A phrase popular within the Religious Society of Friends.

It is a Testament to the fundamental optimism of those who use it because, for the concepts that underlie and back the phrase are rooted in a trust that a reasonable mind, when showed the truth of a situation and of the correct thing to do, will follow that truth.

As for its meaning, the phrase is an imperative to, rather than resorting to manipulation, domination, violence, and other such methods, to go directly to those with the power over the situation and tell them the simple Truth.

Its one of those things that also requires a great deal of pure balls to pull off. Rufus Jones, A philosophy professor and founder of the American Friends' Service Committee, actually went with other AFSCers to meet with the gestapo to simply ask them to stop killing jews. It didn't necesserily achieve its full desired purpose but it is still a testimony to their method that they were left unharmed and met politely.

Speaking Truth to Power is one of the Principles behind nonviolent resistance.

The term "Speak Truth to Power" might have a noble provenance, but ever since the period of the Second Iraq War, it has been used, with all its triteness and almost cutesy grammatical oddity, to the point of being overused.

My puzzle with this advice is, why are we giving the powerful one more thing? The powerful already have enough toys to play with, and if you gave them the truth, it would just end up tossed in the corner with the exotic security derivatives, admissions to conferences in Switzerland and Singapore, or sculpture they made at Burning Man. And it isn't like the powerful can't find the truth if they wish to: presumably with all their resources, in 2018, they can figure out how to use google or wikipedia.

If you want to do something useful, go and speak some truth with the powerless, who probably need it more, and might have more access to it. And, in 2018, sometimes the "powerless" have more power than the "powerful".

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