FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Origin of political expressions

   
Author Topic: Origin of political expressions
King of Men
Member
Member # 6684

 - posted      Profile for King of Men   Email King of Men         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just realised that Norwegian political language has an interesting quirk. If a politician or appointee has made some mistake and decided to try to roll with it by saying "We screwed up, I apologise", there are two accepted formulations; he can say that he "lays himself flat", or he can say that he "takes self-criticism". The former is used for more serious screwups than the latter, and generally both are accompanied by "That should not happen" and/or "It won't happen again". Now, the part that interests me is the self-criticism bit, because it seems likely to me that its origin is in the radical communist party AKP(ml) (that's "Workers Communist Party (marxist-leninist)", and yes, the parens were an official part of the name) from the seventies, the one that trained its cadre for armed revolution. Apart from all the other reasons they were notorious, such as "self-proletarisation" and the educational trips to Albania, they were famous for enforcing discipline by the practice of self-criticism, in which the member would stand in the middle of a circle and verbally flay himself until the rest were satisfied. So described it doesn't sound very bad, but apparently there were at least a few suicides after particularly humiliating sessions, often over rather trivial matters of doctrine. (Probably a last-straw effect; party discipline was pretty strong for the cadre, and free time essentially nonexistent.)

I find it amusing that this radically left-wing practice should have become so completely mainstream in Norway that people even complain of its anodyne cliched-ness; "So he takes self-criticism", they say, "so what? Is that supposed to help?" (Alas that the Viking warrior tradition does not include the practice of falling on one's sword; no doubt that would satisfy everyone.)

Are there any often-used political expressions in your various traditions that have counter-intuitive origins?

Posts: 10645 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Blayne Bradley
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
the parantheral stuff was because when the Sino Soviet split happened it pretty much split every party in every country except the Soviet Union and Warsaw pact countries into a pro china or pro soviet line. Incidentily I accidentily voted for the Maoist pro china party in my district.
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sterling
Member
Member # 8096

 - posted      Profile for Sterling   Email Sterling         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Takes self-criticism" sounds like a black-humored euphemism for suicide anyway.
Posts: 3825 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike
Member
Member # 55

 - posted      Profile for Mike   Email Mike         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I prefer "eliminating one's own map" myself.
Posts: 1810 | Registered: Jan 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2