Can Control of Written Language Create or Reinforce Power? Essay.
By Daniel Whiting Language is the basis of communication between people, therefore if you ban the use of specific written language you are banning the communication of the ideas behind that language between people. People will still be able to formulate their ideas about the controversial subject but will find it difficult to spread the news on a large scale. This is because most widespread media is in written form like newspapers, books and most online content.
In our history lessons we have studied the rule of Joseph Stalin and how he maintained total control over the USSR.
He held strict censorship over the countries newspapers and any literature regarding the Soviet way of life and his riegn. Anything condemning the Bolshevik leadership or critisising them in any way was banned. This clearly helped stop the spread of anti- Stalinist feelings amongst the Russian people and helped grant Stalin unchallenged rule right up until his death.
This is similar throughout many single party dictatorships in history for example Nazi Germany and Mao’s China.
Many people may argue that banning certain written language is not a way to insure power. They argue that humans will create other words and phrases to get their ideas communicated. For example many famous fable writers even go as far as to disguise the meaning of their stories behind other language that does not literally mean the same thing.
This way they could spread their criticism of the other without the risk of being accused of directly defying the ban. The banning of certain written language can have a negative effect on our gaining of knowledge. It is depriving our brains from gaining further information from which we can learn from and use in the future. It can be argued however that most of the banned written language in modern civilized countries in the west for example is banned for the protection of the reader and to stop the spread of problems like racism and sexism.
It can be justified because of the fact that it is trying to protect the pillars of modern society rather than deceiving people into oppression that is commonly linked with countries ruled under a ruthless dictatorship. Controlling written language can be overcome through clever tactics that find a way around the ban. However it has been proven to significantly hinder the spread of ideas that may challenge one’s power therefore it can be a useful tool in enforcing and maintaining your power.