About 2,000 years ago, a man walked into the Temple in Jerusalem, overturned the tables of the merchants, and drove the money-changers from there. This man, Jesus of Nazareth, the salvation of humanity, publicly rejected the prevailing hypocrisy and wrongs of his time.
Decades prior to Jesus entering the Temple, thousands of miles away in a city called Rome, a man named Cicero delivered the Phillipicae. These were a set of orations that scathingly criticized Marc Antony, one of the triumvirs following the assassination of Julius Caesar.
A few hundred years before Cicero, a hideous old man walked in the Agora in Athens and along the Piraeus, questioning the assumptions of Greek culture, society, and politics. His name was Socrates and he inspired the greatest philosophers in human history.
Indeed, the entire history of philosophy that followed was, in the same style, a deeply critical view of the prevailing attitudes, norms, beliefs, and policies in the society where the philosophizing was taking place.
It was this dialectical method that was one of the cornerstones of Western civilization and that led to the amazing flourishing of ideas that, eventually, created the most advanced societies in the world.
You can see the dialectic in many aspects of what we call civilization, especially the understanding that people can and should discourse and exchange ideas before arriving at conclusions about terrestrial concerns. Look at the parliamentary system and all derivatives.
I bring this up because I see or hear something to the effect of what @daronass6666 wrote every other week (so this doesn't have to do with him personally, but the idea itself).
We as a people have a disabling discomfort with disagreement, criticism, and confrontation. When there is internal discord, we throw up our hands in dismay and lament our inability to achieve some utopian unity that evades us because we just can't seem to get along.
Often this supposed inability to get along is portrayed as an indication of our immaturity, which is why it's so often mocked, derided, and used by self-hating Armenians as an opportunity to wash their hands of the business and say they're not going to deal with it anymore.
In fact, it is our very inability to properly argue and withstand the heat and pressure of confrontation that is indicative of our immaturity and political and philosophical underdevelopment.
Whenever there is a controversy that ignites vociferous debate, large cadres among us wilt like frail flowers on a hot summer day. Appeals for unity and mutual love abound as many seek a respite from the mayhem.
And then you get April 23, 2018.
Let me explain.
Debate and argumentation are the alternatives to physical confrontation. Just as in its physical form, fitness for mental confrontations must be cultivated and it is only through critical thinking, rhetorical skill, and practice that one is able to articulate his/her point well.
Because of this aversion to mental and rhetorical confrontation, our collective faculties for substantive and productive debate are enfeebled. We avoid vigorous debate, thus relieving ourselves of the one channel to address our concerns in a non-physical, civilized manner.
But your problems don't go away when you avoid them. In fact, they usually get worse because you just keep them inside and they stew inside you. Over time, without a proper outlet of which you avail yourself to address your concerns, you begin to feel desperate.
Because you must assuage the desperation somehow and have not developed the faculties to do so rhetorically, you first resort to emotional, generalized, nonsensical outbursts (e.g. "սաղ գող են" "սաղ սուտ ա" "երկիրը երկիր չի").
But, because emotional, generalized, nonsensical outbursts of individuals do not have a track record of success, you seek alternatives modes of addressing your problems. And nothing loves company like misery.
So you band together with a bunch of other people who are unable to articulate any properly deduced ideas or arguments and you hit the streets shouting your emotional, generalized, and often nonsensical slogans into the air.
This is romanticized today but it is literally the basest form of human verbal and non-violent interaction. Today, it's known as activist protest; previously, it was simply known as the mob.
If the unthinking mob (redundancy) is adequately appeased at the right time, it dissipates as soon as it gathered, having gained nothing from the experience. This is what happened in 2018. If it is not appeased, you end up with the Reign of Terror (a.k.a. the French Revolution).
The point is, a mature, educated, and self-confident society welcomes mental and rhetorical confrontation because it understands that it is a higher form of confrontation and one that is significantly better than the alternatives.
It is also on the basis of the smaller discussions, debates, criticisms, and confrontations that one develops his/her skills for larger and more significant dialectic. Sort of like learning to crawl before one walks.
Let's embrace criticism and debate and stop making generalized appeals to unity with implied or explicit jeers at the confrontations that take place about the topic of the day. Deriding and avoiding debate does nothing but sequester it until it morphs into something much uglier.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with William Bairamian

William Bairamian Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @Bairamian

30 Apr
An interview with Armenian national hero and third president Serzh Sargsyan has premiered. It promises to be a good one.
Sargsyan says he didn't lose to "these guys [Pashinyan], I lost to much more powerful forces."
Sargsyan says that the infamous line, "Nikol Pashinyan was right, I was wrong," was a reference to Sargsyan being wrong that Pashinyan wouldn't have risked the lives of others and that Pashinyan was right that he would indeed do anything to achieve his end: power.
Read 26 tweets
29 Apr
Many Diasporans won't see the problem with this because it's become so normalized in the West but the production of cannabis is going to be disastrous for Armenian society. And, for the record, I don't find the economic argument compelling.
OK, obviously some context is necessary given the replies I've been getting here. The reason this is disastrous for Armenia is that this is the first step in realizing the stated objective of this government's officials that marijuana be legalized.
This wouldn't be unusual as the reluctance to legalize hemp production in other places has largely been tied to the expectation that this would eventually lead to marijuana production/legalization. Also, hemp production makes illegal marijuana production hard to enforce.
Read 8 tweets
21 Jul 20
THREAD
I just watched the @res_publica The Future of Post-liberalism seminar with @Phillip_Blond, @PatrickDeneen, @Vermeullarmine, Ryszard Legutko, @NJ_Timothy, and @moveincircles as moderator. I recommend watching it in full but here are some highlights.

#postliberalism
First, #postliberalism is a new idea and this was a good intro/discussion about where it should go. I discerned two camps: international post-liberalism represented by @Phillip_Blond, @Vermeullarmine, and @PatrickDeneen and a national kind represented by Legutko and @NJ_Timothy.
The case for international #postliberalism was made early on and succinctly by @Phillip_Blond: post-liberal universalism is needed to respond to liberal universalism. I agree with this b/c liberalism been successful and difficult to challenge due to its insistence on ubiquity.
Read 19 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!

:(