1980s >> 1982 >> no-934-june-1982

Messages in the Media

It is increasingly difficult to take in the flood of words which is poured out daily by the various media, and we offer a few definitions in the hope that they may help the reader to make sense of the world.

Aggression: use of force by a hostile state,
cf Self-defence: use of force by one’s own state.

Anti-colonialism (Argentine): seizing by force a small group of islands 400 miles away, entirely inhabited, by foreigners.

Anti-colonialism (British): killing Argentine servicemen in order to re-establish the right of the Falkland Islands Company to exploit the people of the islands.

Bicycle ride: the means by which three million unemployed could find jobs immediately.
cf Bicycle rider: Norman Tebbitt’s father.

Bicycles, shortage of: the only reason why three million unemployed stay out of work.

Capitalism: a system of society in which the great majority of people own no capital.

Catholic priest: a man who thinks all Catholics should have large families, who refuses to have any family at all himself, and who is known as Father,
cf Monk: a man who has renounced his family, and is known as Brother,
and Nun: a woman who has renounced her family, and is known as Sister.

Day off: a month at Windsor.
cf Brief break: two months at Sandringham.
and Short holiday: three months at Balmoral.

Defence: attack.
cf Defence expenditure: money spent preparing to attack other states in the next war.
and Ministry of Defence: government department in charge of attacks on other countries.

Democracy, definition of Theodore Parker 1810-60: government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people.
cf British democracy. 1982: government of the people, by the politicians, for the capitalists,
and Socialist democracy: system which will replace the government of people by the administration of things.

Education: process of preparing the children of the rich to give orders, and the children of the poor to obey them.

Food: trace elements found in some supermarket groceries.

Freedom of the press. British version: right of any very rich person to spread their views effortlessly to millions every day; right of groups of workers to spread their views with great difficulty to thousands every month.

God is on our side: message from Christian British chaplains to British troops fighting in the Falklands conflict.

God is on our side (in Spanish): message from Christian Argentine Chaplains to Argentine troops fighting in the Falklands conflict.

God: one who seems to have difficulty making his meaning clear in two different languages; one who needs to brush up his Spanish (or his English, according to the view taken of the Falklands conflict).

God save the king/queen: request to someone who doesn’t exist to preserve someone who shouldn’t.

History lesson: recruiting drive (“we have a passionate attachment to the [Falkland] islands which has been imbued throughout our schooldays”-young Argentine, The Times 5 May 1982).

Human nature: unexplained compulsive urge to murder, rob, rape and pillage possessed by everyone except the speaker and friends.

Human nature theory: an invention of the ruling class for use as an alibi explaining away the excesses of their system.

Idle dreamer: anyone who believes that the producers of the world’s wealth could produce it for themselves instead of for the property owners,
cf Practical politician: person who believes the exploitation of one class by another is part of the natural law.

Inflation: device (advocated c.g. by J. M. Keynes) consisting of printing more and more paper money, by which governments have tried to keep wages, and salaries, in check.

Inflation, advantage of: the government that creates inflation then alleges that it is caused by the workers who try to defend themselves against it.

Inflation, expert on: person who says workers trying to achieve the same real wages they agreed to work for a year ago are in fact causing inflation; one who believes that workers can force up indefinitely or in some way fix the level of their own pay; one who believes (theoretically) that all workers therefore must be millionaires.

Inhuman behaviour: human behaviour under the stresses and strains of capitalism

Murderer: person punished for killing one human being.
cf Military leader, person rewarded for killing many.

National catastrophe: hundreds of workers not working for several days after disagreements on wages and conditions.
cf Salutary economic re-adjustment: millions of workers not working for years.

News: what is left in a newspaper after discounting the advertisements, instant-wealth competitions, attacks on strikers, salacious details of entertainers’ lives, agony columns, strip cartoons, astrology, pictures of sporting heroes, praise of rich men, photos of nude women, gossip about the royal family, denunciations of workers’ idleness, stock-market prospects, snapshots of kittens, proprietor’s opinions, letters from the converted, forecasts of women’s fashions, speculation on sporting events, and rude gestures at the Press Council.
cf Dissatisfied reader: one who has discounted editorial bias as well, and finds nothing whatever is left.

Patriotism: blind obedience to the group of capitalists who live in the same country.

Patriot: worker who is exploited by capitalism, and who is prepared to die in defence of the right of capitalism to do so.

Peace: war (peace “means being prepared to fight for that peace”, Rhodes-Boyson, The Times, 4 May 1982).

Poor, the: a large group of self-denying people who produce the world’s wealth and hand it over to a small group of rich individuals.

Rewards of religion: pie in the sky; meals beyond wheels; in the great by-and-by we shall eat you and I.

Right to life campaigner: person who supports the right to life of a two-day- old fertilised egg, but not the right to life of a twenty-year-old worker in uniform.

Right to strike: an integral part of human liberty in all foreign countries,
cf Right to strike in this country: slogan of a gang of malcontents and trouble-makers.

Schooling: indoctrination.
cf Free schooling: compulsory indoctrination.

Tomorrow: point of time at which the workers will be prosperous under capitalism.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: propaganda title for the Russian state-capitalist empire.

Visionary: person who believes we should work for a sane social system in the world we live in.
cf Realist: person who knows he will be rewarded after his death with a splendid time in Heaven, Valhalla, Nirvana, Elysium, Paradise, etc.

Youth Employment Scheme: project to keep the young unemployed off the streets and out of the unemployment statistics, paying them small sums of money.
cf Life Peerages: project to keep a few of the old unemployed off the streets, paying them large sums of money.

Alwyn Edgar