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  • Writer's pictureCet

Civility is an Abusive Virtue

Civility is an abusive virtue.

The tone in which someone speaks doesn’t invalidate truth.

Exhibit A

I can tell you I’m gonna chop you up and feed you to a pack of hounds in the most polite way possible. My politeness or civility doesn’t make what I’ve said any less violent.

Exhibit B

Especially when a contentious issue affects the material conditions of someone’s life–their physical safety, home, mental state, livelihood–expecting civility of them is too much.

That expectation lacks empathy and humanity.

This isn’t to say that making a point without being overcome by passion isn’t powerful. It can be, particularly as a practiced oratory device. But expecting that people have the poise of a practiced speaker, or that they be neutral to the conditions of their own lives… that’s the same sort of powdered wig algebra used by greedy brutes to create the monstrosity of a civilization that’s now eating us all alive.

It’s not helping anyone.

The absence of harsh truths creates a vacuum easily filled by soft lies.

Demanding civility and upholding it as a virtue ultimately perpetuates violence, erasure and lies–none of which are conducive to free, healthy happy individuals or societies.


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