Thursday, October 05, 2006

On Conflation and its Dis-content

The bottom line is that words, and the concepts they embody, have meaning. To use a word loosely is to impoverish and even obfuscate its original content. Conflating fascism and religious zealotry into "Islamofascism" cheapens the significance and impact of both. It also robs those who suffer under either from a recognition of the true nature of their suffering.

I have written much on this and hope that we can start to generate a new discussion around the dangers of conflation. First, we conflated actors (Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda). We imagined a scenario of the one giving weapons of mass destruction to the other, reified it, and acted upon our constructed reality! The result is that we are entrenched in a war based on false pretexts and lies. This has consequences - people are dying and hatred has new fuel.

Now we are witnessing the conflation of two different, yet separately serious, deviations. If we do not realize the conflation, we will fail to address the problem, yet again!

This topic requires more ...... and it shall come.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about this subject for a long time to understand this "long war" in the middle-east and its consequences.
People in the US have to stop thinking they are in the middle-east to liberate other people: you have to be liberated from something; you cannot be liberated for something. This way of thinking implies a cultural problem among most Americans from the right.They think their culture is the best to fit this world but they can’t realize how bad they’ve been doing in Iraq. A strong culture is only forged in thousands of years, not in hundreds of year. The proof is the iraqization that occurred under Paul Bremer without respecting the culture and traditions from Iraq, and that ticked off lots of people in Iraq. One example was the prohibition to use iraqi seeds and its exchange (tradition) in favor of GM seeds (economy).

I will write further about it tonite hopefully.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Renegade Eye said...

It's very important topic you are bringing up.

I hope you read this link on the definition of fascism. The tterm is used cavalierly and incorrectly.

See: http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/1944/1944-fas.htm#p0

3:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WRT your previous post:

"THE STORY about "spreading the faith by the sword" is an evil legend."

No, it's not. Muhammad and his heirs did not spread out in a conquest--one of the most successful of all times, one Napoleonic, nearly Alexandrian in its speed and will--simply by virtue of persuasion, due to the self-evident correctness of Muhammad's message.

To think this even possible is to be utterly naive.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Dahlia said...

Dear Anonymous
I would like to suggest that your present perceptions may change if you read some history written by other than the Euro-based. I would suggest Amin Maalouf to start with .. You may change your mind

12:07 AM  

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