Insinuation

Neither the politics of persuasion nor a presentation of facts. (The forms of rhetoric used by republikans and demokrats, respectively.) Rather, we propose insinuation as our form of political communication. Insinuation does not build the party, it spreads like a virus that mutates as it interacts with every new host. It brings about revolutions, yet not a revolution patterned after the swift seizure of the state, but a path that follows the strange drift of aesthetic revolutions — sometimes sudden, and at other times, a slow drift.

By persuasion we mean the art of bringing someone to your side. In our world, the lines in the sand disappeared long ago. There are friends, enemies, allies, and foes inside every one of us. Some paranoiacs try to draw lines for the rest of us to follow, but the result is always the same: infighting descends and people start striking too close to home. Persuaders are Southern Gentlemen still fighting for the Glory of the South, or soldiers forgotten in the Pacific.

Alternately, with the presentation of facts we mean the naive believe that the truth sets you free. We curse the worn motto ‘speak truth to power.’ For, the question is not why truth works but why illusion is so effective. Cynically, we think that truth-speakers desire being right over being effective. Some of us may have been know-it-alls as kids, but now we are more pleased with winning than living in a world of sour grapes.

Next installment: Nuts and bolts of insinuation.
Additional resources? Down the Rabbit-Hole, Alice!

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5 thoughts on “Insinuation

  1. “… A similar model of thinking is proclaimed by analytic philosophy, with its assumption that tearing down the faulty logic of unsound arguments is the primary task of philosophy. For the analytics the great enemies of human thought are fuzziness, non sequiturs, lack of clarity, poetic self-indulgence, and insufficiently precise terminology. I disagree with this threat assessment. In my view these are all relatively minor problems in comparison with shallowness, false dichotomies, lack of imagination, robotic chains of reasoning, and the aggressive self-assurance that typifies analytic philosophers at their worst. When a desolate tax lawyer like Quine passes for a master of English prose simply because he always says exactly what he means, or when micro-debates over technical sub-issues eat up dozens of careers, then I think we need to question the assumptions of this entire school. When decades of analytic dominance build up a surplus of rigorous argument far exceeding global
    reserves of soybeans and hay, yet so few of the prominent analytic thinkers
    are obvious keepers for the centuries to come, then one has to wonder whether the constant focus on ‘argument’ is really getting us anywhere. To say that a philosophy is built of arguments is like saying that architecture is a matter of arranging steel girders. It is certainly true that no building can stand with faulty engineering, but there are always many ways to arrange steel beams and make them stand. Shifting to an analogy that hits closer to home: to say that a philosophy is built of explicit arguments is like saying that an apple is built of qualities, or that a person is built of all the things that can be known about them. We are not speaking here about aesthetic preferences for desert or jungle landscapes. Instead, we have a genuine philosophical dispute about whether or not an object or a truth is adequately rendered by specific statements or arguments about it.”

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