On the curious account of the delegation of power according to charisma

20 Dec

If, for a class, it would be beneficial to create “English speaking days” during which all everyone spoke was English, and there were one or two individuals who spoke English exceptionally well and might prove useful to the endeavor, what would prevent the class from commencing such a venture?

1. It takes effort to speak a foreign language.

2. It would re-delegate the social dynamics of the class.

With languages the more capable one is of mastering it, the more power one wields in society. Communication is a key factor in relationships, whether the tools are oral or visual. People who find themselves charming in Chinese may be deaf and dumb in another language, causing frustration and loss of self-esteem. It takes tremendous effort, and it costs them their status in society, however temporarily.

When some go down, other go up, particularly those proficient at the new tool. Witch doctors and ancient leaders became powerful because they claimed to wield an exclusive capability to communicate with the spirits. Likewise, being proficient in English when you are required to speak it puts you at an advantage when others are rendered dumb.

People are innately aware of this phenomenon. If, for example, one or both of the good English speakers in the class are not popular or even liked, then people would be less willing to give them the opportunity to rise in status than otherwise. Thus they would neither commence such an activity, nor practice with the capable subject(s).

In conclusion, it would be safe to assume that the lack of charisma in people efficient in English would, in a manner, hinder the entire class’ natural achievement in that area.



This reminds me of the dynamics in “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norris”, where they decided not to give the charismatic and very deserving Mr. Strange knighthood since it would mean that they would have to give Strange’s mentor, the decidedly uncharismatic and exclusive Mr. Norris, knighthood as well. Sometimes one can lose the recognition one might reasonably expect from a society due to the fact that one associates with the less popular. that is why a whole class may mistreat an innocent individual when the few influential members in that class renounce the person. No one wants to line their name with the loser. The demerit of the castoff may simply be a clash in values with the popular people, not due to any accusably bad behavior on their own count. But people simply fear being associated with the loser, especially since the opinion of the popular sound loudest and appear to be the class’ consensus. This is why movies/ books about a new personality entering an environment and completely transforming it sell well – because that rarely happens.


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