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Political Tai Chi

created 2005-09-26 23:22:36

(Up to: Organisational Chi Taoism )

I think there are similarities between physical fighting and political (or, indeed, any) debate. Thus, I think therefore that there are similarities between the "physical" concepts issued in Tai Chi, and successful debating/persuasional/arguing tactics.

This may be closely related to |!Ghandi|'s idea of |!Ahimsa| - truth-seeking - and non-violent resolution.

AFAIK (for i'm only a beginner) the key to success in Tai Chi is to use your attacker's force against themselves, so that by understanding how the body moves in its environment, and where energy and momentum lie, you can "help" your opponent's force on its (natural) way. In effect, you are doing no work yourself, but are "encouraging" the opponent's loss that is already inherent in movement. The opposite is to counter your opponent's force with your own force, in which case your opponent will always win if they are bigger than you. There are more details than this, but this seems to be a good starting place.

In terms of debate, then, I see a similarity when it comes to very "ferocious", or aggravated discussion. If both sides believe themself to be correct, and refuse to listen to the logical points made by their opposition, or the illogic in their own arguments, then the only way the discussion can be resolved is by one person shouting louder than the other to make themselves heard. If, on the other hand, one party goes a way to accept the points made by the other, and in some sense "agree" with them (or rather, perhaps, to not take immediate issue with them), then a) the opponent firstly believes they have won, which puts them off their guard and makes them more receptive, which leads to b) the ability to get an opponent to "think for themselves", possibly via some well-placed questions, and eventually argue against their own point. By doing the work themselves, they are more likely to take the alternative ideas on board, especially as they have no-one to argue against but themselves.

This is, in a sense, is the root of the Socratic Method Of Reasoning.


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