Paper title:
  Some Reflections on Symbolic Violence Manifested through Totalitarian Language in Nazi Germany
Published in:
Issue 2 (Vol. 29) / 2023
Publishing date:
Vlad Gafiţa
Symbolic violence was used during the Third Reich to instil the new political religion and intellectually strengthen the National Community (Volksgemeinschaft), as well as to purify and alter the German character from a national-socialist perspective. States that are authoritarian or totalitarian prevent the usual emergence of political language or mass media, changing communication – which requires dialogue – into a monologue-type approach (one person speaks and the others must listen). Political language takes on a discursive-aesthetic shape; it ceases to reveal meanings for society and instead obscures and conceals them, serving only as a tool for deceit, coercion, terror, and propaganda. Language exhibits the following key characteristics when used in authoritarian discourse: oratorical and declamatory style, campaigning tone, triumphalism, ideologization and assigning symbolic meanings to political concepts, creation of ideologemes – the significance of which is different from the usual meaning of the words –, scientism and exaggerated abstraction to the detriment of logic, uplifted criticism and, often false, fervour, heavy use of slogans or mantras, and the claim of absolute truth are all examples of these tactics.
symbolic violence, coercion, totalitarianism, political language, Nazi, Germany, political religion, propaganda, terror.

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