The art of criticism is as old as man in his evolution and development as a rational human being on earth.
The word or term criticism is derived from two Greek root words ‘Krisis’ and ‘Kritike’.
Criticism is probably traceable to the ancient Egyptians, who unfortunately did not document it properly as the ancient Greeks.
The ancient Greeks evolved and developed the art of criticism during the eras of Homer – the ancient Greek poet, as well as Plato and Aristotle – the two ancient Greek philosophers and writers.
‘Krisis’ and ‘Kritike’ were the two words used in the art of criticism in ancient Greece. And this simply and literally means the art of separating good writing from bad writing.
The art of criticism also manifests orally, which involves discussions, reasoning and arguments.
Ancient, medieval and renaissance criticism was very harsh, rigorous and rigid, which involved condemnation and judgement of artistic works of all genres.
Criticism had, however, evolved and developed throughout the ages up to the present modern times; and now, criticism has gained in-roads into all disciplines of human endeavour (philosophy, psychology, theology, law, political science, agricultural science, medical science, physics, chemistry, biology, archaeology, anthropology, culture, mathematics, media publication, technology, etc.)
It must be noted also that criticism had been refined with time, and it no longer involves condemnation and judgement, but description, appreciation, commentary and the offering of suggestions or opinions.
Criticism in the modern era is of two main categories, namely: systematic criticism and violent criticism. Consequently, there are two main types of critics, namely: systematic critics and violent critics.
The systematic critics take a lot of factors into consideration in theory and practice before arriving at their conclusions and offering of suggestions or opinions on writings and issues of the society.
Conversely, the violent critics are often obsessed with prejudices, biases and desires of finding faults, weaknesses and the intentions to destroy whatever is at stake!
Unfortunately, a lot of critics or ordinary people in the modern world today pursue violent criticism, which does not offer anything good, but destruction!
In the modern world, systematic criticism can be an asset in the building and development of nations if it is well-conceived and intended to suggest what is good to be in the interests of the people or nation.
Unfortunately, most often, empty heads make loud noises and embark on crude or violent criticism art. They always find nothing that is good, but the ugly – the evil which permeates their thinking and consciousness.
These are the types of people who the ancient Greek philosopher and writer, Plato, advocated for their expulsion and exile from the State in his book ‘The Republic’.
Nation building and development is a collective or concerted endeavour to be pursued.
Thus, all citizens of a nation are expected to contribute positively in various ways – big or small – for the realisation of a measure of development and prosperity at a certain point in the continual developmental aspirations of a nation.
Therefore, if a group of individuals in a nation decide to sit on the fence and do practically nothing, but occupy their precious time in idle talking aimed at finding faults and condemning their fellow citizens who are proactive and practical in their efforts to build the nation, one can imagine the harm and the ill effects that will befall the nation eventually by the anti-patriotic and anti-social behaviour of these types of citizens in a nation.
These self-appointed empty talkers, vain and destructive critics, condemners and ‘judges’ do great havoc to the nation building process; and their negative characters and attitudes invariably shelves and insulates many a good, honest and sincere citizens from daring to take initiatives that will go a long way positively in the developmental process of the nation.
A nation is built on the efforts of practical men, inspired and driven by progressive forces of their natures. These types of citizens are selfless, honest, sacrificial even to the point of losing their lives by their great determinations for the building of their nations.
These types of individuals are found in every nation, such as George Washington and other founding fathers of the United State of America – the most blessed nation on earth today. These great minds are always preoccupied with good visions and initiatives that will bring about good things for the building and development of their nations.
Indisputably, Ghana at the present time, is striving to experience economic growth, development and prosperity; and the negative types of critics, condemners and ‘judges’ are present in the Ghanaian situation doing their harmful and dangerous activities as stated in the foregoing to the detriment of the nation building process.
These negative individuals are always talking and making loud noise in the media. They attack, abuse and speak derogatorily against fellow citizens who belong to the various political parties of Ghana’s system of democratic governance.
The honest and sincere prayer that can be offered to God for these types of negative individuals is that their number must be reduced to zero! This is because they are doing a lot of havoc to the building process of the nation.
The ancient Greek philosopher and writer Plato advocated for their expulsion and exile from the State in his landmark and monumental book: ‘The Republic’.
However, in the present modern times and in the Ghanaian situation, they can be countered and checked by good and well-meaning citizens through prayers and positive actions since the modern world is gradually turning toward peace, dialogue, diplomacy, tolerance and mutual co-existence with one another.
In the meantime, I humbly suggest that these negative, loud noise makers should come to their senses and pray to God for a change of heart to see what is good in everybody, particularly opinion leaders, policy-makers and leaders of the nation; so that the nation can move smoothly and healthily to experience great economic growth, development and prosperity.
In conclusion, I state categorically that loud and empty noisemaking, insults, abuses and destructive criticism and condemnation had never at any time in the history of mankind brought anything good in nation building, but retrogression and stagnation.
Idle talkers and empty talking, self-appointed violent critics, condemners and ‘judges’ constitute much time wasting and exercise in futility; and these pose as stumbling blocks to the developmental aspiration of the nation, such as the ongoing one dubbed ‘Ghana beyond Aid Agenda’.
And so, these negative and reactionary individual in the Ghanaian’s nation must have a change of heart now; so that Ghana can speedily experience great economic growth, development and prosperity in the present 21st century in the annals of Ghana as a nation.