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Human Rights Council – Forty-fouth session
2 Luglio 2020 – ANNUAL DISCUSSION ON RIGHTS
It is urgent that the poorest children in the world, like those from the Congo, and the richest children, like those from British or American societies, together, have a second common language, that Anglophones have a second language.
To achieve the greatest profits, some nations put in place the economic and commercial exploitation of human beings (Transatlantic Slave Trade) and/or the occupation of territories belonging to other peoples and their enslavement (Colonialism). From the nations that most “influenced” other countries, peoples and children to gain wealth and favours, are English and American scholars who give us figures:
- Stuart Laycock in All the Countries We’ve Ever Invaded: “Out of 193 countries that are currently UN member states, Britons have invaded or fought conflicts in the territory of 171”, almost 89% of the countries of the world;
- Christopher Kelly in All the Countries the Americans Have Ever Invaded, “The USA, since their formation, have invaded, fought conflicts or exercised control in 190 out of 193 UN member states”, nearly 99% of the countries on the
In the last 90 years, however, colonialism and forms of enslavement have become more sophisticated and aggressive, representing a new form of genocide, the linguistic-cultural one, and a new form of slavery: that of the minds, discriminating not on race, religion or sex but on language.
The same nations protagonists of what historians Laycock and Kelly denounced, understood that, with much less risk and fewer resources, it was possible to obtain much better prizes through the linguistic and cultural domination of other peoples. It is above all the United States of America (USA), rather than the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK), that stimulate and structure, to their own advantage, the neoliberal and financial globalization, relying not only on material factors such as military and scientific capabilities, production of goods and services, Internet dominance, control of energy and monetary flows, but propagandizing as “internationalization” what is actually an assimilation process.
This new way of conceiving colonization consists in the construction of the new Empires of the Mind as Churchill defined them –dialoguing with Roosevelt – on September 6th, 1943 explaining at Harvard: «The power to control language offers far better prizes than taking away people’s provinces or lands or grinding them down in exploitation. The empires of the future are the Empires of the Mind.»1
The English language thus places itself at the centre of a global system, where it plays a role similar, but far more harmful, to that of the dollar in the international monetary system: as the dollar, with its dual status as means of payment and international reserve currency, enables USA to live thanks to the enormous contribution from the rest of the planet, holding the international linguistic monopoly confers them another formidably advantageous position and is a discrimination for all non-English speaking peoples because:
- Citizens of English-speaking countries are granted a significant market in terms of pedagogical material, language courses, translation, interpretation into English, linguistic competence in drafting, revising texts,
- English native speakers never have to invest time and/or money in translating the messages they convey or wish to
- English native speakers do not have a real need to learn This translates, for English-speaking countries, into huge savings, starting with education costs. This revenue afforded annually to the United Kingdom is estimated at around 18 billion Euros (Françoise Grin).2
- By contrast, non-English-speaking countries have to invest increasingly in economic and human resources to learn In the European Union (EU) alone, costs of linguistic discrimination for 445 million non-native English European citizens are estimated, approximated by defect, at €487,408,500,000.00 yearly (Áron Lukács) while they remain, always and anyway, eternal second to born Anglophones. Considering the world population is 7.7 billion people,3 of which 380,000,000 are native Anglophones,4 if the remaining 7,320,000,000 people had a degree of development/well-being equal to the European citizens’, the estimated annual figure for learning English would be €8,015,400,000,000.00!
- All money and time resources not dedicated to learning foreign languages can be invested in development, research and teaching/learning other For example, the USA, with the $16,000,000,000 saved on foreign language teaching, in 2004 funded 1/3 of their public research.
- Even if non-English speakers make a considerable effort to learn English, they never succeed, with exceptions, in reaching such a degree of language mastery that can guarantee them equality with native speakers:
- in understanding,
- when speaking in public debates,
- in negotiations and conflicts.
- discrimination in hiring between born English-speaking citizens and others: there are countless classified advertisements in non-English-speaking countries where only mother-tongue English are offered jobs, with the consequence that some citizens, despite an excellent knowledge of English and perhaps higher professional skills, are discriminated against and not hired.
- anyway, whether we like it or not, it is the mother-tongue Anglophones who hold the legitimate monopoly of linguistic correction, just as the state holds the legitimate monopoly of force, only they have the right to establish what is correct or incorrect in their language.
- there is also a further discriminatory phenomenon within non-Anglophone countries deriving from social class belonging and from family economic capacity: in non- English-speaking countries, more and more families send their children directly to recognized Anglo-American schools in their own country and, subsequently, directly to American or English schools and universities.
- discrimination of linguistically-disabled: these are all those who have difficulties learning foreign languages and, particularly, English which, for example, is especially difficult due to thousands of exceptions; to learn it, one actually needs to learn two languages, one written and one spoken, which complicates life, particularly for children who have dyslexia
We must therefore carry out an epoch-making cultural paradigm change, carry forward, all together, an innovative goal for freedom, democracy and children’s rights in the world, conduct a nonviolent battle of fundamental importance for sustainable development, peace, cultural biodiversity on the planet: the battle for the humanity’s right to the International Auxiliary Language (IAL).
Not having the IAL causes each child to linguistically suffer the law of the “strongest” who also wants to set itself up as the “justest”, thus implementing a colonialism of the minds that produces discrimination and devastating psychological, socio-economic, political and cultural effects.
To achieve peace, brotherhood, cultural biodiversity and well-being for humanity, the United Nations (UN)’s progenitor organization, the League of Nations saw the delegates of Brazil, Belgium, Chile, China, Colombia, Czechoslovakia (present Slovakia and Czech Republic), Haiti, Italy, Japan, India, Persia (present Islamic Republic of Iran), Poland, Romania and South Africa at work during the first two General Assemblies to carry forward resolutions suggesting the League of Nations to universally recommend teaching Esperanto in schools as IAL. The majority of member nations favoured the adoption of the International language (called Esperanto) as a working language. However, France’s veto prevented the implementation of this project. Anyway, in 1922 the League of Nations unanimously approved, during its third General Assembly, the Report on Esperanto as IAL, also with the convinced support of Lord Robert Cecil, Nobel Prize for Peace in 1937.
A great world-renowned scholar, Umberto Eco, defined Esperanto “a linguistic masterpiece” and in The Search for the Perfect Language5 devoted a lot of space to Esperanto, IAL, examining the “Theoretical Objections and Counter-objections”6 and the real “Political Possibilities of an IAL”.7 From the same period, is a detailed, positive study by the Italian Ministry of Education.8 The USA themselves used it for almost 20 years in their military exercises. 9
If, already since 1922, the International Language (called Esperanto) was considered ready to be adopted as IAL, today it is more than ever: it has 133 years of international linguistic experimentation; it is recognized by the PEN Club International as the world’s 114th literary language (1993); from 1994 to 2012 it was one of the 60 languages in which the Pontiff gave his “Urbi et Orbi” blessing to Catholics all over the world twice a year; it is Google’s 64th translation language; it is the language of Nobel Laureates for Economics such as the German Reinhard Selten; it is the language of a transnational community in over 120 countries.
For long, organizations working for peace and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals have more or less occultly been working to ensure that children, especially those from the poorest countries, are denied the right to education in their language or, worse, forced to renounce it, thus snatching them from their mother-tongue in favour of English, stepmother- tongue.
A clear example of this comes from Fund For Peace which, for its campaign against poverty, has Khan Mangok Tier, South Sudan, say “He is happy when he thinks that his children are on the path to a better life as they have already started to learn how to speak English”. 10
In short, the rich English-speaking countries keep their mother-tongue and, instead of strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty as established by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, plunder the poorest ones by cutting off even their tongue, precisely among the children, who are every people’s future.
5 <https://drive.google.com/open?id=1VeSoovtMEEBK5_x3i12N7aECPmXN0iBI > (1993)