October 27, 2008

“Economy” and “The Democracy:” DEFINITION FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER

We recently read The Rule of Freedom by Patrick Joyce (2003, London, Verso). We saw the following sentence:

“The legitimacy of parliamentary sovereignty came increasingly to be centered in entities such as ‘public opinion’, ‘the people’, ‘the democracy’, eventually ‘democracy’ itself…”

We are troubled by the way in which both Democracy and The Economy are reified in the most monstrous way. They ‘literally’ have become things –‘entities–’ –reifications: that don’t exist. We are so taken with entities that don’t exist! They are the most invidious of false gods. So here’s a thought. In order to remark and examine our usage of these terms, let’s make a little, conscious change to how we use them in our speech. Maybe then we can hear, and understand, them differently. Shall we?

We think it will be interesting to make the following exchanges. When we hear “democracy,” in your most shapely and attractive head, substitute “the democracy.” There now; that actually means something, doesn’t it? And when we hear “the economy,” substitute “economy.” There now, that actually means something, doesn’t it?

We think it will be a useful exercise to actually try this, when reading, when listening to the radio, when listening to your half-wit nephew. Actually set aside sentences in which these words appear, make the exchange, and examine the sentence critically. Seriously- let’s do this. I’ll tell you what- post the next really cool one here. Really.

Do you think we can have our words back? What will happen to these monstrous reifications?

Being a bit pressed for time at the moment, we have neglected to provide any context or definition for the term reification. This may seem a bit remiss, given our project. But perhaps you, our Reader, could provide a definition? Or a salutary link? Thank you so much.

-Definitions for a New World Order: takebackourlanguage.com, 2008

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