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Esperanto and Esperantist ideology

 Language Learning Forum : Esperanto Post Reply
26 messages over 4 pages: 13 4  Next >>
Lucky Charms
Diglot
Senior Member
Japan
lapacifica.net
Joined 5488 days ago

752 posts - 1710 votes 
Speaks: English*, Japanese
Studies: German, Spanish

 
 Message 9 of 26
06 March 2012 at 8:01am | IP Logged 
I've been studying Esperanto for about a month now for the 6 week challenge. The only
political themes I've run across so far are the idea that the EU should adopt Esperanto
as a "working language" (once) and the hope for world peace (recurring). The forums at
lernu.net include one forum for debate, and the topics I've browsed seem to reflect a
wide range of political and other beliefs.

In the fi3m forum the same question came up recently, and Benny said he has zero interest
in politics, but that this has never been a problem at Esperanto meets, where he swaps
travel stories and flirts with girls :) My experience so far has also been that people
talk in Esperanto about the same things they would in any other language.
3 persons have voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4978 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 10 of 26
06 March 2012 at 10:06am | IP Logged 
Michael K. wrote:
I think the guy I was thinking of was mentioned in "In the Land of Invented Languages." He was John Leslie, who was known as Verdiro (truth teller) among Esperantists. He seems to have been more of a spokesperson than someone who tried to take over the movement.


He was apparently a secretary of the British Esperanto movement for a while. I'd never heard of him.

Michael K. wrote:

I should have been clearer, but by the peace movement I meant people who think that by having a common language there would be no more wars. Of course, this is wishful thinking, and the deadliest war in American history was our Civil War, in which just about all combatants had the same language and culture (there were some overseas mercenaries fighting for the Confederacy, but I don't know how many there were).


Zamenhof himself thought that for a while. He's widely acknowledged to be wrong. Nonetheless, there are various international peace movements, both against specific conflicts and for peace in general, and it's not rare for me to meet Esperanto speakers who are involved.

Michael K. wrote:

I didn't mean to imply that Esperanto inherently promotes Marxism. I know that there are Esperantists of various political backgrounds, because, like this one book said, the only 2 certainties about Esperantists is that they can read the Roman script and that they know at least 2 languages (because I seriously doubt there are any monolingual Esperanto native speakers).


Up to school age, there have been a few, starting from the 1920s or so. After that, to the best of my knowledge, you're right.

Michael K. wrote:

Not to be a smart aleck, but because it came up, what exactly is an anti-Marxist communist? Isn't that an oxymoron, like saying a despotic democrat?


I meant to write anti-Stalinist communist. There are quite a few different branches of communist ideology.

Michael K. wrote:

Not to nitpick, but "right-wing Libertarians who always vote for Republicans" is also an oxymoron. A Libertarian (capital L) is a member of the Libertarian Party (someone who has vowed never to use government force for political purposes), so they vote for and promote LP candidates. Most members of the LP are as angry at the RNC as they are at the DNC (they openly call both of the mainstream parties statists, among other invectives), and they wouldn't like being called "right-wing" either (believe me, I have LP friends). A libertarian (small l) just accepts the libertarian ideology without being an LP member, and might vote for Republicans (Ron Paul is a favorite among libertarians).

Sorry, Election Day is tomorrow in my homestate of Ohio, so I'm a little on edge about politics (and I hate politics).


I'm sure you're familiar with the concept of tactical voting. There are plenty of Ron Paul supporters who are registered Republicans, self-identify as libertarians, and some of them vote Republican rather than Libertarian in elections for various reasons, such as preferring the Republicans to win an election, because of more overlap in economic views than they personally share with the Democrats. The Libertarian party candidates also aren't always particularly libertarian; Bob Barr, their 2008 presidential candidate, was a former Republican congressman, and widely critiqued both inside and outside of the Libertarian party for not being particularly libertarian.

I'm aware of libertarian and Libertarian critiques of the Democrat and Republican parties. However, the US has an essentially 2-party system, and many people choose to vote in ways that recognize this, regardless of how they wish it were. This includes some members of the Free State project.

Most libertarians I've met do accept a divide into right- and left- libertarian, and American Libertarians are overwhelming right-wing libertarian. Admittedly, this clashes with some definitions of right-wing that make sense in the context of American politics.


Edited by Volte on 06 March 2012 at 10:07am

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Michael K.
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4268 days ago

568 posts - 886 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 11 of 26
06 March 2012 at 5:45pm | IP Logged 
I agree with Lucky Charms. Most Esperantists probably just speak in Esperanto about whatever they do in their native languages. I would probably never talk about politics in Esperanto because I really don't care to discuss politics.

Thanks again, Volte, for critiquing my thoughts and for helping me to dismiss misconceptions I have about Esperanto.

To the OP - what exactly did you mean by saying that Zamenhof wanted to use Esperanto as a vehicle to spread his ideology? What exactly was Zamenhof's ideology, anyway?

As far as Esperanto suppressing minor languages, I remember seeing a link in which a European wrote that if the EU supported Esperanto then the EU would have fewer resources to support minor languages. Of course, Esperanto could be seen as a minor European language because there are native speakers in Europe. I know nothing about European politics, and because I don't have the link, I can't tell what the premise of his argument was.
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Deerhound
Triglot
Newbie
England
Joined 3444 days ago

30 posts - 46 votes
Speaks: English*, German, Toki Pona
Studies: French, Mandarin, Esperanto, Greek, Latin, Welsh

 
 Message 12 of 26
19 June 2012 at 7:48pm | IP Logged 
It does seem to tend to be learnt by people who are quite left-wing but I am right wing/Tory/conservative and I am learning Esperanto. I don't agree with the 'one world' ideology and don't believe that everyone speaking one language would bring world peace. But it could be useful as a second language. Say, for example, someone doesn't have the time or linguistic skill to learn a natural language, with all its irregularities but learning Esperanto might be better than having no second language at all. Or perhaps it could help introduce them to thinking differently in another language, as a step to another language.

Personally, I find it linguistically interesting and strangely interesting to the eye and pleasing to the ear. So I'm learning it for the enjoyment (I'm finding it quite easy so I'm not putting much time or effort in) and for the possibility that perhaps one day it will come in useful, but if it doesn't, that's fine.

Edited by Deerhound on 19 June 2012 at 7:49pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Switzerland
Joined 4978 days ago

4474 posts - 6725 votes 
Speaks: English*, Esperanto, German, Italian
Studies: French, Finnish, Mandarin, Japanese

 
 Message 13 of 26
19 June 2012 at 9:26pm | IP Logged 
Deerhound wrote:
It does seem to tend to be learnt by people who are quite left-wing but I am right wing/Tory/conservative and I am learning Esperanto. I don't agree with the 'one world' ideology and don't believe that everyone speaking one language would bring world peace. But it could be useful as a second language. Say, for example, someone doesn't have the time or linguistic skill to learn a natural language, with all its irregularities but learning Esperanto might be better than having no second language at all. Or perhaps it could help introduce them to thinking differently in another language, as a step to another language.


While Esperanto speakers do seem to skew left, there are plenty of conservative speakers. I've heard of BNP supporters getting a less than warm reception among Esperanto speakers in the UK, but Tories don't seem to be all that unusual.

I can't say I've seen a coherent "one world" ideology in Esperanto, and the idea that everyone sharing a language would bring world piece doesn't seem to be a common view among contemporary Esperanto speakers.

There have been some studies done on studying Esperanto as a prelude to other languages. The results were that it was helpful, especially for the people who would otherwise struggle most. I do think having a second language is worthwhile, and that Esperanto is a reasonable choice for this.

Deerhound wrote:

Personally, I find it linguistically interesting and strangely interesting to the eye and pleasing to the ear. So I'm learning it for the enjoyment (I'm finding it quite easy so I'm not putting much time or effort in) and for the possibility that perhaps one day it will come in useful, but if it doesn't, that's fine.


We seem to agree on its aesthetics.
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Iversen
Super Polyglot
Moderator
Denmark
berejst.dk
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9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
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 Message 14 of 26
20 June 2012 at 1:00pm | IP Logged 
I participated in the Universal Esperanto Congress in Copenhagen in July 2011, and to be true there were a number of lecture topics which were slightly offputting in my eyes. I'm not a vegetarian, I'm not religious, I'm not interested in UFO's and even though world peace is a nice concept I can't see what Esperanto has to do with it. But speaking about politics and elections: in any election there will also be crackpots and liars and opportunists and simple blockheads (not to speak of all the mainstream politicians), and that shouldn't cause us to abolish democracy or use foul language towards common voters.

Esperanto is language, period. There are a number of people who use it, and the only common denominator is that they for some reason have chosen to learn at least one language more than their native one, which for a language aficionado like me is a positive trait.

Edited by Iversen on 20 June 2012 at 1:04pm

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a3
Triglot
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Bulgaria
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 Message 15 of 26
20 June 2012 at 6:49pm | IP Logged 
I dont like the way some eperantists think:
"This language is made to be an international one, so everybody should learn it as a second language."
Using the same logic, I can write a book and say:
"I have written this book with the goal it to be read all over the world, so everyone should read it."
The difference is that some people want to make the others to learn esperanto.
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Michael K.
Senior Member
United States
Joined 4268 days ago

568 posts - 886 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish, Esperanto

 
 Message 16 of 26
20 June 2012 at 10:54pm | IP Logged 
a3 wrote:
I don't like the way some Eperantists think:
"This language is made to be an international one, so everybody should learn it as a second language."


Can you cite one Esperantist who's said that? I seriously doubt most Esperantists feel that way.

As far as Esperantists and ideology goes, I read on LinkedIn that there's a claim that people who learn foreign languages for fun might have more of a liberal slant to their politics because they're probably more tolerant and world conscious than people who don't enjoy studying languages. The language they study, like Esperanto, in and of itself may be irrelevant, assuming that this claim is true, of course.


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