Leftists love renaming things, as the state in Orwell’s 1984 dubs its propaganda agency the “Ministry of Truth”. Examples of what and how they do this, provide a clear insight into the ugliness of the leftist mindset.
Take a seemingly innocuous one: in calendar years “A.D.” (Anno domini, Latin for “in the year of our Lord”) is now called “C.E.”, ostensibly for “Common Era”. Now, “anno domini” is a beautiful, poetic phrase. It is mellifluous and pleasing to the ear. It encapsulates in its simplicity so much of our cultural heritage: the ancient Latin, Christianity, even the now-lost genitive morphology that changes the noun dominus “lord” to possessive “of our lord”. Above all, it evokes the religious sensibility that is humanity’s common heritage, and the humbled awe of the devout Christian. It is our history, and lays at the foundation of Western civilization.
Contrast “Common Era”. The words themselves are Germanic rather than Latin, but Germanic languages also have a rich poetic canon. This phrase, however, seems to have been chosen as if for its ugliness. The phrase “common” is bureaurocratese: stale, meaningless, unevocative. The “era” now refers to a period of time that has been stripped of its meaning. No doubt, if our atheist academics could, they would erase entirely the birth of Jesus Christ as the focal point of the calendar. They can’t do this because our entire history has been written with reference to the Julian/Gregorian calendar; so they do the next best thing, try and strip the context of Christ’s birth and make-pretend that year zero is merely arbitrary, meaningless.
In short, this renaming is an act of spiteful cultural destruction, spiritually akin to ISIS’ destruction of ancient statues. The smallness of the matter only makes the destruction seem more petty and barbaric.
Take a different sort of example: foreign nationals who enter the United States unauthorized were called “illegal aliens”; now the mass media calls them “undocumented workers”. I’m sure the mass media’s primary motivation here is just to spare people’s feelings, right? Unpacking the change, we can see what is accomplished by this sleight of hand. The clear, direct meaning of “illegal” is replaced by the weaselly “undocumented”, implying a mere meaningless piece of bureaucracy. But the really insidious part is changing “alien” to “worker”. What is being elided here is the concept of citizenship; because “alien” is just the negative of “citizen”. A citizen is a full member of a state, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails — in the United States that includes the concept of natural rights that are granted by nature’s God. In its place we now have “worker”, a mere economic construct who is free only to exchange his labor for money.
We see that leftist* elites and their mass-media lapdogs really do not want to recognize the concept of citizenship, at all. They will collect taxes from us, for sure, but beyond that we are no different from the other six billion people on the planet, human resources to be harvested in exchange for an ever-decreasing subsistence wage.
Note what these two examples have in common. Each effectively elides a piece of our civilization’s heritage using a linguistic sleight-of-hand. Each attempts to conceal its intent using a shallow appeal to sentiment: “Common Era” is “inclusive” of non-Christians; the phrase “undocumented workers” “spares the feelings” of those who choose to enter a Western country illegally.
The elevation of feelings over clear-headed language is degenerate enough. The central fact, though, is the concealing of a malicious act of destruction under the guise of pandering to a designated victim group.
What are your favorite examples of the Leftist anti-Confucian project?
* By “leftist” I understand, after Bruce Charlton, someone who rejects Christianity in favor of a narcissistic embrace of the sexual revolution.