Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Death of Communication with Russia?

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Death of Communication with Russia?

Article excerpt

It was hoped that following the end of the war [WWII] an extensive exchange of ideas and opinions could be established between the United States and the Soviet Union to the advantage of both. Instead, the tenuous line of communication maintained during the period of military cooperation was broken with the onset of the so-called cold war. Now citizens of both countries are deluged with torrents of words piped into every home through the channels of mass communication, calculated to arouse fear and hatred of the "enemy." Appeals to sanity are weak in the United States and absent in the Soviet Union. The vicious circle of self-justifying suspicions is operating. Fear leads to "precautionary measures," which are interpreted by the other side as hostile acts; these lead to retaliation which justifies the original fear; these retaliatory measures compel more drastic measures on the other side, which in turn call forth more retaliation.

A journal devoted to the aims of general semantics should endeavor to improve effective communication and cooperation in the world. It would seem, therefore, that one of the functions of ETC. should be to take every opportunity to minimize the existing fears. One way of doing it would be by debunking the myths of irreconcilable differences. …

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