Terrorism or Terror Tactics? How Politically Correct Ideology Is Destroying What's Left of a Free America.

An indepth examination available in print.
An indepth examination available in print. | Source

Language - The tools of communication and thought.

Language, comprised of millions of words, has evolved over time. It shapes how we think about ourselves and all that surrounds us.

We can only think within the context of the language we have. Remember back when you were a small child.

Did you ever think of things in terms of the in depth exploration of the concepts that shape metacognition? Of course not. We all thought in simple language and in pictures within our own minds.

We used the tools we had in our toolbox at the time. As we grew, hopefully, our tool collection did as well allowing our conceptualizations to expand into more and more complex thoughts.

For example, take the word snow. To many of us Americans it just means the cold white stuff. The Eskimos have many, many more words for snow and each carries its own distinctive meaning that goes beyond just cold, white, solid water in crystallized form.

Words are the tools in our toolbox of thought. The fact that they have so many more of them for snow allows for the formation of new and differing concepts about it compared to that which we have.

Language, words, are our primary purposeful means of communication within ourselves and with others be it through speech, song, or the written word.

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This hub will endeavor to do the following...


  • Examine how the term terrorism/terrorist has evolved
  • Examine possible manifest and latent functions of said evolution
  • Examine who benefits from the evolution of words
  • Examine why such evolution is occurring

Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf

Co-originater
Co-originater | Source
Co-originater and Creationist theory supporter Benjamin Whorf
Co-originater and Creationist theory supporter Benjamin Whorf | Source

Thinker

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This is not a new idea.

Credit for the theory that language shapes how we think was given to Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf back in the 1930’s.

For some time the theory fell out of favor but has recently been revived by scientists such as Lera Boroditisky at Stanford University.

If I understand correctly, she is exploring how language shapes thought and how various languages actually change perception as illustrated by studying bi-lingual individuals and responses given by those of various languages to the same simple questions.

She made a remarkable discovery that people will have differing responses not only in answer, but further in how they even receive the question, as determined by what language it is posed to them.

By extension, to me, that would indicate that the change or evolution, if you will, of specific terms changes how we perceive them as well as how we will respond to them.

While this is a theory of cognitive psychology, and I do not think the originators planned for it to be used to manipulate thought, is it being used for just that purpose?

Since this theory and the study thereof has been around since the 1930's, don't you think many a learned leader is aware of it and its potential? Might they not apply this knowledge to say things like speeches, press releases, how they, themselves, are viewed...possibly even in an effort to manipulate people into thinking as they wish?

Hmm...

I'm getting ahead of myself. I apologize. Let's get back to an orderly examination of the topic before I digress further.

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Third specific word in series - Terrorism

Dictionary.com defines terrorism as "the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes." The term itself was first coined in France in 1795 in relation to the government.

Do we not see a full turn about here? A term first deemed as one describing the government's actions upon its own people is now used to describe acts committed upon the government.

Side note: Is it not interesting how the term, today, is always used to describe an attack on this or that government, yet it's always the people who feel for it, bleed for it, die for it? The government is not the people. It is a non-living entity and therefore it can not suffer. Only those whom it claims to represent can do that.

The term terrorism is evolving. I think we can all agree the horror of 911 was terrorism. There are many arguing now that criticizing the government leads to unrest and that the act of criticizing incites the populace and therefore is terrorism.

While this may sound logical on the surface to some, it carries within its conceptual framework a truly dangerous ideological trend. Criticizing, questioning and the free exchange of ideas are inherently necessary to any free society. Such an evolution of the term casts a negative light on doing any of these things. It endangers the basic Constitutional right of free speech as none before it has, in my opinion.

What's in a name?

We have all heard the Tea Party called terrorist by our own leaders. When was the last time you saw a Tea Party member use a bomb, or fly a plane into a building?

What we have seen is said party repeatedly criticize the current administration. For doing such they have been labeled as terrorist though we can clearly see, the term was not meant to include such in its definition.

Who has labeled them? There are numerous articles stating that such leaders as Joe Bidden, Mike Doyle, and Tom Friedman have at various times over the course of the last few years. Some say that the leader of the free world has as well though he of course denies it and has laid the blame at the feet of his second in command.

Do you think the Vice President using the word in such a way might carry some weight with people, people who are young, perhaps those who do not understand English very well, with the easily influenced, with those who inherently follow authority figures and so on?

Possible manifest function of labeling the Tea Party as terrorist

First, let us examine what the word terror implies, what it makes us feel in our gut upon being exposed to it. Terror is fear in an extreme state. Just hearing the word can trigger some level of fear in us all.

The words terrorism and terrorist both stem from the word terror so both of them carry the same emotional response to some degree. Think of the words dream, bad dream, nightmare and night terrors. They all really stand for the same thing, i.e. dreams. However, each carries a distinctly different meaning as to what kind of dream one is talking about with night terrors being the most terrifying.

Freudian Iceburg

I had to remove the link.  It is not allowed on Hubpages per their little red skull icon.
I had to remove the link. It is not allowed on Hubpages per their little red skull icon. | Source

Movies not only influence popular culture, they reflect it.

I recently saw the movie "Super Eight". In the movie a young child, maybe 12 or so, stated "It's on the news. It must be true." Sadly, many adults think this too.

It is FALSE.

Having established that true terrorism, is something we should be fearful of, is it so far fetched to think that to label any one group, i.e. the Tea Party, as terrorists is a purposeful effort to elicit the same fear in association with them?

Notice, I listed three people above who are considered authority figures and have called the party in question terrorist. Have you ever seen the annoying commercials on TV where they say the same thing several times?

Sometimes it is a slogan, or maybe a phone number. You get the idea. Why do you think they do that? They do it so that what is repeated will stick in your mind.

Your subconscious mind never forgets or loses anything. It is always there. The repitition of which I speak ensures it will stay on the edges of your conscious mind as well.

Next possible manifest function

Another purpose served by labeling Americans involved in the democratic process who have never perpetrated any act of violence upon its government or its people is one of fear.

Having established that just the word alone elicits a certain emotional response, the circulation of the word in relation to our own citizenry, when it obviously is in error, increases the amount of overall fear experienced by the populace at any given time.

Do you like being able to speak freely? Want to be imprisoned for it?

Obama promised to veto this.

HE LIED. HE SIGNED IT.

Why?

THINK about it.



Why on earth would anyone want to do that?

There are several possible answers. First, traditionally, folks here in America look to their government to protect them from things they should fear such as legitimate acts of terrorism.

By extension, people might look to the current administration to protect them from the party that is now associated with the emotional response in their minds through the repeated exposure to the evolving term.

Secondly, a heightened sense of fear makes people less likely to think things through. After the horrors of 911, many things were passed in the Patriot Act that in hindsight cost Americans dearly in terms of freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution. Was that wrong?

In such complex issues, right and wrong can become so clouded by the vast number of factoring issues and propaganda as to be very difficult to define. We all want a safe and secure nation. We all want legislation toward that end.

The answer, I think, has to be somewhere in the middle. If we fast-forward to the latest legislation passed (NDAA) allowing the government to detain anyone without warrant on the mere suspicion of terrorism and critically examine what that implies, I have to say our government has gone way too far.

Don't misunderstand. I'm all for locking up true, violent terrorist and those who enable and support them. In fact, personally, I think locking up is too kind.

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I do apologize

I never covered the latent functions as I said I would. I did not forget. I’m not out of gas. I don’t think there are any. The term latent function means one that was not intended.


Our leaders are not stupid, contrary to popular opinion. I firmly believe they mean exactly what is happening. That’s just my opinion, of course.

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BUT, the potential for abuse is astronomical.

This evolution of what words mean can be laid firmly at the feet of politically correct thinking and ideology.

The idea of being PC may or may not have started out with good intentions.

It is now being used to brainwash and program Americans by those who do not value the Constitution of OUR great nation in an effort to end freedom, to subjugate and oppress, to turn America into sniveling slaves bowed down before the whip of fear.

No knock warrants are common for things other than terrorism. Further, now they don’t even need a warrant if they have the suspicion.

Anyone can be suspicious of anything, that does not make it true. Under the new legislation they don't have to file charges, nor is a trial given. Do any of us truly believe that such won’t be abused?

Is it really so far fetched to think it might be used to shut some of us up? Do you think the powers at the helm right now, today, are above that? I don’t.

Many have stated we can take our nation back at election time. I hope and pray they are right. Have you ever heard of something called the War Powers Act?

Have you not heard that some on the hill have already tried to “postpone” the election stating it would cost too much of all things? The election can be stopped. The current leader can keep his position legally through such means. Is it so far out in left field to think such a nightmare could happen?


Lastly, I see the mentality shift as serving another purpose than those mentioned. The fear being instigated by it, by the media, by the systems that surround us daily, is a form of cognitive and behavioral conditioning.

It’s a process that is conditioning us to take it, to never question, to shut up, to bend over, and ultimately, to become slaves or become dead. Further, consider how the criminal acts and such of the Occu-toddler movement are giving the very idea of protesting a bad name among the very same conservatives that hold the right dear. That word too is evolving with the help of the steroid PC in people's minds. It’s a slow, insidious process but it is happening.

© Vix a.k.a. Rhonda Enrayne 12/28/11

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Thank you for reading.

I have to give a most heartfelt thanks to my fellow Hubber Reality Bytes for writing "Do We Live In a Police State?" That hub really got me thinking. The comment I wrote in response was the beginnings of this hub.

I applaud you, sir for your courage and honesty. God bless you and God bless America.

Disclaimer: This article is my opinion only.

Look for the next installment in this ongoing exploratory series about how terms such as this type or that type in front of the word American are programming us to see ourselves as differing groups rather than what we all are… Americans.

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What's in Your Head?

Is there an organized, orchestrated and directed attempt to program America going on right now?

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Comments 16 comments

Flightkeeper profile image

Flightkeeper 4 years ago from The East Coast

This is a great follow up piece, poetvix. I had no idea terrorism was coined initially during the French Revolution (?) to describe the terrible acts of their government and now it's completely a different meaning. You are right about how words are being used to manipulate people to think a certain way. Obamacare was called The Affordable Care Act even though it will will make it too expensive for companies to pay for it and will increase our taxes. And yet to the average person they think free health care. Mark my words it will hasten our bankruptcy.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Flightkeeper ~ First, thank you for reading this installment. As for the coining of the term, I didn't know either until doing a little research for this. It amazes me how things have become all twisted about. I agree with you too on Obamacare. It's unconstitutional, it's stupid, it's hurtful and hides under a candy coating that says hey let's help everyone but in reality helps no one. My mother is a retired nurse. She hates it so much her blood pressure goes up just hearing the word. She says we can kiss all the elderly people goodbye when this kicks in good. I too think it will just quicken our fall into economic ruin and I think those who framed it are smart enough to know that.


34th Bomb Group 4 years ago

Well done!

I didn't know about the French Revolution connection, either.

Call me crazy, but I think I'm seeing a swing (VERY slight & certainly NOT across the board) back to reality - like calling a spade a spade when you're talking about gardening.

MOST intelligent, responsible people who were raised right never would have thought to use the "N WORD." The only time I got a back hand from my Father was when I called my brother an ethnic name. (I didn't even know what it MEANT!) If anything, all this P.C. BS has raised the ire of so many Americans that they are much MORE likely to not curb their speech because they're fed up with having to do so. I fit in that category, although I don't use the "N" word or the "R" word or a variety of other similarly designated no-nos.

Perhaps I'm just fed up that my 21 y.o. White son has to fight for many things which are simply handed out to those who are NOT Caucasian. It pisses me off (sorry Mom)!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

34th Bomb Group ~ Thank you for continuing to read this series. I think some are finally starting to snap as well, but one thing that saddens me is that I'm seeing it mostly among the more mature of us. Obamacare will thin our numbers greatly when it kicks in.

I have to agree with the last part of your comment in regards to two major areas for sure which are affirmative action in hiring and education.

All of this may have started over such ignorant, hate filled words as the "N" word but it's way beyond that now. Personally, I don't think that's even how or why it started but rather a good smoke screen they could hide behind that no one would question.

God bless you and your family and have a Happy New Year.


j80caldwell profile image

j80caldwell 4 years ago

Hey Poetvix,

Great topic, it's really sad how P.C. things have become. But as we all know it stems from the media--so I'm sad to say but it's probably here to stay.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

J80caldwell ~ Yea, the media has been bought and paid for that's for sure. They were not always so. Thanks for the read and the comment. God bless and Happy New Year.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

..if there was ever a thesis for the concern of the present and future situation in politics (thus our very way and standard of living, if we think about it and obviously you are doing your part) this must be it! Will post part 2 on my FACEBOOK page also just to wake up the tired, the apathetic and those who really should enjoy great writing ..... like this!

lake erie time 6:27am just arrived home from work and please accept my sincere best wishes for your health and happiness into the new year and of course more of that head bangin' music of the heavy metal variety .....


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Dear Epi ~ Thank you so much for your time, your kindness, your post and mostly for being your sweet self. I fear for the future of not only America, but for the free world. The more I think, the more I learn, the more I know our time is short.

It's 6:25am here and I couldn't sleep. Ever is passed out finally so no music at the now. She's back from her third visit to the vet in so many days. Her time is short too but I thank God for every second we still have with her and that she is not in pain. She's lived a long life for a dog but I will miss her so much. For whatever time we have left with her, we're going to spoil her like never before, and that's saying something for she's always been spoiled rotten.

Thanks for taking the time to read something so non-poetic, so not fun. God bless you Colin.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

....my thoughts dear Rhonda are with you and your beloved friend and companion Ever who shall always be in your heart (for)ever ......

lake erie time 1:39pm just woke up from night shift sleep and you know how I feel about my two cats Tiffy and Gabriel - actually Tiffy is 16 now and the diva in my picture and she was my mum's cat.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Dear Epi ~ They are part of the family are they not, every bit as much as any human? Thank you for dropping back by. She started new meds last night and I think it's helping. She actually ate twice this morning. :)

Tiffy is so adorable! Cats are wonderful in that you can scoop them up and hold them. Ever will not be scooped but she does like to cuddle up on the couch.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Great hub, Poetvix. I read your hub but didn't read the comments, and I didn't vote. I wanted to vote for Victoria's Secret, but that would have insulted your hub, but, yes, I love seeing beautiful women.

Nuff said there. I appreciate what you are doing, and am just coming back from 48 hours with no email. Finally had to go to Firefox to completely log in. ...?


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

SubRon7 ~ Thank you for reading. I know it's long. Hey, I love Victoria's Secret too... for different reasons. I am hearing a lot of people are having problems today. It's not just you. God bless you and Happy New Year!


Sueswan 4 years ago

Hi poetvix

The government is terrorizing it's own people with all this political correct crap.

Voted up and away!


poetvix profile image

poetvix 4 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

Sueswan ~ Thank you for taking the time to read, vote, and comment. Yes ma'am. They really are. God bless you in this new year.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

Isaiah 5:20-"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness..."

Doesn't this describe the PC police to a tee! Those who want very reasonable and Constitutional changes to occur in government are demonized while criminals are coddled and protected by politically correct sugar coating!

Another saying comes to mind as I read your Hub,

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Jeffersons quotes shows that political correctness has been around for quite a while.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country. Author

wba108@yahoo.com ~ Amen. You are very right. Things have been turned upside down by this non-sense of flat out telling lies under the guise of being sensitive. I love the Jefferson quote. I have to point out though, Jefferson was talking about England at the time and fears for the future of America. I posit we are living his worst nightmare now. Thanks bunches for taking the time to read and comment. God bless and the happiest of hubbing.

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