I understand the idea that by using ‘we’ there is a sense of identification and almost advocacy for whatever position or action is being discussed. One might almost think the language is intended to encourage that kind of thinking. But surely Robert Fisk is not one of those who has gone along with TPTB’s war plans as he has been outspoken against the West’s war-mongering for many, many years. That would suggest that the charge of disingenuous is overly harsh with respect to the motive/s of this particular author.
If the pronoun, ‘they’ is substituted, can there be a risk of possibly making it seem as if we, on the outside, could do nothing to change the situation? After all, not being a part of it, are we less willing to ask whether we could have done more or done differently" and by extension, can it inhibit our thinking about whether we can do something about it now?
Would it encourage people to be more defensive? How should we talk to/with those who have identified with their government’s side? Does this conflation of self with government excuse them from culpability?
I worry that if if it is seen in this Manichean way, the people who view themselves as being part of that ‘we,’ are those who identify with their governments. Is it possible that our language may merely make them double down on that identification?
I suspect it is true, but I’d be interested to know if any studies have been done that verify the use of ‘we,’ when referring to a nation, helps to reinforce that sense of identity with the acts of the nation. I’d also like to know if there is a lessening of that identity with the use of the ‘they.’ I think it may but I can also think that this could force people to choose sides and by so doing, reinforce their current position. I just don’t know.
I appreciate the need to assist individuals in breaking from identifying with the worse aspects of their nation’s acts but is this pronoun change effective, is it the best way, or could it be counter-productive for some? How many would have to change their pronouns for it to be meaningful? Is it effective as a means of liberating thought for only those who make the change themselves or do you envision it as having an effect on the readers/listeners as well as the writers/speakers, and to what extent?
I’d appreciate it if you have some further clarification on this.
It’s 2:15 in the am here sand I probably shouldn’t have started this so late. I apologize if this is less than fully coherent but I am interested in better understanding your position.