The Clash of Titans Generates Ideas

The Clash of Ideas generates solutions.

Whenever two or more people congregate, they enter into a clash of ideas, from which only one can emerge victorious. We call this dialectics or the art of convincing someone without making them into your enemy.

It is from this titanic clash of concepts that new ideas arise. New ideas are the offspring of the sparks of knowledge generated by the violent contact between the flint of argument and the frizzen or steel piece of the mental flintlock of the counterargument.

It is from this monumental friction that progress is born.

My argument is that progress is absent from a world that controls speech and the clash of ideas.

Nothing good may come from a static, passive model, where ideas are born in the minds of the elite, and brought down to us by the would-be ‘mesianic’ medias. The Media are not Moses coming down to us with his 10 Tablet Rules. And we should not ever believe in the value of controlled speech or the necessity of banning hate speech.

As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as hate speech. All speech should be allowed. Libel laws should be in place to deal with those who traffic in lies and misrepresentation. The moment we start establishing categories of speech that people should not be allowed, that is the moment we all denounce the sacrifices made by countless generations before us, who risked life and limb to give us Freedom.

To think of it, we don’t really have much of a choice in the matter. Can we really abandon the hard won Liberties and Freedoms that required the blood and toil of so many who braved the torture, gallows, execution, spoliation, degradation to bring us that which we seek to ban?!

Is this how we treat the Titanic Struggles of the Past? If so, then we deserve the Sad and Degrading Future that surely must await us.

Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong century and perhaps I was. There is nothing wrong with admitting that. I admit that more often than not, I think of what would Chevalier Bayard do in my stead. And the answer is simple, he’d forge on with his noble notions about honour and valour. In fact, he would invite his enemies to take shots at him while he would offer his trembling carcass to enemy fire with reckless abandon.

Chevalier de Bayard – Sans Peur et Sans Reproche (1473-1524) was one of the most emblematic figures of France during the reign of king Francis I (1515-1547) as well as his predecessors. He once singlehandedly defeated 200 enemies while holding the bridge at the Battle of Garigliano (1503). During the last stage of the Battle of the Giants at Marignano (1515), King Francis I asked Bayard to knight him. He died as he lived, an honourable man. Le Chevalier Bayard had this to say to the traitorous Duke of Bourbon as he lay dying on the field of battle: ‘Sir, there is no need to pity me. I die as a man of honour ought, doing my duty; but I pity you, because you are fighting against your king, your country, and your oath.’

I wish life was that simple. I wish I too could seek my enemies out into the open, expose myself to their fire, and do or die. Alas, life is not that simple. At least not this side of the 21st century.

There is no honour. There is no valour. There’s no decency and there is none who would ever expose themselves to their foes or challenge anyone to a duel of ideas if not to a real one. I find myself longing for a time when one could support his ideas in a sporting manner, both intellectually as well as physically.

I wish I was born in a time when people were not afraid to pronounce themselves on any matter and were ready to defend their notions in the agora.

‘Vous incarnez le passé, M. Taro. Un passé qui vit dans un present sans avenir! ‘You represent the past, Mr. Taro. A past that lives in a present without a future!’ That may be so, my friends, but my past is honourable, logical and sensible. I do not care for a misguided present that will lead to a dead future.
(Still from the Marseille Netflix TV series)

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