Arise, You Prisoners of Semantics!

Is it possible for a person to be enslaved by a word? Hardly, unless the person is a complete fool. But when it comes to large groups of people—the larger the better—the phenomenon is rampant. A few syllables of Latin, if placed on a high enough pedestal, surrounded with a scaffolding of other words forming an ideology, and turned into a mantra through the usual techniques of indoctrination, can keep a vast population enslaved for historically significant periods of time. Some of these words end in the suffix “-ism”— Communism/Socialism Capitalism, Feminism—but not all of them do, because there is also “patriarchy,” “debt,” “gender,” and “race.” Do you feel enslaved? If so, which of these words do you find particularly enslaving? [Continue reading…]


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