Tuesday, July 17, 2012
The other day during a debate with one of my political adversaries I came to the realization that there is an insurmountable ideological gulf between those who hate the rich and those who realize that the rich are merely fellow human beings who are paying much more than their fair share for the upkeep of our society. I had to ask myself what has caused this gulf and why are those on the left so willing to turn the rich into inhuman villains? The answer is simple and can be found in the writings of one of the founders of modern American liberalism. He is a man almost no one outside academia has heard of, but he more than anyone else is the progenitor of the left’s fervent desire to control and dominate the media.
Stuart Chase was an author, an engineer, and an economist….He was also an ardent supporter of socialism and the author of the quote that is the title of this article. The quote is from a book written by Chase called “A New Deal” in which he lays out his economic ideas and his admiration for the policies of communist Russia and their planned economy. Before Chase had made his case for a socialist restructuring of American society in several of his later books he had undertaken study of a science called General Semantics as formulated by Dr Alfred Korzybski . Dr. Korzybski believed that we could reformulate language so that it was easier to understand. This new language, devoted to concrete concepts, would influence people to think in more logical and rational ways thus leading to fewer misunderstandings. Chase discovered during his study of Korzybski’s work, that he who controls words and the definition of words also control ideas and those ideas control how people think. George Orwell who was another student of Korzybski also realized how powerful this was and wrote about it in his novel “1984”. The entire premise of “newspeak” in Orwell’s novel is based on a reformulation of Korzybski’s work so that controlling language not only controlled thought it could be used to stifle or even retard intellectual pursuits.
From his study of General Semantics, Chase produced several books the first and most well-received was “The Tyranny of Words”. In this book he lays out a plan to remake the world by taking control of how people think. The book in parts reads as if it is an evenhanded treatment of how words have been used in the past to confuse and control people. He gives examples that mock Hitler and dismiss the work of Marx as to abstract and not applicable as written to the modern reader. He is very careful to maintain the idea that he is above the fray and merely commenting objectively. Of course, throughout the work he is using the concepts of General Semantics to condition the reader to his message. The message is simple and summed up in the last couple of chapters. First, he contends that the constitution is hopelessly outdated much as what Marx had written was outdated. Ideas such as freedom and liberty have no meaning and should be no more heeded than the ramblings of Hitler. In fact, he uses the term “Blab” to refer to these and defines “Blab” as any word that cannot be defined in a concrete manner. He calls any literal interpretation of the United States Constitution “Nonsense”. He goes on to suggest that the idea of free speech and of nation states need to be dropped as well. He advocates a one world state under a planned economy and carefully controlled media based largely on the model of Russia at the time of his writing (1938).
You might now ask yourself what do the ramblings of a man few of you have heard of have to do with the Left of today. I would respond by saying that these ramblings have been the underpinning of the Democratic Party from the very day that FDR used Chase’s ideas as the basis for his New Deal policies. Chase is the father of modern liberalism and he created the blueprint that sold liberal ideology to journalists, university professors, and Hollywood. He made liberalism seem valid to these people in ways that catered to their own vanity. Read his work for yourself, but be careful, Chase has a glib tongue and he writes in such a way that you become enamored of what he has to say. Forewarned is forearmed. To combat liberalism we must combat the very base of its appeal to these three groups. We cannot allow the left to define the terms. We must formulate a rational message that appeals to these groups.
Chase, Stuart, The Tyranny of Words. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.1938.