So here we are because the real answers are unspeakable and we need to lay aside our quibbling moral concerns, moral concerns being somehow mildly obscene, and accept our social obligation to vote for competence above all else. After all Hilary stands for decency, diversity, honesty, education, and a fair break for the masses to reduce violent displays of anger. After all we have so much what right do we have to complain? Besides, we don’t have any other choice. And if we did it wouldn’t make any difference anyway . . .
The underlying problem is that we have had our language highjacked. There are no alternatives because the words to describe them have been removed. We are approaching a century of advertising/propaganda in media that allows anyone with the resources to take words and redefine them to their own purpose. We recognize and reward successful word theft that succeeds in manipulating people against their own interests. Fifty years of political propaganda makes it impossible to talk about socialism, Marx, welfare or racism without guaranteed emotional response. Note that this is now so sophisticated that who political speeches can be made with “dog whistles”. No one can speak of racism as anything but apartheid. Liberty and freedom are now freedom from education and medical care or reasonably priced pharmaceuticals. And that’s what our Christian founders wrote into the constitution.
We have a very real problem with freedom of speech. The freedom to speak needs to be distinct from the freedom to destroy the meaning of words without careful public agreement. Do we criminalize misuse of words? I’m not sure how that would work but we need to do something or things that people intuitively know are denied to them because they have no useable language to express themselves. Bernie Sanders fought to return a semblance of “socialism” to useable political speech with very limited success. Who wants to again explain the definition of democratic socialism? Once a word has been highjacked it is effectively unrecoverable.
Let’s turn this around. Let’s throw out the old language and introduce the new. We need to be able to talk about what people want and need in some language other than the neoliberal language that allows only capitalist economics. We need to deal with markets in terms of planetary responsibility. We need to recover the concept of virtue. And we need to make the word greed even uglier than it is.
We need to talk . . .