Politics Is Not Just Spy Versus Spy; It’s Also Slogan Versus Slogan

For as long as political and ideological movements have sought to engage large followings, they have embraced slogans and catch phrases that give pithy expression to their views, aversions, and objectives. Slogans are dangerous in that they substitute rote declarations for serious thought, yet they may sometimes serve a purpose even for thoughtful people as rhetorical hammers with which one hits potential listeners in the head to get their attention. In any event, it seems that slogans and politicking are inseparable under both democratic and revolutionary conditions. So, one must pick and choose. The following are two short lists of slogans and other such utterances that repel or attract me.

First, ten slogans that rub me the wrong way:

  1. Eat the rich
  2. Fifty-four forty or fight
  3. From each according to his ability, to each according to his need
  4. Vote yourself a farm
  5. Lips that touch liquor must never touch mine
  6. All power to the Soviets
  7. Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato
  8. Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer
  9. Nixon’s the One
  10. Country first

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