SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search




486          VII. THE MECHANISM OF TIME-BINDING
that he knows the structure and semantic functioning of the linguistic capacities. Even at present no professor, teacher, lawyer, physician, or chemist., is allowed to operate publicly without passing examination to show that he knows his subject. The above statement does not mean control or censorship. Far from it. Our language involves a much more intricate, beneficial, or dangerous semantic mechanism than any automobile ever had or will have. We do not control the drivers in their destinations. They come and go as they please, but for public safety we demand that they should have acquired the necessary reflex-skill for driving, and so we eliminate unnecessary tragedies. Similarly with language, of which the ignorant or pathological use becomes a public danger of a very serious semantic character. At present public writers or speakers can hide behind ignorance (1933) of the verbal, semantic, and neurological mechanism. They may 'mean well'; yet, by playing upon .the pathological reactions of their own and those of the mob, they may 'put over' some very vicious propaganda and bring about very serious sufferings to all concerned. But once they would have to pass an examination to get their licence as public speakers or writers, they could not hide any longer behind ignorance. If found to have misused the linguistic mechanism, such an abuse on their part would be clearly a wilful act, and 'well meaning' would cease to be an alibi.
We must accept the obvious facts which make the older theoretical 'democracy' or the older theoretical 'socialism' a scientific impossibility. If, in 1933, 99% of the population of the globe appear as infantile or 'mentally' deficient, how can any one expect that the majority or the mass could ever have proper evaluation or non-pathological s.r ? All history shows at present, and this evidence should not be taken lightly by scientifically enlightened society, that the majority appears 'always wrong', and that all that we call 'progress', 'civilization', 'science'., has been achieved by a very small minority. Such an understanding should guide our future conduct if we desire better results than we have at present. Under conditions, not the state, nor different private societies, but professional scientific bodies would have to set the standards and perfect the technique of the linguistic structural examinations. They would also select members who would serve on the examination boards. It might seem that such a innovation would not be important or far-reaching. This would be a mistake. It seems that most of those public writers and speakers may be considered privately as 'honest' men, who do not realize that under A conditions they often impose on defenceless masses delusional states which too often become of a pronounced morbid character. Once such an examination would force them to look into