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This is Jeffrey K. Holbrook.

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To those who discovered and listened to the 50 episode show, Daggers Of The Mind, thank you for your interest. I want to assure that more of that same kind of content will be forthcoming.

In addition, some of the voice acting, and voice over content we produce at Holbrook New Media will be made available here, and last but not least, the weekly video show I do with Geoff Blanchard of Australia on It’s called Geoff and Jeffrey; The Weekly Catch Up.

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Today we are comparing opposing quotes from Karl Marx, and Ronald Reagan.

Karl Marx, who coauthored “The Communist Manifesto” with Frederich Engels

“The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.”


Ronald Reagan, Former President of the United States.

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”


I am not sure if anyone has noticed, but things have been getting pretty harsh lately. Social media has taken up the mantle of the presidential races. People who have been fast friends and would never say a cross word in person, feel so safe behind their keyboards and screens that permanent damage is being done to lifetime relationships.

I lamented the loss of civility in society in episodes of Daggers Of The Mind, but this time it is on steroids.

The presidential campaigns currently in progress have reached new lows when it comes to personal attacks, and the people are following suit. It is a similar situation to getting bad service at a restaurant. If the hostess is mean, and then you find that your server, and also the cashier is mean, then you need to look at the manager for the source of the problem. That business probably won’t last very long since people won’t tolerate the harsh attitude and will go somewhere else to eat.

In this case, it seems everyone really wishes they had someone else to vote for, but sadly, we are stuck with the choices we have. The harshness goes all the way down the line, and now we are at each other’s throats.

While the the philosophical differences couldn’t be more different between Karl Marx and Ronald Reagan, I am not going to concentrate on that. It is the attitude displayed on these two quotes that will illustrate today’s point.
Let there be peace. Peace is great. Everybody wants peace. Both Mr. Marx and Mr. Reagan wanted peace. The only problem I can see is they have a totally different definition of what it takes to get there.

First Mr. Marx. Peace will be achieved when he gets everything he wants, and it doesn’t matter one whit what anybody else wants or needs. The old saying, “my way or the highway” comes to mind. No one else has any right to express an opinion, no right to want anything other than what he wants, it just isn’t important, and it’s time to get with the program. Once everyone falls in line, we will have peace.

Unless you are the one making up the rules, this would kind of grate on your sensibilities. You are telling everyone else what they have to do. When everyone recognizes your superior intellect at arriving at the best way for everyone to live, conflict will cease, and peace will reign. At least for a while.

There are many today on social media that scream their way to prominence and are just sure that everyone with half a brain can see the light because of the loudness of their delivery. How egotistical can you get? The harsh and narcisistic rants suppose an IQ that is impossible for the opposition to achieve. It’s so obvious because no one could believe that way if they were in any way intelligent.

Oh, by the way, shouting another person down is not done because the shouter has a superior argument, it is because that person’s argument is very weak, and it is imperative that no one else has the chance to challenge it.

Any person who truly has confidence in the rightness of their convictions has no fear, and does not shrink from testing their ideas in the crucible of debate. That is where Mr. Reagan’s philosophy comes in. It bears repeating:

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

This approach requires a boat load of confidence in the basic rightness of your position, but at the same time a willingness to hash it out with the opposition and then to come up with the absolute best solution, that may, oh my goodness, contain elements of both sides. What a revolutionary concept.

OK, let’s get this straight, actually LISTEN, to the other side, and have an intelligent discussion of the issues, THEN make a decision? It is pretty obvious that not much of this is happening today.

Another quote:

“Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that’s uncivil.”

Richard Dreyfuss

Some may say that the harsh sarcasm and ridicule I have been decrying in this episode is actually being employed to illustrate my points here. If you truly believe so, let’s all sit down and have an honest and civil discussion about civility. I truly believe I can maintain both my manners and my wit in this type of conversation. Now the real question. Can you?


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