Words That Lie: The New Soviets Reply

By William S. Lind

Traditional Right

All ideologies take certain words that have commonly understood definitions and give them new code word definitions with different meanings for those in the know.  When the ideologues speak, ordinary people get one message while followers of the ideology get another.  In effect, the words so disfigured become lies in themselves.

My favorite example comes from a debate held at Dartmouth College (before my years there) between the Socialist leader Norman Thomas and my favorite Dartmouth professor, J.C. Adams of the History Department.  The topic was, “Does the Soviet Union want peace?”  Norman Thomas made a long and eloquent speech arguing that it does, quoting extensively from the statements by the Soviet Union’s leaders.  Professor Adams demolished him in one sentence.  He opened the official Soviet dictionary and read its definition of peace: “The state of affairs prevailing under socialism”. In other words, when the Soviets said “peace”, they meant “conquest”.  In their mouth, the word “peace” was itself a lie.

Today’s cultural Marxists’ equivalent is the word “tolerance”.  Everyone knows “tolerance” means putting up with things you don’t like or don’t agree with.  But in their mouths it has a different meaning – one created by Frankfurt School member Herbert Marcuse in his essay on “liberating tolerance”.  There, he defines “liberating tolerance” as tolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the Left and intolerance for all ideas and movements coming from the Right.  This is why campus cultural Marxists can call for “tolerance” while physically attacking conservative speakers.  In their mouths, the word “tolerance” is itself a lie.

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