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.
[This poem alludes to both direct and representative democracy, although the word, Dēmokratía, actually means ‘direct democracy’ as it was implemented in Ancient Greece circa 500 BCE, as opposed to representative democracy. It is also a heavy dig at the unwillingness of politicians to engage in Socratic dialogue or dialectic debate as well as an apparent inability to recognise the ‘Kratos’ in Greek mythology, as the divine personification of strength. In modern terms, this is the competitive flexing of muscles, particularly prevalent 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 testosterone, anxieties and quest for conflict.
This also bears comparison with new generations of ambitious business minded men, women and politicians, who have had the advantage and privilege of learning from the best and wisest of educators. It is interesting that it is often that same ‘old guard’, who themselves so often become worth listening to when they no longer have to tow the corporate or party line and are beyond selfish ambition. Capable members of each new generation are, with the exception of some remarkable individuals, rarely able to transcend personal selfish ambition and sustain a mission to make things better for humanity, because they become 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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