Friday, November 29, 2013

The Need for Neologisms in Conservatism.

In George Orwell's 1984, Newspeak was a deliberate attempt by controlling totalitarian regime to control thought by limiting the vocabulary of the language. Orwell's genius was in recognising that it was ifficult to form a coherent opposition to any ideology without the appropriate conceptual tools to battle it. Since language was the expression of concepts, a limitation in language would effectively limit the development of concepts or make their expression so clumsy as to open them to misinterpretation. Hence Big Brother's interest in the development of Newspeak as a means of thought control. Orwell reconginsed that words have both meaning and a force to influence ideas. He who controls words also controls thinking and the development of ideas. It's my contention that conservatism has seriously been hampered by a lack of neologisms to explain concepts.

Take, for example, the word, love. Imprecision in its meaning leaves it open to wide misinterpretation. God is Love means different things to different people. To the suffering it means benevolence.  To the lonely companionship. To the modern woman of churchianity it means God does not judge me and wants me to be haaaappy. To modern Churchmen it means God is accepting of everything. The wide variety of meaning means that people aren't talking about the same thing. Yet, in Latin the phrase, God is Love, is quite specifically translated to Deus Caritas Est. Love being translated to the specific, Caritas. The precision of the term renders discussion on the subject meaningful as it excludes other misinterpretations. Conflation in meaning permits conflation errors.

Take another Example. In Ortega y Gasset's book, Revolt of the Masses, he takes a whole chapter to explain the baneful effects of specialisation on eduction, which produces a man who is highly trained in his specific occupation but as ignorant as the average prole in other areas of knowledge. There seems to be no word to describe such a man or such a process, even though millions of such men and women are produced with this quality every year. The lack of a suitable word to describe such individuals makes discussion of the phenomenon difficult.

On the other hand, the neologism,  hypergamy has considerably facilitated the developed of our understanding of female sexuality. At least in the manosphere, the term is used with a fair degree of precision and its uses saves a considerable amount of expressive effort thus facilitating the development of contingent ideas. The term alpha widow is difficult comprehend without a prior understanding of the hypergamy concept.

The point is that ideas and their development are considerably facilitated by the introductions of neologisms which accurately convey concepts and are stymied by their lack.

I have often thought that Orwell's Newspeak dictionary came about as a result of his efforts to understand the pscychology of the mob in totalitarian regimes. There was simply no phraseology to capture the cognitive pathology he observed and thus had to invent neologisms to convey his ideas across. Though, in doing so, he greatly expanded the conservative cognitive capital and its ability to defend itself from the left. The terms doublethink, thought police, Big Brother, thought-crime and prolefeed are now mainstream words amongst the educated. That a man of the Left was the first to accurately describe this phenomenon is an indictment of the state of conservative thought at the time.

Personally, think several different fields of knowledge have developed to such an extent that neologisms are in order to adequately further develop the ideas, particularly with regard to the observed phenomenon of human cognition. My personal interest is the intersection between genetics, cognitive limitation and politics. So I thought I'd coin a few new words (and revisit some old ones) and explain them a bit.

Genopolitics. The influence of genetics on political orientation. There is a considerable amount of evidence to suggest that personality has strong genetic components and that political ideology is linked to personality type. In my post on alpha socialism what I was trying to get across is that the appeal of fascism lay less in its intellectual pretensions rather more upon its appeal to the "gut" of people with certain personality dispositions. Trying to understand Fascism logically fails because its appeal is not rational but instinctual to the hive mind.

Stenognosis. The state of being a specialist in one are of knowledge only.  It is the opposite of being a polymath. Our universities are, every year, producing millions of steongnostics. Proles in everything but their specialty. They are our technocratic elite.

Stenosophism: The human tendency to appreciate the proximate, concrete and immediate to the distant, abstract and  temporally separated. It's the here and nowism of the average human mind.

Autognosis: Instinctive "thought". Proportionality generated by gut feeling. The proposition, for instance, that health care should be free automatically produces as sense of approval in most people. The proposition only starts to be viewed negatively once serious thought is devoted to the subject. It's other name is feel good politics and is the predominant mode of political thought in democratic societies. Strongly influenced by genetics.

Biological vote: The voting patterns that are a consequence of genopolitics and autognosis.

Dysrationalia: The capacity to be stupid despite more than adequate IQ. 

Pseudorationality: The appearance of rationality despite any rational thought.

Rationalist fallacy: The belief that because people are rational in some things they are rational in all things. Being stenosophistic, people are usually rational when discussion simple, local and obvious concepts but become progressively less rational as the subject matter drifts outside their circle of competence.

Koreogamy: What men desire in women. (biologically determined)

These are just a few and I'm not wedded to the terminally but thought that I would put them out there for discussion.


electricAngel said...

call me narrow-minded, but the power of Orwell's neologisms is enhanced by the fact that they are almost all good Anglo-Saxon words in new combinations. I love Latin and Greek as much as the next man a(well, probably a lot MORE than the next man), but you won't win by targeting the people who understand the Latin and Greek roots of words.

Visceral appeal, sir! Oops, go for the gut, man!

Anonymous said...

Polymath vs Monopath perhaps?

Jason said...

I’m not sure what the neologism would be, but it would be nice to have a word for the strong – especially American – tendency towards what I would call “equalism”, the mentality that everybody is the same and that therefore all are entitled to the same things. Nobody is better – namely smarter, more disciplined, a harder-worker, braver, more virtuous – than anybody else; therefore the inflation in rights, which rather than being strong but limited become amorphous and endless. It is now no longer a matter merely of keeping up with the Jonses, but rather of automatically having the right through some kind of de facto fiat to possess everything the Jonses possess, whether it be the perfect house, the perfect mate, and so on. In sum, a term that epitomizes the unwillingness to perform that most unpleasant of actions: of looking up, and realizing that somebody is greater than you (not because of privilege but through merit) and more deserving – and most importantly, of your being fine with that!

Jack said...

@ Jason. Yes indeed. An entitlement mentality seems to pervade society. I contrast the men of my father's generation (WWII) with those who came even just a decade or two after. The former often content with having enough to get by, the later demanding more because they are somehow different.

Another great read, SP. I'd not heard of dysrationalia, though I've identified it's symptoms.

The Social Pathologist said...


I not wedded to any particular terms. I suppose I use the Greek and Latin because of my medical training. My main point is, that conceptual developement is hampered by a limited phraseology. The rationalisation hamster is a brilliant term that adequately describes a certain type of cognitive process. Still, it's a bit clumsy.


Monopath is good but it implies that there is something wrong with being a specialist. Whereas stenognostic recognises the specialist as being limited in his intellectual capacities.

@ Jason

A word is definitely needed for it.

@ Jack

Dysrationalia is a good word. It also helps undercut the high IQ fetishists who can't seem to grasp that high IQ is not enough.

Mark Richardson said...

Interesting you should post this. I've thought for a while that there should be a word (maybe there is) for the specific heresy you describe so well, namely:

"To modern Churchmen it [God is love] means God is accepting of everything."

Jaskologist said...

Confucius would have agreed:

Tsze-lu said, "The ruler of Wei has been waiting for you, in order with you to administer the government. What will you consider the first thing to be done?"

The Master replied, "What is necessary is to rectify names."
"So! indeed!" said Tsze-lu. "You are wide of the mark! Why must there be such rectification?"

The Master said, "How uncultivated you are, Yu! A superior man, in regard to what he does not know, shows a cautious reserve.

"If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.

"When affairs cannot be carried on to success, proprieties and music do not flourish. When proprieties and music do not flourish, punishments will not be properly awarded. When punishments are not properly awarded, the people do not know how to move hand or foot.

"Therefore a superior man considers it necessary that the names he uses may be spoken appropriately, and also that what he speaks may be carried out appropriately. What the superior man requires is just that in his words there may be nothing incorrect."

The Jaskologist said...

I think you're on the right track with the concept, but the wrong one in implementation.

Think of the other neologisms common in the manosphere (are these all the work of Roissy?): cock carousel, hamster, even unhaaapy. These are very, very evocative; they each make you form a very clear and unforgettable image in your mind. They're not inventing new words, just putting a twist on existing ones.

Basically, I don't think Latin will work. You need to use English. Alliteration probably helps, too. This is probably more art than science. Here's some off the top of my head:

Stenognosis -> single-subject smarts. May be too long. Could we repurpose "idiot savant"?

Genopolitics - > the reflexive vote/instinctive constituency.

Autognosis -> gut-thinking, heart-thinking, feelz-thinking

Stenosophism -> tunnel thinking

Rod Kierkegaard Jr said...

Koreogamy--and "Nymphilia" is probably a more catchy term-is rapidly being superseded in modern male culture by the term I have coined in several of my novels: "Pornogamy". I.e., the modern male, reared by the single MILF, has only online porn for a sexual and romantic model, and even later in life when married and/or with kids, continues to view pornography as his true primary sexual affiliation.

The Social Pathologist said...


I'm not wedded to any words in particular. I'm quite keen on mainstream popular terms. The problem, though, is that I feel that conservative thought hasn't really developed due to the failure to develop new concepts (which in turn requires new words.) As I mentioned before, my preference for Greek and Latin is due to my medical background.


This is why I harp on about Caritas as being a specific type of God's love. The conflation in conception made by the widespread abusage of the term love makes clearing up the intellectual mess so much more difficult.


Thanks, Pornogamy is not one I've considered but it should be added to the lexicon.