Tag Archives: democracy

Write to be Heard

“while it’s conventional that wisdom exists in literature, creative writing has always been seen as more rarefied or intimidating. It has been celebrated as personally palliative, yes, but it’s never been considered a method to increase participation in society. After all, what good is composing poetry and writing stories when you need a job, or a nation must be founded, or a war has to be won, or cancer is ravaging the bodies both human and politic?

But creative writing can be anyone’s best training for speaking out – and if you’ve ever read novels, heard scripture, watched movies or TV, listened to songs, or learned folklore, then you’ve been studying your entire life how storytelling works. By applying your hand at creating it, you are not just attempting art, you are learning vital skills and life lessons.

Fiction teaches us about characters and empathy, plot and consequences, and the value of nuance to truth. Poetry teaches us how to distil language, value silence, and understand metaphor. Non-fiction (which certainly includes journalism) teaches us accountability to facts, critical thinking about the systems in society, and the importance of getting out into the world to listen to others. These are but a few of the skills one learns from writing creatively.

Are those life lessons not vital to democracy? To have a voice is to have a vote. To have a vote is to be represented in society. To represent ourselves clearly and confidently empowers us citizens to air our own concerns and our community’s grievances, to be accountable for ourselves, and to demand the accountability of our leaders. If we are not trained to articulate our arguments properly, we will never be heard legitimately, and we can be ignored too conveniently.

… while art itself might not change the world, it’s abundantly clear that it can empower those who will.”

From, and read more: http://ewn.co.za/2017/05/11/art-and-literature-are-vital-to-democracy-here-s-why

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Stop arguing, start reading

We can’t get along because “People who belong to different communities —with different ideas, experiences, and values— will hold different standards of reason.” However, reading has the power to unite us:

“The political divide in America can be seen as a geographical problem: Red and Blue Americans disagree deeply … when you don’t share experiences with someone — when you lack a common perspective — it’s easy to think of their opinions as arbitrary and wrong. …

Reading fiction has the power to change it…

“To create a more inclusive society you need to expand community boundaries; you can’t use reason to expand those boundaries because reason itself is parochial; fiction, however, has the power to cross communities and make strangers intelligible to each other; and once a community has been enlarged, it becomes possible for the members of the expanded community to practice politics together using shared standards of reason.

The power that Rorty ascribed to fiction led him to conclude that the novel is “the characteristic genre of democracy.”

And indeed, if there’s an opening in the literary fiction market right now, it might be for a novel that translates across the partisan gap.

That may seem like a lot to ask of a story, but Rorty, who admired Uncle Tom’s Cabin, would have said that fiction has moved bigger mountains before.”

More: http://mobile.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2013/01/the_political_d

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


http://www.SpyWriter.com