[T]he sophists placed great emphasis upon the power of speech . . . The sophists were interested in particular with the role of human discourse in the shaping of reality. Rhetoric was the centrepiece [sic] of the curriculum . . . a staple of sophistic education. . . . Aristotle suggests that the sophists tended to reduce politics to rhetoric . . . As Hadot eloquently puts it . . . ‘traditionally people who developed an apparently philosophical discourse without trying to live their lives in accordance with their discourse, and without their discourse emanating from their life experience, were called sophists.’
The Sophists were at first widely admired. . . . Sophists were more concerned with rhetorical effectiveness than with truth. Hence the meanings of "sophist" and "sophistry" today.
Not long ago the soon to be former owner of the LA Clippers, 80-year-old Donald Sterling, was expediently hanged, drawn and quartered for racist comments he made to his beloved 31-year-old girlfriend (not to be confused with his wife—presumably not as young or beloved).
Perhaps “hanged, drawn and quartered” is a bit of an overstatement.
Actually, he’s been “banned for life” from the NBA (Seriously, how long could that be?), fined 2.5 million dollars, and will most likely—upon a vote of other NBA owners—lose his team. (When I say “lose” his team I mean he’ll have to sell the team he bought for 12 million dollars for around 800 million dollars.)
Does anyone feel sorry for this guy? I certainly don’t.
But here’s my beef: He’s being punished, not for something he did—though he’s certainly done plenty (see here)—but for something he said.
In American culture today it seems that words speak louder than actions. Be it the White House, courthouse, or schoolhouse: rhetoric rules the day. Sophistic elites in government and media (that should probably read, “government-media”) manage, manipulate, and manufacture our national narrative.
That is, we are relentlessly conditioned via words and images in regards to what is or isn’t acceptable thought, belief, and expression. The mantra is simple: Some people can’t say or think some things.
Who these “some people” are and the “some things” they cannot think or say is determined by our handlers. And truth has nothing to do with it. Such is always the case in a nanny-police State.
Fact. Fiction. News. Entertainment. No lines, just blurs. We’re all Sophists now.