Conversation: No Conceding

You cannot be wrong, you cannot let me be wrong, yet you cannot concede or allow me to concede. When my friend speaks, his words become my thoughts.

Concession is acknowledgment of the friend’s words but without truly internalizing them. It is a false assent. It is a failure of rigor. If I concede my friends’s point, he thinks it more fully than I, and so he remains in the conversation while I drop away. There is only one of us left now, and the Conversation instantly evaporates.

Both of us must fully think each thought, in the same way that two wires must carry a current. If one of us does not think the others’ thought, the gap in the wires might as well be a mile wide. The current of thought stops.

“When my friend speaks, his words become my thoughts.”

This principle expresses the depth of commitment we have to each other. The inexperienced hears these words as if they are describing a passive receptivity. The opposite is true; no passive person can think a deep thought. The critical faculty is heightened, not suppressed, in Conversation. The two friends analyze each other’s words with ruthless disregard for person, held in tension alongside the tenderest respect for the person. Only sociopaths are interested in unthinking acceptance, and neither of the two poles of such sick relationships have ever Conversed.

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