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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Tale of Two Words: "Separatist" and "Alienation"

Language gives an idea shape. The shape of the idea can be illuminating or restrictive. Since the meanings of words suffer entropy like everything else, it is necessary to express an old idea in a new way. We see this often when a stereotype develops that is linked to a certain word.

Two words that have been subjected to a restrictive, rather than illuminating shape are the terms, "separatist" and "alienation".

Both terms are familiar to Albertans. They are a part of our political 'thought-world'. However these terms do not adequately express what many people would like them to.

Although an Albertan may wish to be independent of the Federal government's grasp, it is difficult for him/her to identify themselves as a separatist since the word has too many connections to the FLQ, radicalism, or armed revolution.

As well, an Albertan may be frustrated with feelings of 'Western Alienation' but he/she is not solely defined by the approval of an oligarchy of politicians and newspaper publishers. Being alienated assumes that there is a wish to be included. But for many Albertans, that wish is no longer there. They are tired of trying to break into the other guy's club.

For many people, the banners with words of separatist and alienation are ably waved without apology. They are not bothered by the name-calling of others.

But for some Albertans, these words don't quite express what they desire to express.

For these Albertans, may I suggest a new phrase for their philosophy: the New Albertanism.

Please return to Albertanicus as we explore the shape of a new idea which is not really new at all.

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  • From Foothills, Alberta Rocky Mountains
  • I wish to serve my neighbors in a democratic society by reflecting on issues related to Albertans. I speak from the viewpoint of a Confessional Evangelical. I am also promoting what I call, "the New Albertanism".
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