Private versus Public Criticism
Is there any difference at all if you speak behind someone's back about their negative attributes versus the writing of a treatise which pretends to publicly expose all of their errors, 'logical', 'historical', 'ideological' or otherwise, and then proceed to actually publish it? There is no difference whatsoever in terms of its functionality; we we might actually view the second, of a more formal character, as much more ruinous than the first. A book, after all, will 'last an eternity',while passive aggressive banter, though stinging, will usually last just a few weeks or months. Yet oddly enough, this has been presumed by some writers who, rather than going directly to the source and 'attacking' (carefully analyzing) the foundational writers of a given field, merely attempt to "kill" their colonial messengers. It is always far easier to kill the messenger than the actual direct rival. Merely stating that one has in fact privately informed the person one is about to criticize does not, in and of itself, exonerate the act of 'eternally' labeling he/she who has been impinged. It makes no functional difference whatsoever. In fact, the formal act of a critique's publication, if accepted actually exonerates all those who offer consequent institutional observations. True academic analysis, after all, consists in none of this.