The War on and With Words

Positions on the proper use of power (the ability to act and influence action) by entities such as ‘government,’ corporations, and public figures change according to the perceived ability to exploit a particular tactic that favors the members of your perceived camp.

In other words, people will find ways to support or oppose the very same use of power.  The key decider is not found in debates about rights or justice, but in figuring out which camp benefits from the tactic being ‘debated.’

Debating is not useful, for the most part, for any of the major political camps in America.  Controlling narrative is the most essential element in the expanding wars between the major political camps.

The camps have now all come to understand the significant strategic advantage in controlling the major core impact words of language.  The camp that controls the definitions of the core impact words has already won the debate before the conversation ever takes place.  The camp that control the core impact words controls the narrative.

Core impact words are words that immediately invoked a passionate reaction, either negative or positive.  Core impact words need not have clear, near-universal working definitions.  As a matter of fact, the core impact words with the least clear, near-universal working definitions are the most powerful words in the arsenal of any camp that owns the definition of that word.

Core impact words enable camps to control narratives preemptively.  If, for instance, the camp is successful in transferring their definition of a core impact word to a significant proportion (I’ll leave the scientists define ‘proportion’) of the market, then before the other side shows up, their very positions, their very actions have already been successfully deemed beyond the pale, outside the bounds of “decent” society.

The flip side of this narrative also works.  If one camp is able to successfully define a positive core impact word to match their core beliefs and actions, then, once again, the very existence of that core impact word and its commonly-held definition, defeats the other side of the debate before they ever show up.  They are literally showing up to debate in favor of eating feces for breakfast every morning.

The definitions of core impact words change (or camps attempt to change the definitions) if and when the advantage or disadvantage of a certain use of power changes for one or more of the competing camps.

Core impact words can also be used in choir effects, to rally action in some form or other of the camp’s members, or choir (so to speak).  The words can be used to reinforce boogeymen that spur people to action, or inspire action using passionate core impact words that reinforce the camp’s beliefs and uses of power.

To understand why camps act in certain ways, analyze the uses of power that benefit the camp, analyze the uses of power that hurt the camp, and finally analyze the most-used phrases by the camps.  Attempting to understand the logic, the reason of the cases the competing camps make to give legitimacy to their uses of power is like studying the motion of wheels on a moving car to understand what propels it forward.

If you want to understand how the car moves forward, you best start with the engine.  In this case, the engine can be found in those core impact words.  Remember, these camps are not so much motivated by ideals as they are by the power advantage they perceive these ideals give their various camps.

Each camp has identified certain groups of people that are, by the very nature of who they are, either sacred and superior, or worthless, inhuman.  Each camp has identified certain groups of people that, by the very nature of who they are, deserve extra state scrutiny and policing, and other groups that, by the very nature of who they are, deserve extra state benefits, protections, advancements.

These camps use words to destroy, words to rally, words to protect, words to invade.  If you understand the core impact words and their competing definitions, you know far more about the reality of power than any debate over the merits of individualism, socialism, liberalism, etc. will ever tell you.

Political camps, camps that exist to influence the application of lethal force threat by ‘the state,’ are far more driven by the desire to protect and punish certain groups of people than they are about whether the individual serves the state or the state serves the individual.  Insofar as a given ideal benefits or harms certain groups of people, then that ideal becomes palatable or detestable accordingly.

These camps are engaging in a market competition that offers the winners a monopoly on violence by the state.  I believe that, at their mostly inaccessible core, almost all rank and file members of these camps understand the winner-take-all contest that is currently afoot.

It bears no use, to me, to engage in political debate about the merits or demerits of a certain camp’s ideological positions.  I am far more interested in understanding their heroes, their villains, and their definitions of core impact words.

Once you understand this, you have a core starting point, you know who they love and you know who they hate.  Once you understand this, you have a much more effective predictor of actions to come.  If you understand what’s coming next, you understand how best to position yourself to maximize the benefits and minimize the harms of these future actions.

Once you understand the prevailing conditions of the war on and with words, you understand the reality of power behind that war, which enables you to be better prepared, come what may, for the next ripple effect from the players of that winner-take-all game.

About Paul Gordon 3009 Articles
Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at