James Baldwin, 1979, used as a writing prompt for the 1995 English Advanced Placement exam:
It goes without saying, then, that language is also a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity: It reveals the private identity, and connects one with, or divorces one from, the larger, public, or communal identity. There have been, and are, times, and places, when to speak a certain language could be dangerous, even fatal. Or, one may speak the same language, but in such a way that one's antecedents are revealed, or (one hopes) hidden. This is true in France, and is absolutely true in England: The range (and reign) of accents on that damp little island make England coherent for the English and totally incomprehensible for everyone else. To open your mouth in England is (if I may use black English) to "put your business in the street": You have confessed your parents, your youth, your school, your salary, your self-esteem, and, alas, your future.
Now consider this prose sample, circa 2011, from Jed Emerson's, Blended Value.
Value is what gets created when investors invest and organizations act to pursue their mission. Traditionally, we have thought of value as being either economic (and created by for-profit companies) or social (and created by nonprofit or non-governmental organizations). What the Blended Value Proposition states is that all organizations, whether for-profit or not, create value that consists of economic, social and environmental value components—and that investors (whether market-rate, charitable or some mix of the two) simultaneously generate all three forms of value through providing capital to organizations. The outcome of all this activity is value creation and that value is itself non-divisible and, therefore, a blend of these three elements.
What is the (heroic moral) identity being constructed? Who does this writer run with? And why is Value treated as God, triune and indivisible, when what we are discussing is at least one third profit and loss? How can this prose be found seductive? Why? To whom? Baldwin well knows. It is the language of the hegemonic elite, and this is ideology construction, the justification of God's ways to man, where God is Value Created by CFAs and MBAs and their Barbaric Funders, Colleagues, and Friends.
We Hedge Fund Managers, must be good people, right? Tell us how? I mean what are we paying you for? You got all these fancy degrees. Show us how to be good and filthy rich too. "Well, by shorting the Bank of Wealth Bondage, and encouraging Occupy Wealth Bondage, you could make a shit load of money off revolution." Point taken. Are there any hedge fund managers who would like to make a Blended Value investment in Occupy? Call me. Maybe we can make a good buck, a virtuous buck, off social unrest. God wants us to be rich! We are one with God whose Mystery Moves Markets on Information. Shit, man, we are God! And we work in ways wondrous to behold.