Debates


Negacionismo


I think it is important to uphold certain terminological rigour in the face of not only incidental but deliberate semantic drift. For instance, although the entire Western hemisphere is America one particularly violent and dominant state has appropriated the term for itself. Its particular notions of human value, freedom, liberty, security and the history (fantasy) underlying it are deemed by this state and its professional, scholarly, journalistic, and cultural defenders to be supreme: not only within but without its territorial boundaries. The term "American" has thereby been so thoroughly compromised that anyone who does not share the position of that particular state has to struggle with alternative terminology just to restore meaning to terms which by their very nature should be universally understood.
 
This state portrays itself as "victim", as lonely, naive and nearly defenceless on account of its supposed commitment to the above notions. As a victim it has had to defend itself regularly against other states in the Americas. Unfortunately its citizens are so thoroughly indoctrinated by the religious fanaticism of this state that even while other Americans are ravaged, tortured, robbed and killed-- whether it was in Santiago,  Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Nicaragua, Salvador, Guatemala, etc.-- it has been defended as for the freedom of America.
 
The same phenomenon applies to the term "Jew". The appropriation of the entirety of Judaism by a state in the territory of Palestine has made it virtually impossible for any intelligent discussion, let alone humanistically oriented  political action, aimed at relieving and ultimately eliminating the vicious system controlling the territories bordering the eastern coast of the Mediterranean sea. Although the term "Zionism" accurately designates the ideology and movement which has appropriated Judaism. Use of the term in serious discussion has been very successfully attacked with the fallacious argument that it refers purely to some defunct historical movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and hence its use is always deemed an anachronism or mere polemic in official discussion. Attempts by people who are Jews to define their Jewishness independently of the phantom Zionism are attacked as anti-Jewish and all others are attacked as anti-Semitic. Zionism asserts itself as the owner of the entirety of Jewish history and values just as this state in the Americas has appropriated for itself the exclusive right to define the Western hemisphere and with it freedom, liberty, etc. for the rest of the world.
 
Three states in America have applied variants of "US" to their names. One combines this with the term "America". This state sees itself threatened from its southern neighbours-- in part for economic reasons but, also because the Spanish-speaking Americans have slowly been reclaiming the land stolen from them in the 1840s. Whether conscious or not the northern state has fortified its southern border to enforce its denial of "the right to return".
 
In other words starting with clarity in terminology is just as important to grasp the historical confrontations as it is to see the parallels of current conflicts. It is necessary to look at who is doing what and call that actor and action by their right name. This is one step toward freeing Jews from answering for Israel and Zionism and the entirety of Americans from answering for the acts of the USA and its citizens. It is also a challenge to those who hide behind these terms to stand in the open and be judged by their behaviour not their pronouncements. Scientific investigation may be impartial but facts must be interpreted to have meaning and meaning is never isolated from power. If scholars (historians) are capable of contributing to a shift in power it is perhaps through innovation in interpretation, showing how to use facts to give meaning to human experience-- especially in the face of powerful forces (such as mass media) distorting and destroying history and robbing people of their claims to meaningful lives.
 
Mit freundlichen Grüßen/ Cordialement/ Cordiali saluti/ Yours sincerely
 
Dr. Patrick Wilkinson
Institute for Advanced Cultural Studies - Europe
Kirchstrasse 32
D-40227 Düsseldorf