TOM W. BELL: Thanks, Chris. Thanks, too, for being such an effective gadfly. I might well have blown off the whole exercise if you had not kept blogging about how you were awaiting my comment!

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“-Gadfly”- is a term for people who upset the status quo by posing upsetting or novel questions, or attempt to stimulate innovation by proving an irritant.

The term “-gadfly”- (Gk. muopa) was used by Plato in the Apology to describe Socrates‘- relationship of uncomfortable goad to the Athenian political scene, which he compared to a slow and dimwitted horse. The Bible also references the gadfly in terms of political influence- The Book of Jeremiah (46:20, Darby Bible) states “-Egypt is a very fair heifer- the gad-fly cometh, it cometh from the north.”- The term has been used to describe many politicians and social commentators- in modern Hebrew, which knows many more idioms than those used by Jeremiah, gadfly is “-mekhapes pagam”- literally “-fault finder”-.

During his defense when on trial for his life, Socrates, according to Plato’-s writings, pointed out that dissent, like the tiny (relative to the size of a horse) gadfly, was easy to swat, but the cost to society of silencing individuals who were irritating could be very high. “-If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me,”- because his role was that of a gadfly, “-to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.”-

In modern and local politics, gadfly is a term used to describe someone who persistently challenges people in positions of power, the status quo or a popular position. The word may be uttered in a pejorative sense, while at the same time be accepted as a description of honorable work or civic duty.


I‘-m a modern-day Socrates…- !!!…- :-D


Previously: Let’s Tell the CFTC Where to Go. – by Tom W. Bell