Monday, January 10, 2011

What is Violent Rhetoric?

Not all speech is created equal.  The power and effectiveness of speech depends very much on the value system of the audience to which it is directed.  The same words often mean different things to different people, which means that the use of the same words to different audiences can yield opposite results.

This brings me to this interesting post about violent rhetoric from somebody who teaches rhetoric. 

One take away from all of this is that when you are seeking to understand a position taken by somebody you disagree with-- and you really should always try to do so-- it is not enough to apply your understanding of the words they use, you need to their understanding of those words.  Once you start doing that, then you can start considering how the words you use to make a disputed point are understood by your opponent. 

A quick update on the blog roll.  I've removed Damon Vrabel's blog because he has decided to stop blogging.  His wonderful "Rennaissance 2.0" series remains up and available on YouTube, and as far as I know, he is still pursuing his CSPER effort, so bookmark it.  Damon is a genuinely good guy who I hope to find a way to work with in the future.

I've added Max Keiser back to the roll because it is no longer wall-to-wall silver porn.  Other additions include The Automatic Earth and Catherine Austin Fitts' blog, the Solari Report.

Speaking of Catherine Austin Fitts, I invite people to watch this interview in its entirety:

And while you are at it, check out the trailer for the next Zeitgeist movie.  I had some issues with misstatements of fact made in the first movie, but there was a lot more right than wrong in it.  I'm hopeful that this movie will not devolve into unnecessary "splitting" as Damon discusses in his final post.

One of the biggest differences between people like Russ and Damon, on the one hand, and me on the other has been how to create the necessary change.  Personally, based on the success of neoliberalism, I think meaningful, lasting change will require a generation or more of effort to change the values communicated by societal institutions, something that will require working within the current system, which sane people like Russ and Damon have issues with, as the current system seems designed to corrupt anybody who gains power within it.   The Zeitgeist Movement's approach is more in-line with that of Russ and Damon (i.e., refusing to participate in the existing system), with the big difference being that Russ and Damon emphasize local autonomy while the Zeitgeist Movement treats the entire globe as local, which pretty much challenges everything that people like Russ, Damon and I have been advocating. 

Anyway, there's truth to be gleaned there.  Make of it what you will.