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Homo Sapiens became fully human with the creation of language, whether spoken, signed, or scratched in the dust. Before language, we were trapped inside our brains and our thoughts died with us. With language, our worlds expanded beyond the boundaries of our skulls. Thoughts could be shared, combined, and transformed into new thoughts. Our ideas could, like our children, outlive us. With the written word, our ideas could outlive even our children and their children. We could speak to people hundreds of years into the future and explain to them who we were and how we lived.
The postmodern claim, which the woke have adopted, is that communication between people of different eras – even different cultures – is impossible. Any text, they point out, has an infinite number of possible interpretations. And to that (small “t”) truth, they add the lies that no interpretation is more relevant than the rest and that words are merely tools of oppression in a world in which there are only oppressors and oppressed.
Our existence belies these claims. Humanity could not have survived a world in which words have no meaning – a world in which instructions for preparing a doctor’s prescription, a textbook explaining how to determine stresses on a construction beam, or a manual describing how to defuse a bomb can mean anything and, therefore, nothing. While there might truly be an infinite number of ways to interpret such texts, only a very few ways will keep us alive.
Literature doesn’t require the same level of rigorous and unambiguous meaning as do how-to manuals, but it offers key insights into our biggest questions such as why do we exist, what gives life meaning, and how we should live our lives. We learn how actors in literary dramas faced challenges and how they overcame them or why they failed.
In their march for power through the institutions, though, the woke seek to destroy the word. Because in their minds, the word is nothing more than a means of oppression, they’ve decided they’ll control those means and become the oppressors. The Left has weakened, corrupted, or destroyed one institution after another – the family, public education, the university – leaving the world far worse off than before. But this time the Left seeks, by destroying language and meaning, to abolish our humanity.Published in