by Austin White
One of the statists’ biggest weapons is the manipulation of language through the utilization of euphemisms and transforming of definitions. The Department of War is now the Department of Defense. Government perpetrated torture is now called enhanced interrogation. Massive institutionalized theft by government is called taxation. Instead of being called an aggressive, coercive redistribution of wealth, the welfare state’s actions are called charity. One of the most damaging blows to the Bill of Rights ever is called the USA Patriot Act. Massive government spending, inflating, and deficit financing are simply referred to as The Keynesian Model. State-worshipping jingoist warmongers who advocate a blatantly unconstitutional foreign policy are patriotic. Compulsory government indoctrination centers are public schools.
The amount of damage and distortion that language has suffered at the hands of statist ideologies is approaching a level as bad as the Newspeak in George Orwell’s fictional Nineteen Eighty-Four, where the goal of the political class is to destroy the language through the consolidation and simplification of words, with particular emphasis on words that may inspire rebellion and undermine the dominance and superiority of the State. In short: the goal of Newspeak in the book is to continually reduce the intelligence of the ruled –i.e. taxpayers – and make them easier to regulate.
The American government shares this goal, but the methods differ. Instead of dumbing down the population to make them easier to rule, although this is occurring as well, intentionally or unintentionally, through the public school system, the primary method of the statist intellectuals and political class in obtaining people’s obedience is by legitimizing the violence of government. In addition to conditioning people to comply with its each and every edict and into believing that the State is allowed to do what the rest of us are rightly prohibited from doing –i.e. aggressing against persons and property – by maintaining the perverse theories of the divine rights of the majority, the enemies of human freedom have succeeded in normalizing the State and making it seem as if it is no different than a business or voluntary organization and that its interventions in everything are no more illegitimate than a man washing his car on Saturday.
In fact, it is even worse. The State has not only been normalized, but it is believed by nearly the total population to be entirely above everyone and everything. In past times, the State had to compete with other institutions such as the Church. Its perceived superiority was more checked. The State now faces almost no competition at all from any other institution. It is the ultimate authority figure and enjoys the ability to compel nearly everyone to do anything. The federal government has obtained an amount of power so great that it can physically molest and digitally strip search children openly in airports and has achieved a level of legitimacy where people not only tolerate it, but ridicule and denounce the minority who actively oppose the TSA.
Were it not for the calculated use of Orwellian euphemisms and doublespeak the State’s legitimacy would plummet and its regulations and rule would not be tolerated. If the TSA was referred to by enough people as a criminal gang of pedophiles and perverts, there would be no TSA. If the Internal Revenue Service was more appropriately called by enough people the Federal Theft and Robbery Administration, the days of income taxation in America would be over. The ultimate reason that military conscription was eventually abandoned in America was because enough people came to call it out for what it is: slavery.
Remove the government’s euphemistic, official-sounding titles and it is quickly revealed to be no more than an illegitimate criminal gang that operates in a status of lawlessness and is the supreme violator of people’s natural rights with no moral justification at all for being allowed to continue its racket.
It is for this reason that the most effective, and easy, strategy for defeating statism is simply for people to vocally acknowledge that the emperor has no clothes. It is time to do away with the government’s Orwellian terms and phrases and it is time to call ‘em like you see ‘em. Don’t just call taxation theft; laugh uncontrollably at the very idea that the bureaucrats would actually expect you to think of taxation as anything other than blatant theft. Laugh at the ridiculousness of the largest, most belligerent military empire in the history of the world being called the Depart of Defense. Make a deliberate effort to train yourself to discard the State’s sterile, Orwellian words from your vocabulary and to constantly delegitimize the regime in your day-to-day conversations by calling ‘em like you see ‘em.
Think of any government policy, edict, or act, then think of what it would be called if a private individual committed it, and then forever and at all times use that term when describing the government act.
Get creative. Here’s a starter list:
Taxation is theft; it is the aggressive, coercive seizure of another’s property. Therefore the word taxation should be replaced by the word theft in discussions about the State. An exception would be when discussing theft committed by private individuals. Replacing “That mugger stole my wallet!” with “That mugger taxed my wallet!” may have an even greater effect. Slavery is also an appropriate synonym. If the IRS takes a third of your paycheck that means you are working directly for the State for the first four months of the year; you’re working for nothing for four months.
War on Drugs
The war on drugs should now be referred to as the war on the natural right of people to peacefully and nonviolently consume whatever substances they want on their own time, with their own money, and with their own body. A shorter version can simply be the war on the fundamental right of people to own their own bodies or the war on individual liberty.
“Gun control” should be replaced with coercive citizen disarmament, followed by a brief explanation of why governments disarm their subjects in order to make them easier to tax and control and how some famous examples of countries where only the government has guns are Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Maoist China, etc.
Federal Reserve Purchases of Government Securities
Printing money. Counterfeiting. Inflating. Diluting the currency. Punishing savers and the frugal. Raising the social time preference.