Is Incivility Necessary?

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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Crimson847 » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:13 pm

@Asami:

I agree that lazy "both sides" rhetoric isn't helping, in part because it ignores the logic of escalation. In a blood feud, there's never a single point in time where both sides are "even". Rather, when one side believes they've gotten "even", the other side sees that as a new provocation that they have to "get even" for too. So instead of matching each other's offenses, each side progressively tops the other. They pull out a knife, you pull out a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue. So at any given point, one side is always on top. That's exactly why the feud continues--the "losing" side can't tolerate that they're losing, so they escalate again. That, to me, better describes the dynamic between the parties than one side being totally right and the other completely in the wrong, or the popular moderate/centrist argument that both sides have done an equal amount of bad things.

As such, I'm not so much convinced that "both sides are equally to blame" as I am worried about what happens when the Democrats take the government back and get their chance to escalate on what Republicans have done lately. The left has definitely shown an appetite for payback, and I worry that that means continuing to race Republicans to the bottom. Even if Republicans win that race in the end, I don't think it's good for us or the country to participate in it at all.

CMsellers' thread on Gingrich seems to be more squarely devoted to this question of "which side of American politics is more responsible for the state of American politics", though, so I'm responding to that question more directly there. To address the specific questions you raised, though:

1. To the best of my knowledge it's true that antifa hasn't killed anyone, though one guy at the Berkeley protests last year came close by beating people with a metal bike lock. Unfortunately, thanks to that asshole who shot at Republican members of Congress while they were playing baseball and put Steve Scalise in the hospital, we can't really say in fairness that our side doesn't try to kill people.

2. Regarding Franken and Ellison, I realize there's unrest in the party over them. The reason there's unrest is that, while many people have taken the allegations against them seriously, there's still a lot of people on the left arguing that what Franken did was no big deal, or that the accusations against Ellison are a GOP smear, or that we can't afford moral quibbles because the GOP is too big a threat, and so forth. In other words, the same bullshit defenses Trumpers used for Trump, and Moore voters used for Moore. Those folks don't seem to be a majority of the left, but they're around and I'm angry with them. That's all I'm saying.


@Marcuse:

Marcuse wrote:There's a really big difference between calmly asking the question about good faith, and quite another to have a group of people screaming at each other baseless or near baseless accusation about the topic to no end.


First question: How do we know the accusations are baseless (and perhaps more important, that the person raising them knows they're baseless) before we've discussed the matter with that person?

Second question: Is raising one's voice ever acceptable or necessary? Granting arguendo to these people that their accusations are valid, would any of them be justified in being angry to the point of such (comparatively minor) impoliteness?


@Kate:

Kate wrote:Speak for yourself. I'm not a moderate or a person who endeavors to be civil because these things aren't worth getting worked up about. This is actually ironically my third attempt at responding because my first two were not very civil.

To start, I am pro-life. I am not saying that to spark the debate, but to ask you to step back and think about what that means for me to live in a country with some of the loosest abortion restrictions in the world. I mean really think about it.

That means I am living in a world where 60 million children have been killed, in a completely legal way, since Roe v. Wade passed, in modern times. Half a million children a year are killed every year in my country, with minority, impoverished, and disabled babies especially vulnerable to this killing, and it's totally legal and in fact it is celebrated by some.

Do you really believe that this isn't a thing I find worth getting worked up about? Like do you think I go to bed at night and say "Well sure, lots of babies were intentionally killed today in my country, not to mention the rest of the world, but well differences of opinion so I guess I will just not be upset!" When I was pregnant with my sons and getting my 18 week ultrasounds and watching them squirm around and suck their thumbs and feeling the most intense love I have ever felt, such that I cannot even begin to put it in words, do you think I wasn't just a little emotional that if Andy and my roles were reversed he could have chosen to end their existences at any moment and there wouldn't have been a thing I could do?

That is the world I live in. And by your logic, it shouldn't be my responsibility to refrain from calling people baby murderers or shouting that half of America is fine with murdering children. Hell, by that logic, one could hardly blame clinic bombers for killing a few bad guys to save who knows how many innocent little babies, right? Wrong. Of course it's wrong. Because there is nothing you can do to convince me that these are not children being killed by abortion; my personal philosophy says that all human organisms are people and so far scientifically no one has been able to "bridge that gap" to show me that these aren't human organisms. This is just how it is. The onus is on me to listen, and understand and believe that people who disagree with me do not see the world the way I do and do not have the motivation of killing people for the sake of a lower priority. Even if they see fetuses as people, for the most part they are only reluctantly okay with abortion in that instance because bodily integrity takes priority. That does not make them bad people and the onus is on me to understand that.

Frankly, it's a bit much to assume that I am not calling conservatives racist because I don't find racial injustice in this country real or worth getting worked up about. Thomas Paine said that trying to argue with people who have abandoned all reason is like trying to administer medication to a dead man. I'm paraphrasing but that's the gist and that is kind of where it feels like we are right now. Someone who starts on "pro-choicers are baby-killers!" Has already demonstrated that they aren't inclined to listen. Someone who says "everyone who voted for Trump is a racist!" Has demonstrated they are disinclined to listen. Someone who says " Those SJWs are just virtue signaling and don't care about minorities!" Is already not listening. So why is the onus on moderates when the failure in communication is coming entirely from the people who are actively choosing to not listen?

No one needs to concede that the other side is right, or that the status quo should be accepted because some people are okay with it. No one needs to dim their fire and passion. But civility is everyone's responsibility, not for its own sake and not to avoid conflict. It is easy to avoid conflict by being uncivil. Do you understand how easy it would make my life if I just said, "everyone who supports abortion is evil or stupid." That's a much simpler world. That's a great excuse to do nothing but complain to the choir because you can't fix evil or stupid. Civility is every adult's responsibility because every human deserves the basic respect to at least be heard before being judged, and because frankly you can't get anywhere without it. People calling for genuine civility aren't ignoring problems, they're trying hard to fix problems. We can't do that if we start from a place of bad faith, and the responsibility lies with the people acting in bad faith. We don't need incivility. The civil are not responsible for the incivility. We might need to try and work through it, but we don't need to accept that people just can't help it because of how they see the world. They can, and they should, because they are adults and adults should figure out how to have empathy, it's part of growing up.


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Well said, Kate. Would have been interesting to have seen your first couple responses, though. Since this one was kind of uncivil itself, they must have been pretty spicy.

But why not? If you think I believe that you, personally, don't care about millions of babies (using your definition) getting massacred for the sake of convenience, why shouldn't you be angry at that? That would be a horrible thing to think of you, almost like calling you a sociopath. And how would you ever find out if you were right about me or not if you didn't say anything, if you shied away from responding or locked the thread or simply called me a fucking asshole and left because you presumed from my apparently uncivil remarks that I'm not reachable?

For the record, I can't pretend to imagine what it's like to be pro-life in this country, where you don't even get so much as a vote on the matter. I don't pretend to understand how you feel about it. I have known and loved pro-lifers before, though, as well as others in similar boats like animal rights folks, so I've felt some taste of the pain. I've also seen your tenderness before, your obvious care for children and the defenseless in general. I don't know what I said that made you think I think you don't care about babies, but that's certainly not what I meant to say.


Further responses later; gotta take a break now.
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Last edited by Crimson847 on Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby cmsellers » Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:30 pm

AsamiSato wrote:But, WHY do you feel bad for and want to defend horrible people? Like, my question in response is why is that your priority? Mitch McConnell has done more than any other human being to undermine the legitimacy of this democracy and shove through laws that hurt/kill poor people. He should get his dinner interrupted.

Mitch McConnell is awful and I think it is horrible that he is going to die content in the knowledge he achieved almost everything he set out to do. But interrupting his dinner won't change that. In fact, the righteous indignation he gets from it may offset the annoyance, and it has the effect of pushing anyone on the fence towards him.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sun Nov 04, 2018 12:45 am

cmsellers wrote:
AsamiSato wrote:But, WHY do you feel bad for and want to defend horrible people? Like, my question in response is why is that your priority? Mitch McTurtle has done more than any other human being to undermine the legitimacy of this democracy and shove through laws that hurt/kill poor people. He should get his dinner interrupted.

Mitch McTurtle is awful and I think it is horrible that he is going to die content in the knowledge he achieved almost everything he set out to do. But interrupting his dinner won't change that. In fact, the righteous indignation he gets from it may offset the annoyance, and it has the effect of pushing anyone on the fence towards him.

It is rather doubtful that anyone with the attitude of "Clearly, the real injustice is having to be aware of injustices! If everybody just shut up and stopped having emotional reactions to things, no one would have any problems!" was ever in any close proximity towards a fence.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby cmsellers » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:33 am

Deathclaw_Puncher wrote:
cmsellers wrote:
AsamiSato wrote:But, WHY do you feel bad for and want to defend horrible people? Like, my question in response is why is that your priority? Mitch McTurtle has done more than any other human being to undermine the legitimacy of this democracy and shove through laws that hurt/kill poor people. He should get his dinner interrupted.

Mitch McTurtle is awful and I think it is horrible that he is going to die content in the knowledge he achieved almost everything he set out to do. But interrupting his dinner won't change that. In fact, the righteous indignation he gets from it may offset the annoyance, and it has the effect of pushing anyone on the fence towards him.

It is rather doubtful that anyone with the attitude of "Clearly, the real injustice is having to be aware of injustices! If everybody just shut up and stopped having emotional reactions to things, no one would have any problems!" was ever in any close proximity towards a fence.

That's not remotely true. Though you can argue, as MLK did in the Letter from Birmingham Jail, that moderates often prioritize decorum to the detriment of substance, there are definitely people who are sympathetic to questions of injustice, but more empathetic towards its opponents.

On another note, I would say that editing other people's posts to call McConnell "McTurtle" is a great example of unnecessary incivility. The irony here is that I call him "Yertle" (a more fitting name because it also describes his personality an my hopes as to his eventual fate) in more casual conversation. I have come under criticism from multiple members of the forum for doing this and for calling Recep Tayyip Erdogan "Gollum," on the grounds that it would make supporters of these men feel unwelcome. Presumably that would apply to me calling Ted Cruz "Zodiac" as well.

I stand by my decision to do that, calling McConnell "Yertle" and Cruz "Zodiac" because I find those memes funny, and calling Erdogan "Gollum" because he finds it so unfunny that he imprisons people for doing it. I'm not trying to persuade anyone when I do this, and I think that if people are so sensitive to derisive epithets for politicians they like that they would leave TCS over it, then they are the "snowflakes" they likely deride. It's an outlet for me to express frustration with these individuals in non-serious conversation, and I don't want to self-police for fear of offending some hypothetical person with tissue-thin skin.

But it is another matter to use derogatory names in serious conversation, and still another to edit other people's posts to say it. (At least one person changed all mentions of Trump to "Drumpf" before the election, and that really annoyed me too.) I am affronted at the suggestion that I would call McConnell "McTurtle." I would never insult innocent turtles by comparing them to Cocaine Mitch.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby 52xMax » Sun Nov 04, 2018 1:35 am

No.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Deathclaw_Puncher » Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:18 am

cmsellers wrote:
Deathclaw_Puncher wrote:
cmsellers wrote:
AsamiSato wrote:But, WHY do you feel bad for and want to defend horrible people? Like, my question in response is why is that your priority? Mitch McTurtle has done more than any other human being to undermine the legitimacy of this democracy and shove through laws that hurt/kill poor people. He should get his dinner interrupted.

Mitch McTurtle is awful and I think it is horrible that he is going to die content in the knowledge he achieved almost everything he set out to do. But interrupting his dinner won't change that. In fact, the righteous indignation he gets from it may offset the annoyance, and it has the effect of pushing anyone on the fence towards him.

It is rather doubtful that anyone with the attitude of "Clearly, the real injustice is having to be aware of injustices! If everybody just shut up and stopped having emotional reactions to things, no one would have any problems!" was ever in any close proximity towards a fence.

That's not remotely true. Though you can argue, as MLK did in the Letter from Birmingham Jail, that moderates often prioritize decorum to the detriment of substance, there are definitely people who are sympathetic to questions of injustice, but more empathetic towards its opponents.

On another note, I would say that editing other people's posts to call McTurtle "McTurtle" is a great example of unnecessary incivility. The irony here is that I call him "Yertle" (a more fitting name because it also describes his personality an my hopes as to his eventual fate) in more casual conversation. I have come under criticism from multiple members of the forum for doing this and for calling Recep Tayyip Erdogan "Gollum," on the grounds that it would make supporters of these men feel unwelcome. Presumably that would apply to me calling Realhuman TedCruz "Zodiac" as well.

I stand by my decision to do that, calling McTurtle "Yertle" and Cruz "Zodiac" because I find those memes funny, and calling Erdogan "Gollum" because he finds it so unfunny that he imprisons people for doing it. I'm not trying to persuade anyone when I do this, and I think that if people are so sensitive to derisive epithets for politicians they like that they would leave TCS over it, then they are the "snowflakes" they likely deride. It's an outlet for me to express frustration with these individuals in non-serious conversation, and I don't want to self-police for fear of offending some hypothetical person with tissue-thin skin.

But it is another matter to use derogatory names in serious conversation, and still another to edit other people's posts to say it. (At least one person changed all mentions of Trump to "Drumpf" before the election, and that really annoyed me too.) I am affronted at the suggestion that I would call McTurtle "McTurtle." I would never insult innocent turtles by comparing them to Cocaine Mitch.

I didn't make the effort of editing a post, I just use regex replace.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby AsamiSato » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:36 am

cmsellers wrote:Mitch McConnell is awful and I think it is horrible that he is going to die content in the knowledge he achieved almost everything he set out to do. But interrupting his dinner won't change that. In fact, the righteous indignation he gets from it may offset the annoyance, and it has the effect of pushing anyone on the fence towards him.


Maybe it does annoy people on the fence. I really like the way you (cmsellers) put it in another comment: "people who are sympathetic to questions of injustice, but more empathetic towards its opponents." That's such a great way to phrase it! My take on it is that those people need to be pushed out of their comfort zone sometimes, and they're not going to like it or be happy about it while it's happening. But ultimately (hopefully) at the end of the day their sense of justice will win out.

Honestly, white moderates are just not the people to listen to if you want to understand how social change occurs. If you asked at any point in the Civil Rights Movement whether the sit-ins, Freedom Rides, etc etc were helping, a lot of very well intentioned white people would say that they sympathized with the cause but not with the methods. In 1966, 85% of white people thought that demonstrations hurt the Civil Rights cause. Of course, when you look at the historical facts, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have happened without people in the streets. Incivility often seems unnecessary to people who are insulated from what it is like to be on the receiving end of hateful rhetoric backed up by institutional power.

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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Marcuse » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:04 am

First question: How do we know the accusations are baseless (and perhaps more important, that the person raising them knows they're baseless) before we've discussed the matter with that person?


Allow me to rephrase that to accusations with no evidence. My point isn't that shouted accusations are automatically baseless, but that people often try to cover a lack of evidence with vehemence.

Second question: Is raising one's voice ever acceptable or necessary? Granting arguendo to these people that their accusations are valid, would any of them be justified in being angry to the point of such (comparatively minor) impoliteness?


The problem is that it often detracts from the point which is being made. If I hand someone a letter detailing my complaints, the person I present it to can't divert into a discussion of how they were given these complaints. If I glue that letter to a wet fish and slap someone in the face with it, the only thing they're going to want to talk about is the fact someone slapped them in the face with a wet fish, not the ins and outs of gerrymandered districts. Incivility is a ready political go-to criticism that allows an opponent to ignore the substance of the message and focus on complaining about how it is made.

Additionally, presenting things in the second way is coercive. It presupposes that unless my demands are met, you can expect to be meeting Mr Fishy in a darkened alley sometime again soon. So if you don't like it, change what I want. The problem there is that this then becomes a demand that must be fulfilled, not a discussion between two people. There's no dialogue because one side is prepared to use force (even if minor) to achieve an objective. While realistically, that's more or less how government does things (the whole principle of law is this), it's not ideal when it comes to dialogue between peers.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby sunglasses » Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:47 pm

I come from a family in which polite and honest discussion themselves are precursors to violent reaction. How so? Both sides of the family are children of alcoholics. Being honest, truly honest, makes them vulnerable and can give someone else fuel against them. So what happens? Posturing and yelling. Essentially, the person who yells the loudest decides they've "won" the argument even though the other person just stopped trying to talk with them because they're being a prick. I normally am not the person doing the yelling, so when I start ironically, the family does listen. Maybe not for long, but they get that the crap they're spouting off is offensive to me. But what normally happens is when I've finally had enough and start yelling, after the fact, I hear them talking about how moody I am.

They're paranoid of those who they consider "elites," they're paranoid of medical professionals, they're paranoid of everyone not on "their side." I had to stop talking to a number of them after they accused me of killing my grandmother (by giving her her hospice medication. They couldn't understand how she could be talking one day and then not the next because she WAS DYING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD). I had to stop talking to others because of them insisting that mental illness wasn't real. One I stopped talking to for saying some incredibly racist statements. And I made sure each and every time I told them WHY I was cutting off contact. I then offered ways and methods to bridge that gap-if they were ever ready to do so (normally it involves apologizing so this has never happened).

And thus the crux of the issue, I feel. Many of these things could lead to less anger feelings if two words were every sincerely uttered, "I'm sorry." I actually have much respect for Glenn Beck for actually going on Samantha Bee and talking about how his show caused some issues that now plague us in social media. It must have taken a lot for him to say that. And I started to see him as a person and not just as a media personality then.

I can understand how people who feel they have no voice eventually explode and be incivil-that was me in my younger days. I didn't know how else to get a point across (thanks fam!). So is it necessary? Ideally no. Yet we are not in an ideal world and many, many people feel systemically disenfranchised and unheard. If we could make them feel heard and understood? Maybe many things wouldn't be necessary.

Note that I'm talking about yelling and getting emotional while talking, including confronting someone who you perceive isn't listening to you. I am *not* talking about abject violence. Nor am I talking about incredibly toxic interactions on social media in which people are saying KYS.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby iMURDAu » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:51 pm

Glenn Beck said sorry because he's a cuck, tool of the left, not a true patriot, etc.

You can't say sorry and stay a manly man. The President added that to the brocode.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Windy » Sun Nov 04, 2018 5:55 pm

AsamiSato wrote:Honestly, white moderates are just not the people to listen to if you want to understand how social change occurs. If you asked at any point in the Civil Rights Movement whether the sit-ins, Freedom Rides, etc etc were helping, a lot of very well intentioned white people would say that they sympathized with the cause but not with the methods. In 1966, 85% of white people thought that demonstrations hurt the Civil Rights cause. Of course, when you look at the historical facts, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would never have happened without people in the streets. Incivility often seems unnecessary to people who are insulated from what it is like to be on the receiving end of hateful rhetoric backed up by institutional power.


Different time, different era, you have survivorship bias, and you also have a weak analogy. There's many more cases of extremists either accomplishing nothing or making things worse than ones that succeeded at changing anything for the better. And those tactics would never work as well for you as it did for the Civil Rights movement because you're not being persecuted or discriminated against by the government and you have all of the same rights as anyone else in your country. You're protesting something you fear in the future that will simply never happen. If you actually believed that we're ushering in a new era of Nazism you wouldn't be publicly protesting, because all you're doing is painting a target on your back for when the Nazis come into power.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby cmsellers » Sun Nov 04, 2018 11:10 pm

@Asami
You have to draw the line somewhere. There's a huge gap between sit ins or kneeling for the national anthem, and the Rodney King riots or what antifa does. I draw the line this side of disrupting a politician's dinner. This is because, as someone who is definitely sensitive to racial issues, sexual issues, gay rights issues, and trans issues, someone who rolls their eyes when people complain that pride parades give gay people a bad name or kneeling for the anthem is disrespectful or the sexual assault victims who confronted GOP Senators were an unruly mob, there are some protest methods that make even me cringe and/or roll my eyes. And if they elicit a negative reaction from me, I don't think they're going to persuade anyone on on the fence.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby ftl » Mon Nov 05, 2018 3:57 am

So this discussion is tough to have because I think there's three separate takes on it, each of which is a different argument.

The first is whether particular kinds of "incivil" actions are effective. This is primarily a strategy discussion to be had by supporters - someone who doesn't support the cause in the first place coming in and saying "actually, you're not being effective" is gonna come off as concern trolling. Like, since when has the opposition ever given good strategic advice?

The second is whether certain types of "incivil" actions are okay, regardless of the cause and regardless of whether they're effective. Like, I think people can agree that murder is bad regardless of what "cause" it was for. But there isn't broad agreement on whether various kinds of "incivil" actions are ok. Boycotts? Blockades? Sit-ins?

The third I can think of is whether a specific cause is worth a particular kind of incivil action. This discussion presumes that incivility is bad but effective, and the discussion is whether a specific goal is "worth" a specific amount of incivility.

And when you cross the streams of those arguments, you get pretty much nonsensical discussions. A point of "no, boycotts are never ok" gets derailed into an argument about whether they're effective, a discussion of whether they're effective gets derailed into whether a specific cause is even worth fighting for, which changes to whether incivility is ok even if it is for a good cause... and so on in circles.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby AsamiSato » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:44 pm

cmsellers wrote:@Asami
You have to draw the line somewhere. There's a huge gap between sit ins or kneeling for the national anthem, and the Rodney King riots or what antifa does. I draw the line this side of disrupting a politician's dinner. This is because, as someone who is definitely sensitive to racial issues, sexual issues, gay rights issues, and trans issues, someone who rolls their eyes when people complain that pride parades give gay people a bad name or kneeling for the anthem is disrespectful or the sexual assault victims who confronted GOP Senators were an unruly mob, there are some protest methods that make even me cringe and/or roll my eyes. And if they elicit a negative reaction from me, I don't think they're going to persuade anyone on on the fence.


At the end of the day, for minorities who want to stop being trampled on, it's really not even about persuasion. It's about forcing people in power to make concessions. Public support is part of that, but honestly how people in the dominant group feel about the minority group's tactics is not that important. It's about making things so difficult/unpleasant for people with decisionmaking power that they see it in their interest to make change. Ultimately, repeated social conflicts across history show that groups need to create conflict and should not listen to people who are sympathetic but don't like the tactics. That doesn't mean they shouldn't reach out and build bridges with moderates... just don't take their strategy advice. There are missteps (I'm thinking in particular of Earth First getting a worker killed through tree spiking, which really hurt the legitimacy of their cause). But the existence of examples like that shouldn't lead activists to discard all confrontational tactics. Like, we didn't get 8 hour work day and the weekend because corporations were persuaded by the awesome arguments of union organizers. We got those things because people fought, bled, even died for it.

Also, when we are talking about fascism, I firmly believe that calls for people being persecuted to be 'civil' should be studiously ignored. Because fascism is really is a case of one side (fascists) looking for blood and death and elimination and the other side (persecuted minorities) having a spectrum of understandable human reactions to that. I think in the US we are increasingly talking about fascism, despite the massive amounts of denial I have seen. People are being taken away... they're just people at the margins of society (generally undocumented workers) that white middle class people don't know/care about. One of my organizer friends is a Dreamer and she shared video footage of one of her leaders being dragged out of a courtroom (he was there for a completely unrelated issue) by ICE agents who refused to even show a badge or identification. It was like a kidnapping. And I imagine that many people will go to Thanksgiving this year and find that their Fox News watching relations are more radicalized to hate liberals than ever before...

A Facebook friend posted this article the other day that I think does a good job of articulating some of the issues around why civility is not the right response to fascism.

https://lithub.com/fascism-is-not-an-id ... -to-fight/

A good quote from this piece: "Only those safe from fascism and its practices are far more likely to think that there might be a benefit in exchanging ideas with fascists. What for such a privileged group is a matter of a potentially productive difference in opinion is, for many of us, a matter of basic survival. The essential quality of fascism (and its attendant racism) is that it kills people and destroys their lives—and it does so because it openly aims so."

Also: "The idea that we’re all in this together and that we must keep talking is dangerous, just as my commitment to friendship was, because we might find ourselves wasting time and anger on a fundamentally unbalanced dialogue, where one side is armed with ideas, and the other is armed with weapons."

Edited to add:
Windy wrote:Different time, different era, you have survivorship bias, and you also have a weak analogy. There's many more cases of extremists either accomplishing nothing or making things worse than ones that succeeded at changing anything for the better. And those tactics would never work as well for you as it did for the Civil Rights movement because you're not being persecuted or discriminated against by the government and you have all of the same rights as anyone else in your country. You're protesting something you fear in the future that will simply never happen. If you actually believed that we're ushering in a new era of Nazism you wouldn't be publicly protesting, because all you're doing is painting a target on your back for when the Nazis come into power.


I'm not primarily talking about extremists. I'm more talking about broad based social movements (that sometimes have a 'radical flank' that can give moderate leaders who are at the negotiating table more to bargain with). That describes what is happening today as well.

If you think that the government doesn't persecute minorities still, you are living under a rock (Or perhaps in a mostly white middle class sheltered environment?- which is basically the same thing and also btw describes me for most of my life so I'm not judging). Like what do you think it means that police hang out in black neighborhoods and leave white suburban people alone? Did you see the footage of Standing Rock? Do you know what Joe Arpaio did? If you are unaware of the ongoing issues POC face in the US, you should educate yourself. Watching the documentary 13th is one place to start. The repeated experience of people of color in this country is that our status as citizens and human beings is never fully assured (as can be seen in police violence and shootings that white people line up to defend, Japanese internment, Black Wall St., voter suppression tactics targeting POC, etc etc).

I am fully aware that I could be painting a target on my back if this country goes in one direction that I think it could go in; I wouldn't be surprised if I am on some lists already because of my association with black lives matter and communist activists. I have already gotten creepy threats from white guys I knew in high school just for being politically outspoken on my Facebook page. And then there's this list: https://www.professorwatchlist.org/ At this point, we have not descended into complete madness yet, so most professors on this list view it as a point of pride. But the "it could never happen here" people are just deluding themselves.
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Re: Is Incivility Necessary?

Postby Marcuse » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:55 pm

AsamiSato wrote:Like, we didn't get 8 hour work day and the weekend because corporations were persuaded by the awesome arguments of union organizers. We got those things because people fought, bled, even died for it.


Wikipedia maaaaan wrote:The present-day concept of the 'week-end' first arose in the industrial north of Britain in the early part of the nineteenth century[1] and was originally a voluntary arrangement between factory owners and workers allowing Saturday afternoon off from 2pm in agreement that staff would be available for work sober and refreshed on Monday morning


There's actually a lot of examples of what feel like big steps forward in social policy being implemented by industrialists in Britain during the industrial revolution. I don't think you can credit people fighting and dying for a 5 day week for this one. In fact, it seems like literal old school top hatted Victorian industrialists convinced themselves of the efficacy of not working their workforce to death and implemented weekends on a voluntary basis. In places like Saltaire, a town created specifically to house people working in Titus Salt's mill, the entire place was designed to be a nice place to live specifically to escape the horrors of large industrial cities and the hideous living conditions therein.

Days of rest are common to all the Abrahamic religions, and it seems that the first five day working week in the US was actually instituted so Jewish workers wouldn't have to work on the Sabbath. Henry Ford was also an early adopter, but this wasn't enshrined in legislation until 1938.
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