In 1954, George Orwell wrote the article that I keep returning to, because beyond his description of what he saw as the decline of the English language, it contained a mother concept, a force idea to understand a little more both his time and his time. this (already then he as several others foresaw the tendency to permanent surveillance through devices that would be consumed as bridges to “freedom”: this is how his Big Brother imagined). This main idea is simple, and it is the following: all cultural decadence has an economic base, and the first thing that power is thrown on when it is in a plan of conquest is language.
A certain updating of Orwell’s gaze would show us today how not a language, but a set of languages at the same time, are permanently fumigated by the degenerating poison of neoliberal power in its fall, already eaten away by the ideology of nonsense, which masks fetishism. of money. To achieve a true mass colonization, the power of money and its operators have discovered that, with the media concentrated as its advanced ones, the objective today is not disinformation, because that is an objective achieved, but isolation.
How to isolate millions of people who can continue speaking on other media or connecting remotely from different latitudes? Breaking tongues, sending them all together into terminal decline.
But how to achieve such a symbolic operation, to achieve its true ends, which are material? Driving the language crazy on a global level, and trying several things in that same movement: the blurring between the real and the fictional, the empowerment of the denial of pain and the phobia of the other, the narcissistic exacerbation, because a broken communication leaves everyone only. And with all this: fading the raison d’être of politics.
Many of us laughed when we saw the video of a cable channel host believing that William Shakespeare had just died, or reading the tweets of a deputy who confused Córdoba Avenue with her province of the same name. But many will not have laughed because never in their lives have they heard of a certain Shakespeare, like the host, or because although they read denied explanations they do not understand what they read. Our societies have culturally regressed to a degree that is difficult to pin down. When the president of a country could not distinguish that Independence Day was not Flag Day, or when one of his officials bragged that “something small but beautiful” they had done was to erase the national heroes of the tickets, they weren’t just being cynical or ignorant: they were carrying out a regressive cultural operation of great proportions. They did not plan it: it is an inertia. The exhibitionism of ignorance is a by-product of the destruction of language.
In decaying processes, there is something of a domino effect that does not require consciousness but inertia. It is not that Macri pretends to be a person with great cultural potholes: what a man with a lot of money and power is saying when he exhibits his ignorance is that culture is neither necessary nor a valued good in the realm of money.
The pamphlets left by those who planted the bomb at the La Cámpora store in Bahía Blanca read line after line the decomposition of the language, as a support for thought. It was not a text governed by any logic, as an old fascism pamphlet would demand: “by hand-picked judges and the lack of justice” or “by cynical and corrupt politicians” preceded the complaint about the abortion law and about sex education. The same nonsense of the poster of a protester from the Obelisk: “Let’s end the tyranny” was followed by “Enough of anarchy”.
What discussion could there be with people who express themselves in this way? They speak a new language, the one that has been forged by false news, lawfare, those who from the screens carry out psychological action or sanitary terrorism: it is not Spanish. It is a nonsense language that replicates words but is also signifiers of meanings imposed by the cocoliche of nonsense.
I recently read that plants communicate with each other on three levels of language and in two ways: through molecules that they release into the atmosphere and through electrical impulses sent by their roots. Stefano Mancuso, a plant neurobiologist at the University of Florence, concluded that plants never stop sending messages about possible obstacles to other plants, even if they are not of the same species. That is why they have been here 5 million years ago, and that is why the “sapiens”, who appeared less than half a million years ago, are concerned about our own possible extinction. Our brain, Mancuso said, is not, from an evolutionary point of view, an advantage but a disadvantage.
Our languages are broken. You have to repair them or invent new ones.