Randall troubles himself over the #phronesis of civility. Martin Gurri replies obliquely.
I am a child of privilege. I am a white married adult male living in one of the wealthiest tracts of land in the whole of history. It is devilishly easy for me to fancy that a benevolent Creator has crafted this mundane paradise for my benefit and my benefit alone. I am not subject to the gross harassment of thugs public or private. I am not subservient to the will of hereditary superiors. I owe no fealty, I pay piffling tribute to the state, at least compared to the tithes of my ancestors. I am at risk of neither conscription nor invasion. My society is so civilized that the nastiest the culture wars have to offer are heated online discussions centered ostensibly on the patently ludicrous topic of ethics in gaming journalism.
These are the challenges of my time. Beowulf v Grendel round II it ain’t. Or if it is, the beast is slain, and his mom’s head is mounted in my mead hall. lol
As a privileged middle aged dad, part of my noblesse oblige is to do what I can to extend the blessings of my narrow providence to marginalized groups. That’s why I count myself as aggressively pro-immigration, that’s why I shout into the uncaring wilderness about the benefits of expanding the sphere of euvoluntary exchange, and that’s why I do my best to not be an outright jerk when I exchange ideas with people.
That’s also why I’m naturally hesitant to wag my finger at people who don’t share my instinctual proclivities towards restraint and temperance. Randall called Maggie McNeill out for an aggressive exchange with a sex work prohibitionist. But like me, I’m sure he recognizes that Maggie has been in this fight for a long time, and she’s seen firsthand the ugliness of encounters with not only comfortable prohibitionists, but with the long end of the truncheon that enforces those statutes.
My task is analysis and commentary. It is not censure. I have a hard enough time policing my own speech. I can’t even imagine being enough of a shitheel to try to police the speech of others.
But that’s just me. Not exactly the go-to dude for matters of moral rectitude or whatever.
2 thoughts on “Stick It Where The Sun Don’t Shine”
Good attitude. There are enough spit-shouters and arm-wavers out there already. However: what’s the analysis for? I would hope, sound moral (and practical, and political) direction…
When I ask myself “what’s the analysis for,” I peek into the abyss briefly, in the hopes that it doesn’t gaze back into me. Much of my digital ink is spilled decrying institutional failure. Much of my despair arises like a stinky flower from the unfortunate conclusion that there’s nothing I can do about it. The voting public pretty much get what they want in a democracy (and even in many non-democracies). What could I possibly do to convince enough voters that what they want is more fanciful than a fart-propelled flying unicorn?
Practically, what the analysis is for is preening, signalling, self-flattery. Fun, even. But I hold few illusions that I’ll ever have the kind of influence needed to stand astride the culture of corruption and squeak “halt” any louder than a, I don’t know, some kind of small ecclesiastical rodent.