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Chomsky and the Faux Relativism of the Pseudo-Intellectual Left
In a classic 1986 interview, linguist and activist professor Noam Chomsky explained much about the concept of language. But shortly into the video, Chomsky falls for the traditional over-socialized relativism of the Left, which renders so much leftish thinking obsolete.
Chomsky is quoted saying,
“What does it mean for the language to be pure? When people say they want English tobe pure, what are they talking about? Was Shakespeare pure? … First of all, there is nosuch thing as a language. There are just lots of diff erent ways of speaking people havewhich are more or less similar to one another. And some of them may have prestigeassociated with them. For example, some of them may be the speech of a conqueringgroup or a wealthy group or a priestly caste or one thing or another. And we may decide,O.K., those are the good ones, and some other one is the bad one. But if social andpolitical relations were reversed, we’d make the opposite conclusions. Say, take blackEnglish today. Black English is considered not quite proper English. On the other hand,if blacks happened to have all the power and own all the corporations, and whites wereworking for them, it would be the other way around. Black English would be thelanguage of culture and science and so on. And the stuff that you and I speak would beconsidered a degenerate dialect.”
Chomsky, apparently, thought all languages are equal. But they’re not. Pidgin English, for example, is such a dumbed-down variant of plain English that you cannot use it for the high-level economic organization required by Western societies. Pidgin can only be used effectively by lower-class rabble doing practically brain-dead work. It cannot be used to communicate intelligibly about a host of practices, such as surgery, law, or science. Even the English spoken by American Rednecks is more sophisticated.
‘Higher’ languages exist and serve a purpose. Unlike ‘lower’ languages, the higher variants offer a broader vocabulary and somewhat more refined grammar. For example, there is a reason why the language(s) of the Indo-Europeans became the native tongue of about half the people alive on Earth today. In Indo-European languages — such as Germanic, Slavic, Celtic, or Romance — one must always specify, in every sentence, a subject. These languages always make it clear who (or what) we are talking about and with whom (or what)we are dealing with.
Indeed, non-Indo-European languages often lack this feature, and language concepts can easily get blurred. In a global economy, however, it turns out we need to know who or what we are talking about. It benefits civilization to speak clearer speech. And that means not all languages are equal, and some languages really are better at tying together a global economy. Case in point: English, a simplified Germanic language with a broad Romance vocabulary tacked onto it.
Smarter people will never end up working for dumber people. In order to employ people, you have to outsmart them (IQ-wise, or otherwise). Second of all, speakers of American Pidgin do not actually consider the speech of mainstream ‘white’ culture a degenerate dialect. Rather, it seems many people have simply given up on trying to emulate the speech of the dominant culture… because they can’t.
Chomsky completely disregards what, exactly, makes “the speech of a conquering group” the language of conquerors in the first place. In other words, what makes certain people more successful conquerors, businessmen, or priests so that they may impose their speech onto the conquered peoples?
These constellations are not set by coincidence nor by institutional power structures dictating from above. It has to be so that the more competent group of people fi reestablishes its power over others. And the language these more apt conquerors spoke, then, must have been one of the assets the conquerors brought with them. I.e., they spoke a language that was superior in some way, a language that better helped them communicate the actions needed to achieve successful conquest in the first place.
You can’t conquer the world by “acting dumb”. You actually have to conquer it. This requires skill, effort, and effective communication.
To give you a concrete example of what Chomsky was missing: Pidgin English and ‘black’English (ro “Ebonics”) today have a far smaller vocabulary size than mainstream American English. It is, therefore, utterly unlikely that black African Americans could take over the institutions of Western finance and culture and go on to dominate the whites. This is impossible, for black English lacks the vocabulary needed to communicate the actions necessary to dominate whites. If you want to enslave white people, you’ll have to actually become superior to them first. Dumb-assery will never put you in power.
The Nazi leadership that took over Germany, for example, consisted of book authors. Joseph Goebbels didn’t become a genius propagandist speaking rural Bavarian. If black Americans would try to rule whites, yet their political culture never amounted to more than “ayo, gimme dat shit”, whites wouldn’t be threatened. Whites would simply secede, regroup, reboot, and reconquer.
To be the dominant culture in any territory requires one to have a ‘superior’ language(besides muscle, technology, courage, finances, resources, etc.), namely a language in which the ruling concepts can be ‘clearly’ communicated. I put some words in brackets because, of course, I understand these worlds are somewhat relative. At the very least, though, a language of conquest must be able to coordinate one’s co-conspirators to know what to do. Dumb people who speak a misfit’s language will never conquer a more verbally intelligent race of people. Never.
The top ten dictionaries ranked by the number of words are Korean, Finnish, Kurdish, Swedish, Icelandic, English, Italian, Japanese, and Lithuanian. These languages have the largest vocabularies of all languages in the world. No African language even makes it onto Wikipedia’s list of largest dictionaries. The languages that do are European and Asian. They prove that speakers of these languages have a more refined grasp of the world around them, a prerequisite for conquest.
Chomsky lied. If he had been speaking Pidgin, he couldn’t have expressed himself in an intelligent enough manner to become the left’s intellectual pope.