Writing — what is it? Words on paper that express thoughts; and yet in its engagement with others does it become something more than ink on paper.
Merriam-Webster defines writing as “the activity or work of writing books, poems, stories, etc.: the way that you use written words to express your ideas or opinions: books, poems, essays, letters, etc.”
At this point in the semester, I wanted to directly address the reader, whomever, if any, persons may compose that reader.
The articles that I produce for The Carolinian are intended for you, to engage you. I attempt to write about important matters for political, social, economic and cultural history or current events that inform us on the way we should live and direct life.
However, these articles are opinions, not research papers. They are based on the best sources I can find in the moment and reflect an opinion or a snapshot in time of my thoughts on a subject. While they do take stances they are not unchangeable or outside the purview of being influenced.
Aristotle believed that the beginning or root of all knowledge and wisdom was in the recognition of a simple paradox, “As for me, all that I know is that I know nothing.”
To know nothing is to know something and yet in acknowledging that you know nothing, the limits of learning are thrown away. I want to know more about the views and opinions of people, of the reader, whomever you may be.
I try to create a system of principles that govern my actions and worldview, a ground on which to stand when I attempt to compose opinions on the latest events going on in our world. However, through the looking glass of principle one does not always see the truest truth in every situation. Sometimes another person has a better vantage point or different set of facts that can challenge the opinion of another person, such as myself.
Dialogue is critical to this process of learning; dialogue is a central facet of our American experiment in self-government — the question concerning whether people can rule themselves, for instance, is as important for our world today as it has ever been.
Education and information are essential to self-government — informed dialogue on the issues facing us as people is the only way that we can cooperate and compromise to move forward with solutions to those problems that face us as a democratic society. We must be engaged and involved, or the direction of our country will steer away from the general will of us, the American people.
The point of this article is to be candid and direct with my readers, if I have any, and to ask for your feedback moving forward. Go to The Carolinian website and look for some of my articles. Once there, please agree, add or challenge some of the opinions made in those articles if you have the time, interest or energy.
Moving forward through this academic year, I want to engage with you the reader if I can. I hope to be launching two series that will start next semester on the second and fourth weeks of each month.
The second week will be an article on America’s untraditional wars — such wars as that on poverty, drugs, terrorism and women. The fourth week of the month will be dedicated to articles on the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court jurisprudence — the way constitutional interpretation affects the way we as citizens live our lives, the character of our culture and the path to reinvigorating our constitutional republican democracy with citizen engagement and the voices of the people.
The youth in our country do not view the past or the future in the terms of previous generations; we are aware of the ways in which our society is failing the poorest among us and failing to provide a system that allows for the greatest level of freedom for competitive improvement that allows people with the highest level of merit and esteem from their peers to rise up and bring the individuals that compose the people to greater heights.
Two of the most popular candidates among millennials in recent years have been two men of opposite views: Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders. However, both have a great amount of similarities in railing against the elitism of the system and the way that it comforts the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted through measures that keep the powerful in power.
Both of these men realize that real change can only come from mass popular support and that populism must come from the bottom up, it must come from youth engagement with the issues and a physical presence that challenges the status quo.
History is a key to this process. Learning what has and has not worked to improve the human condition in the past can be understood, adapted and built upon by informed people to create innovative ideas as solutions to the numerous ineffective actions taken by the government and society to addressing our problems.
Divisiveness and apathy are the enemies of free dialogue and open inquiry that leads to enlightening hearts and minds towards a path of cooperative compromising solutions between competing principles and ideologies so that we can come together as individuals to collectively agree on the means to achieving the ends that we recognize are needed for improvement in nearly all sectors of American life, both foreign and domestic.
I encourage you to engage me, write me, email me, criticize me, agree with me — let’s educate each other through dialogue and come out more informed and empowered with knowledge of the history and current events that we as people will be facing when our generation is at the prime maturity to rule the population.
Hopefully, I will be able to address any communications you the reader have with me in between these second and fourth week special features.
Thank you for taking the time to read my opinions; my hope is that together we can sharpen one another, for “as iron sharpens iron, so does one person sharpen another.”