Monday, February 21, 2011

language * power * freedom

We navigate our everyday lives using language; we narrate, thinking to ourselves more or less constantly, as we experience and enact the sociocultural structures of daily life. This means that at its most basic level, our experience is linguistic, experience is a moment to moment creation of meaning with language that depends on an already-existing world of meaning grafted onto experience such that 'the world' (where the experience occurs) makes sense. And that meaning, that world, that sense, is built on language. Our everyday experience is 'languaging.' And that means our experience of everyday life, our consciousness, is fundamentally, like language, a social construction. Being a social construction means WE DO IT and, further, that we can do it differently.

It turns out to be a very simple concept, really child's play, that has been buried over by the forces of power ever since the development of cultivated agriculture and organized religion.

We're dupes of a delusion that our power to construct reality belongs to other people, or some God or other, or history, or even "society." But WE are the ones who think, use language to communicate with others, and can work with others to make things happen, get things done, create things. That means we are the ones with the freedom and capacity to create reality.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Some Common Sense

from Noam Chomsky:

"if we have the choice between trusting in centralised power to make the right decision in that matter, or trusting in free associations of libertarian communities to make that decision, I would rather trust the latter. And the reason is that I think that they can serve to maximise decent human instincts, whereas a system of centralised power will tend in a general way to maximise one of the worst of human instincts, namely the instinct of rapaciousness, of destructiveness, of accumulating power to oneself and destroying others. It's a kind of instinct which does arise and functions in certain historical circumstances, and I think we want to create the kind of society where it is likely to be repressed and replaced by other and more healthy instincts."