Civility and Democracy


Paul's picture

I don't buy it. I don't think civility was ever very popular for the mass of humanity. The only times and places it was, was within the armed class ("an armed society is a polite society") because acting otherwise would be a good way to end up dead the next morning via a duel. And, it was preserved in the English upper classes as a way to separate themselves from the hoi polloi. And civility of course has nothing whatever to do with the Tucson shootings.

Suverans2's picture

G'day Paul,

Do you truly believe, as you seem to indicate, that it is only the fear of being shot, the fear of reprisal, that makes men deal with each other civilly, i.e. "in a polite way, especially without being friendly"? Or is it because we are social beings[1] by nature? And, do we, (well, most of us anyway), not discover, at an early age, hopefully, that when we are antisocial, i.e. treat each other with incivility, that we soon have few, or no, good companions?

[1] SO'CIAL, a. [L. socialis, from socius, companion.] ...4. Disposed to unite in society. Man is a social being. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language