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How many people enjoy the writing not the politics of Orson Scott Card? I know I do, and one of the devises he used in his Ender’s Game Trilogy I've always wanted to duplicate was the online debate between two siblings that took on the persona of Demosthenes and Locke.

In the story the siblings took both sides of the ideological spectrum and became very well known and respected however both of them had the same goal and that was power for the brother. This society will have a different goal, and that is debate on the merit and in total concentration on the ideas and proposals, that are facing our nation and world.

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One of the things that have struck me as an online participant is the scant time paid to actual analysis of events before opinions are formed. There is an idea that because some part or portion of a proposal may be advocated by one side or another it therefore should be dismissed out of hand or doesn’t deserve a fair hearing.

It is for that reason I am hoping for lots of participation in the LDDS. It is my intent to find issues of the day and provide as much as can be established as fact and include it in the “diary” presentation.

I and others who wish to participate will then at the end of the presentation provide at least 2 views on to be designated Demosthenes (on the one hand) the other to be designated as Locke (on the other hand) If there are more than 2 solid streams of thought on the matter all the better.

This will be a debating society. Illogical argument will be the enemy. I am hoping to fill the society full of people who hate ad hominem more than Republican. This will be a debating society. I will expect people who would like to participate to be able to take either side of the issue and argue it.

So is anyone game?

 The Locke V Demosthenes Debating Society

Originally posted to An Adept's Journey on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 06:38 AM PST.

Also republished by The Locke vs Demosthenes Debating Society.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

    by Adept2u on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 06:38:42 AM PST

  •  First!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, Adept2u

    well, at least an early adopter. As LNG ad Ender doesn't beat me up in the rest room, I'm good to go.

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - My Dad

    by briefer on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:00:02 AM PST

  •  Card's writing is extraordinary. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sberel, mos1133, Adept2u

    After reading the Ender series I found out that he was Mormon, and beyond that, really conservative. That information didn't really mesh with his writing, I thought. His ability to immerse himself in and explore potential ethical challenges of humanities future were brilliant, and not often created in fiction, that I've found.

    It's an interesting idea to recreate, in a way, the Demosthenes debates, real-time, vis-a-vis present political events. Good luck with it!

    To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe because one knows, is power. Éliphas Lévi

    by Jahiz on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:11:52 AM PST

    •  Me too (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sberel, Jahiz, mdmslle

      I felt like I did when I found out R. Kelly did the pedophile thing.  One of the first debates I'll do and probably today is separating the person from the message, and is it possible, and should we.  

      Every moment in life contains an off ramp. Never be afraid to use it.

      by Adept2u on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:17:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great question - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        foufou

        Being from Utah - I think I understand the kind of partitioning that can happen within the Mormon/hive mind. Card is particularly adept (no offense intended) at that - but maybe it's because he's just a good writer and can go there when it's a fictional world.

        To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe because one knows, is power. Éliphas Lévi

        by Jahiz on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:25:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great question (0+ / 0-)

        Being from Utah - I think I understand the kind of partitioning that can happen within the Mormon/hive mind. Card is particularly adept (no offense intended) at that - but maybe it's because he's just a good writer and can go there when it's a fictional world.

        To believe without knowing is weakness; to believe because one knows, is power. Éliphas Lévi

        by Jahiz on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:26:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Interesting question (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adept2u

        I am interested in others checking in on this topic and hope that you will consider postponing the debate until some of the glitches are resolved

  •  Just finished rereading Ender's Game (5+ / 0-)

    Mostly trying to relive the halcyon days of youth, when I actually read more SF. I always thought it was a writer's conceit that Locke and Demonsthenes could just get published and rise to the top so easily. I know the explanation is that all 3 kids were brilliant, but the idea that brilliant writing rises to the top seems charmingly naive in a media universe where everything is connected, and everyone is a content producer.

    What does ring true to me, though, is the way that Peter and Valentine are basically disingenuous about the positions they take as Locke and Demosthenes. It's a show for a greater purpose. They may come to believe those positions over time (or not), but there's a sense of a disconnect between what's real for someone, and what they say. That seems pretty much true in media statements by all sides - there's a greater purpose (usual corporate or economic, which was not the case with Peter and Valentine), and copy is produced to serve that purpose.

    I think the novel is about lies. The adults lie to Ender to get him to do what they want. I think Ender must lie to himself to let it happen (could the possibility that he was really fighting a war not have crossed his mind?). Peter and Valentine lie to the public, and then Valentine and Ender lie again (or at least obscure their authorship and make themselves safe) by writing the Hive Queen and the Hegemon. Those tell the truth, but also serve to enable Ender to personally avoid the public scorn of being the "worst person ever" (I think Card even calls him that at one point), and allow Valentine to not have to own up to being Demosthenes. And in each of these, the case could be made that they are noble lies, done for an ultimate good. To Card's credit, in subsequent books I think he does raise the question of whether these really were noble lies - Speaker for the Dead is about what it means to tell the truth, and is motivated in part because of cynicism toward the earlier noble lies that were told.

    Interesting political lessons and parallels to reality, I think. But what's more interesting is Card's own politics, and how it seeps through this and other of his work. These are books about character. They remind me in a way of the movie The Incredibles, also about character, also essentially conservative in the sense that we are meant to identify with the brilliant, exceptional ones, and see ourselves in that way as well. The Incredibles goes further than Card does - the world's problems come from "levelling" everyone, and from the bureaucrats, the lawyers and the Jews (watch the beginning again - it's striking). But Card still has this sense that the "great" operate by a different set of rules, and that's ok. Ender is still forgiven for murder (or at least manslaughter), because he's needed.

    Having said that, there are other currents. For Card, the problems of society seem to come from the buggers (i.e., the other), a common conservative move, but by the end we figure out that the problem was that we didn't understand them, and it was more about an out-of-control military who didn't care to understand, and thought that the only answer was to destroy. Speaker for the Dead is all about having some humility and realizing that our understanding of the world is not the last word (that humility, by the way, is classic conservatism, but is completely absent from today's version. And, arrogance is the classic charge of conservatives against liberals).

    Anyway, interesting novels, certainly. But I am wary of Card's politics when I read him. Fiction writers can make a certain version of the world very visceral, and feel very real, and if that's a version of the world that I think is basically wrong, then it can be more dangerous than Glen Beck. As much as I have enjoyed some Westerns in the past, they inculcated a certain version of Americanism that I think we're still paying for today. How else could W be so popular, except as a cowboy?

    The maturity of man is to have the seriousness of a child at play - Nietzsche

    by mitumba on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:46:38 AM PST

  •  Just finished rereading Ender's Game (0+ / 0-)

    Mostly trying to relive the halcyon days of youth, when I actually read more SF. I always thought it was a writer's conceit that Locke and Demonsthenes could just get published and rise to the top so easily. I know the explanation is that all 3 kids were brilliant, but the idea that brilliant writing rises to the top seems charmingly naive in a media universe where everything is connected, and everyone is a content producer.

    What does ring true to me, though, is the way that Peter and Valentine are basically disingenuous about the positions they take as Locke and Demosthenes. It's a show for a greater purpose. They may come to believe those positions over time (or not), but there's a sense of a disconnect between what's real for someone, and what they say. That seems pretty much true in media statements by all sides - there's a greater purpose (usual corporate or economic, which was not the case with Peter and Valentine), and copy is produced to serve that purpose.

    I think the novel is about lies. The adults lie to Ender to get him to do what they want. I think Ender must lie to himself to let it happen (could the possibility that he was really fighting a war not have crossed his mind?). Peter and Valentine lie to the public, and then Valentine and Ender lie again (or at least obscure their authorship and make themselves safe) by writing the Hive Queen and the Hegemon. Those tell the truth, but also serve to enable Ender to personally avoid the public scorn of being the "worst person ever" (I think Card even calls him that at one point), and allow Valentine to not have to own up to being Demosthenes. And in each of these, the case could be made that they are noble lies, done for an ultimate good. To Card's credit, in subsequent books I think he does raise the question of whether these really were noble lies - Speaker for the Dead is about what it means to tell the truth, and is motivated in part because of cynicism toward the earlier noble lies that were told.

    Interesting political lessons and parallels to reality, I think. But what's more interesting is Card's own politics, and how it seeps through this and other of his work. These are books about character. They remind me in a way of the movie The Incredibles, also about character, also essentially conservative in the sense that we are meant to identify with the brilliant, exceptional ones, and see ourselves in that way as well. The Incredibles goes further than Card does - the world's problems come from "levelling" everyone, and from the bureaucrats, the lawyers and the Jews (watch the beginning again - it's striking). But Card still has this sense that the "great" operate by a different set of rules, and that's ok. Ender is still forgiven for murder (or at least manslaughter), because he's needed.

    Having said that, there are other currents. For Card, the problems of society seem to come from the buggers (i.e., the other), a common conservative move, but by the end we figure out that the problem was that we didn't understand them, and it was more about an out-of-control military who didn't care to understand, and thought that the only answer was to destroy. Speaker for the Dead is all about having some humility and realizing that our understanding of the world is not the last word (that humility, by the way, is classic conservatism, but is completely absent from today's version. And, arrogance is the classic charge of conservatives against liberals).

    Anyway, interesting novels, certainly. But I am wary of Card's politics when I read him. Fiction writers can make a certain version of the world very visceral, and feel very real, and if that's a version of the world that I think is basically wrong, then it can be more dangerous than Glen Beck. As much as I have enjoyed some Westerns in the past, they inculcated a certain version of Americanism that I think we're still paying for today. How else could W be so popular, except as a cowboy?

    The maturity of man is to have the seriousness of a child at play - Nietzsche

    by mitumba on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 07:54:26 AM PST

  •  I can't separate the message... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hepshiba

    Card is a rabid right-wing homophobe. It is offensive to me to use his literary device as a vehicle for discussion here. Every time I see LDDS posted I am reminded of what a vile, disgusting shithead he is.

    He has taken very public stands against LGBT equality and used hateful, ugly language. I don't care how entertaining Ender's Game was or how compelling the Locke/Demosthenes model is. I couldn't possibly participate in a group modelled on the work of a major, public homophobe and I don't think it has any place here. I find it more objectionable every time I see it.

    There are plenty of other debating references that could be used without resorting to one that is offensive to an entire group of Kossacks.

    "Space is disease and danger wrapped in darkness and silence." --Dr. Leonard (Bones) McCoy

    by homogenius on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 09:02:18 AM PST

    •  I have to say I agree with this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      homogenius

      Card's rabid homophobia and misogyny taint all his work, and I'm not comfortable participating in a forum named essentially in his honor.  Otherwise, I think a debating society is a great idea and would help us sharpen our policy stands. If there's a name change, count me in. If not, I'll have to sadly decline.

      "If you fake the funk, your nose will grow." -- Bootsy Collins

      by hepshiba on Mon Feb 14, 2011 at 02:37:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I can't debate... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JupiterIslandGirl

    I'm right!!!

    Just kidding, will give it a try!

    If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive. - Audre Lorde

    by princss6 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 09:05:21 AM PST

  •  Once the bugs are worked out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foufou

    and the speed picks up I'd love to get involved but for now, I'll lurk.

    I will Not give up, I will Not give in, I will Not quit!

    by JupiterIslandGirl on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 10:28:52 AM PST

  •  You should republish this to your group. (0+ / 0-)

    Click the Republish button at the end of the diary, select the LDDS group from your list, enter any notes you want, and click save. Then go to your group's queue, and either Schedule Later or Publish Now. You should be able to able to figure out how those work on your own.

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