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md_ wrote

Culture shapes language, and language shapes culture. Often it’s like the proverbial chicken and egg; impossible to discern what came first.

The first claim is overwhelmingly more true than the second, so it's quite easy to discern what came first, but OK, I get their point.

I do agree with the observation that a lot of online politics, including Raddle btw, are presented with a US audience in mind, even when non-US-based activists are the ones writing about them.

That's not necessarily a language issue, as I've seen many authors writing in languages other than English, in places definitely outside of the Anglosphere, who are adopting US political analyses without any modifications to make them work in the local context. Racism (which they mention) is one such case. Racism works different elsewhere, and every time I hear a Levantine progressive identify (with the intend of recognising their privileges) "as a white man", I cringe. "No, you are not enjoying white privilege, you are enjoying dominant-ethnicity privilege. There are people with much fairer skin than you who work in almost slave-labour conditions for you to have your quality of life. You picked the wrong model to understand racism in this region, and that obscures part of the reality. "

Of course writing in a register that is accessible to people who are not familiar with the latest coinages of niche online communities is also important. I've seen English texts geared towards international audiences that were full of Germanisms and other region-specific cultural references and idioms that were impossible to follow as well. Picking the correct register matters, and there's a lot to be said about activist communities linguistic practices.


Tequila_Wolf OP wrote

I think this is an interesting conversation to have and I'm glad you participated - I just can't right now, so I wanted at least to acknowledge your engagement.


md_ wrote

And thanks for sharing this posts and others like it.

The intersection of language, politics, and activism is important, but often people who think about language, and people who think about politics do not listen to each other.


ziq wrote (edited )

It's a shame raddle is so US centric but since 99% of what we do is link to english language articles, it's bound to happen. Even UK sites like the Guardian and Indie are US centric somehow. Almost seems like the whole world is when seen from the internet bubble.