December 8, 2006

Government By The Word

More Fjordman goodness over at Brussels Journal. His post is largely a comment on the Alexander Boot book "How the West Was Lost", and laments the slow erosion of freedom of speech and the rule of law in the West, even as we purport to export our system to other parts of the world:

Is Islam compatible with democracy? This is a question I address elsewhere. We also have to ask ourselves, however, whether the conditions needed for a properly functioning democratic system are currently present even in the West. I’m not always sure about that. In a functioning democratic state, the state passes laws in accordance with the wishes of the people, and also strives to uphold these laws. In Western Europe in particular, the state does neither, as most laws are passed by unelected EU bureaucrats and not elected national parliaments, and as the streets are increasingly ruled by gangs and criminals...

...He (Boot) believes that democracy, the government of the people, by the people and for the people, has been replaced by glossocracy, the government of the word, by the word and for the word. The impulse behind Political Correctness consists of twisting the language we use, enforcing new words or changing the meaning of old ones, turning them into “weapons of crowd control” by demonizing those who fail to comply with the new definitions. Glossocracy depends upon a long-term investment in ignorance.

Then, quoting Boot here:

“A semi-literate population is a soft touch for glossocratic Humpty Dumpties insisting that words mean whatever they want them to mean. […] Laws against racism are therefore not even meant to punish criminal acts. They are on the books to reassert the power of the state to control not just the citizens’ actions but, more important, their thoughts and the words they use to get these across. […] It is relatively safe to predict that, over the next ten years, more and more people in Western Europe and North America will be sent to prison not for something they have done, but for something they have said. That stands to reason: a dictator whose power is based on the bullet is most scared of bullets; a glossocrat whose power is based on words is most scared of words. At the same time, real crime is going to increase. […] A state capable of prosecuting one person for his thoughts is equally capable of prosecuting thousands, and will predictably do so when it has consolidated its power enough to get away with any outrage.”

And as Fjordman says, prosecutions for speech crimes are already happening, as he cites examples in Europe and Canada. Whenever I hear fresh examples of the stifling of free expression by the EU statists, I recall Vladimir Bukovsky's warning that "it remains to be seen what kind of Gulag the EU will create", as if it's an eventuality, not just a possibility.

Posted by dan at December 8, 2006 12:49 AM