The ‘Asymmetric Threat’ of Political Discourse

Abstract: Language, perhaps the most important asset in the history of human development, allowed human to be released from the restrictions of the animal world and placed his culture’s foundation. Speech as means of communication constitutes not only a priceless but also an omnipotent tool, which political art always utilized (through rhetoric, demagoguery etc), in order to convince, unite, but also intimidate dissenters and enemies. The rhetoric art developed by sophists constitutes a classic example.

Nevertheless, the political discourse constantly needs new linguistic vaccinations in order to remain committed to its objectives and maintain its dynamic. A word or phrase, which is extracted from its usual conceptual horizon and serves politics, often suffices. Some other times, however, the ‘committed term’ is shrouded with scientific gravity (and objectivity), while political language is enriched by the scientific language’s specialised vocabulary. These ‘linguistic loans’ from the science fields aim at adding in politics, determine the political scene of a country, and often characterise an entire era. “Deterrent war”, “collateral damages”, “asymmetric threats”, “crimes against humanity”, “terrorism” constitute only a sample of modern terms of military science and international law utilised by politics.

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Intellectum 10