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Call it as it is

by Rebecca Solnit Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 2:40 PM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

Now is the time to see that most of our problems are the result of the insatiable greed of the very few. And to say so, clearly and repeatedly. It’s the only way to start changing towards reality

"In ancient China, a new dynasty was accompanied by “the rectification of names”, a ceremony in which the erosion of meaning under the previous dynasty was cleared up and language and its subjects correlated again. It was like a debt jubilee, only for meaning.

This made Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign electrifying: he seemed like a man who called many things by their true names. Once elected, he sank into the stale, muffled, parallel-universe language of most politicians, and has remained there ever since. The far right has got as far as it has by mislabelling just about everything, while their fantasy version of economics keeps getting more fantastic. (Maybe there should be a rectification of numbers, too.)

Let’s rectify some names ourselves. We often speak as though the source of our problems is complex and even mysterious. I’m not sure it is. You can blame it all on greed: the refusal to do anything about climate change, the attempts by the .01% to destroy our democracy, the constant robbing of the poor, the war against most of what is beautiful on this Earth.

Calling lies “lies” and theft “theft” and violence “violence”, loudly, clearly and consistently, is a powerful aspect of political activism. Much of the work around human rights begins with accurately and aggressively reframing the status quo as an outrage. What protects an outrage are circumlocutions, and euphemisms. Change the language and you’ve begun to change the reality or at least to open the status quo to question. Here is Confucius on the rectification of names: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion.”

to read Rebecca Solnit's article published in the English edition of Le Monde diplomatique November 2012, click on

http://mondediplo.com/2012/11/08us

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 69 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
"about climate change"? don't hijack Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 3:50 PM
keeping a low profile are we bill ? crazy_inventor Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 8:08 PM
Here's the statistics on what's been happening - crazy_inventor Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 8:38 PM
again cooked 'data' Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 9:08 PM
peer reviewed = cooked / fossil fueled conspiracy theories = FUD crazy_inventor Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 10:03 PM
notice anything? heh Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 11:12 PM
"this moron" publishes here - that troll does not.. crazy_inventor Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 11:35 PM
so rich... haw Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 12:48 AM
pundits only exist to create ratings crazy_inventor Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM
what? chuckles Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 11:18 AM
'strongly held fact-free personal beliefs' crazy_inventor Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM
some, something, blah blah,,,, nope Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 2:29 PM
delusions delusions everywhere - and not a fact to post crazy_inventor Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM
and while you were busy crazy_inventor Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 10:28 PM
what was that? Not paying attention. where? Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM
global warming = sea level rise crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:16 AM
no dice.... "sea level rise" Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 1:26 AM
further thoughts 'climate wha wha' Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:45 AM
goggle search: sea level measurements -NASA crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 2:46 AM
..and the lesson learned here ^ crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 3:32 AM
back to cartoons again figures Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 4:09 AM
a tale of two posters - crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 5:49 AM
a tale of two people crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 6:27 AM
there it goes again no dice Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 10:01 AM
delusion, denial and shit flinging - it's all he has crazy_inventor Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM
pegged it Van Pegger Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM
... did you hear something ? crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:05 AM
didn't I tell ya? yup Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 9:33 AM
strongly held, fact-free, personal beliefs crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM
still more "bla bla bla"? precious.... Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 2:58 PM
search : fossil fuel PR front groups crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:17 PM
what? a question? Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM
here are the denialist's 'experts' crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:04 PM
that chamber of slimeballs link is broken crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM
about the links where's the beef? Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:23 PM
a good sample there haw Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:34 PM
Wind, solar, hydro prices are * too low * crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:39 PM
and now he's defending dirty coal crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM
CO2 bla bla HAARP v. 'CO2' Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:48 PM
Fossil Fuel-Funded Think Tank Promulgates “Study” Attacking Wind And Solar crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 4:57 PM
Global Warming Policy Foundation - SourceWatch crazy_inventor Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at 5:03 PM
details HAARP v. CO2 bla bla Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:17 AM
details HAARP v. 'global warming' Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 7:27 AM
when the facts fail, haarp ^ crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:23 AM
"The lack of warming for more than a decade" recycled lie - crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:37 AM
"when caught lying, wait awhile, then lie again, and again, and again" crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:49 AM
"No Need to Panic About Global Warming" crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 10:14 AM
whew HAARP v. blah blah Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 3:32 PM
and when the facts are not on your side, haarp crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM
sure glad I don't need stupid cartoons to further my 'point' HAARP v. blah blah Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:03 PM
your 'points' ARE stupid cartoons crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM
wow; talk about being stupid HAARP v. blah blah Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 8:58 PM
paranoia will destroy 'ya crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 9:28 PM
peer reviewed? HAARP v. Blah blah Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
"The IPCC claims" crazy_inventor Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM
peer reviewed... HAARP v. blah blah Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 6:39 AM
say it once say it twice crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 7:54 AM
what was that? HAARP v. Blah blahblah! Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 8:24 AM
Blah blahblah! crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:12 PM
'always right' HAARP v. Blah blah? Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:24 PM
oh-wait! a mistake! HAARP v. Blah blah... Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:42 PM
la la la lala I can't heeeeeere you crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 2:48 PM
awww, *tweet* - that's so precious... HAARP v. BLAH! Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:01 PM
speaking of dark networks crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM
did I mention delusions of grandure? HAARP v. Blah HA HA! Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:16 PM
"Dear readers" crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM
more evidence of *tweet* and its mental disorder? HAARP v. BLAHzzzz! Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 3:41 PM
feel the popping neurons crazy_inventor Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:06 PM
I was just thinking HAARP v. bla zzzzt! Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:21 PM

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