Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Winning The War On Nerves: Becoming Aware Of Pathological Verbal Distortion

Korzybski, in his "Introduction to the Second Edition" of Science and Sanity wrote at great length about the general semantic (evaluational) aspect of the war against Nazi Totalitarianism. The Nazis, as he pointed out, spent much time and money in the service of propaganda for their cause. "Pathological verbal distortion" as Korzybski called it, provided a major tool in what he called their "war of and on nerves" against the Allies. He wanted the Allies—America had not yet entered the war when he was writing this in 1940 and early 1941—to pay serious attention to this and hoped that the U.S. government would realize that it needed to make use of professional psychiatric, psycho-logical experts as well as the neuro-semantic (evaluational), neuro-linguistic training that he was offering, in order to deal with the Nazi threat adequately.

I'd like to call the reader's attention to a little of what Korzybski wrote:
There are persistent reports that the Nazi government is utilizing a staff of psycho-logical experts for destructive purposes. Other totalitarian governments ape their successfully worked out and tested methods. The 'democratic' governments in this present fundamental nerve contest appear a tragic joke of ignorance, inefficiency, etc.In practice this amounts to betrayal, because they fail to recognize the overwhelming importance and vulnerability of the human nervous system, and do not utilize such experts in a constructive way. (p. lxxi, in S&S, 5th ed.)
On the next page he wrote:
The violation, through ignorance and/or un-sanity of the similarity of structure in the map-territory relationship (see p. 58 ff. and p.750 ff), and/or deliberate, professionally planned distortion of it, abolishes predictability, proper evaluation, trust, etc. This results only in breeding fears, anxieties, hates, etc., which disorganize individuals and even nations. There must be a correspondence and similarity of structure between language and facts, and so consequent thalamo-cortical integration, if we are to survive as a sane 'civilized' race. (p. lxxii)
Well folks, It appears we are now in another war of and on nerves. What Korzybski wrote about the free world's response to Naziism seems relevant today. We are now, in my opinion (but not just my opinion), in a war with Islamism (Totalitarian Islam) and our governments and media, to a significant extent, have already succumbed to—and indeed now help to promote—the pathological verbal distortions that those who have declared jihad against us want us to accept.

Steve Emerson writes eloquently about this in his article, "Yes the terrorists are winning. He condemns the 'contrived evenhandedness' which he noted in coverage of the Mumbai massacre by mainstream media outlets like the New York Times. He writes:
Watching and reading reports of the Mumbai attacks was an Alice in Wonderland experience. Even after an Islamic terrorist group took credit, TV anchors and reporters assiduously avoided the term Islamic terrorist. They must have consulted with the Thesaurus for the Politically Correct to determine that the word "gunmen" would not offend any jihadist.

The real truth is that there is war against the West and the Jews by Islamic jihadists.

On Wednesday, even though everyone knew by then that the perpetrators were jihadists, CNN constantly referred to the terrorists as "extremists"-with no modifier. Hell, they could have been the Basque ETA or the ultra right wing U.S. militia. Then a CNN anchor asked his guest with totally innocence, "Now why would an extremist group target a Jewish house of worship?" Because, my dear politically correct anchor, it was an Islamist terrorist group. ...

....It all comes together. After more than 7 years since 9/11, we can now issue a verdict: Islamic terrorists have won our hearts and minds. Let's thank those who made it happen: the U.S. government, European governments and the mainstream media. It's time to stop placating or being intimidated by Islamic front groups who masquerade as civil rights groups. In 2007, the perversity of [this] was demonstrated when the FBI released its annual 2007 hate crime reports. Of the total 1,628 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 69.2% were Jewish and 8.7% were Muslim. Yet by my still unfinished account, there were at least 40 times more stories last year about Islamophobia than about anti-Semitism.

The Mumbai massacre was a heavily planned plot carried out by Islamic terrorists. Period. Memo to Obama: Until the onus of responsibility is put on Islamic "civil rights" groups that want to ban free speech and claim that anyone who uses the term Islamic terrorist is a racist, there is no hope of winning the battle.
To those readers who may feel offended by what they may consider a 'politically-incorrect' blogpost, I suggest (as I do for everyone else too) that they read Emerson's entire article—perhaps more than once—before sending 'nasty' comments and emails to me. This blog is about Korzybski and his work. If you are going to practice 'general semantics' and not just talk about it, you've got to face 'facts' whether you find them pleasant or not. We are still very far from the non-aristotelian reorientation of human civilization that Korzybski envisioned. We won't get any closer to it by ignoring the very big 'fact' of the Islamist War against the West, the Jews and Modernity.

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