Thursday, March 7, 2013

Criticism and Democracy

Here are some brief thoughts on why criticism is creative and integral to a Democracy.  Briefly stated, with the right (Categorically Imperative) intentions, constructive criticism IS just that -- constructive!  It's also creative, as I explain here.  I'm a novice in political and legal theory, but I've been struck by the muse, and so I offer my version on the matter, not to state anything definitive, but to create a starting point, a "Toward a Model," one that has been and will be strongly influenced by other thinkers and events.

This started out of a simple conversation which has been a version of many I've heard before. Here's the offending flavor of some people's argument: Simple fact, if you don't like something on TV, you wouldn't write to a TV channel and go~ "I don't like this" would you? So as you would do in real life,~ if you don't like it, change the channel~ go watch/do something else~  
OR:           "If you have a problem with America, then leave it!"

First, The Tea Party has exposed the self-ignorant statements of "love it or leave it," because now they have the experience of living in a country led by a two-term president they don't like, and sad to say, they haven't all left the country.  The least anti-government/anti-diversity folks could do is secede.  They can have South Carolina to themselves, or even Wyoming or South Dakota.  They can erect a giant fence around it, complete with guard towers and border patrols, then lets see whether most people will try to sneak in or out.  I love the idea of a Libertarian/Objectivist Utopia Dystopia.  Fountainead indeed!  I believe that would look more like :

It doesn't take much life experience to know this is ignorant of many events as well as obvious "fan campaigns." Such campaigns brought back cancelled shows such as the original Star Trek, Cagney and Lacey, Quantum Leap, and many more. I should even mention fans boycotting shows for various reasons such as unethical ads, even demonstrations outside the NBC Burbank studios for the killing of character Dr. Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives! And I still remember the campaign to bring back the "Father Dowling Mysteries" promoted at my home parish.  I believe I urged my mom to write a letter, which I signed.

If done with good intention, Constructive criticism doesn't just tear down, it can lift up, and EDUCATE. It's only when the EGO gets in the way that EITHER people's criticism gets hateful or personal or people take WELL-MEANING CRITICISM PERSONALLY or OUT OF CONTEXT. By the way, it's when people take the time to criticize and protest that DEMOCRACY happens. If we just changed the channel when we didn't like what we saw, we'd all have to start living in our own little bubbles of what we like. Consensus and democracy do cause friction, but that's how the world improves: through a conversation. If the conversation were smooth all the time with no dissent, our world would most likely be artless dictatorships... or worse - boring!

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One of my greatest concerns is that I might end up like a great rare tree that falls in a forest, unobserved and unrecorded.   During my life I will greatly delight most in my environment while the insecure and unexamined will be riled by my presence.  But when that day comes will my fall create a great clearing to inspire a rush of growth, or will I rot in place as food for woodpeckers, dying with my potential intact?

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.