Power and Discourse

I plan to return to the ‘What is Psychopathy?’ arc tomorrow.

The nature of discourse is tricky.  There are many voices all that wish to be heard and few have the influence or power to actually be heard over the throng.  Often, competition arises among the voices and the message itself becomes lost.  This is true in any arena.  Consider, for instance, the state of politics in America.  Free speech is free, but not without consequence they say.  We become so entrapped in who can bellow loudest or condemn the greatest and objective eyes and ears are blinded and silenced.  Discourse fails as power is exerted as a proxy for insight and knowledge.

I suppose that with power comes a responsibility to remain objective – if a desire for learning and contribution is held paramount.  And, this responsibility applies to all in the conversation.  Each voice has its own power.  Some may hold more than others, but each tongue holds insight and captivates audiences in a fashion that others cannot.  Whether it is the water-cooler discussion or the packed auditorium, all should strive to remain objective and truthful toward that which they wish to convey their experiences and insight.

There is great temptation – even on my part – to use subterfuge and manipulative tactics in order to shape discourse.  The desire to yell the loudest and kick the hardest is equally as engrained.  However, this benefits no one except the one talking.  If a state of enlightenment is truly desired as an end-result, then such tactics must be eschewed.  I fail at times with respect to the words in these post.  Part of my own maturation process is to put my money where my mouth is and to be brutally transparent and humble and to recognize that voices are to be critiqued, not silenced.  Power may be meant to be used, but sometimes there are simply efforts too important to resort to such primal instincts – even if the voices that tell those in the conversation to do so are louder than any noise known to man.  I want to be called out when I am manipulative.  I want my efforts to be additive rather than subtractive.


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