Criticism Can Create Change Video

Many people have no use for critics. They say that those that can not do criticize. I disagree. Critics are the people that take apart the systems that are in place and expose the problems. That is a very important role.

Here is a detailed explanation of the value of criticism.

Criticism has become the predominant political practice of intellectuals, artists, and even activists who are dissatisfied with the world of the present, and ostensibly desire something new. Criticism is also Utopia’s antithesis. If Utopianism is the act of imagining what is new, criticism, derived from the Greek words kritikos (to judge) and perhaps more revealing, krinein (to separate or divide), is the practice of pulling apart, examining, and judging that which already exists.

One of the political advantages of criticism–and one of the reasons why it has become the preferred mode of political discourse in the wake of twentieth-century Utopian totalitarianism–is that it guards against the monstrous horrors of political idealism put into practice. If Utopianism is about sweeping plans, criticism is about pointed objections. The act of criticism continually undermines any attempt to project a perfect system. Indeed, the very act of criticism is a strike against perfection: implicitly, it insists that there is always more to be done. Criticism also asks for input from others. It presupposes a dialogue between the critic and who or what they are criticizing–or,ideally, a conversation amongst many people, each with their own opinion. And because the need to criticize is never-ending (one can always criticize the criticism itself), politics remains fluid and open: a permanent revolution. This idea and ideal of an endless critical conversation is at the center of democratic politics, for once the conversation stops we are left with a monolithic ideal, and the only politics that is left is policing: ensuring obedience and drawing the lines between those who are part of the brave new world and those who are not. 7 This “policing” is the essence of totalitarianism, and over the last century the good fight against systems of oppression, be they fascist, communist or capitalist, has been waged with ruthless criticism.

– Source Introduction To Open Utopia


So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, “Oh, how fine are the Emperor’s new clothes! Don’t they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!” Nobody would confess that he couldn’t see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.

“But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.

“Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”

“But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

– Source The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen