Without creating a few foes

Came across a 2001 article by David Martin, “Knowing and needing the enemy” (“Facts & Arguments”, The Globe and Mail, August 23, 2001: A16).

Some points of interest:

What about those in pursuit of noble goals, you say, surely they have no enemies? But of course they do. To be truly dedicated to grand purposes means being an agent for change. And being an agent for change means challenging the status quo. And challenging the status quo means stepping on the toes of its guardians. Voilà. Instant enemies.

That’s not to say that pursuing noble goals and whatever you perceive to be the greater good is pointless. Quite the contrary. It fuels the collective soul of mankind.

Just remember that the pursuit of good has a dark side too. The thesis that one should pursue the greater good generates the antithesis that one must have enemies. To take on the powers-that-be necessarily creates foes. Luckily, in a kind of adversarial dialectic, these two propositions generate the synthesis of human progress.

In short, as David Martin also states, “If nobody hates you, you must be doing something wrong.”


About brucelarochelle

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