Meta Manifesto

To prevent confusion and frustration, both author and reader of a manifesto have to be clear about the appropriate way of dealing with a text of this kind. Therefore, they must abide by the following guidelines to guarantee proper creation and comprehension of the particular manifesto.

Definition: Manifesto

“(ˌmænɪˈfɛstəʊ) (…)

(plural) -tos, -toes

a public declaration of intent, policy, aims, etc, as issued by a political party, government, or movement[1]

In the interest of the ordinary reader the author of a manifesto must obey to the following rules:

  1. Be sure about the concept of a manifesto, about what it needs to entail and what its purpose is.
  2. Keep your wording simple and clear, free of ambiguity. Hold off from long or complex words and sentences and be confident about the meaning of the words you use. Beware misunderstandings.
  3. Be relevant and certain. Have the courage to say what needs to be said. Use strong words and a direct and active language. Find a style that suits your text best, but do not be pretentious.
  4. Paint a clear picture of what you want to say. Be sure about your intention and opinions and stand for what you write.
  5. Do not raise questions. Give answers. Give the reader the feeling that they can trust your statements without further investigation and thereby get in the way of points 3, 4 and 5 of the following page.
  6. Cover all aspects needed without being redundant. Do not bore your reader.
  7. Ensure the readability of your text. Do not use handwriting, sensational fonts or colors and mind human constraints in your choice of font size and the like.
  8. In the interest of security some manifestos must remain unwritten until security demands are met.

The reader must in return keep the following instructions in mind in order to ensure an adequate understanding of the manifesto:

  1. Be certain about your own opinion of the particular topic before reading the manifesto.
  2. Ensure that you are reading an official and final version of the manifesto and not a draft. Be aware of the author’s identity and function.
  3. Be aware and know about the background knowledge addressed by the manifesto. Verify facts and make sure you understand the words used in their full meaning.
  4. Do not let a statement persuade you right away. Think about it and try to prove it wrong before accepting or declining its content. Be aware that the author might be trying to prevent you from doing so (see point 5 of the previous page).
  5. Be vigilant. Keep in mind the context of the author’s main objective. If the main objective is unclear, be particularly watchful – the author may have disregarded point 4 of their guideline or might try to hide their true intention.
  6. Note pretentious language and visuals. Too much fuss should make you suspicious about the relevance and validity of the content.
  7. Be careful when filling in gaps with own assumptions. If in doubt, find official explanations by the author. Do not let the opinions of other readers influence you too much.
  8. After reading the text several times, carefully implement your developed and evaluated interpretation of or opinion about the manifesto’s essence into your own belief system.

 


 

[1] Collins Dictionary. http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/manifesto, accessed on 2015-01-03.

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