Interesting Correlation Between Toastmasters (a model of our society) and The Bulldog Community
Posted by Brian_M on 5/1/2012, 1:19 am
Toastmasters—A Simple Working Model Of Society |
Toastmasters is an international organisation that allows entry to any and all adults who are prepared to pay a modest membership fee. This unrestricted access, coupled with its democratic administration, creates a small, simplified model of the community at large, which allows easy observation and understanding of the forces that drive our society.
The ostensible purpose of the organisation is to teach people how to speak in public, a simple aim which it pursues in a straight forward fashion. The club supplies all members with courses of practice and instruction, which are designed to develop their ability to address an audience, so converting the novice into an expert. To become a Competent Toastmaster a member must complete a set number of speeches, each with a different and specific purpose, to the satisfaction of nominated critics. With any unsuccessful performance being repeated until the declared aims of that particular delivery are met. And it would seem that all who successfully complete the course must attain some skill in public speaking.
The Inspiration Of Tyranny
Learners of any skill should expect to endure an apprenticeship where they start as the least regarded, with their initial blundering efforts occasioning censure and reprimand. But guided by these painful lessons, and arming themselves with study and regular practice, they eventually learn the necessary arts and qualify as capable practitioners. Nevertheless, Toastmasters have decided that it is possible to learn something without suffering, and becoming a public speaker is all fun. An attitude that is constantly reinforced at meetings, fervently uttered like prayers, to remind all present that every speech is to be praised, and every speaker encouraged. This is a decision to avoid the unpleasant duty of telling the truth, and replace it with something more pleasing to the senses, and is wishful thinking. Everyone who shares this notion is embraced as a friend but those who insist upon telling the truth are regarded as anti-social, and victimised. Until the beginning of 1998 the penalty for speaking the truth was social isolation, but this has been considered inadequate so the rules have been changed to allow unpopular members to be cast out of the club by a simple vote.
Impact Of Tyranny
Under the tacit threat of being banished the official judges of speeches find themselves compelled to resort to panegyric—empty praises. Regardless of the quality of a speech, their verdict is expected to be encouraging, never discouraging, and compelling critics to hide behind meaningless platitudes. Truth never dare be spoken, for even to quote "An empty vessel makes the most noise" could be instantly interpreted as the heresy of discouragement against those who often speak. Naturally this compulsory approval of every speech negates the function of criticism; it prevents members from discovering and therefore correcting their faults. And makes the attainment of Competent Toastmaster a meaningless qualification, reflecting only the completion of a set number of public utterances of uncertain quality. All speakers are treated as good speakers, which makes the club a mutual admiration society, lacking the ability to appreciate or demonstrate the skills of public speaking.
Public Sentiments Must Win Approval—Be Politically Correct.
Having the need for compulsory popularity hanging over every head does not just make critics flatterers, never daring to suggest that a speech failed in any significant way, but ensures all speeches are inoffensive; except when they are addressed at unpopular subjects, such as politicians, or speeding drivers or pedophiles; and compels even members of an audience to appear interested, or risk being thought discouraging.
Supressing Truth Creates Uncertainty
It is not just bad speakers but ill-conceived sentiments that prosper in this tyranny, for none dare incur the odium that would be the fate of anyone who risked pointing out logical shortcomings in the sentiments of a speech. This has the effect of creating uncertainty, for while those members who state unpopular truths are condemned, no one is sure how to respond to nonsensical ideas. All members can do is go along with whatever wins acclaim at the moment, until time reveals the more lasting reaction of the membership. So those wishing to avoid unpopularity by embracing or rejecting a notion, have to try to do both until the group's decision becomes clear.
Tyranny Felt Most By The Best, Least By The Worst
Members are clearly tyrannised, but this will only be felt by those concerned about truth; the vain, conceited and foolish delight in never having their high opinions of themselves contradicted, and thrive under this licence to lie.
Summary Of Toastmasters
So it is easy to see in this little group why:
The certificates of achievement are meaningless.
A tyranny suppresses truth while fostering lies.
All honest members must become alienated, either they become cowed into silence, resign or get thrown out of the club.
Only the worst, those who care least about the art of public speaking and the truth, aspire to office.
The purpose of the organisation is reversed as its function devalues the art of rhetoric.
Good things come to those who wait, but great things come to those who hustle. -Brian Miller