Here's Matt Stoller, philosophe:
I studied some Soviet history in college, and one of the most fascinating anecdotes my professor told me was about what happened when the archives were finally opened to Western historians. You see, the papers that historians had access to prior to the fall of the USSR were mostly from low-level bureaucrats, and the language they used about their amoral behavior was excessively bureaucratic.... Historians expected that when the curtains were lifted and papers from top officials were made available, they would be able to get a sense of the 'real' intent of the leadership, in normal Russian.Quite a Lakoffian insight, innit? Or even a campus-PC one -- words rule the world, and politics is all about diction.
What happened of course is that, like with any regime loosed from its moral bearings, the language the top officials used was the same bureaucratic language used by the middle management. In essence, the Soviet system failed because its language codified corruption and bleached morality from it. Leaders thought in terms of the language they used, and that language did not allow for error or moral failure on the part of the state.
It gets better:
...Verizon is a bad actor in the political process. If you put legislation through on a Federal level, they will go to the states. If you go to the states, they will go to the FCC, or to the localities. If you stop them there, they will go to the courts. At no point, however, will Verizon accept the democratic process as legitimate, at no point will this company accept a set of laws that they don't like. Our country is built on the consensus of the governed, that even if you don't like all of our laws, you buy into the process of forming them and consent to all of them.This is quite stunning, really. Here we have a guy of some consequence, at least in our little world of blogland -- a guy who is no longer sixteen -- talking like a high-school debate team, and apparently believing it.
Matt, Matt -- apply yourself, and think -- what do you believe the Constitution is for? Who wrote it, and why? Did your undergraduate studies cover this topic, along with the prose style of the Soviet bureaucracy?