Welcome back one and all.
I think it’s about time we open something up for discussion. It’s a little nagging (mis)behavior that quite frankly gets on my nerve. It might be the most irritating when it manifests over the internet, but it most definitely isn’t limited to the confines of cyber space. We witness it on a daily basis on TV, in the papers and in our own water fountain chats.
If you were paying attention to this blog this last year or so, you’d know that I do not believe in the division of population based on “Left” and “Right“. You’d likely notice that I think that’s a trap we all seem to have fallen into in our ignorance.
I participate less than ever in political debates because I came to realize that these are no longer debates at all. No. These are not conversations where we dare challenge our intellect in any way, nor is it rising above the level of pre-elections propaganda. Mostly, these so-called “debates” are regurgitation of slogans. Bad ones at that.
I used to pay extra attention to some of the more educated people and hear their observations, as they were expressed at great length in clear, stylish language. These folks know their political science, I thought. These guys didn’t just spew out the first thought that came to mind. They actually made a sincere effort to think it through.
But the more I listen, the more I read, the more I’m convinced that it is these intellectuals who betray us all. And many of us follow their lead. That is their biggest sin.
See, I don’t need a person with a phd to tell me what the party-line is. I get that from the politicians. I don’t need an artist reading slogans out loud, even if the soundtrack is magnificent. I get that from a fresh-out-of-college-political-aid-to-a-local-senator.
The role of intellectuals is different. It is to challenge conventions, to stimulate discussions beyond the norms. Otherwise, with all due respect, they are nothing but parrots with (or without) an ivy league degree.
I’d like to quote Ray Bradbury:
I hate all politics. I don’t like either political party. One should not belong to them – one should be an individual, standing in the middle. Anyone that belongs to a party stops thinking.
See, having an intellect doesn’t mean having the ability to “choose” a “side” and represent it via superb vocabulary and style. It also doesn’t mean bending all logic and reason to “prove” your “side” is right. It is definitely not ceasing any introspective process and giving up doubt. Quite the opposite.
So, what am I saying here? I guess I’m saying – Be a party pooper, not a party member. Dare to challenge conventions and norms. Refuse to participate in political argument, unless the purpose is to enrich the discussion. There is no “winning“. Even when you think your “side” prevailed, the truth is that everybody keep losing. It’s not about one “side” winning over the other. There can only be one kind of “win” – It is when we find the way to close the gaps, to come together and unite. When we – at long last – realize there is no “us” and “them”, “right” and “left”. We keep hearing the term “Think outside of the box“, but… can we actually do that?
Until next time, feel free to leave your comment, like and share.