Thought for the Day: I will accept and engage with criticism but I won’t be edited anymore
I’ve been having a kind passage recently. Some may think I’ve been throwing the last of my toys out of the pram. For decades now, I’ve been under pressure to get my work published. This has often meant gritting my teeth in the face of self-important, partisan editors. Now retired, I can shed that load. More recently, I had the demoralising experience of allegedly pro-independence editors trying to modify my meanings and at other times suppress them. Naming no names, but my fondness for the left and for the anti-fracking campaign has seen two pieces rejected. Another, suggesting that Scotland has, relatively, been a kinder home for refugees drew patronising offers of improvement to counter my apparent softness on bigotry.
I’ve got a real problem with the whole notion of editors or gatekeepers. What makes them think themselves capable of editing me or you? I won’t be submitting anything ever anywhere again. I’ll post on my blog – thoughtcontrolscotland.com, happily receive comment and treat those who do so respectfully and rationally as my equals. I’ll use as my guide the words of that great German, Jurgen Habermas, who wrote:
Members of the public sphere must adhere to certain rules for an “ideal speech situation” to occur. They are:
- Every subject with the competence to speak and act is allowed to take part in a discourse.
2a. Everyone is allowed to question any assertion whatever.
2b. Everyone is allowed to introduce any assertion whatever into the discourse.
2c. Everyone is allowed to express their attitudes, desires and needs without any hesitation.
- No speaker may be prevented, by internal or external coercion, from exercising his rights as laid down in (1) and (2)
If you had already reached these conclusions benefitting from your life in these digital days, I hope you’ll agree that it’s never too late.