I am reading the late Shahab Ahmed’s What is Islam?, and I keep running into the modern abomination that is the word “to valorize” (meaning: “to assign higher value to something”).
The word is an expression, a manifestation, a condensation of everything that is rotten, scummy, hollow and dead boring about today’s humanities departments. It is no surprise that the usage of the word has increased by a factor of ten since 1974, just as the postmodernist infestation took root.
For those not in the know, the word “to valorize” takes the postmodernist (and Voldemortian) principle that “there is only power and those too weak to seek it” for granted, acting as if all human ideas about value are nothing but sociological expressions of a desire to maintain a certain power structure at the expense of others. If you think that Western civilization has value or is superior to any other civilization, it is not because you as an intelligent, rational and worthy human have found this civilization worthy, it is because you are a member of a power structure that benefits from considering Western civilization worthy and enjoys stamping on other civilizations. If you complain that this is unfair, you are wrong, since the first law of postmodernism is that “the postmodernists always know”, similar to how Lord Voldemort likes to say “Lord Voldemort always knows.”
Of course, Ahmed is not necessarily upholding such principles in their entirety. Perhaps by seeing postmodernism upheld everywhere he looked at Harvard, he started to consider its tenets scientific fact, similar to Newton’s Laws of Gravitation.