One of the important characteristics of language that distinguishes it from other communication systems is its creativity. You can not create a meaning beyond the “algebraic sum” of their individual meaning by combining traffic signs, but from 28 meaningless letters of the English alphabet you can make about 150,000 meaningful words whose meanings have nothing to do with the letters used in those words and of these 15 A thousand words, about 10 to the power of 20 (one hundred billion billion) complex sentences are produced that create concepts beyond their constructive words in the mind of the audience.
Many psycholinguistics theorists, such as Jane Acheson, believe that “language takes precedence over thought,” meaning that the structure of the language we use, shapes our thinking.
The larger the vocabulary, the more diverse the sentences we produce, and the more diverse the sentences we use, the more complex we think. If a person’s thinking is more complex, the more difficult is to predict and manage his behavior.
“Ruling power” try to manage the language of human beings to predict and manage their language. In fact, slavery is a new approach that instead of chaining slaves’ hands and feet, it enslaves their thoughts.
Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist theorist and politician (1837-1937), used the term “cultural hegemony,” as a cultural system that the ruling class uses to enslave other people.
One of the media methods of this cultural hegemony is the use of a “base language” in the media, a language that minimizes possible words, phrases and sentences and gradually creates a “new discourse” in which the “possibility of dissent” is reduced.
The British political novelist George Orwell, in his unique novel of 1984, illustrates “cultural hegemony” in a totalitarian systems, very perfectly.
Whenever we are listening to a radio network or watching a television program, there is a danger of falling victim to the “chain weaving uncle” who is weaving chains on our mind’s hands and feet and limiting the range of our choices.
What is the “antidote” to this “soft slavery”? the literature!
“Literature” – in its general sense – goes hand in hand with the development of linguistic competence. The mind that emerges from the deep ocean of poetry and story, word and sentence, is “vaccinated” against the poison of soft slavery. For this reason, poets, novelists and free translators are the doctors of society and the guardians of the “human right to choose” and in the words of “Sohrab”:
“Poets inherit water, wisdom and light”
1- The quote from “Jane Acheson” is from her book “Psychology of Language”, which was translated into Persian by “Dr. Abdul Khalil Hajati” and published by “Amir Kabir” Publications.
2. The word “hegemony” has Greek roots and means “government” and “leadership”, and its meaning is the political, economic or military domination of the government over the nation. In ancient Rome, a city-state that dominated other city-states was called a “hegemon.”
3- The 1984 book “George Orwell” translated by “Saleh Hosseini” has been published by “Niloufar Publications” and translated by “Hamid Reza Baluch” has also been published by “Gahbod” Publications. I have read Saleh Hosseini’s translation, which has been excellent. “Eric Forum” has written a review of this book, which is given as an introduction to the translation book “Hamid Reza Baluch”. I have also written a short article about this book, which is available in the articles section of this site entitled “George Orwell, Freud and Totalitarianism”.
4- I mean poets, novelists and freelance translators who are not employed by the ruling power, do not write “on order” and do not participate in the reproduction of “official reading” and “base language”.
Dr. Mohammad Reza Sargolzaei – Psychiatrist
Translated By: Negar Kolkar
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