March of the Evil Empires!
English versus the feudal languages!!
VED from VICTORIA INSTITUTIONS
First drafted in 1989. First online edition around 2000
It is foretold! The torrential flow of inexorable destiny!
Part 1 - An Introduction to a perspective
France is a country, which existed very near to England and was in constant bafflement about why England is so different from them. By geographical size though much bigger than Britain, it could never compete with it. Even in historical incidences where they initially had the upper hand, once the English came to compete with them, they had to leave and allow the English to take over. The history of Colonialism* can give beautiful examples of this.
Historically, there must be a very significant feudal factor in the French language. This is very much evident from the French history. The terrible, callous feudal set-up, in which men and women turned into selfish brutes, not because they were not moved by the piteous position of their fellow citizens, but by an overpowering feeling of fear, of being dragged down to the depths of the feudal set-up, if they were to interact and imbibe the feelings of the lower citizens, made them shrink from any association with the downtrodden.
This overwhelming, social fright is a direct effect of a feudal language. The lower forms of existence, as per the feudal languages, do have an awesome power of negativity. This negativity is also very infectious, to those who interact at such negative levels, without proper protective armour. This armour is a protection of acceptable, financial or social standing, and should be invincible to a lot of social negativity. These themes need to be discussed in detail, to make it understood. It will be done at a later stage. For the time being, I request the reader to kindly try to imbibe as many ideas as possible. For, the discussion here is on something, a native English speaker would never have thought about.
French history is one of violent and extreme swings in ideology: autocracy*, revolution*, terror*, Napoleon*, return of the Louis kings, commune and many other swings in between. One of the causes of the French revolution could be the social injustice made extreme by frustrations caused by feudal strictures on communication.
Napoleon had a wonderful and trained army. He fought with the English many times. The English did not have any standing military of comparable size at any time. Yet, Napoleon’s most wonderfully planned attacks on England, and on British possessions, all failed. One may easily ascribe all this to ill-luck, or to Napoleon’s lack of capacity, or his over ambition, or to a factor luck for the British, or may even say that there is genetic factor in the British that make them adventurous, risk takers, brave or even physically and mentally more capable. Yet, the real reason would not be any of these. The real cause would be the differences in the communication software of the French and that of the English.
In the English case, their communication software would allow many levels of individuals to function with equal intelligence and inter-actability, without igniting mutual animosity, competition, jealousy or even insecurity. At the same time, even though Napoleon was undoubtedly much better in capability and intellect than his English counterparts, he would be dogged by all these factors cropping up among his subordinates.
NOTE added on the 21st of May 2016: Napoleon’s abilities would actually be interwoven with the hidden codes of the French language.
Only the personality of Napoleon would be the common thread that holds them together, when all these other factors would be actually pushing the individual constituents in different direction, and striving to break the group. Even Napoleon would himself be under compulsion to constantly restraint and redesign his natural personality, and external behaviours to suit the needs of what would appeal to the common understanding of what heroism and leadership is, as highlighted in the French language. The British leadership would be under fewer pressures, as they won’t be as much on a pedestal as Napoleon was. This problem would actually haunt the French at every level of leadership.
The contempt for the lower classes is very much evident in one of Napoleon’s famous dialogues. Napoleon called the British, a nation of shopkeepers to show his contempt for them. This very statement really reflects, and can establish the attitude of the higher society to the merchants and the other commercial classes in the French language. This attitude, which was to cost France heavily when they went in for competition in commercial enterprises, with the nation of shopkeepers.
The French could have come under the influence of two factors: one its own feudalistic language, where the lesser person was made to comprehend his lower stature and the social superior had to exhibit aloofness from them. Two, the proximity to England, where externally the institutions were similar. However the language softened the sharpness of the social stratifications, and gave more individuality and capacity to interaction all-round. The secret of this was confounding to the French. This could explain some of the factors that led to the revolution.
Another thing about this language is that it would easily convert the leaders into despots and the secondary level of leadership to levels of insecurity. I do think that the French revolutionaries were a little bit conscious about the feudalism in their language. This is evident from the pain they took to popularise the term ‘Citizen’*, an attempt to bring in equality in communication. I don’t know the social stature of the word ‘monsieur’, and whether it had a feudalistic content in it, and if it had, what was the reaction of the French Revolutionaries to it. Here I may mention in passing that Karl Marx* may have brought in the word Comrade,* with equal purpose, (because of his German language background).
Another significant hint that I have is that in every feudal language social system there is the technique of using highly stinging jokes and sly or boisterous laughter by the lower individuals, to counter the stifling effect of the language,. It gives them a means to assuage their hurt egos and to achieve a feeling of equality with the higher levels. The higher-up is very much vulnerable to jokes, and humour, vicious or benign from the lower statured individuals. They find it hard to sustain their social standing in the language in the limelight of the wit.
NOTE added on the 21st of May 2016: The modern Internet lingo LOL when used in an offensive manner is also a similar tool used by the relatively lower-statured individual.
A person who can joke about a superior personage, without offence should himself be of similar standing and his audience should also be of similar stature. Now it has been said that the jokes of Voltaire* were very displeasing and distasteful to the nobility, in France. Now in many places, where there is feudal language, and the political system is a farce called democracy, humour and sly jokes are the techniques that the lower guy practices to get even with the higher ups. For it severely discomforts the latter and at the same time leaves them with nothing much to do anything about it. For to even react to it would bring them to a level of interaction with the lower person, whose very existence they would be happy to ignore. (Here I would like to say that recently the Communist leaders of Kerala, took serious antipathy to Malayalam* visual media producing comedy programmes mocking their feudal leaders.)
However whatever turmoil or revolution or social changes, both peaceful or violent, comes in society, if there is something wrong in the underlying logic of the society, the same events would repeat. However much you try to set up better institutions, these would grow up to be just a repetitions of the same old ones.
In many ways, unless there have been changes in specific areas in the language software of France, whatever has happened will happen again. Not necessarily in the same manner. For the world has changed heavily. But the same root designs in the way the society functions would continue. A sort of immaturity and also a continuing feeling of not achieving the ideal social situation has been a hallmark of France. Another one is that they are not dependable as a nation. A sort of smarting under somebody’s snub, sort of behaviour is also a continuing character. Even if one were to befriend them, and they feel slightly lesser in importance, in comparison to their partner, at critical moments they would put on a show of high placed self-righteousness and go off in a tangential direction. All with the aim of showing the world that they have an independent mind. For in their language, an understanding of their secondary status would have been bothering them.
Historically, in any event, they competed with the English, they have ended up in secondary position. However the reason for this need not necessarily be the genetic superiority of the British. It could more be due to the negativity in their own social communication software. Here it must be emphasised that I do not question the beauty of the French language; or the amount of philosophical debates it contain. It is very much possible that there would be much philosophy in it. For in all feudal language societies, life is very complicated. Philosophies have a lot of space and chance to sprout in those terrible social confines.
Yet, there may be one aspect on which they could keep the British far behind them. That is on the autocratic power of their monarchs, or in the grandeur of their Palaces. Both are reflections of the slavery they could impose on their citizens.
When talking about the French and their historical antipathy to the British, Voltaire, the famous French philosopher needs to be discussed here. He is well known for his enduring infatuation for the British social and political institutions. An emotion that must have created a definite degree of antipathy towards him from the feudal establishments of France. And could be one of the reasons why he had to leave his country, and seek employment elsewhere. Yet, it is possible that he must have missed the real reason why the English institutions had a beauty and a quality of self-healing, that made them forever young and dynamic. This reason is the non-hierarchical quality of the English language.
Actually, this panacea of self-healing is embedded in the English language. The language assures that every individual, at an individual level is equal in communication codes. Any official can be addressed by his surname. Other words do not discriminate any citizen on the basis of his station. No political leader or bureaucrat, is holy or unapproachable, or beyond an ordinary citizens preview of analysis. The language psychology does not awe an ordinary man due to the magnificence of anybody or any institution.
So, in an English-speaking institution, even if there were no external manifestation of institutional democracy, communication between the ordinary member and the positional leader would be of a more equal level. So, a process of instinctive checks and balances that can self-repair any ailing part would work, soundlessly. Tthat too without breaking the system.
This is what the French language and people must have missed, historically.