Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Silencers by Louis Evan Palmer

They can be viewed as the great silencers: open and hidden self-censoring mechanisms that we exercise against topics that threaten to disturb the peace and good order of our lives. They are broad categorizations that can place the potential speaker or actor under fire while at the same time, diminishing their ability to protect themselves or argue against ideas or claims that they disagree with. The swath of the sliencers varies but each one steps its way into our discourse and effectively places their respective areas out of our scope.  

For example, "anti-semite" is used to place any discourse by non-Jews about jewish subjects or facts, other than carefully defined supportive statements, beyond the pale; "homophobic" performs the same function for comments or observations by non-homosexual persons about homosexuals. The off-limits topics keeps expanding: "racist" curbs anything other than bromides from being spoken. Even critics from within the group itself can be circumscribed by adding "self-hating" or some other similar adjective of denigration. "Anti" is a tried and true torpedo to the truth as in anti-American or anti-capitalist. As often as not, "peer-reviewed" becomes a bulwark of the conventional along with a tyranny of credentials which if taken to extremes would result in only a few people being able to "expertly" talk about various carefully circumscribed topics.

These weapons of discourse destruction are rife in all spheres of communication. Eyes and ears are constantly on the lookout for any of the proscribed elements, ready to pounce with their denunciations, safe in the sanction of society; a society full now of its very own army of self-appointed censors, of which the most important censorship is self-censorship which passes uncritically for cultivation. And the price of dissent or even disagreement is being raised until even death is an option and not just in the so-called authoritarian regimes.

The result will be an enduring silence punctuated by a low-level hum of society-approved opinions and self-correcting thoughts. True discourse will only occur in the sciences but even there orthodoxy and corporate objectives are dominating.

The Silencers, The Way It Can Be, Louis Evan Palmer,

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- Support his art, ideas and worldview, Order books by Louis Evan Palmer: the novel "Oaklane Woods"; short stories "Tales Told to a Tree"; poems "40 Poem Fragments". Order via Kindle link at right of screen Copyright 2012 Louis Evan Palmer He lives in Ontario Canada. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications.

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