Lost In Translation

I recently accepted an invitation from the Canadian Center of Science & Education to join the Editorial Board of the Journal of Politics and Law.

I find it interesting how a single word denotes completely different meanings in the scholarship of different countries. “Equality” for an American political scientist is characteristically based on other ideals such as “fairness” and “justice” fostering greater individual creativity and freedoms with equally capable voices.

“Equality” takes on a completely different meaning for some Chinese authors. Equality is at the service of sustainability and is best described and applied as a “sameness” or “homogeneity” throughout systems and across people. Consensus as “final and finite.” Process over form. The triumph of the twentieth century discovery of self-similarity and self-organizing as the loophole from chaos.

In the words of the poet James Merrill, “But nothing’s lost. Or else: all is translation
And every bit of us is lost in it…”

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