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A sign of a dying civilization?

“One of the signs of a dying civilization,” John Ralston Saul points out in Voltaire’s Bastards, “is that its language breaks down into exclusive dialects which prevent communication. A growing healthy civilization uses language as a daily tool to keep the machinery of society moving.”

Chris Hedges points out in Empire of Illusion that we’ve “retreated into specialized, impenetrable verbal enclaves in every academic department and discipline across the country. The more these universities churn out these stunted men and women, the more we are flooded with a peculiar breed of specialist who uses obscure code words as a way to avoid communication.” This brings to mind some of the recent verbale. Do these sound familiar — securitization, credit default swap, structured investment vehicle, quantitative easing, and collateralized debt obligation?

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