Assessing Actions and Outcomes in Contemporary Central-Eastern Europe
Edited By Jacek Kurczewski
← 42 | 43 → Hate Narrations
“Guilty were not those who killed, but the ones who were their tool”1
he subject of the deliberations presented in this paper is an analysis of the language as a tool used for reconciliation or arousing hatred and conflicts. An assumption that the language may have such extensive causal functions may seem controversial. So what is the language? Language is words. We all say words, we use them in more or less reflective manner in different moments, depending on situation and emotions. By means of words we express our thoughts and feelings, and we are telling the reality. When we look at a dictionary containing words in a foreign language, foreign speech, we treat words as terms used for labelling, naming our thoughts and things in the surrounding reality. From the theoretical point of view, the problem is much more complicated.
Psychologists, social psychologists, sociologists and other scientists dealing with the theory of language and propaganda often quote Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address as an exemplification of the power of language and its impact on the shape of the social life. The address was made in the fall of 1863 at the Gettysburg cemetery, but it is still taught in American schools, although 150 years have passed since then.2 In the fall of 1863, Abraham Lincoln was perhaps one of the most despised Presidents in of the United States. Elected to the office three years earlier, with less than 40% of support, Lincoln presided over a...
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