Giving voice to those…

Giving a voice to those who never had one” seems to be the message of the day. It is viewed as a quality, public figures receive praises for doing this and the message behind it seems to be that democracy itself leans on this principle. Since it is such a revered course of action, more and more people either promote this generous idea or take advantage of its application.
Yet nothing is all-good, just as nothing is all-wrong. It is a good principle but its implementation leaves a lot to be desired. We live now in a world of cacophony where everybody seems to have been given a voice and uses it in the most violent way. I believe that the idea behind this phrase was for the society to employ caring, intelligent, knowledgeable individuals to voice the desires and aspirations of the silent ones to those groups of governance and organization who can do something about them. Yet this idea was somehow lost and now everyone, no matter how educated, how informed, how intelligent, is given the gall to speak up. And that exposes the weakness of democracy – where the vote of a very informed person, intelligent, who pondered heavily on the matters at hand can be voided by the vote of somebody who doesn’t have the slightest clue about parties, candidates, what they stand for. The same way, the clear, informed voices get lost very often in the cacophony of the well-intentioned, ill-informed masses.
Now, please, don’t get me wrong. People should have a voice, no matter how wrong it is. After all I sincerely believe in the freedom of the speech and one of my favourite quotations is Voltaire’s “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” I admire any opinion, no matter how contrary to mine, if it’s presented with arguments and with a sound reasoning.
I used to believe myself that there are lots of people, admirable ones who due to a lack of exposure, could not have a beneficial impact on the society. And it is true. After all my grandfather, a simple peasant, but educated and self-taught, who would stop reading and getting informed only until the harvest, was such a man. Still, life has shown me that the vast majority of the people doesn’t have opinions. This situation doesn’t seem to prevent them from voicing the opinions of others without stopping and considering their validity. And it would be impossible to analyze these ideas/opinions/ideals because they do not have the tools to do this. They don’t have the tools and the biased leaders of opinions don’t offer them (for good reasons – they might work against them and their agenda). In an age where ignorance is cherished and promoted, all one has to do to push his ideas is to wrap it in a good intention and decent, but sub-mediocre minds would embrace it. Examples for this thing happening are in the thousands. Take for example, the help given to Africa. It seems like a “no-brainer” (oh, the love of the society for this term shows where we are heading to), a good and generous instinct that we have to send money over there, to help the poor children (no, I’m not ironic, they are poor, they are destitute, they live difficult lives), to send them fertilizers and help them grow a solid agriculture. Unfortunately, it only seems. There are a number of voices – smothered by high-profile do-gooders such as Bono or Bill Gates – who point out correctly that the western help, if anything, made the Africans even more helpless, it made the rich more rich and that many average people were pushed below the poverty line. Fertilizers made them more dependent of the prices of oil and fertilizers destroy the soil as it did to India in the 70s and 80s. Still, trying to point this one in public will make them treat you as a criminal who wants to condemn those poor people to eternal hunger.
And that brings us to the next point: it is ironic that exactly these new voices stifle the voices of reason, those who try to understand, investigate and debate things. Well intentioned people write to magazines complaining about racism in a 19th century depiction of N American society (duh! wasn’t there any?). When somebody dares to state the fact that Hitler did – a side effect, unintentional – a social service by confiscating and then hiding thousands of art works in protective bunkers, masterpieces that would have probably been gone in bombardments or vandalized, then he is bullied out of the job because he, an anti-Semite for sure, dares see some good in a sacrilege.
To me this seems like the radical groups who want to be given a chance to use democratic tools to get in power and then destroy the very same democracy that gave them a voice. Any lucid opinion that is perceived as an attack of the human values is shamed and destroyed with rush. This contrasts with times not long passed when stupidity and uninformed opinions were shunned and publicly ridiculed. One might say that is better kindness than intelligence but I beg to differ. Idiotic kindness can lead to more evils than considerate intelligence.
I guess my opinions make me an elitist. I am sure they do, but what other option is there? One would not want a bus driver piloting the plane one flies with. One would not desire his children taught history by a mechanic or have his food cooked by a chemist. Then why let uneducated, uninformed or even stupid individuals (yes, stupid, like in low-IQ but not as low as to be considered mentally challenged) make the decisions for our present and/or future?! Voice, like respect should be given to the ones who deserve it.