(originally launched into cyberspace on 10/08/2007)
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
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
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
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.
(P.S. Just for fun, I did a web search for "inappropriate
civility," and sure enough, it appears nowhere. I'm proud to be the