Sport and Language

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If we proceed, only conditionally, from Heidegger’s view that “language is the home of being” (“Die Sprache ist das Haus des Seins”), then sports language is a fortress in which resides the true, dehumanized and denaturalized being of sport. Sports language (above all speech) is reduced to a means for manipulation by which man is reduced to an instrument for achieving inhuman ends. It is dominated by a war terminology, bad language and abuses; by the rhetoric of circus announcers which is to give to the marginal a “fatal” dimension; by a mythological presentation of events and persons which is to deify the fight for victory and destroy man’s self-conscious as a libertarian and creative being; by “progressive” demagogy which destroys the power of reasoning and creates a fanatical (self) destructive conscious…

The claim that sport is a “universal language” (a peculiar Esperanto) can be accepted only conditionally. Sport has its meaningful structure, grammar of motion and skills. As such, it represents the model of behaviour with a symbolic and “communicative” character. The fact that people come from different cultural spheres does not essentially affect the possibility of “communication” by way of sport, since it does not derive from any particular culture and is based on a “universal” capitalist civilization. At the same time, with sport becoming a universal and global means of capitalism for depolitization of the oppressed and their idioticizing, a global (“international”) sports vocabulary is being created – the vocabulary which appears in various linguistic forms. On stadiums throughout the world we are witnessing the formation, in relation to the global capitalist plutocracy which uses the “language of business”, of a global supporting “mass” that uses the same supporting vocabulary – which is one of the manifest forms of the globalizing capitalist primitivism. The language of the crowd, reduced to fascist, sexist, racist, nationalistic and local-chauvinistic slogans is but an echo of what is going on in life and what, through the fight of contemporary gladiators, in a condensed form appears in stadiums and sports centres. The language of supporters is of an irrational character expressing pathological psychic states and creating collective supportive “conscious” – which destroys the critical, change-aspiring conscious and degenerates humanity.

In sport the “body language” amounts to the struggle of mechanical beings. A sports body, body posture and body motion are based on the model of the “iron” body, fighting posture and aggressive motion emanating a ruthless belligerent spirit. They represent the symbols of the ruling order by means of which it is writing a message addressed to mankind. The maxim mens fervida in corpore lacertoso indicates a symbolic character of the body: sportsman is a moving sculpture of capitalism and its advertising billboard. Playing proficiency, reduced to a playing technique, represents a “civilized” body language which is reduced to a war waged with bodies: the grammar of body motion is reduced to a war strategy. The very looks, stance and motion convey to the “opponents” that they are not friends, but deadly enemies. Sport destroys the pacifist mind and maintains the state of constant war between people and nations, destroys a critical relation to the ruling order of injustice and completely integrates man into the existing world. It is the incarnation of the “mondialist” spirit of capitalism and as such is the means for destroying the cultural heritage of mankind. Instead of enabling a meeting of cultures, on sports fields, by means of muscular bodies of fanaticized crusaders, a war is waged between the most powerful capitalist corporations. In a wider political context, a sports fight is of a class character: by it the bourgeoisie “pacifies” (depolitizes) the oppressed working “masses”, draws them into the spiritual orbit of capitalism and destroys the libertarian mind.

By technicizing the “theoretical approach” to sport, which is mostly expressed at the linguistic level, the process of dehumanization and denaturalization of the sports environment and man is coming to a conclusion. For interpersonal relations in physical education, sport and recreation the term “communication” is repeatedly used, and it means the information feedback established between technical processes – as against the term “understanding each other”, which suggests the establishment and enrichment of interpersonal relations. In sports theory the popular terms are the “mechanics of the bodily”, the “mechanics of motion” and others, up to defining the whole area of man’s physical activism by the syntagma “kinesiological sociology”. This tendency indicates that sport is increasingly submitted to the “mechanisms of functioning” which are typical of technical processes. In that context, the relation to the human body is mediated by the productivistic-manipulative nature of technique. The contemporary scientific approach (according to the level of the development of natural sciences and the goals set before them) disintegrates the organism into processes, components – which corresponds to the established specialization in working processes and the strivings to achieve a (quantitatively measurable) effect in the least possible time. If we remember that the development of science is dictated by the logic of the “consumer society”, then it is clear that we are here dealing with the instrumentalization of science and technique for the purpose of achieving inhuman and anti-existential goals. From a means for manipulation and submission technique has become a means for man’s destruction.

Sports language is not a form of cultural cooperation between nations; it does not produce man’s cultural being; it does not enable the humanization of interpersonal relations and the establishment of a critical, change-aspiring relation to the existing world of injustice and non-freedom, but is a form of “communication” which corresponds to the “international” spirit of capitalism. The sports language is the manifest form of a world based on the principles bellum omnium contra omnes and citius, altius, fortius and as such is a technical means for destroying the cultural conscious. In sport, man is between the anvil of a technocratic ratio and the hammer of a mythological conscious, which corresponds to man’s positioning between “world of the factual” and “spectacle” – which is a form in which the ruling relations and values appear. The technicization of the world is corresponded by a mythological conscious which, as a contemporary dogmatic, gives meaning to life, while scientific discoveries become the foundation of a new, technologically based mysticism. Everything is being done to destroy the mind which is capable of showing the ruling (destructive) tendencies in the development of society and the objective possibilities for the creation of a new world. Sports language suggests the real nature of “globalism”: it creates a civilization without culture, which means “new” barbarism.

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