The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Divided we fall?

Have you ever had a discussion with someone that turned into an argument? Of course you have. We all have. Many times, I'd guess. An exchange of ideas only remains civil as long as there is some basic agreement about the validity of those ideas. Two (or more) people can agree on goals set, for instance, but remain civil while disagreeing about how to achieve them. When the way to achieve one or more of them becomes the focus of the discussion, it is likely to lose that civility and the discussion becomes an argument.

When I was younger, much younger, a teacher offered the premise that there was no real difference between the two major political parties when it came to foreign policy. The way she put it was "the differences ended at the shoreline." She maintained that the only differences lay in dometic policy. This was an earlier time... when the political rhetoric was much tamer. It was a period of relatively peaceful political endeavors.

It is not true today. And hasn't been for maybe 45 years. Since the Vietnam War. A lot of people became very political during that time. Lines were drawn, sides were taken, and the country became very divided. After the Vietnam War ended, we didn't really settle back into that more peaceful political environment. Instead, the rancor and distrust continued. It spilled over into domestic policy. Civil Rights, women's liberation, free speech and expression became as important as a foreign war.

In a way, it was much like the country was after war of 1812. Old animosities fueled domestic political debate. Slavery was at the core but economic differences between regions were a great part of it. Eventually, that boiled over into the Civil War.

Is that where we are headed today? Is the country dividing along political and ideological lines? Will it come to blows?

I suspect there will be no civil war. Today's issues aren't regional. But maybe that isn't such a good thing, maybe it will lead to chaos.

I am recommending the following column by John Stossel about freedom of speech.

America: Land of Free Speech -- Sometimes

You might find it interesting.

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