Monday, August 15, 2005

"This left and right thing is a great crippler of thought"

Jargon dominates political discourse these days.Even on a public forum like orkut, you are asked to sum up your political predilection with one of those cliched phrases-right-conservative/left-liberal et al. Politics of common-sense takes a backseat. Instead, positioning/branding oneself favorably using a cliched,poorly understood term is the order of the day.Sad...
This is what Naipaul had to say about the deleterious impact of political jargon:

Nearly thirty years ago I went to Argentina. It was at the time of the guerrilla crisis. People were waiting for the old dictator PerĂ³n to come back from exile. The country was full of hate. Peronists were waiting to settle old scores. One such man said to me, "There is good torture and bad torture." Good torture was what you did to the enemies of the people. Bad torture was what the enemies of the people did to you. People on the other side were saying the same thing. There was no true debate about anything. There was only passion and the borrowed political jargon of Europe. I wrote, "Where jargon turns living issues into abstractions, and where jargon ends by competing with jargon, people don't have causes. They only have enemies.... This left and right thing is a great crippler of thought"

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