Friday, October 28, 2005

Dictatorship of the Commentariat

Today's Wall Street Journal carries what they view as a pleasing report on how Lithuanian conservatives are redefining economic concepts away from their awful redistributionist meaning under Communist days to what they "really" mean:

Ruta Vainiene, a young former central banker in Lithuania ... published her plainly titled "Dictionary of Economics." The response, both in Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe, has been striking. Since its release, the Dictionary has been the No. 2 nonfiction best seller in her native country ...

"The dictionary was my response to the market need to educate journalists and students about economic jargon that seemed very frightening to them," Ms. Vainiene said in a phone interview. "It explains the concepts in simple words. But also"--and this is crucial--"explains them correctly."

The book notes, for example, that "social 'justice' is always related to the unjust redistribution of wealth, and 'fair competition' is almost always related to unfair government intervention in the economy." In other words, Ms. Vainiene is trying to educate but also to eradicate the misleading and contradictory doublespeak that infects much economic language, especially as it is used in Europe.

Even more laughable than this claim to "objective" meaning in what is clearly propaganda is that the WSJ pitches this as an Orwellian project to speak plainly, and perhaps they're right about the Orwellian part, although not in the way they think. There does seem to be a larger project on the WSJ editorial pages to dump the Republic of Ireland as their European cause celebre and cast their eye eastwards. Along the way, it looks like the English language will be one of the victims.

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