Ancient Persian Wisdom

In Hbl of ti 19.03., p.18, Tapani Ritamäki had an IMPULS column with impressions from a recent visit to England, and the detail I intend to write about is already identical with the column’s headline:”Vi ska ut! Omedelbart ut! Skit i alla dealar! Bara ut ut uuuut!” Så låter folket när det är på gott humör efter några stora glas öl.” And the thing they are referring to is BREXIT.

And as to ancient Persian wisdom, it is just a piece of information which I was picking up at some time in some forgotten past and which said that the ancient Persians (from those times when Greeks and Romans had trouble with them) were in the habit of discussing any really important matter always twice, namely once sober and once under alcohol.

The wisdom I see in this is psychological. When discussing a matter in a sober state it can happen that there are quite a number of members of the council who are skeptical but keep quiet because some good reason to be against a suggestion does not come to their minds in time (or not at all – it certainly can happen that there simply are no good reasons against). But when the matter is discussed afterwards under alcohol it can MUCH MORE EASILY become clear whether there is also sufficient MOTIVATION really to do as was decided during the sober discussion. And if there is obviously not enough motivation around, it may often be better not to insist but invest further effort into convincing people before tackling the realization of the sober decision (contrary to the demands of, say, “management by perkele”).

Of course there are also problems with this. Under alcohol people can easily fall back on opinions and attitudes on which they have been IMPRINTED in their younger years (the “cultural background”). And the Yellow Press, same as any efficient demagogue, will easily and eagerly appeal to just these “culturally-based” tendencies and prejudices, and WIN. We are experiencing this right now all over Europe, and still more in the USA. – I took recently the trouble to count via how many channels I am getting politically rightist US propaganda to my inbox, and arrived at 29 such channels (I usually delete these things without reading them, but every now and then I have a look to get a clearer idea about the methods they use).

Well, and what to do now against this avalanche of shit? For any propagandistic counter offensive of similar size the political Left usually does not have the money, and the result would anyway just be a still deeper split of the nation. Better it might be if the politicians would take MUCH MORE time to explain their reasons to the public, in the process also talking reason, unhindered by excessive political correctness (= tiptoeing around possible feelings of being insulted in some specific groups of the electorate). But this of course would also mean that the politicians should be given the time, and that the media should also be less unforgiving in their comments on the formulations which a politician might use (and more curious what s/he might REALLY mean). And such a helpful attitude of the media one may not easily find in media which are private-owned by people who have special political interests (as seems especially to be the case in Anglo-Saxon countries – although really not only there).

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