domingo, 4 de junho de 2017

Language and power

ძალა ერთობაშია say the Georgians ‒ “Strength is in Unity”. United we can fight, resist, attack, defend. Without language, though, there’s no unity, therefore, no strength. With a common language, humans can understand and identify with one another, share the same worldview, join in the same activities, develop a single culture, stand together against outside threats. Precisely because of that, for the invader it is imperative to destroy the language of the invaded. Once the language is destroyed, unity is destroyed, for there is no more communication between the members of the group. As the individuals are assimilated, switching to the language of the invader, the notion of us vs. them gets blurred; what was once familiar becomes alien, frequent object of disdain and hate. The brave and untamable are long gone now ‒ only those who bowed and accepted the new order survived and their descendents, the oppressed, are born into a system where how things are so they shall be, after all, questioning the system is bad for your health. The rulers of this new society, though, understand the importance of the Georgian motto and will do everything they can in order to maintain their language as an instrument of domination, making it virtually the sole means of education, media, politics and military force. Education should indoctrinate the masses to be obedient, not to question the status quo, think in the state language and identify with the culture of the imperial masters more than with any other; media should shape one’s opinion and worldview as the elites desire, manipulating their minds for their purposes and against their fears; politicians and the military should control and monitor this whole structure, using education and media as the Wizard of Oz used his tricks to create the false image that they have the power, whilst, as they secretly know, no one holds it and they are, in fact, the most vulnerable ones in this game, should the people unite against them. Language is power and power lies in unity; the oppressed people speak the same language, they can unite. The prey that was once swallowed by the imperialist beast can prove to be a poison in its belly. To speak English, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese or so many other languages often historically imposed in detriment to the local, often dead or dying languages, does not mean to love them, their original speakers or everything they represent. Once we become critical of our past, the same instrument that has been used against us can be turned against our oppressor.


(Belarusian) Захаваць мінулае - дбаць пра будучыню
To remember the past is to take care of the future

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