Tag Archives: Liechtenstein Academy

Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms

A Seminar for Scholars, Journalists and Entrepreneurs

 

«If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.» George Orwell

Date: June 15, 2017
Location: Unitelma Sapienza Campus, Rome, Italy
Admission: free
Language: simultaneous Italian/English translation, both ways
Literature/Documents: Relevant literature (reader, short essays, …) will be supplied ahead of seminar
Academic Directors:
Francesco Avallone, UTS (I) and Kurt R. Leube, LAF (USA/A)
Program Directors:
Piergiuseppe Morone, UTS (I) and Hans R. Maag, LAF (LI/CH)

An Academic Co-operation between Unitelma Sapienza (Rome, I) and Liechtenstein Academy Foundation – LAF (Vaduz, LI)

Prologue

«When words lose their meaning, people will lose their liberty.» Confucius, 551-479 BC

The Social Sciences, more then other academic disciplines are regretfully exposed to the fades and superstitions of the fast moving popular Zeitgeist and are thus liable to the periodic introduction of appealing yet empty slogans that undermine well defined terms. As a result, many of them have assumed quite different meanings or, maybe deliberately, have even taken on undertones that suggest something detrimental to what we want to get across.
Have you ever wondered whether the pervasive catchword public interest indeed serves the public’s interest? Or why was global warming replaced with the vacuous phrase climate change that sadly shifted the debate away from scientific methodology where hypotheses can be refuted? Or did you realize that time and again the term justice is substituted with the phrase social justice that not only renders it utterly meaningless. This narcotic phrase also assumed a meaning close to revenge which gravely denigrates the ‘rule of law’. The frequent placing of the simple yet hollow word social in front of commonly used terms produces an almost endless list of corrupting phrases.

The persistent confusion of reality and fiction thus creates politically risky ‘semantic traps’ that not only seriously hamper any political discussion. It has grave implications for democracy, the proper role of government, or for the preservation of our civil rights and individual freedom. As George Orwell observed: “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought”.

The goal of this one-day conference is not only to explore a wide range of issues where semantics condition policy debates, to examine how terms evolve in ways that completely undermine, and at times even alter the very foundations of a free and democratic society, and to discuss how ‘Semantic Traps’ might be avoided. Put differently, we aim at a better understanding of hollow yet catchy words, trendy slogans and appealing phrases in public policy debates.

However, co-sponsored by Unitelma Sapienza (Rome, I) and the Liechtenstein Academy Foundation (Vaduz, LI) this endeavor serves also as the kick off for an academic partnership between these institutions to offer the innovative online MA course “Understanding How Society Works. An Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics”.

Seminar Program, Thursday, June 15, 2017

08:30 – 09:00  Registration at Unitelma Sapienza Campus, Rome
09:00 – 09:15  Welcome by Francesco Avallone, Rector, Unitelma Sapienza University of Rome, and Hans R. Maag, Director, Liechtenstein Academy
09:15 – 09:30  About the Idea and the Intent of this Conference.
Kurt R. Leube

Session I: On the ‘Public Interest’, the so-called ‘newspeak’ and the Meaning of ‘Green’ (9:30 -11:30)
Chair: Piergiuseppe Morone
09:30-10:00  «Is the ‘Public Interest’ really in the Public’s Interest?»
Carlos Gebauer
10:00-10:10  Discussion
10:10-10:40  «Values and Rights: The Semantic Traps in Worn-out European Newspeak»
Karl Peter Schwarz
10:40-10:50  Discussion
10:50-11:20  «What is the Meaning of Green? The new Standardization Trap in the Bioeconomy»
Knut Blinde
11:20-11:30  Discussion

11:30-11:40  Coffee Break

Session II: Immigration and Political Rhetoric (11:40-13:00)
Chair: Piergiuseppe Morone
11:40-12:10  «Immigration, Migration, Emigration, or Else?»
Maria Grazia Galantino
12:10-12:20  Discussion
12:20-12:50  «Making Populism Mainstream: Political Rhetoric During Campaigns»
Nicolò Conti
12:50-13:00  Discussion

13:00-14:00  Buffet Luncheon for all participants at seminar site

14:00-15:00  Panel (Blind, Conti, Galantino, Schwarz) – Discussion leader: Carlos Gebauer

Konferenz-Bericht “Semantic Traps”

Bericht von Georg Winder*

“Semantic Traps” – Haben Sie sich schon einmal bewusst gemacht, wie viele der uns geläufigen Begriffe bereits so umgedeutet wurden, dass diese beabsichtigt oder nicht, kaum noch dem Inhalt entsprechen, den wir eigentlich ausdrücken wollten? Gerade im politischen Diskurs sind diese «Sprachfallen» zuweilen gefährlich und bedrohen zunehmend unsere bürgerlichen Freiheiten.

Um diesen Bedeutungswandel besser verstehen zu können und seinen Einfluss auf den gesellschaftlichen Diskurs besser verstehen zu können, veranstaltete die Liechtenstein Academy Foundation vom 9. bis 11. Juni 2016 auf Schloss Freudenfels eine Konferenz mit dem Titel «Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms».

Conference 'Semantic Traps', Vaduz (Liechtenstein) 2016
Konferenz ‘Semantic Traps’, Vaduz (Liechtenstein) 2016

In einer inspirierenden Kooperation zwischen dem US «think tank» PERC (Montana, USA), dem European Center of Austrian Economics, ECAEF (Vaduz) und der Liechtenstein Academy Foundation (Vaduz/Freudenfels) konnten wir führende internationale Wissenschafter und Experten aus der Wirtschaft gewinnen, die die Implikationen moderner Sprachfallen mit einem ausgewählten Teilnehmerkreis intensiv diskutierten.

Das Symposium war die Auftaktveranstaltung zum Lehrgang „Understanding How Society Works“, der im Frühjahr 2017 starten wird. Detaillierte Informationen hierzu finden Sie unter www.ae-laf.com.

Conference 'Semantic Traps', Vaduz (Liechtenstein) 2016
Konferenz ‘Semantic Traps’, veranstaltet durch die Liechtenstein Academy Foundation.

*Georg Winder ist Programm-Manager der Liechtenstein Academy Foundation (LAF), Herrengasse 12, FL-9490 Vaduz. Die Liechtenstein Academy versteht sich als Kompetenzzentrum für Persönlichkeitsentwicklung sowie Firmen-, Familien- und Vermögensverantwortung.

Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms

Semantic Traps


Semantic Traps:
Politics with Loaded Terms

A Seminar for Scholars, Journalists and Entrepreneurs

“One must always repeat the truth, because even the error around us is preached again and again. And not from individuals but from the crowd.” J.W. von Goethe


When political speech writers pen speeches for presidents, prime ministers, and other influential dignitaries, they choose their words carefully, knowing that rhetoric matters. A classic case of an intentional deception of words, according to Schumpeter was the hijacking of the term liberal. In a similar fad, the market economy is increasingly condemned as a system of crony capitalists, the empty notion of social justice turned into a general verdict on our society’s moral status, or carbon pollution became a substitute for the greenhouse gases. In chapter 7 of The Fatal Conceit, “Our Poisoned Language,” F.A. von Hayek lists over 100 words before which we put social ranging from social accounting to social property to social waste, and in each case obfuscate their meaning.
Have you ever wondered how many of our habitual political terms have assumed quite different meanings or, maybe deliberately, have even taken on undertones that suggest something detrimental to what we want to get across? It seems as if the old Confucius warning “when words lose their meaning people will lose their liberty” has more relevance today then ever before.
With Confucius’ admonition in mind, PERC, Liechtenstein Academy, and ECAEF have teamed up to organize a seminar on “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms”. Details including the agenda are listed below. If you are interested in finding out more about the seminar, contact co-directors, Terry Anderson or Kurt Leube.

Seminar Date: June 9-11, 2016 (Thu evening to Sat noon)

Location: Liechtenstein Academy Foundation Campus: Freudenfels Castle at Lake Constance, Eschenz, Switzerland

Admission Fee: Free Admission

Program Director: Hans-Rudolf Maag

Academic Directors: Terry L. Anderson and Kurt R. Leube

Seminar Program

Thursday – 9 June, 2016:
tbd Opening Dinner (optional) and welcoming remarks by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Friday – 10 June, 2016:
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Welcome and Opening
Member of the Princely Family (LI), Hans-Rudolf Maag (CH) and
Terry L. Anderson (USA)

Session I: Politics
10:00 – 10:30 «On the Confusion of Terms in the Political Debate»
Michael Wohlgemuth (D)
10:30 – 10:45 Discussion
10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 «Justice, Fairness, Solidarity! The Prophecy of a ‘Socially Just’ Society»
Hardy Bouillon (D)
11:45 – 12:00 Discussion
12:00 – 12:30 «Is the ‘Public Interest’ really in the Public’s Interest?»
Carlos Gebauer (D)
12:30 – 12:45 Discussion
12:45 – 14:00 Buffet Lunch for all participants at seminar site

Session II: Economics
14:00 – 14:30 «Are the Poor really Getting Poorer as the Rich are Getting Richer?»
Erich Weede (D)
14:30 – 14:45 Discussion
14:45 – 15:15 «In Defense of Private Property»
Gary Libecap (USA)
15:15 – 15:30 Discussion
15:30 – 16:00 «Fair Trade and Sustainability: Is Globalization Evil?»
Robert Nef (CH)
16:00 – 16:15 Discussion
16:15 – 16:45 Coffee break
16:45 – 18:00 Q&A, Session I and II
19:00 Dinner at the seminar site (Freudenfels Castle; mandatory); Speaker TBA

Saturday – 11 June, 2016:
08.00 – 09.15 Breakfast
09:30 – 09:45 Directorial Remarks
Hans-Rudolf Maag

Session III: Environmental Issues
09:45 – 10:15 «Dynamic Economics and Dynamic Ecology: The Essence of Free Market
Environmentalism»
Terry L. Anderson (USA)
10:15 – 10:30 Discussion
10:30 – 11:00 «On Secular vs. Non-Secular Environmental Beliefs»
Mark Pennington (UK)
11:00 – 11:15 Discussion
11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 – 12:15 «Unleashing the Power of Free Market Environmentalism»
Martin Hostettler (CH)
12:15 – 12:30 Discussion
12:30 – 12:45 Closing remarks
Member of the Princely Family (LI), Hans-Rudolf Maag (CH) and
Terry L. Anderson (USA)
12:45 Individual departures

Understanding How Society Works

An Introduction to the Austrian School of Economics (Seminar)

Understanding how society works features a comprehensive innovative curriculum in Austrian Economics, LIECHTENSTEIN ACADEMY tries to get entrepreneurs, individuals and key opinion leaders in politics, the media, and academia interested. We are not awarding degrees. However, our world-class faculty will grant a degree for the individual modules if successfully mastered. The seminar is designed as a sequence of 8 self-contained modules and thus can be booked individually. To affirm an interactive and open-ended learning environment, we have limited the class size to 20 to 25 students. The instruction will be either in English and/or German. At a later stage, upon request all modules will also be offered in Spanish.

liechtenstein-academy

The contents of the individual modules represent a recommended minimum and thus may be subject to additions and change of emphasis by our instructors.

M1 – Economics
An introduction to the “Austrian School of Economics’

M2 – Philosophy
The methodology and the limits of the social science

M3 – Law
Selected topics in legal theory. The evolution of law, natural law and spontaneous order

M4 – Philosophy
Markets, moral and business ethics

M5 – Economics
Money, banking and behavioral finance; selected topics in monetary-, capital- and business cycle theory

M6 – Politics
Institutional economics and public choice analysis

M7 – Sociology
The problems of demography, immigration issues and social security systems; the illusion of the welfare state’ and alternative models

M8 – Economics
Environmental economics, property rights and the eminent domain problem. Public goods and “the tragedy of the commons’


Download the Course Flyer right here -> Liechtenstein Academy, Course Flyer (PDF, 3.0 MB).

The course will be held in German and English. Designed and Organized by LAF (Liechtenstein Academy Foundation). © All rights reserved by the LIECHTENSTEIN ACADEMY Foundation∙ Herrengasse 12 ∙ FL-9490 Vaduz∙ Tel. +423 235 2881∙ Email: contact@liechtenstein-academy.com

Semantic Traps

Semantic Traps


Semantic Traps:
Politics with Loaded Terms

A Seminar for Scholars, Journalists and Entrepreneurs

“One must always repeat the truth, because even the error around us is preached again and again. And not from individuals but from the crowd.”   J.W. von Goethe


     When political speech writers pen speeches for presidents, prime ministers, and other influential dignitaries, they choose their words carefully, knowing that rhetoric matters. A classic case of an intentional deception of words, according to Schumpeter was the hijacking of the term liberal. In a similar fad, the market economy is increasingly condemned as a system of crony capitalists, the empty notion of social justice turned into a general verdict on our society’s moral status, or carbon pollution became a substitute for the greenhouse gases. In chapter 7 of The Fatal Conceit, “Our Poisoned Language,” F.A. von Hayek lists over 100 words before which we put social ranging from social accounting to social property to social waste, and in each case obfuscate their meaning.
Have you ever wondered how many of our habitual political terms have assumed quite different meanings or, maybe deliberately, have even taken on undertones that suggest something detrimental to what we want to get across? It seems as if the old Confucius warning “when words lose their meaning people will lose their liberty” has more relevance today then ever before.
With Confucius’ admonition in mind, PERC, Liechenstein Academy, and ECAEF have teamed up to organize a seminar on “Semantic Traps: Politics with Loaded Terms”. Details including the agenda are listed below. If you are interested in finding out more about the seminar, contact co-directors, Terry Anderson or Kurt Leube.

Seminar Date:  June 9-11, 2016 (Thu evening to Sat noon)

Location:  Liechtenstein Academy Foundation Campus: Freudenfels Castle at Lake Constance, Eschenz, Switzerland

Admission Fee:  Free Admission

Program Director:  Hans-Rudolf Maag

Academic Directors:  Terry L. Anderson and Kurt R. Leube

Seminar Program

Thursday – 9 June, 2016:
tbd Opening Dinner (optional) and welcoming remarks by H.S.H. Prince Michael of Liechtenstein

Friday – 10 June, 2016:
09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 10:00 Welcome and Opening
Member of the Princely Family (LI), Hans-Rudolf Maag (CH) and
Terry L. Anderson (USA)

Session I: Politics
10:00 – 10:30 «On the Confusion of Terms in the Political Debate»
Michael Wohlgemuth (D)
10:30 – 10:45 Discussion
10:45 – 11:15 Coffee break
11:15 – 11:45 «Justice, Fairness, Solidarity! The Prophecy of a ‘Socially Just’ Society»
Hardy Bouillon (D)
11:45 – 12:00 Discussion
12:00 – 12:30 «Is the ‘Public Interest’ really in the Public’s Interest?»
Carlos Gebauer (D)
12:30 – 12:45 Discussion
12:45 – 14:00 Buffet Lunch for all participants at seminar site

Session II: Economics
14:00 – 14:30 «Are the Poor really Getting Poorer as the Rich are Getting Richer?»
Erich Weede (D)
14:30 – 14:45 Discussion
14:45 – 15:15 «In Defense of Private Property»
Gary Libecap (USA)
15:15 – 15:30 Discussion
15:30 – 16:00 «Fair Trade and Sustainability: Is Globalization Evil?»
Robert Nef (CH)
16:00 – 16:15 Discussion
16:15 – 16:45 Coffee break
16:45 – 18:00 Q&A, Session I and II
19:00  Dinner at the seminar site (Freudenfels Castle; mandatory); Speaker TBA

Saturday – 11 June, 2016:
08.00 – 09.15 Breakfast
09:30 – 09:45 Directorial Remarks
Hans-Rudolf Maag

Session III: Environmental Issues
09:45 – 10:15 «Dynamic Economics and Dynamic Ecology: The Essence of Free Market
Environmentalism»
Terry L. Anderson (USA)
10:15 – 10:30 Discussion
10:30 – 11:00 «On Secular vs. Non-Secular Environmental Beliefs»
Mark Pennington (UK)
11:00 – 11:15 Discussion
11:15 – 11:45 Coffee break
11:45 – 12:15 «Unleashing the Power of Free Market Environmentalism»
Martin Hostettler (CH)
12:15 – 12:30 Discussion
12:30 – 12:45 Closing remarks
Member of the Princely Family (LI), Hans-Rudolf Maag (CH) and
Terry L. Anderson (USA)
12:45 Individual departures