Tuesday, January 4, 2022

2022 : A Call for Authentic Dialogue

Pope Francis has called for dialogue and openness https://www.catholicherald.com/News/National___International/Pope_at_Vatican_Library_exhibits_calls_for_dialogue,_openness/

Although I am not a member of institutionalized religion, I respect this call and feel it is well chosen.

2022 should be the year of dialogue under the conditions for "ideal speech situations" articulated by Jurgen Habermas and as expanded by thinkers such as Iris Young, among others. My own academic discipline of Communication Studies has addressed the ideal conditions and civics of free speech communications for decades. 

But we are far from an ideal speech situation.

Our survival depends upon dialogue about fundamental conflicts of interest that seemingly pit us against each other yet possibilities for connection exist under conditions of authentic collaboration.

Yet, I see that civil war is being actively fomented by a diverse array of forces (some hidden) whose interests in conflict are often sectional, rather than universal. Denialism is powerful, as I wrote in this post from 2019.

The reaction to increased civil strife over the state of exception that has been unleashed has been selective authoritarianism and increasing media control and social media censorship. The amplification of alienation, fear and anger is in a dangerous cycle of escalation.

This is the path to the dystopia represented in the film Children of Men

Transparent, disclosive and well-intentioned dialogue - with full representation - aimed at finding win-win trajectories forward regarding governance of problems, such as pandemics and collapsing eco-systems, is critical NOW or we will spiral downward downward and catastrophically.

Two Alternatives: 

(1) Transparency, Accountability, Full Collaboration, Dialogue, Hope, a Shared Future

(2) Authoritarianism, Erosion of Civil Liberties, Denial of Natural Rights, Civil War, Children of Men