2010 – Most Philosophical 7th Grader in America :

Ruth Foster, Minnesota.

Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword?

The sword is mightier throughout our society, though the pen is far more effective. The sword is mightier because although an author’s message may be more rational, people can very easily be swayed by fear.

Everyone sees the risk associated with ‘the sword’, but people can choose to ignore or deny the message of a story or article that attempts to convince or persuade. There is no incentive to listen to an author’s words, but when a threat is presented, people will often conform and respond to the opinions of a person or group of people.

Though military strength works to temporarily achieve favor, it is not a sound method for the long-term. There will eventually be someone stronger, or a corrupt weak link may appear. “In a Democratic world, as in a Democratic Nation, power must be linked with responsibility” as Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said. It takes strength of character to hold power and not abuse it. Someone who is interested in the greater good of humanity, as opposed to personal gain.

Most people naturally fear war and conflict, which can most likely be attributed to our fear of mortality. Leaders of modern-day society have resolved the flaws of our predecessor’s methods of thinking and governing; we now more than ever feel that conflict can be resolved through negotiation and compromise.

As an example of military success and failure is the Greek city-state of Sparta. This society was very powerful, conquering one of its biggest rivals, Athens, and well as other smaller establishments. Sparta was strong and respected. Over time, Sparta began its decline, which was especially evident after the Peloponnesian war. Many remaining city-states banded with the Thebes and defeated Sparta during the battle of Leuctra; thus proving the previous statement: There will eventually be someone more powerful.

Another example of flawed ‘sword-style’ method is The People’s Republic of China. Speaking out against the government is unlawful, and depending on what is said, a fine or jail time may be required. This is one of the reasons China imposes internet restrictions. The Internet is a place where anyone is free to post their ideas. This, from the government’s point of view, is not a good thing and the best way to prevent these problems is to block sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Other sites that are contrary to China’s political views are blocked, though sites like the New York Times website are being unblocked with growing frequency. Different countries have different methods of controlling what its citizens can and can’t have access to, and while most countries have reached some sort of consensus on media limitations, not every place is like America where free speech is a guaranteed right of the government.

In conclusion, the pen will usually have more relevance in society, but the sword may have a greater presence. Despite the willingness for change to occur in many societies, some stay attached to archaic ways of leadership.


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