Does a Falling Tree Make a Sound if the Word 'Tree' Is Banned?
It may sound like a parody, or a desperate attempt to prove Marx right when he said that great events occur twice, first as tragedy and then as farce. But the man and his cohorts in the statist cult are deadly serious. He's driven by old anticlericalism ("You can't have a free country based on the Catholic faith"), inspired by the doctrines of political correctness, and armed with "revolutionary" slogans that he believes justify the indoctrination of French schoolchildren, and thereby the creation of a New French Man.
"Parents" are already gone from many French schools, replaced by "legal guardian #1" and "legal guardian #2." A highly recommended text is entitled Daddy Wears a Dress. It's all part of the grandiose scheme to create the New Frenchman, politically correct in every way, stripped of individual identity, shaped by the schools.
It's a revival of the core project of 20th-century totalitarianism, left and right, red and black: the creation of the new (Fascist or Communist) man. Or, nowadays, person.
Back when real history was taught in our own schools and universities, all this would be recognized as the latest version of Robespierre's nightmarish vision of the Terror. Giuliano Ferrara, the brilliantly provocative Roman editor of il Foglio, summarizes the new holy writ as "conformism on top of ostracism." Not for nothing has the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut denounced the new doctrine as the product of the "divine Left." It's the imposition of political correctness in the name of the General Will, or, as its apologists prefer, the Public Good. Whatever you call it, the new state religion leaves little room for individual As my friend Giulio Meotti says, the new battle in France is between liberty and secularism.
Alas, we're headed toward the same sort of brainwashing. The Feds recently refused to condemn some very nasty language aimed at pro-Israel students on three California University campuses, wrapping themselves in the saintly language of free speech. But at the same time, the student government at UCLA demanded that the words "illegal immigrant" be banished from the campus.
Step by step, unwanted ideas are extinguished by eliminating the words necessary to express them. "Radical Islam," and "Islamic terrorism" are very much in the lexicon of taboo phrases, as we can see in the Newspeak-ridden prosecution of Hasan Nidal, the Fort Hood jihadi.
Have you read 1984 recently? Do it. Orwell is the most reliable guide to the doctrines and methods of the latest generation of would-be tyrants.
UPDATE #1: h/t Chet Nagle. Secretary Kerry, perhaps prompted by Valerie Jarrett in the Ministry of Truth, is trying to forbid the use of the word "war" in the Syria debate. "Bombing" yes, "war" no.