did I paraphrase this passage right? the original text: 【 “expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. These voices are inevitable. But today other voices are heard in the land—voices preaching doctrines wholly unrelated to reality, wholly unsuited to the Sixties, doctrines which apparently assume that words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness." 】 I find this passage quite bewildering, did I paraphrase it right? thx! my paraphrase are: expressing opposition without alternatives=【becuase you have no other choices, so you'd better object without hesitation.】 finding fault but never favor=【to be critical and never express your support】 words will suffice without weapons, that vituperation is as good as victory and that peace is a sign of weakness.【fighting and cursing gains victory, keep quite is a failure.】
Oct 8, 2012 9:41 AM
Answers · 1
I interpret "opposition without alternatives" as "People oppose my position, but they don't offer any alternative positions." In other word, people are complaining without being helpful. I agree with your second paraphrase. The third set of phrases confuses me too. Kennedy (this is the speech he would have given on the day he was killed) was criticizing those who opposed him. His speech later talks about a great increase in armament that his administration was creating against the communist threat. So the first two phrases, "words will suffice without weapons, vituperation is as good as victory" imply that Kennedy's opponents are advocating disarmament, and that talk and diplomacy are enough. The last phrase, "peace is a sign of weakness" isn't consistent with that, as I interpret the phrase to mean that diplomacy is not adequate, and aggression is necessary. On the other hand, this is a politician's speech, and he is trying to make his opponents sound illogical. Perhaps he intentionally made it seem like his opponents held self-contradictory ideas to make them appear foolish.
October 9, 2012
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