Keep thought alive

By Scott Hambrick

The ability to communicate an idea from your mind to that of another is predicated on proper use of language.  Using symbols that correspond to universals that are understood by those in the conversation.

Even more importantly, language is how you communicate to yourself.  Without language we can’t think.  Language is a requirement for thought.


Authoritarian systems use language to suffocate and stifle the mind, because people thinking independently is always a danger. The point of regime language is to strip language of its meaning. Demagogic language makes the people incapable of the objectivity and perspective that leads to questioning. Questioning naturally leads to the formation of individual ideas. Regime language seeks to destroy the independent mind by stripping the language of meaning.

One result of this is some people become parrots, repeating slogans and catchwords without understanding what they mean. These people are so fearful of any deviation from the prescribed opinions, they only use the terms provided by the regime. It is a ritualized self-degradation. To express and judge all opinions in the accepted clichés and phrasing of the regime is to accept that words and the concepts behind them have no independent meaning.

It is logocide, the deliberate killing of words in order to kill the concepts that lie behind those words. The most obvious example is “fascist”, which no longer has a cognitive meaning in modern society. It exists only to trigger an emotional response tuned to meet the needs of the regime. The structure of modern Western government is about as close to fascism as we have come since the middle of the last century, but the word itself now means anyone who opposes the regime.

A current example of logocide is the war on information. Regime media now obsesses over misinformation and disinformation. Both words are used interchangeably, despite having very different meanings. The former means false information that is often intended to deceive. The latter is official lies promoted by the institutions of authority in order to deceive the people. By conflating these meanings, this important distinction falls away and both words just mean unofficial opinion

The logocide we are seeing in public communications forces us to seek proper ideas, proper language, proper writing and communication elsewhere.

This is why we at read the great books.

We are keeping language, and therefore thought, alive.

It’s our only chance.


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