Monday, August 11, 2008

Happy thoughts for Monday: we need some new "-icides"

I was just commenting on another blog that had written [silly woman! blogs don't write!] that Northern Ireland is enjoying a small "baby boom" in which 2000 more babies have been born than at this time last year. The author points out that it is unlikely that it is the "Irish" [or even their English Protestant occupiers] who are having children. It is more likely that the recent influx of immigrants from Eastern Europe that have come into NI under the open-borders rules of the Eurpean Union, who are the demographic culprits threatening to bring the Northern Irish birth rate perilously close to replacement level. [Perhaps someone should alert CEDAW or the UNFPA, isn't there some international agreement that prohibits profligate parenthood?]

I noted that it is a difficult choice we are presented with. A culturally suicidal open-borders policy that sees tens or hundreds of thousands of foreigners [let's just use the word, shall we?] flooding into previously culturally homogeneous areas, or a suicidal refusal of the same people to have babies.

If someone here is good with Greek, which I know some of you are, I propose the invention of a new term to describe both of these slightly different demographic insanities. We have "genocide" for someone deciding to eradicate a particular race in his own or someone else's country. This word has come in very handy politically. We now prosecute entire countries for the crime of genocide. Racially motivated mass murder is a no no. I realise there are broad legal and philosophical debates to be had about whether this term has been consummate with the traditions of western jurisprudence, but these, I think, for another day.

But "genocide" is not the only new term that has been useful. We have previously explored the invention of claxon words, those invented or adapted for political protest communities to force an immediate cessation of debate, "homophobia" being the classic example. "Homophobia" is a political appropriation of a set psychological terms, but the word itself has never appeared in any reputable psychological manual. It was invented by political activists who sought to demonstrate that any opposition to their cause was inherently irrational, and, as a bonus, akin to that other great claxon word "racism".

But I will contend that "genocide" is not quite in that class. It is clear that there is such a thing as "genocide", and crimes of genocide do not have the same airy ideological insubstantiality as "racially motivated hate crime" . It was not invented strictly for political reasons as a conversation stopper. It's grounding in objective and historical reality has made it a much more difficult term to subvert to purely cynical political opportunism. But this grounding in reality has of course, made it much easier to bring charges of genocide to courts and have money, quite big money, spent on international cases, whatever the difficulties involved in reconciling these to our jurisprudential western traditions. In fact, the reason I find the term suspect, the reason it dimly sets off some philosophical alarm bells is how easily it was used to justify the creation of that juridical abomination, the International Criminal Court.

But that aside. If the term "genocide" was invented after the Nazi atrocities, and promoted in response to the various subsequent racial pogroms of the Great and Glorious 20th Century, do we now not require some new terms to describe similar mass offenses?

Do we have someone who is familiar enough with Greek to come up with an "-icide" to cover an entire people who are committing mass racial suicide by refusing to have children?

Perhaps we could even follow the other example and invent a new "-phobia" term to cover our weird and peculiarly western terror of continuing the race, a surely pathologically irrational fear. Something that could work in our pathological cultural obsession with chopping our children into bite-sized bits while still in utero.

In a related vein, we will shortly require a second new "-icide" to cover the destruction of cultural distinctiveness by deliberate immigration flooding. A culture "-icide".

This second "-icide" might even be useful in terms of prosecution. Could the indigenous people of, say, Blackburn, Lancashire take the Labour party to the European Court of Human Rights because there are now portions of their own town where they are no longer safe to appear? Perhaps yes, but only once we have established the existence of this cultural "-icide" towards which to generate public sympathy.

I think the cultural "-icide" would be useful for other things too. We could use it, perhaps, to take the BBC to the European Court of Human Rights with accusations that their government monopoly and infantile Marxist programming has robbed two or three generations of British people of any contact with their own history and culture.

[Now, I'm sure I'll get letters.]


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Hilary, as usual. I don't know why Anglo westerners are committing the cultural suicide you so eloquently describe. We're contracepting ourselves into nonexistence, while foreigners are having four and five children per couple. Anyone who does the math (which, thanks to our stupid modern education ideas, may indeed be a challenge) can see what the outcome of this trend will be.

Anonymous said...

possible term:

Cicero also referred to the Greek term georgica as the equivalent of Latin cultura (cultura animi=georgica tes psyches).

Another possible term, focussing on religious;


Constantine said...

I asked a Greek/Latin teacher: there's no need to be familiar with Greek. For one thing, '-cide' is from the Latin 'caedere', 'to kill'. :P

He suggests 'progenicide', 'to kill off one's progeny', but then... that would imply that the progeny are already living.

Anonymous said...

"Mass racial suicide by refusing to have children:" autogenocide, of course. There's no need to have one word to mean autogenocide by contraception; you can just say "autogenocide by contraception."

"New "-phobia" term to cover our weird and peculiarly western terror of continuing the race:" this is not a Western terror. Japan, urban China, and Korea are also paedophobic.

"In a related vein, we will shortly require a second new "-icide" to cover the destruction of cultural distinctiveness by deliberate immigration flooding. A culture "-icide:" I think a better term would not include the -icide suffix at all. All the -icides refer to non-metaphorical killing, but very few people are killed in the operation you wish to name. That is why it can go on for so very long. Genodilution?

Your mammariphobia doesn't help, you know. - Karen