Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rationality & Empathy

@Simon Portez I sense that your remarks indicate that you would like others of like-mind to emulate the actions you have taken; I receive the impression that you disapprove of, or perhaps possibly frustrated with those who seem to "talk" or "think" in similar ways as yourself, but do not act in a manner you have chosen for yourself. If this is so, I share some of that frustration/impatience; while theory/theorizing/philosophy is important (for how would one determine how to direct one's action without some theory/philosophy?), action is also clearly important and I would like to acknowledge this. I believe that, regardless of the speaker, the passage I referenced has remarkable insight; that while thinking/theorizing/philosophizing by itself, lacks a certain dynamism of action, the expression and sharing of ideas, is a kind of action of its kind. You may well wish others to do more than share ideas, but that sharing of ideas with rationality and empathy is the action that will draw others to the cause and this support is what is ultimately necessary to win the day. I am not convinced that if many were to replicate the actions you describe, that such action would sway many to support the cause of liberty, but perhaps may even alienate some to the cause of liberty? I support the use of self-defense against instituions of domination, just as I support the use of self-defense against a mugger; but I would not the condemn the woman who surrenders her purse to the mugger and similarly, I would not condemn the woman who might capitulate to the agents of an institution of domination in the attempt to ensure her own safety. It is my view that each person must decide for themselves, what actions that they would choose to take in order to meet their needs; I can certainly respect your dedication to the opposition to institutions of domination but I also respect those who are dedicated to sharing ideas of liberation with others; I suspect that it is the sharing of ideas with reason and empathy that will ultimately prove efficacious to secure our liberation.

  • The great mass of persons ultimately support institutions of domination, because those institutions of domination have expended much energy, over a great period of time, in the expression of rhetoric (though rhetoric lacking in its logic and grammar) to convince people that the institution of domination provides for their safety and protects them. Institutions of domination rely far more on rhetoric (persuasive words & ideas), than they have need to resort to violence. To unravel the institution of domination, a superior rhetoric supplied with superior logic (reasoning) and grammer (facts/evidence/definitions/fundamentals) will be required; it may not in the end be a bloodless revolution, but the revolution of ideas must occur before action can be efficacious in winning the day. 

    But perhaps beyond the employment of the rational arts, institutions of domination use the *threat* of violence to induce fear, coercing compliance and expropriate possessions. Fear is an emotion that reaches beyond the scope of reason; it is the primal instinct to preserve one's self from danger. The rational arts are nearly impotent against these emotional factors, therefore another approach/strategy must be employed. To a certain extent, persons opposing the agents of institutions of domination and surviving, provides some encouragement to others so inclined, that it is possible to oppose an over-whelming source of power/violence.

    I am of the opinion that empathy is the approach to overcome these latter obstacles, if one values cooperation/power-with-others more than one gravitates to domination/power-over-others. A person will fear, so long as they cannot acknowledge their own fear, so long as they remain out of touch with their true/authentic-self but when another person is willing to acknowledge/empathize that fear, the person who fears can begin to process their emotional turmoil. 

    In empathic response to fear of the power of institutions of domination and with superior rhetoric informed by sound&valid logic and grammar, we may begin to unravel the harm caused by institutions of domination.

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