Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Comment on Daniel Hannan – Telegraph Blogs:
Memo to my Leftie friends: you'd feel better if you tried not to hate us so much

Memo to my Leftie friends: you'd feel better if you tried not to hate us so much – Telegraph Blogs

The big change in public discourse over the last 40 to 50 years is that the downside for abuse has been removed for the Left. At one time barely functional sociopaths may have thought of hateful screeds or even shared them with their associates but they would not have issued them as public statements or in the workplace.

The reason for that was simple. It would have gotten them fired and shunned. More it would have resulted in pressure from those who agreed with the offender in principle. That was because the normal and healthy response of people to hearing a hateful ad hominum rant devoid of meaningful content would be to reject not only the message but also the messenger and any movement they were associated with.

It took decades to condition the public to tolerate such abuse. Beginning with the "Angry Young Man" artists in the 1950s the pressure to accept hostility as a validation of an argument, as opposed to considering it a reason to deem the arguer as illegitimate, has grown to the point where the need for a real argument has vanished.

If people like Lily Allen were denied the cover of pleading that it was "only art" and evaluated by the consequences of their actions then they would be charged with child abuse for the real harm that they cause. They are not exposing suffering but causing it. If people really confronted the abuse and some were held accountable for it then the balloon would deflate and public policy debates would again be held in terms of efficiency and competitive demands for limited resources. In those dull terms the Left would be sure to lose.

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