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Saturday, March 28, 2009

"We Have Another Vocabulary For That"

A comment today on NPR regarding the "war" on terror--that it could have been framed as a legal action, "Let's bring these criminals to justice" rather than a war. Problem with the war metaphor: you can't wage a war against a strategy.

We have another vocabulary: that of law, in which the victory is merely justice, which like heaven, is another rendition of the vocabulary of economics. Law, religion and money deploy the same structure through different vocaularies.

We have a different vocabulary means, really, we have a different structure through which to think it, since it lacks an inherent structure. We have a different vocabulary. We do not, however, have enough vocabularies, enough structures. If several structures are, essentially, the same, despite a variety of vocabularies, what a writer can bring to the mix is not a new vocaulary, but a novel structure. Neither war nor gold.

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