Critical Dharma for Thinking Minds
And a Truth Teller. And maybe for the first time in history a leaderless evolution can take place instead of repetitive revolutions driven by control-freaks doing careers. —Mats Sederholm, Adbusters #129
When asked why he does not engage in polemics, Michel Foucault answered as follows:
The polemicist . . . proceeds encased in privileges that he possesses in advance and will never agree to question…. [T]he person he confronts is not a partner in search for the truth but an adversary, an enemy who is wrong, who is harmful, and whose very existence constitutes a threat. For him, then the game consists not of recognizing this person as a subject having the right to speak but of abolishing him as interlocutor, from any possible dialogue; and his final objective will be not to come as close as possible to a difficult truth but to bring about the triumph of the just cause he has been manifestly upholding from the beginning. The polemicist relies on a legitimacy that his adversary is by definition denied.
This was pretty much my brief experience as a Board Member of a Buddhist Social Justice Organization. BSJO engages in polemics and everyone and everything is a threat. My very presence in the group was treated as a threat. I have happily moved on.