To Distinguish Rhetoric from Knowledge

Art by Ditte Løfgren

Mai L. Nissen, 8th of February, 2015

Polemical journalism thrives within a country
that claims to have free press and speech.
The policies of more powerful countries
our media and politicians happily preach.

Individuals, as we believe us to be;
yet we band together in mob mentality;
to fight against injustice to protect democracy
without being called out on the obvious hypocrisy.
Danish media show only a partisan reality,
not caring or aware of our own brutality.

Without question, without independent contemplation,
we accept: “cause we’ve got freedom of information”.
A country with free education, conceited we simply adhere;
to actions in other countries with self-righteousness and cheer
Of our moral superiority we do not doubt or fear
democratic values will conquer and persevere.
By our collective identity we feel certain and empowered;
– as information served on a platter is easily devoured!

Yet we do not know our own minds’ oppression
As we do not discuss or ask any real questions;
Scholarly views dismissed as soft, delusional suggestions,
Yet mainstream information we swallow without digesting.
The privileges that paradoxically ought to set us free
instead encourage us, simply to nod and to agree.

An invisible prison that numbs any urge to engage;
from questioning our so-called democratic stage.
With freedom of expression we take democracy for granted;
which pacifies, distracts us from becoming disenchanted
with the illusion that our democracy is bullet proof and solid;
As we do not distinguish rhetoric from knowledge

Mai L. Nissen, 8th of February 2015

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