Routes to Barbarism: #1: Language Perversion

A few days ago, I tried to clarify an obvious misunderstanding. It was on the meanings of the words “Libertarianism”, and “Neoliberalism”. Specifically; the difference between the two.

I felt the urge to do this because the question was posed on my Quorum feed. There, we are encouraged by an apparent ethos to spread our knowledge, by answering questions which are targeted at us.

The question had apparently been posed and answered some time ago. The single, highly up-voted answer was one written by a self proclaimed “Libertarian for life”. It had 42 up-votes. This seemed unusually high to me. I was more used to seeing maybe 4 or 5 up-votes on good answers. And yet, this much up-voted answer seemed not only confusing to me, but downright wrong.

The writer started off by stating that the two things were pretty much the same. They followed that up with some lengthy extracts from various “Political science” books, with examples of obscure historical figures spanning several centuries of history, which just appeared to completely confuse and miss the point.

Me being me, I thought I would try to clarify the truth, as this is exactly the kind of confusion I’ve seen completely killing off curiosity.

Ignoring my common logic that my answer would be nowhere near as popular as the already much up-voted yet misleading one, I spent some time using my own understanding to distill a simply worded, brief answer, considering the likely audience of the forum:

Libertarianism means a belief in personal freedom. Neoliberalism means a belief in market freedom. As we can see, the practice of Neoliberalism has already resulted in governments themselves becoming controlled by the market. This has in turn impacted on personal freedoms. Thus Neoliberalism is not good for Libertarianism.

After submitting this, I thought to do some administration of my account; deleting old drafts etc. Whilst doing that, I came across my activity list, where the most recent appears first. There was no sign of my latest answer. Yet it appeared to have been accepted by the system when I pressed the submit button. I went back to try to find the question and could not find it at all, even using the search function.

It had completely disappeared. I had seemingly just wasted my time trying to do the right thing. More importantly, I had encountered a mechanism preventing me from freely distributing my information. This was a good demonstration of the very point I was trying to make, however predictable.

Maybe the question together with my answer, conflicting with that other much up-voted one will reappear again in time, maybe not. More likely the question and much up-voted misleading answer, with no sign of any conflicting reply, will appear in many feeds just like it did in mine in the future, further spreading the disinformation that Neoliberalism can’t be bad, because it must mean something similar to an interest in personal freedom.

That type of disinformation is typical of profit driven social media, suiting only the few who profit by it, at the expense of the many who are subdued by it.

In any case, I will wait only the 14 days it takes for them to remove my account now I have requested for it to be deleted, to see if my answer reappears.

You see, if my attempts to express my opinion are interfered with, then that is an attack on my personal freedom. Why stay signed up to that?

A further issue on this that I became aware of some time ago, was that of Prof. Jordan Petersen. He first catapulted into world news forums for his refusal to accept government language moderation legislation. On that occasion it was driven by LGBT lobbyists. That is all he did. Afterwards, he was accused of being “right-wing”, and became the target of multiple anti fascist and gender-equality campaigns. Similar language changes have been driven by various other activist groups in the past. Now there are many words that we are supposed to avoid, or use carefully in the correct context.

All of these campaigns divide and distract us from the truth. One by one, our teeth are being removed. Civilisation is not about muzzling sources of uncomfortable truths we would rather not hear; it is about listening carefully to, and learning from all points of view, as well as being able to voice our own. We need to regain our understanding of why those other opinions exist, perhaps even empathising, and we need to come to terms with, and even appreciate the fact that as yet, we are not all the same. Civilisation is about learning to appreciate all. Live and let live.

Failure to do this is a route to Barbarism.

Links to the above truths are many, and I will take the time to provide some if requested to do so by well-meaning inquirants. Meantime, excuse me, I have work to do, on VRENAR.

Say what you want my friends, you are in good company. I look forward to the day when we can talk about all things openly and freely.

Solarpunk

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store