Friday, January 7, 2011

The following blogspots center on a variety of subjects, which I have initiated. You are invited to look and respond. Not-Violence main subject Temple of Janis (John) site Arguments for systems change Sacrificial crisis in Latvia

I suggest you look at the links imbedded in these blogs or at the end of the blog as an integral part of my argument.
The 4th Awakening
28 How to Tie Tongue (1)
© Eso Anton Benjamins

In the two previous blogs (26, 27), I wrote about the loss of Latvian language to officialdom as a result of government control. The Latvian government (ethnically oriented to this day) has control of the Latvian language by making it not only the official language of the government and law, but because control is augmented through the public media, education, and embrace of cultural fetish objects.

If one may ask what is wrong with that, the small overall number of Latvians virtually guarantees that the language will lack its subjective half. In short, if the subjective side of the language is missing, is the language alive or alive only as make-believe? Is such a language able to contribute to the future of the nation?

The constraints on the Latvian language are seldom taken into consideration because most Latvians speak another language, and the other language embraces a much larger geographical entity. The linguistic bipedals of a Latvian therefore do not necessarily cause him-her to reflect on the real situation (the gains and losses) facing the language. Thus (so the thinking may go), if the Latvian language happens to be under government control, a Latvian may leave it there until the day comes when the government fails in authority and the language fails along with it. If by then the citizens have transferred their subjective life onto the other language (I am for the most part thinking of English and Russian), will Latvian be missed?

The reasons for such troubling thoughts are the census figures. These indicate that of the 2.4 million inhabitants of Latvia only about 1.4 million are ethnic Latvians. This leaves 1 million inhabitants (citizens or non-citizens) be Latvians, but ones who do not identify with their country in an ethnic sense and may or may not speak Latvian. Projections of present population trends indicate that by 2050 (in forty years) the total population of Latvia may drop to 1.3 million people in total. How many of these will be ethnic Latvians in the sense this is understood today, it is impossible to tell.

The figures are not precise, because it is estimated that only about 2.2 million of the former 2.4 million people remain in Latvia. Even then the figures are optimistic, because one also hears that over 300,000 people have migrated, and more are leaving every day. The catastrophic economic situation, loss of financial sovereignty, low birth rates, and high death rates of elderly brings the body count ever lower.

Given this situation, the Latvian language has been exposed to suffering cumulative debasement, above all through the agencies that have devalued the nation’s mind meme. The devaluers are: government and its institutions; most government and private publications, i.e., media, including media in other languages; pop visuals, i.e., just about all of advertising; pop art; and, no less, educational institutions, most of which present the public with pop education or are fast decommissioning education to the lowest possible achievement level. [The argument is that the ‘big guys’ do it, though it forgets that Latvia is a small nation and its survival needs are not the same as of a country with, say, four million.]

Do Latvians still have time to resist the death of the endearing word? No one can tell. However, unless government is actively resisted at the community level, government will not implement a creative strategy on its own. I have already suggested that given the government’s control (no doubt, with considerable public support) of the Latvian language, it has the responsibility of encouraging (borrowing an idea from Japanese Haiku poetry) the subjective life by sponsoring an annual Dainas contest or whatever else the collective brain of culture guardians suggest.

However, given the nature of the Latvian political beast, and assuming that control over the Latvian language has been taken from Latvians de facto and de jure, the people have been left little but to write graffiti. Moreover, the government will continue to perform counter intuitively and may try seizing even more control of language and thought. If the government succeeds in tying the Latvian language into an even tighter Gordian knot, the disappearance of the Latvian language by 2050 (re total population reduced to 1.3 million) is assured. If Latvians do not side step the disaster by taking the Irish option or making preparations for other alternatives in case of need, then the point of no return has been reached.

While earlier I concentrated on the loss of the subjective self of the Latvian language (which I see as a loss of religion implicit in the language), I will now touch on the loss of language through yet another phenomenon known as a “collapse of differences”. Through the collapse of differences, as Rene Girard put it: “Language itself is put in jeopardy”; and so is religion; and so is the people’s control of government, and, no less, so is the control of people over their own lives.

The “collapse of differences” in a language results from such tight control of a language (for the sake of facilitating political propaganda and mercantile advertising) that it becomes impossible to identify who, for example, is a “liberator”, what is “peace”, what constitutes “torture”, and most relevantly what is “positive”. Girard observes: “in this situation no one and nothing is spared; coherent thinking collapses and rational activities are abandoned. All associative forms are dissolved or become antagonistic; all values, spiritual or material perish.”*  

If and when this stage of language debasement is reached, so is the point of no return even for Orwellian double speak. Once coherent thinking and critical thought collapses (when double speak no longer  functions), we have no longer a language, but a presumption that a solution is coming by means of some direct action, i.e., wordless violence or simply action (whatever kind) on the part of whoever has the power-money to act without consultation or holding to past agreements. One could call it unspoken discourse or discourse spoken in silence, or perhaps even liken it to animal discourse.

Yet violence or the threat of violence may not be necessary if the people—as in the instance of Latvians—are demoralized by corruption at high levels of government, religion is drained of all blood, rampant joblessness is the order of the day, debt burdens (loss of financial sovereignty) sow despair, educational quality that depresses intelligence is everywhere, poor healthcare at the end of an ambulance trip, out-migration encouraged as a “solution”, and not least governmental indifference (one would not believe it for the words) to human suffering as the actions of the current health minister suggest. In this situation, the result is the collective death of all memes of the former community. What meme comes next is almost virgin birth.

(To be continued.)

Asterisks & Links of Interest

* This quote from secondary source, The Black Commentator.
Unchanged Feature: The Witches of Ghana in Gambaga
Could we have the word and name of Ghana pronounced as Yana? If so, we could then call the withches Yanas (Janas, Zhenas) of Yana (Jana, Zhena).

Unchanged Feature: What is reality, what is myth?

Changing Feature: In the preceding posts, I started a compilation of a series of video clips, which when seen as a linear sequence tell a story in a telling context. This is a continuous story. If it began in the past, now it is moving parallel to the day we live. Note what is happening around you. Put this clip as a tail to your blog so others may see. The origin of this post is at 

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