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The underclass wants to become the overman! - click opera
February 2010
 
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Wed, Dec. 9th, 2009 04:50 am
The underclass wants to become the overman!

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(Anonymous)
Wed, Dec. 9th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC)

Your ideas here sound good but I wonder whether they really map onto reality. Have the "victims" really been fetishising their victimhood? The expression that springs to mind when thinking about the gay civil rights movement of the 70s and 80s, for example, is "gay pride" - ie, an expression of difference, and a positive spin on that difference. As for the language games, they work both ways, don't they? There are the newly-coined PC expressions, but there also reclamations (queers, dykes etc.) which attempt to put a positive spin on what have hitherto been negative expressions.

And then, what are actual victims supposed to do? Keep quite about their victimhood? Ideologies don't come from nowhere, they are situated, as you so often remind us. And you're speaking as someone who has essentially experienced no victimisation (I mean, all you can come up with is is that you didn't like your boarding school and they were mean to you at Creation Records!). It's a bit galling to have the dead white males of this world telling "victims" that they should shut up about it.


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(Anonymous)
Wed, Dec. 9th, 2009 09:56 am (UTC)

And so political struggle gets turned into a series of semantic negotiations in which supposedly-bad differences are spun, if not into good differences exactly, at least into a series of respectful silences, compensations, tips of the hat, correct terminology (according to an endlessly-turning treadmill powered by stigmas which are never, themselves, challenged, probably because the stigmas encode the victimhood so essential to the whole enterprise) and "appropriate language".

The trouble here is that you ignore the way that the old terminologies change their meaning. They start neutral, then become negative, get appropriated as general terms of denigration. There was a time when, for example, "retarded" or "spastic" were relatively neutral medical terms. But once they got appropriated as insults, then they obviously couldn't be used in the same way. It's not just the PC brigade making up new words, it's that old words get degraded.


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