Re: MD junk or politics on this list

From: Ian Glendinning (
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 00:11:13 BST

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    A qualification ...
    When I say "metaphor" I mean "a metaphor commonly accepted in use as a
    metaphor", so whilst I didn't mean to imply the founding fathers had used it
    themselves, it would have been irrelevant who specifically had used it
    unless it had come into "general" use. I was not remotely referring to
    euphemistic "private" metaphors invented by one consituency of people for
    their own specific motive, so you can count me out of all the anti-semitic
    pejorative language as being true metaphors.

    On the contrary, without wanting to get in the way of the heavy politics of
    conflict debate you were already having I was more specifically picking up a
    warning on the concept of "a literal fact". Many (most ?) apparently literal
    facts were once metaphors, now so commonly accepted, that their origin in
    metaphor is lost to all but linguists.

    Take care
    Ian Glendinning

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Wim Nusselder" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Sunday, April 18, 2004 8:38 PM
    Subject: Re: MD junk or politics on this list

    > Dear Ian,
    > You wrote 18 Apr 2004 13:07:55 +0100:
    > 'I've always taken the view that the only difference between a metaphor
    > a "literal fact" (whatever one of those is), is the time it takes the
    > metaphor to die and become accepted as a useful statement in its own
    > Fine, so I suggested to Jon actually that it takes more than 228 years for
    > the metaphor of "America as experiment" to become accepted as "fact" on
    > side of the ocean. The founding fathers "really being" scientists because
    > they used that metaphor is probably not something they said themselves. If
    > Jon introduced the metaphor of "founding fathers as scientists", it may
    > some time for it to become fact, too, if ever.
    > Some metaphors never become a generally accepted fact. Jews "really being"
    > vermin, for instance, that required gas chambers as 'Endlösung'. And not
    > only because the "vermin" itself still militantly refuses to accept (some
    > them by branding others inhabiting "their" "God-given" "homeland" as
    > "vermin").
    > I hope "experimentally" democratizing with military means populations that
    > do not consent is never going to be accepted as proper science. For me it
    > global politics by a few governments that had no global mandate.
    > We now recognize the 'balance-of-power' politics of former centuries in
    > Europe as low-quality politics, because it resulted in gradually
    > wars. It is superseded by first economical cooperation, gradually more
    > political integration and hopefully in the future the growth of a common
    > identity (in addition to, not substituting, national identities). That is
    > the alternative that Europe can offer the world according to the European
    > Cultural Foundation (my employer).
    > With friendly greetings,
    > Wim
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