Have you ever felt the mocking tone
of those who disagree with common sense
whose point of view bears truly little weight.
To deny understanding. Socratic debate.
For whom jocular bullying is their choice of stick
to avoid a dialectic path to contradiction
better to decry with pejorative rhetoric.
To belittle rational thought. Compassion. Love.
Blinded by niggling insecurities
to win, at all costs, to conquer all
too keen to let the ego’s triumph reign.
To understand the conflict … between Demos and Kratos.
[You’d best have a dictionary to hand. This poem refers to both direct and representative democracy, as well as to the unwillingness of politicians to engage in Socratic dialogue or dialectic debate. It is also about an unwillingness to recognise the ‘Kratos’ in Greek mythology, as the divine personification of strength, prevalant in young men, who are so often preparing for conflict … forgetting that, if they are prepared for conflict, they are far more likely and willing to engage in conflict. As the years pass and the generation of those who returned from the World Wars with their physical and mental scars, die and their ability to communicate the horrors of war is removed, new generations of young men will continue to be willing to go off to war, or fight in the streets for whatever gives an outlet to their anxieties and quest for conflict … it also bears comparison with new generations of ambitious politicians, who do have the advantage of learning from the wisest of the old guard, who themselves so often become worth listening to when they no longer have to tow the party line and are beyond selfish ambition. But the new generation cannot, because they are blinded by their own ambition … their own version of Kratos, the divine, entitled personification of their intellectual rather than physical manifestation of strength]
© 2018 John Anstie
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