February 11, 2010

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

As you might have noticed, I've been taking on the sanctity of the US Constitution on my "other" blog, Challenge the Establishment.

I remember, just within the past 4-5 years, that my initial reaction to hearing criticism of the US Constitution was one of discomfort ... Intellectually I could understand the critiques, but I was emotionally socialized to think of the Constitution as being ... exceptional and immutable.

It takes time to come to grips with challenges to one's bedrock beliefs. But, through repeated exposure to the critiques, through alternative critiques that accumulate into a body of evidence, through dialogue with other humans who are exploring the same path of inquiry, the bedrock can loosen into soil. Over time, as the weight of evidence becomes irrefutable, the soil becomes fertile ground for advancing positive social change.

The discomfort of challenging deeply held, socialized beliefs never goes away completely, in part because they are so deeply ingrained. But, in addition, by challenging conventional wisdom, you become a minority; facing reactions ranging from apathy to rejection to ridicule to outright hostility.

Facing the discomfort with the company of others helps. The Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD) Challenging has been bringing humans together on such issues for over a decade. The conventional wisdom about the role of corporations in our society goes hand in hand with challenging myths about the sanctity of the US Constitution.

I'll be revisiting these topics on this blog, the Challenge the Establishment blog, and on GDAE Podcast in 2010. I invite you to probe these bedrock issues with me.



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