is not merely a tool of communication, it is a tool of thought.”
More writings by Beaver. This one’s on the issue of language and thoughts.
What I’m about to explain could fill a book, and if it interests you I highly recommend reading up on linguistic relativity. My aim however will be to keep this short and easy
to understand, as I wish to reach as many people as possible.
Did you know that there are African tribes which can’t tell their left from their right? They don’t have words for these concepts either. Did you know we did not have a word for the color “blue” for centuries? Or “orange”? They were named in relation to other colors. Orange was red-yellow. Once the fruit was discovered. its color was named after it. If a concept is not named, it is not possible to think about it, at least not properly. Likewise, the philosophies of different cultures are most affected by the language of their people. Nietzsche noted it, and he was not alone.
What is important to understand is that you cannot truly understand a concept unless you can name it, and this affects how you think.
You will notice in recent times attempts to legitimize certain dialects which are simplified versions of a certain language. Such efforts are an abomination and
must be stopped at all costs. By limiting the vocabulary of people, whether it be simply their ability to name things or subtler things such as the separation of the
subject in persons (first, second and third) or verb tenses, what becomes limited is people’s ability to think. Though such dialects can be an interesting field of
study, they should never be promoted as being legitimate, or being equal to fully developed languages.
In fact, we often speak of the evolution of language. This is a misnomer: Evolution does not go in one direction. It is merely an adaptation. What we should seek
for language is not evolution, but advancement. We want our languages to grow, to have more words, to have better ways to express our thoughts in more
coherent manners. The appearance of bastardized dialects goes against this. If linguists desire to help the advancement of language, instead of singing the
praise of the malformed sentences of a few brutes because of their distinction from proper language, they should be identifying concepts which lack names,
developing new verb tenses and promoting the preservation of the integrity of their language.
Likewise, language can be used to manipulate people. Orwell touched on that a lot in 1984, and he is far from the only person who has. I mention him however
because of a concept he described in his book known as “crimestop”. Simply put, crimestop is the ability which people have of stopping “bad thoughts” before
they can form. Even out of context, this sounds like a terrible thing, yet most people are unaware that they themselves engage in crimestop without realizing it.
This is a concept which I call “thought stopping language”, which is a subset of thought stopping techniques. Thought stopping techniques are used by politicians,
leaders and very much everyone in a position of power to prevent people from thinking about what they’re told, and thus prevent them from disagreeing with
them. The most common ones are chanting and ridiculing. Chanting is, as the name says, getting people to chant a mantra or a slogan loudly. If you wonder why
this is a thought stopping technique, try and do even basic math while singing the chorus of “Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba at the top of your lungs over and
over. As for ridiculing, human beings are normally afraid of ridicule, especially public ridicule. By attaching ridicule to an idea or concept, people will automatically
be repelled by it.
Thought stopping words are even more devious. They are the result of ridiculing, but to the point where no active ridiculing is necessary for people to want to avoid thinking about those concepts. Derision and stigma are attached to those words and thus saying them will cause your audience to stop listening to you, regardless of what you were saying, of whether what you were saying was true, or of context. In this way, tyrannical create protected classes, protected concepts, protected thoughts. The government would never work against you, because that’s a conspiracy, and conspiracy theorists are crazy! Black people in the United States do not have a higher crime rate than white people, because that implies a difference based on race, and that’s racism, and racism is bad. Democracy is perfect, because questioning it is anti-democratic, and anti-democracy means tyranny. So on and so on.
So, what conclusions may we draw from this?
First of all, when addressing people, especially about certain contentious topics, it is important to use the right language. I am not implying that they should be
lied to or that the truth should be hidden. However, if you use a thought stopping word, you will turn them against you, regardless of the merit of your ideas. Thus,
you must identify thought stopping words and figure out how to explain your ideas without using them.
Second of all, we must create words to define concepts which are missing from our language. One example of a word I created is “libition”. Ambition is currently
defined as the desire to achieve something. However, I decided to split that concept in two: “Ambition”, which comes from the latin “ambire” which means “going
around” or “encircling”, would mean the desire to achieve something productive, to create, to learn, to grow. Opposingly, “libition”, which comes from “liberum”, which means “free”, would be the desire to achieve something destructive, usually at the expense of another. Already, with the appearance of this word, we can better separate businessmen in two categories: the ambitious, who wish to create things and to produce, and the libitious, who want to take what others produce and claim it as their own, who want hand outs.
Merely doing both of these will help us greatly when it comes to fighting back against those who wish to diminish the human spirit so as to better bind it. Learning how thought stopping language works will allow us to go around it to reach the people ensnared by their lies, while the creation of new words will arm us in the war of ideas.