Home > Ideas and Philosophy > The Value of Dissent

The Value of Dissent

Sometimes it can be very irritating when people don’t agree with your point of view.  One would have preferred that people will just comply; either that or you would cede your own position at worst, if only to avoid any further escalation of tension.  The suppression of dissent seems like a desirable political form of action to take so that things just happen your way.

Having a one-track mind and no one to challenge it can be detrimental because at the very least it closes-off the possibility of understanding your decision and the situation better.

The following things can happen:

  • You discover that you’re wrong.  If those who oppose you are actually closer to the action than you are then they would know better.  You can thus change course to something that makes more sense, avoiding potentially disastrous consequences had you continued with your current trajectory.  This is also a mark of humility, recognizing that, really, you don’t know everything and would be willing to give way to those who actually know better.  Ultimately everyone wins in this scenario.
  • You’re still right, but the other party has a much better idea than the one you had.  You have the opportunity to adapt and capitalize on this new idea, going in a better and more advantageous direction.  If people just shut up then you wouldn’t have known any better and taken advantage of a better, or at least less painful, approach.
  • You’re still right, and the challenge raised through dissent has served as a “hostile witness” of sorts that validates your decision, further strengthening your position on the matter at hand.

How you win in life also matters.  If you silence the opposition then your position is not won through its own merits but by force and arrogance.  And it’s not worth suffering for one’s arrogance; this will ultimately be the death of you.

For all you know, the decisions and actions you make are the insanity that people rally against.  And if only you’d stop and listen a bit, perhaps you’ll even find some sense in the opposition you encounter.

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Categories: Ideas and Philosophy
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