The Actual Language of Debate

George Szirtes:

..the rhetoric, the actual language of debate, employs a vocabulary determined more by the left than the right. The right has no rhetorical lexicon of any general moral value. The moral lexicon belongs to the left: the right can only argue by resorting to it. One has only to think of terms of values such as ‘radicalism’ (meaning good), or ‘justice’ or ‘fairness’ and so on to see that they spring out of a socially reforming, egalitarian, pacifist bedrock. Only in sport do the figures of patriotism, self-reliance, martial spirit and competition play a positive part.

(Not to mention references to good old working-class values.)

1 Reply to “The Actual Language of Debate”

  1. The consequence is a degradation in vocabulary. Now “fairness” is risible in any discussion not involving infants.

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