Corey Mwamba


societal hypotheses

Let p be people.

Let n be the nuance we give to our arguments; the understanding, empathy and balance required to interact with each other.

Let d be disenfranchisement; the separation and enmity created between people.

It can be seen that

d = p ÷ n

thus nuance is inversely proportional to disenfranchisement with respect to people.

But all our thoughts have nuance; and we have to sit down and ask ourselves: where do I really stand? Why can I not speak for me? How do I relate to that person over there?

So the question this raises for me is how do we raise the standard and level of nuance in our arguments and opinions?

The pundit and the politician both share the desire to sensationalise, to apply dramatic effect to our lives. By applying the persona of homogeneity to The Other, each one seeks to validate him- or herself as "your voice" against "Them".

I'm bringing this up because I have felt for a number of years now that the arguments used to justify a position are being narrowed.

Here is another hypothesis, in the form of an enclosed tercet:


over there.

It's always them.

And all of these hypotheses lead us to a single conclusion: "those people over there are against me, while they're helping them."

The Them/Us argument is the ultimate statement of disenfranchisement. It is the indispensable element for all the pundits you could care to mention, who sell their books by aligning the reader to something analogous to de Beauvoir's Other. It's also essential for the politics that are based on incitement and indignation; for the justification of so-called "satire" and murder. And in all of these discourses, the protagonist reduces people into homogeneous masses: "the rich", "the bankers", "toffs", "the work-shy", "the fat", "Muslims", "the poor", and so on.

But in my opinion, all it succeeds in doing is presenting statements lacking in nuance and increasing the separation and enmity in society.

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