Hannah Blog

January 5, 2013

The Euphemists.

Filed under: Hannah's views — hannah @ 3:01 pm

It may not be a word, but there is a class of people for whom the euphemism is characteristic. I suppose one could also say they are talking in code — a perhaps natural behavior on the part of people in whom paranoia predominates. They see enemies everywhere and fear being understood. So, they speak in code.

The euphemism is not something I’ve thought about much until now. So, I don’t have a ready repertoire. Confidence men, of course, need to make everything sound better than it is because their main objective is to exploit and deceive the unwary and blame their victims’ innocence for it — as if ripe grapes are responsible for being picked.

But, the euphemisms of the hour seem to be “tax cuts” and “spending cuts.” The former is a bribe, a promise to “soak” someone else, while the latter is a euphemism for deprivation. “Austerity” is more honest, but in referring to the intent, an alternative to “making hard choices,” the people upon whom deprivation (instead of extermination?) is to be visited are left out. Abstraction seems to be another characteristic of the euphemism — providing double distance.

Other euphemisms that come readily to mind are “exceptionalism” and “exclusive.” “Exceptionalism” is, of course, the foundational premise of segregation. The exception is necessary to “prove the rule” that the vast majority of humans are common, but some are superior. Exceptionalism negates the principle of equality and validates the segregationist claim that it will persist forever. Being common is just not acceptable if salvation is to have any meaning. “Exclusive” actually refers to an attitude that is more antagonistic than the impulse to segregate or separate. Segregation can be accomplished by people simply withdrawing and/or retreating into their special, private place. To exclude means to shut out. So, in a sense, exclusive communities are more offensive than residential segregation ever was. But, “exclusive” sounds so nice, until you think about making something attractive by depriving someone else.

Is being segregated by a dollar sign better or worse than being identified by the Star of David?

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