Friday, December 26, 2008

The Best Government Money Can Buy (Butler Shaffer)

Butler Shaffer blogs on the Orwellian corruption of language when it comes to crimes committed by the state:

When dishonesty is practiced by bureaucrats and politicians for their personal gain, it is regarded as "corruption." But when such conduct is institutionalized (i.e., engaged in for the furtherance of governmental and establishment purposes), it is considered "economic planning" or, modernly, an economic "stimulus." We see the same phenomenon at work elsewhere: if someone goes into a school and kills ten people, it is properly considered an act of "murder," with the assailant hunted down and punished. But when the government employs its weapons to kill Americans, it is referred to as "law enforcement;" when used to kill millions of foreigners, it is called "national defense," with its practitioners often later rewarded with a Nobel Peace Prize. If a power-seeking group uses fear against a population to achieve its ends, it is regarded as a "terrorist" organization. When the United States used super-bombs against the Iraqi people to subdue them with mass-fear under the name of "shock and awe," such practices were characterized as "sound military strategy."

The Strategic Air Command's motto "peace is our profession," and your local police department's claim "to protect and serve" are daily reminders of Orwell's message: political corruption begins with the corruption of language - and, consequently, of our minds - and ends with the corruption of civilization itself.

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