The Language of Crisis and The Crisis of Language

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In the wake of social and political upheavals now spreading like wildfire throughout Northern Africa and the Middle East, we hear noble slogans and soothing words about the will of the people being expressed and their desire for democratization.  We find such sentiments slipping comfortably from the lips of Western politicians and splattered across the pages of our presses, as they seek to reassure us that this is just the natural longing of the human spirit to participate in our ideals of democracy and free markets.  There is a concerted effort on the part of our elites to paint these events as an endorsement of Western values and lifestyle.  But what exactly do these calming references to ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ denote coming from our elite?  And are the changes these diverse populations seek really consistent with the worldview and values of the West?  In light of these questions, it is appropriate to consider the role of language today, and particularly the challenge it poses with respect to the discomfort underlying current global upheavals.

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About kulturcritic

With a doctorate in religious studies from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, Sandy had a ten-year academic career, with appointments at University of Virginia and the Colorado School of Mines. He spent the next twenty years in executive ranks at several of America’s largest international firms, including Computer Sciences Corporation, Ernst & Young, and General Electric. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and North America, as well as parts of Eurasia and Africa. For the past five years Sandy has been living in Western Siberia with his wife and young child, teaching at the Pedagogical University and the Altai Institute for Law and Economics in Barnaul, Russia. Published works include VERONIKA: The Siberian's Tale (a novel), (Islands Press 2011) Apocalypse Of The Barbarians: Inquisitions On Empire (Islands Press, 2010), The Recovery of Ecstasy: Notebooks From Siberia (Booksurge, 2009), Recollective Resolve: A Phenomenological Understanding of Time and Myth (Mercer University Press, 1987), Ethical Decisionmaking Styles (Addison-Wesley Press, 1986), and Gandhi in the Postmodern Age: Issues in War and Peace (CSM Press,1984).
This entry was posted in Anarchy, body-subject, cultural crisis, democracy, freedom, geopolitics, global collapse, language, polysemy, rationality, syllogism and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Language of Crisis and The Crisis of Language

  1. troutsky says:

    I cannot seem to access the full piece by clicking the title in ” recent posts”. Ideas?

  2. Walt Long says:

    I too cannot access the complete piece. While I cherish the idea of free markets and entrepreneurship, I understand that “freedom” is different from “free market.”

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