Liberty Forged

the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. ` Nock

“anarchy” and the use of language in society.

Posted by Jesse on December 30, 2008

Nice post.

Thanx for taking the time to clarify and illuminate this particular use of language.

“Anarchy”, inherently, lacks cohesion as a ‘collective term’. The idea can be represented in so many different ways. Personally, I prefer the idea as being best represented as one that does not condone violence against innocent people. Insofar as the question of “guilt” is concerned, that is best left to the subject of law, not anarchy.

The tactic described in the post above works to maintain the idea of anarchy as a minority position, and can also support a “lone-nut” mentality. It is a great example of how this language works to subtly persuade or maintain the prevailing attitudes. Instead of fostering potential energy to create new ideas or ways of perceiving reality, this mentality only serves to maintain a static environment, or even to create a situation that is malleable to the powers that be.

Although, this tactic need not be a conscious act. In fact, I would argue as many of anarchic persuasions do, if the act were a conscious one instead of a learned behavior, the tendency towards using language in such a way would tend to move towards a more anarchic understanding instead of an archic one.

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2 Responses to ““anarchy” and the use of language in society.”

  1. Topher said

    I like your point that the tactic doesn’t need to be a conscious one. My guess is, knowing a little bit about how newsreports get written, the phrase “self-described anarchist” comes ready-made — that’s the term used in the business. Reporters — just like their readers — internalize the phrase, mostly unaware of how it’s framing an issue.

    On that note, I like your recasting of the word as “non-archist.” In requires a moment of consideration — a good kind of foot in the door.

  2. Jesse said

    thank you for writing on the subject and framing a key issue on the use of language!

    the term “non-archist” is adapted from murray rothbards: ‘are libertarians anarchists?’

    http://mises.org/story/2801

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