Let’s be civilized about this, shall we? I have to admit that I don’t quite agree with you on this – but we as civilized people should be able to agree to disagree, shouldn’t we?
Or something like…
“I would like to kill you!” – “OK, Sir, don’t let’s be too harsh about this. As I kind of disagree with this, can we talk about this for a moment?”
Today’s anarchistic message from Larken Rose…
People often lament the lack of “civil discourse” when it comes to political matters, and suggest that we should all just “agree to disagree,” and respect each other’s opinions.
For most topics of discussion, I would whole-heartedly agree. For example, people ought to be able to disagree on who the best NFL quarterback is without getting into fist-fights, or debate the zoological classification of the panda bear without having a shootout.
However, there are actually times when “civility” is a BAD thing. For example, if someone said to you, “In my humble opinion, your family should be murdered,” would you merely “agree to disagree”? Perhaps, if he was only opining what he thought SHOULD happen, you could just politely ignore him. But if he actually advocated your family’s extermination, and set about trying to make it happen, should you deal with him “civilly”? Hell, no. When he decided to advocate the initiation of violence, HE ended any hope of civility.
And so it is with almost ALL modern political discussions. For example, almost everyone in the country advocates that I be forcibly robbed to pay for things THEY want. (The Democrats and Republicans differ somewhat on WHICH things they want my stolen money to fund, but they are completely in agreement that I should be coerced into funding things that I don’t want to fund.) While that’s not as bad as advocating the murder of my family, it’s still pretty darn bad. To treat their “opinion” civilly is to give it a level of respect that it doesn’t deserve, which is an indirect way of CONDONING the evil they suggest.
Their “opinion” is not equally valid. It doesn’t deserve respect. Their “opinion” is the advocacy of VIOLENCE, and to treat it as anything else is an affront to justice. I’m constantly amazed how many people suggest that I should be robbed, controlled, extorted, harassed, insulted, and possibly imprisoned or killed, only to then get offended when I call them NAMES (like “fascist”). So I’ll make this offer to everyone: if you don’t advocate the initiation of violence against me (and against lots of other people), I won’t call you a fascist, or a statist, or a collectivist, or a Nazi. (In other words, if you stop BEING those things, I’ll stop CALLING you those things.)
Amazingly, people treat “political” opinions as if they are of no more consequence than a personal preference: whether you prefer chocolate or vanilla, or whether you prefer classic music to rock. But a “political” opinion, by definition, is about what VIOLENCE you believe “government” should use against everyone, including me. Don’t advocate my enslavement or oppression, and then get offended if I call you names as a result.
Again, it would be an insult to justice NOT to react with condemnation and castigation to those who advocate unjustified violence. (Would you tell a Nazi who is advocating mass murder, “Well, your opinion is equally valid”?) I have no intention of letting anyone feel like it’s OKAY for him to hold the “opinion” that innocent people should be terrorized, robbed and harassed. But since pro-tyranny, anti-freedom sentiments are so popular these days, people get shocked when I verbally “attack” them for holding such views.
Well, get used to it. I believe that anyone who actually values freedom OUGHT to condemn evil, no matter how popular or mainstream the evil may be. The only other option is to treat anti-human, unjust, pro-violence, statist tripe as if it’s an okay view to hold. It’s not.
So before you whine about the lack of civility in my messages, check to see if the ones I’m being “uncivil” to are advocating my forced enslavement. If so, I couldn’t care less if I offend them.