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Weaponisation of words

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Recently I came across the expression ‘weaponised words’– the idea that words with a standard, accepted meaning can be changed into ‘attack words’. The example the writer gave was ‘fascist’, coined by Benito Mussolini as the name of his National Fascist Party. Since then, the dictionaries have defined it as: ‘a right-wing political system in which people’s lives are completely controlled by the state and no political opposition is allowed’. But that’s not how the word is used today. It has been weaponised and is used by the political left to label anyone who does not agree with them. Anyone who expresses even mild support for conservative or right-of-centre politics can these days be labelled a ‘fascist’.

This is an exceptionally stupid misuse of language. Not only stupid, but dangerous, since it makes it impossible to use the word ‘fascist’ seriously when talking about the real thing – real bullying, freedom-denying authoritarian policies. People using ‘fascist’ are in reality using the word to mean ‘people I don’t like’. Another weaponised word is ‘hard-right’. It’s interesting to note that the media outlets happy to label anyone they disagree with as ‘hard-right’ never use the parallel expression ‘hard-left’. Why? Because this ‘weaponisation of words’ is being done by the left, not the right. Another ‘weaponised word’ is ‘notorious’. The ‘Let Women Speak’ rally in Victoria defending the right of women and girls to have their own safe spaces, and not have transgender persons (often still with penises) come into girls’ change rooms or toilets was recently labelled in one news outlet as ‘notorious’ (as in ‘the now notorious Let Women Speak rally…’) ‘Notorious’ means ‘famous or well known for something bad’.Applying such adjective to a defence of safety for women and girls is an evil ‘weaponisation of words’. In fact, I could even call it a ‘notorious weaponisation of words’.

One of the very worst examples of the weaponisation of words is ‘hate speech’. This began in America and is first recorded in 1938 meaning ‘a speech or address inciting hatred or intolerance’. So, originally ‘hate speech’ didn’t just mean expressing hatred but encouraging hatred in others. But that’s not how it’s being used now. The people who are quickest to label a statement ‘hate speech’ are using it to mean ‘disagreement’. If someone believes men who choose to identify as women are real women – that’s their point of view. It’s a free country, and they can think, and say, what they wish. But if someone else disagrees and says such men are not real women their words are called ‘hate speech’. Untrue. Those words are just disagreement. And disagreement is disagreement, not hate speech. You may dispute the opinion that global warming is catastrophic, or argue that enshrining the Voice in our constitution is a bad idea. And those opinions are likely to suffer from being labelled ‘hate speech’. Someone who supports classic Christian doctrine can find themselves accused of ‘hate speech’, as happened to Israel Folau. The cancellations and the censorship work in one direction only. You can be a hard-core, hard-left Marxist and you will be safe, but if you are right-of-centre and conservative expect to have your words labelled as ‘hate speech’.





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    • Fake News = The False Prophet

      It’s far deeper than that. Words have been a battleground for the mind since the beginning.

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