Apropos Austrian Aphorisms

the T(hesaurus)-Rex of blogs chomping on malapropos market malapropisms

December 2007 - Posts

 I remember in the younger days of my still-youthfulness some clever folk talking about the rural area in which I grew up as "not even important enough to have a stoplight."

These folk spoke pejoratively, as if any town small enough were not important enough, not progressed, not civilized enough. Your town is backward! Only important people can be managed and regulated by three alternating colors, these folk thought. And the misguided mind I happened to be at times in my youth I believed them! Stoplights cost money, halted lots of traffic, and displayed a cold, charcoal grandeur among the city's otherwise beautiful landscape. Where was my town's grand landmark to bring about the screeching of stopping cars, the crashing of red-light collisions, and the financing of the local government through failure to stop according to the Law of the Color Red fines?

 I remembered these youthful memories today upon reading a new report I'm editing at work, dealing with red light running. And I remembered reading recently about how some cities have opted to forgo entirely traffic sign regulation. No stop signs. No yield signs. No Law of the Color Red. Traffic navigation was to be left entirely up to the free association of the cities' people. What chaos, a firm follower of the Law of the Color Red, must think! No colors to tell people when to go, when to stop? Think of the discombobulation, or the snail-like speed traffic must move at to make sure not to bump and harass itself.

How, this report asks, can we decrease red light running? prevent crashes? decrease horrible traffic incidents?

And some have the audacity to say: Let the people move as they please, let them figure it out; remove these colors of obstruction!

You know, the irony, is these magical cities of freedom are actually working, with few incidents, no tragic ones, and steady flows of traffic moving faster than before.  I think of those clever folk and how I'm glad I grew up in an area without stoplights. We were allowed to drive in a freer manner, to associate with other traffic in a sensible manner (albeit we still had our share of stop signs). 

To my delight! did I finally indulge in the literary wonder of Garet Garrett. My first selection: The People's Pottage; specifically, The Revolution Was. What a joy it is to read Garrett's mastery of language, his figurations and metaphors, that exposes the government for what it is: A filthy thief layered in meretricious clothing.

 And what apropos Austrian aphorism did I find in particular? How language changes and how clever sneaking liars use language to inhibit, belittle, and denigrate liberty and sovereignty.

Quoting Garrett from Page 17 in how the revolution of the New Deal came in part to be:

"the marvelous technic of bringing [the revolution] to pass not only within in the form but within the word, so that people were all the while fixed in the delusion that they were talking about the same things because they were using the same words. Opposite and violently hostile ideas were represented by the same word signs."

Then, quoting again from Page 9 when Garrett speaks of the already vast semantic shift 20 years after the arrival of The New Deal:

"freedom itself has come to be regarded as a reactionary word....And the mere thought of America first, associated as that term is with isolationism, has become a liability so extreme that politicians feel obliged to deny ever having entertained it."

And where are we 50 years after Garrett penned these words? We are where presidential candidate Ron Paul is denigrated by the media and other politicians (most recently and famously John McCain) as being an isolationist for thinking of American sovereignty first and wanting to remove the policing American troops from around the world, to avoid entangling alliances. Garet Garrett not only prophesied the impending crisis of the financial bubble as The Great Depression, how The New Deal subverted American politics and philosophy, but also foretold many decades ahead of how language will be used to still subvert liberty.

 I am already glad I have found GG Big Smile