Parrhesia In 1984 And Animal Farm

5546 words - 22 pages

Parrhesia in 1984 and Animal Farm

Nietzsche: "Where I found a living creature, there I found will to power" (Thus Spake Zarathustra, 1961, 137)


"Parrhesia" (fàfÑfáfáf×fâ,,]fÑfw, "Parrhesiastes" (fàfÑfáfáf×fâfÙfÑfâfãf{,,Gfìfwfnand "Parrhesiastic" are all referring to a concept that Michel Foucault first introduced digging them out of the ancient works of Greco-Roman era. He believes that the term was first registered in Euripides literature who lived in the fifth century B.C., and descended down into the fifth century A.D with a flourishing and pervasively popular background. Oxford English Dictionary defines it as ¡§frankness or freedom of speech¡¨. Therefore the English translation of the word is "free speech¡¨, in French "franc-parler¡¨, and in German "Freimuthigkeit." (¡§Discourse and Truth: the Problematization of Parrhesia¡¨. Six lectures given by Michel Foucault at the University of California at Berkley, Oct-Nov. 1983)

Parrhesia is a deserved or granted right given to the speaker or obtained by him for the expression and disclosure of a kind of truth which might contain harm or loss of any sort directed to the addressee who holds always a relatively higher social position compared to the speaker. With regard to this fact parrhesia roots from a powerful resource or power center like authoritative personages, and its winning by the speaker is to gain, at least provisionally, a powerful state to express the intended truth, mostly criticisingly. Therefore parrhesia as one of the usages of language as power tool can itself be regarded as a power tool which is resorted either to gain more power (to state something), or to diminish or steal some power from the opponent (by undermining the reputation and validity), or, at least but mostly applied, to curb the sharpness of the rage of the addressee or secure his own safety against this probable wrath which may ensue from the declaration of a given fact.


The struggle for power is pervasive in all facets of life, individual or societal, private or public, in infinite forms and shapes, manipulating any sort of means that leads to the practical or ideal tackling of superiority and dominance. The main target of all individuals, groups, unions, communities, nations and governments is to gain the triumph of having access to one of the means that facilitates the struggle for them or scales up the probability of their victory. Parents and kids, teachers and students, husbands and wives, bosses and slaves all are engaged in a continuous contention of power hunting. One is trying to secure and strengthen his/her position of authority, the other's endeavor is to undermine it and to change the situation for his/her own benefit.

However, what is "power" and where does it emanate from? Socialists believe that "the unequal...

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