The Purpose of Dissent

At Boris Epstein's blog appears Sniffing Out The Higher Truth: Quotes of Dissent.

In this piece you will find many wonderful quotes from many respected individuals.

I would never seek to squelch the voices of dissent, however I would not either seek to squelch the voices critical of these voices of dissent. I instead would ask this question: What is the purpose of the dissent?

Is the dissent motivated by desires to improve things? Or is the purpose to only dissent for dissents sake?

I do not see anything wrong with someone objecting to, speaking out against and seeking to change things for the better. However, can one who dissents take things too far? How about when one takes things so far that one becomes an anarchist?

From Merriam-Webster:

anarchist - 1: a person who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power

I will defend the dissenter, but will criticize the person who just can not be satisfied. I will praise those such as Martin Luther King who, in such a beautiful way, expressed indignation and criticism of the "rule of the majority", the rule of which resulted in oppression and injustice. However I will resist with my own voice, and if need be with the force of arms, those who seek to replace the orderly rule of society with the anarchy promised by rebellion for rebellion's sake.

If the goal is the improvement of society while dissenting against injustice, the dissenter will find me to be a willing ally even if I disagree with the point of the dissent. However when the goal of criticisms seems to be the pursuit of anarchy, the dissenter can count me amongst his enemies.

I have nothing against dissent, but I do have a problem with anarchy. The dissenter seeks to improve society, while the anarchist seeks to destroy it.


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