The Madness of Heteronomous Thought

Three people sit together facing an audience. They open their mouths and babble on about some story or concern. It is clear that that two of the three disagree at a petty level about particular aspects of a sub-topic that is supposed to be extremely important and interesting. A person between them attempts to keep order as the argument rises and lowers in intensity.

This is the presentation of ‘debate’ so common in modern societies; two people usually referred to as ‘experts’ discussing their views on a subject – frequently: what ought to be done. Sitting on top of an assumed hierarchy where you the viewer is at the bottom, the two individuals represent the two poles of a dialectic presented for your consumption in order to limit your perspective of a particular ‘issue’. The moderator will then attempt to keep the debate flowing whilst he also talks ‘down’ to the audience thereby creating a greater distance in the assumed hierarchy of ‘the debate’.

Beyond this, what I find astounding is how these people seemingly have no idea (or care) about the reality of what they are proposing. Whether their proposal follows a ‘socialist’, ‘libertarian’, ‘conservative’, ‘green’ or any other of a myriad of different ideological outlooks, they are arguing that millions, if not billions of people should be imposed upon according to whatever particular flavour of heteronomy they propose.  Does this not strike you as megalomaniacal? The assumption behind ‘the debate’ is that there is a ‘policy’ and that ‘policy’ should be enacted necessarily heteronomously.

There is never a debate as to whether such assumptions behind a meeting and the prescriptions that follow should even occur. Never is there the realisation from the people involved that they are attempting to enact their pathetic (and in many cases horrifying) views upon countless people who they have never met, do not know and can never know. Irrespective of those people’s individuality and their countless concerns, these maniacs continue to forcefully argue their positions as though their lives depended on it; in many ways their lives probably do.

The position of being seen by others as an ‘expert’ – and one which specifically talks about such things as ‘policy’ – gives the person a false sense of ‘power’ and value, derived from external categorisation. Further, the more specified their area of expertise is, the greater superiority they feel due to the greater degree of esoteric understanding supposedly contained within their argument. All of these things – a desire for power, for recognition, and for a false sense of superiority (derived from being deemed an ‘expert’) combine to pollute the expert mind, stopping him from recognising the sheer raving madness of making propositions as to how millions of people’s lives should be affected through ‘policy’.

I don’t want your ‘debates’ – for what use is there in reasoning with unreasonable people?

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This entry was posted in Commentary, Philosophy, Politics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Madness of Heteronomous Thought

  1. Steven says:

    What an excellent post! I really like what you have said. It also worries me when people consider themselves to be experts. It happens a lot in spiritual circles where you get gurus who supposedly have some kind of superior wisdom or enlightenment, which is nonsense, but encourages just the kind of power play you are talking about.

  2. Pingback: Saudade and the sadness of heteronomous causes | Consentient

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