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Yelena Mizulina: “…what is the rule of law? That’s the biggest unfreedom! The more rights you have, the less free you are, because rights, unlike prohibitions, are when you are supposed to act strictly in the way that accords with the law.”

2019-05-15

This is quoted from a New Yorker article about the perversion of meaning to meaninglessness especially in authoritarian/ignorant governments when they try to justify their policies.  It is written by Masha Gessen, who is an expert in this sort of thing.  Masha spent formative years under the old Russian government, the grandfather of these policy-words ( like “sovereign democracy” and “national interest”) that have been turned into meaningless “emanations” or even hints at more adverse decisions.

Commands are delivered in a unique language that is understood by speaker and auditor, but not outsiders.  This is a conversation between the supporter of the government and skeptical outsiders.  Words and phrases are contorted so that they become incomprehensible to the listeners yet seemingly freighted with meaning.  Concepts that are objectively described as national fascism are disguised as “grassroots democracy” or “sovereign democracy”– anything to take away the real meaning of local democracy and substitute fascism with xenophobic characteristics.

The language of our national leader appears to conform to this standard, of incomprehensible verbiage mixed with appeals to patriotism, outright lies that can be easily debunked that supposedly contribute to his status as “the greatest president ever”, exaggerated praise of first responders, and poorly disguised dog whistles to white supremacists.

 

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