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Words that are memes in the political arena

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Left-wing
Right-wing
Terrorist
GMO
Globalization
Activist
Conspiracy
Saddam Hussein
9/11
Osama bin Laden
Global Warming
Patriotism

There's tons more, I'm sure. These are just a few that came off the top of my head. Of that list, the ones that have been pissing me off lately are "Globalization", "Global Warming" and "GMO". The "alternative news" sources have been hammering away lately on the term "globalization" for example, as though it's a bad thing. But it isn't, depending on your definition of "globalization", but a lot of the "leftist" (heh, there's a meme) media have been infecting websites with the connotation of "Globalization=EVIL", which is ridiculous.

I feel the same way Chomsky does on the issue:

[anti-globalization is] a term invented by those who want to pursue the dominant form of globalization. The people opposed to what I would call "investor rights globalization" are not opposed to globalization. I don't know of anybody who's opposed to globalization. Certainly not the Left and the labor movement - they were founded on the concept of internationalism, and that's a kind of globalization. Should those who are opposed to the contemporary form of investor rights and international integration use property damage as a tactic? I don't think so. It's a dubious tactic at best. Any form of violence against property or people has to be justified, and I don't see the justification.

Anyway, the point of this thread is to point out the fact that a lot of opinions are based on "memes" that have no basis in fact, logic, etc. It just pisses me off!
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by ~atp~
Anyway, the point of this thread is to point out the fact that a lot of opinions are based on "memes" that have no basis in fact, logic, etc. It just pisses me off!
I'm not sure I understand your point. Why do you say that opinions are based on these memes? Do you think people cannot differentiate between different kinds of "globalization" simply because only one kind (ie., corporate/trade) is most commonly discussed?
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Words that are memes in the political arena

Originally posted by AdRiaN
I'm not sure I understand your point. Why do you say that opinions are based on these memes? Do you think people cannot differentiate between different kinds of "globalization" simply because only one kind (ie., corporate/trade) is most commonly discussed?
Yah, let me try to clarify what I meant there...

We can all agree that the concept of a "meme" is a valid one: some words/concepts/visuals trigger certain responses/thoughts/memories in humans that aren't necessarily rational correlations, so the term "9/11" might trigger the response "horrible, angry, Arab, terrorist, Osama", etc.

So what I mean is that people's opinions regarding certain concepts such as "globalization" are irrational, because the concepts are actually memes that induce an irrational response.

In fact, sometimes it doesn't even go as deeply as that--I think, for example, that the "leftist" media is particularly guilty of constructing the term "globalization" to mean (American) corporate empires expanding their wealth globally with the sole purpose of generating profit for the rich while manipulating the poor. The fallacy here is that the former, "globalization", is implicitly assumed to mean the latter. This implicit suggestion, I believe, creates a "meme", so that in future arguments, it's easy to use the term "globalization" to imply a whole number of unfounded (and incorrect) concepts.

The same can be said for "Global warming -> humans are causing it" and "GMO = bad". If we implicitly assume that global warming is a direct result of human "environmental devastation" then the concept of global warming takes on a different meaning; one that is irrational and probably incorrect.

It just pisses me off because a lot of alternative media sources are guilty of this, when they are the ones trying to counter-balance the effects of the mainstream (who are obviously guilty of it)....
 

AdRiaN

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Words that are memes in the political arena

Originally posted by ~atp~
It just pisses me off because a lot of alternative media sources are guilty of this, when they are the ones trying to counter-balance the effects of the mainstream (who are obviously guilty of it)....
True enough.

But I still have a problem the your (and Chomsky's) example. I don't think saying that globalization = "investor rights globalization" is somehow inaccurate, or more importantly, that use of this meme will somehow change people's opinions of the issue.

Do you think someone reading a "left-wing"* website that basically equates globalization = evil will somehow oppose ALL forms of globalization, including labour rights? I can't really see it.

*See, I agree with your argument on words like this.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Re: Re: Re: Re: Words that are memes in the political arena

Originally posted by AdRiaN

Do you think someone reading a "left-wing"* website that basically equates globalization = evil will somehow oppose ALL forms of globalization, including labour rights? I can't really see it.
If certain people (possibly like you or I) went and read a "left-wing" article about "globalization" we would objectively recognize that their definition of "globalization" really means "corporate expansionism" or something like that. But the use of the ambiguous term "globalization" has been consistently used to imply such things, and it annoys me to no end that a lot of these authors (and believe me, it's happening a lot, even on a site I normally respect, Zmag) are abusing the term "globalization" to leverage their arguments about the inherent "evil" plans of the big corporate empires.

I suppose "globalization" hasn't achieved the same meme "status" as "left/right-wing", but I feel as though it is a work in progress. ;)

...I prefer to think of globalization in a more general sense; as the expansion of humanity's awareness of itself and its interaction on a global scale...
 
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