15 nov. 2017

Against rhetoric and persuasion in communication - Noam Chomsky

An excerpt from a long but great conversation with Noam Chomsky, in 2015
A true joy for me to see that big audience vividly applauding, like in ovation standing for a rock band :) Thrill and confidence in humanity - for good.

They speak - what else? - about language and its influence on developing - well - the good or bad in people. The interviewer quote Ghandi ”Persuasion is a form of violence”, and asked for Noam Chomsky opinion. Here it is: in front of an audience, ideally you don t try to persuade them - that is accept your position. Is no point in persuading people. (..) If people have the capacity to rouse an audience (through rhetoric, i.e. persuasion, appealing at their emotions, undermining their capacity for independent thought) they should try to suppress it. (...)


Richard Dawson state that ”teaching people is really seduction in a way.” So, to get people to critical thinking, you first have to motivate people to want to be interested enough in topic. - argued the interviewer.

”To motivate people is to bring up the issues, problems, puzzles that challenge them, and then ask them try to think,  get help them to think through ways of interpreting, and maybe solving these
problem.(...) To enlightment. There is some structure in teaching, but the real challenge is to investigate the structure, and maybe to modify it to be their own structure. (...) Discover for yourself, and then it should be internalized.