Aug 202011

In my two-and-a-half years’ worth of blogging, I have found myself forced to consider the writings, sayings, and policy papers of those whose politics are opposite, and antithetical, to my own. I delved into the pronouncements of the left and, in so doing, discovered that it has its own rhetorical world. But not only that: I discovered that, in large part, the left’s rhetorical world is everyone’s. Its pseudologisms and weasel words—its perniciously equivocal vocabulary and taxonomy—infect public life and the body politic. In the rhetorical world given us by the left, a thing is not a thing: every term has a second meaning, a connotation, an interpretation. Words bear more loads for the left than structural steel.

Not to say this practice isn’t also prevalent on the right, or indeed anywhere else. In-groups always have their own meta-language. But the left have made their meta-language the language everyone has to speak.

I’d like to free these words from their role as beasts of burden.

And so I present to you a new series of posts which I will call the Progressive Dictionary. Words, and the load the left makes them carry. I’ve got a big long list to be starting with, but feel free to suggest your own.

And for your delectation, I’m going to begin with my two favourites.


The Free Dictionary: n. The using up of goods and services by consumer purchasing or in the production of other goods.

The Progressive Dictionary: n. The unnecessary and environmentally damaging using up of the earth’s scarce resources in the morally repugnant pursuit of conspicuous social status conferred by inequality.


The Free Dictionary: n. Lack of the means of providing material needs or comforts.

The Progressive Dictionary n. The unjust inability to engage in consumption (see above).

  7 Responses to “The Progressive Dictionary: 1”

  1. Well done, but it is an impressive project to take on , considering how the Left have twisted our language, it might run as long as the Complete Oxford English Dictionary as they seem to have their own definition for everything

  2. One word that you should give early attention to is “invest”. The progressive meaning of this is: “to spend public money (whether from tax receipts or public borrowing) recklessly on public sector employees and welfare dependents in order to buy their votes.”

    Incidentally, it is probably Gordon Brown’s favourite word.

  3. As PC says, this is the task of a lifetime. Orwell wrote a lot about the control and manipulation of language, and by controlling the language the ‘progressives’ (and that word is exhibit A) control the discourse. They have managed to attach odium to words like ‘capitalism’, ‘market’, ‘property’ and a great deal more, so that society is unconsciously reaffirming the busted leftist critique in every sentence.

    As I note above, ‘progressive’ is a hijacked word. Also Aetius above refers to the ‘public sector’. This also is a crooked term – not that I’m attacking you Aetius for using it, but it carries with it the notion that the state-run sector is for the good of the public, or exists because we, the public, demand it.

    We should, I believe, train ourselves to avoid wherever possible, and it is not always possible, these loaded phrases, and also to fearlessly champion the words these socialists have besmirched. We must endure the tiresomeness of having to define our terms, because the socialists will quickly rush to misinterpret us. We must constantly drag them back to the principle of communication, i.e. that it is about sharing ideas, and that it requires agreed definitions. We must challenge them to give a definition of the words they use. We should not sink to their level. We carry the legacy of the Enlightenment forward. Socialism at heart can only destroy and pillage. It cannot create. It teaches nothing but parasitism.

  4. You’re obviously not planning to do anything with the rest of your life – this will be a Sisyphean task. Aetius scored a bullseye with the way that ‘invest’ was usurped by the shabby, overweight tyrant Gordon Brown.

    What will happen when you get to ‘diverse’ and ‘community leader’? Just thinking about it makes me want a drink.

    Is it possible to modify the definition of poverty a little? After all, fake charities are eager to tell us that it’s endemic, when it ipso facto cannot not exist. According to their criteria, it’s < 40% of the median wage or somesuch.

  5. You’ll have several to choose from for “e”: elitism; educate; emission; equality; expert; enlightened. Many more spring to mind, but I don’t suppose you need any help.

  6. “bigot” – someone who holds non-progressive views on a social or moral issue.

    NB When referring to someone who holds non-progressive views on economic issues, the term “bigot” is normally avoided with a variety of epithets, such as “extreme right wing” and “free-marketeer” being used in its place.

    Please also note that by definition no progressive can ever be referred to as bigotted, regardless of how ignorant, misanthropic and resistant to evidence he or she is.

    “fascist” – someone who holds non-progressive views.

    NB To use the term correctly, one has to understand that it is applied equally to Nazis, libertarians, fascists, philosophical conservatives, anarcho-capitalist, minarchists, Christians, and anyone else who does not accept in toto the progressive paradigm.

  7. Also, when progressives say dialogue, they actually mean lecture, as in, “We need to have a dialogue about race/class/gender.” This is in no way a solicitation for differing viewpoints.

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