If there was any great lesson in life it was this: No battle was ever won with silence.
-- Shannon Alder
"Smarter by Saying Nothing"
We may as well start by mentioning certain two advices sounding like proverbs, which depict a wise strategy against someone's challenging arguments.
The first advice was, what the famous Roman orator Cicero used to give to his students: "Whenever you find yourself at a lack of a convincing counter-argument -- ridicule your opponent."
And the originator of the second one I don't know, but it has been parading a lot as a "wise defense", and it sounds like this: "Ignoring is the best revenge".
Well, "wise" or not, but according to my book, both advices are some chickenshit defenses -- in a better English called "intellectual cowardice".
So, let me define what it means in my mind: Chickenshit defensiveness is any strategy in which something challenged gets away clean without having to provide any counter-arguments.
Now, who would not remember how many times the ex-President Trump either ridiculed, even threatened, or completely ignored those reporters who "had a nerve" to ask him some uncomfortable questions.
Cornered and challenged, he resorted to insults, threats, ordering a removal of the challenger from the group -- even called "anti-American" the media who dared not to cater to his smooth sail of presidency.
Of course, he was not the only politician doing that. For another example, during the war in Iraq, Michael Moore would stand prior to the working hours at the entrance of the Congress and ask each Congress person entering "if their grownup kids are also fighting in Iraq" -- getting a cold and ignoring treatment by every single one of them.
There is no other name for that but an intellectual cowardice, as politicians are sending other young men and women to die in the war, while sparing their own, and of course, having nothing to say about it in defense.
We could see the same cowardly attitude with religious zealots, especially those fundamentalists, who would never find courage to question the tenets of their fanatical faith, no matter how much of a sheer mythology and fairy tale they are made of.
And then we come to those less specific examples of individuals whose vulnerable ego just can't allow them an intellectual defeat; so they cowardly, either use Cicero's tactics to ridicule, belittle, or to ignore the person who is challenging their views.
I have been avoided and ignored by people whose delicate and painfully maintained comfort zone felt challenged by my very presence, making them feel irritable and uncomfortable. Just knowing that I am not buying any pretenses made them feel insecure.
Well, being a truth-loving shit-disturber doesn't get you any standing ovations for sure.
I strive to climb mountains, forge streams and oceans to find the unwelcome silence that mocks my existence. I must aim higher.
-- Virginia Alison
A "Village Idiot's Victory"
I always found it as intellectually cowardly when people were either ridiculing or ignoring those arguments which were shaking the fundaments of their comfort zone. I remember how I used to call it "village idiot's victory" -- as a complete moron could "on the surface" be victorious over your arguments by either ridiculing or ignoring, while having nothing of some substance to say.
This chickenshit defensiveness could be even seen in the law, which is basically tailored to put in jail an ordinary dude, while someone of the untouchable elite -- particularly political -- could get away with a murder, treason, or what not.
For example I just couldn't but laugh during Trump's impeachment trial, when a law said that he was obligated to give a certain evidence to the Congress -- but then another law said that he didn't have to, so he didn't. Not that I wanted him impeached -- being a political cynic I don't care if Americans would elect Donald Trump, Donald McDonald, or Donald Duck.
And then again, still talking about the chickenshit laws protecting the untouchables -- one law says that a person has to testify under oath if subpoenaed, but then, with another "protective" law, they somehow don't have to.
Or take the law that suggests that a sitting President cannot start a military engagement without the consent given by Congress.
Nope. Another law says that he can do exactly that -- ignore and override the decision by Congress. Long live the justice charade!
Which reminds, again, of that saying: "Law is the cobweb in which small flies get caught and the big ones tear it."
Think of Trump's taxes and the laws. If he had nothing to lose, why refuse? The very act of refusal clearly suggests the guilt, doesn't it? But the chickenshit law lets one get away with it, if the one happens to be "important enough".
During the pandemic, that historic protest by the truckers' convoy here in Canada got dispersed by the unlawful, unconstitutional Emergency Act invoked by the Prime Minister. Consequently, he got sued for doing that -- but watch how nicely he is getting away with it.
So, why bother having a law, if another one will make it useless?
Why bother having logic, if religious "believing" makes it irrelevant?
Why bother having an open mind if those with a closed one can just ignore it or make it sound ridiculous?
I can't but laugh seeing all such examples of intellectual cowardice, or hiding behind some laws, or behind traditions which made themselves powerful enough by the multitudes of cowardly authorities, or ordinary individuals for that matter, who won't allow their positions be challenged.
So I still have this enormous fun of an intellectual shit-disturber as I am shaking up people's, oftentimes sickly comfort zones, while myself being impervious to all attempts of anyone's brainwashing.
This soul is not for sale.
Other than Intellectual Cowardice -- What Is Intellectual Courage? Please See the Video
© 2023 Val Karas