Can’t we all just not get along?

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Today’s post is inspired by Troof, thank you for giving me the recommendation to write. A couple days ago in the stream he suggested to me that I write blog regarding the mainstream problem American society has today in which people just cannot not get along. Yes you read correctly: cannot not get along. 

In other words, comfortably disagree with one another. 

This is a serious problem of today. Our modern society is comprised of many many individuals all with differing backgrounds, races, creeds, beliefs, and most importantly experiences. We all are going to think differently about things and as such people are going to disagree with one another. If we all didn’t we would be the same. But we are not, so the rest is history. And yes it is history. People have been disagreeing with one another for ages. Just read some of the old Greek Philosophers and see them dissing each other in their works. As long as man could speak, man could disagree. 

Therefore, we need to learn how to disagree. People aren’t going to start agreeing with each other all the time soon, and I reckon that human nature is not going to change either. This is an issue of the past, the now, and the future. So let’s all get real and instead of wishing for everyone to just magically be on the same page, let us start preparing ourselves for the exact opposite and how we will handle ourselves when we meet others that do not think like we do. 

Note if you don’t like this post you can go fuck yourself and die. 

That was a joke.

But it’s aimed exactly at the current issue. People today are far too hostile around people that don’t think like them. I chalk this up to people needing a purpose in their lives such that they assume a political identity to fill that void in their existence. And so when their politics are challenged, this is not just merely an affront to their beliefs, it is an affront to themselves as a person: because remember, these people believe that they are their beliefs. This is very bad for society.

Because people will disagree as started before; this is human nature 101. But with identity politics hitting the mainstream thanks to so many radical universities propagating this bullshit, people are taking a simple disagreement as a personal attack. Now, I am not saying that politics and personal beliefs are unimportant, but I will say that they are not the sum of you are as a person. They may be very close to you, but do not confuse you for your beliefs. You are more than that, and as such, when someone simply disagrees with you (remember they could have any multitude of reasons as to why: you don’t know their background, their experiences, etc) do not take this personally. Just listen to them and decide for yourself as to whether you would like to offer a counter-point back to them, or just move on. 

Now, if they are being an asshole to you, then you can take that personally. But if they are being cordial, and often times people who disagree are, then accept that they just think differently from you instead of declaring them as Satan. Besides, that us versus them mentality is so childish. E.G. making the other party out to be evil incarnate such that it is easy to ignore their arguments and points because their character is reprehensible. This is an ancient silly trick humans have long used to make it easy for them to ignore another side’s point and so that they can easily continue being content in their head and sphere of influence that they are indeed correct: when maybe in fact they are not.

This is the whole point of discourse. So that we can check our assumptions and see as to whether we are correct. Think about this reader. Have you ever been wrong?

Yes, you have.

So then think about this reader. Is it highly likely that you will be wrong again in the future?

Yes, you will.

And there is nothing wrong with this. This is just how humans are. I have been wrong, I will be wrong, and that is just part of life. I try to be correct, but the way I seriously pursue this endeavor is by putting my thoughts out there so that other people can critique them so I can check as to whether I truly am correct. And often people discuss their thoughts with me and check mine such that I abandon my previous thoughts, or I rework them so to make them actually true. This is the beauty of discourse. This only happens from discussing with other individuals and thus I highly recommend that you all start partaking in this exercise. 

Just check your pride at the door. Because other people will have great insight to offer. Maybe not always, but at some point I can assure you that someone will tell you something very profound such that if you have an open mind it will give you cause to check your assertions. And this is a great thing. We live in a very strange world. To this day, and after quite extensive thought and research on the matter, I have not the faintest idea as to why it exists, why we exist, and why things are the way they are. But I enjoy trying to figure these things out. The quest for what is true really is something quite satisfying, and I believe that the best way to come to it is via the Socratic Method.

This is the Ancient Greek practice of discourse amongst human beings. Plato believed that we all had knowledge implanted in our minds and that we had to just remember it. He believed that the best way for humans to achieve this was to speak with one another and use the differing view points of individuals to each grasp at the truth collectively such that by the end of the discussion a lesson would be learned. This is how Plato’s dialogues are structured. They start with a question amongst two or a few individuals and one the course of the session numerous other individuals stop by and offer their ancient two cents. By the end of the dialogue in most cases the parties involved have reached an agreement of sorts and they all walk away with knowing something new. 

I firmly believe in this method.

I have seen it work many many times in my life and I encourage everyone reading to partake in this. Not only does human discourse automatically lend itself to the gaining of knowledge as necessarily though talking will you learn new information via people’s personal experiences that only they have lived, but the discussion creates a bond amongst the parties involved such that they honestly work to learn in conjunction with one another.

This is absolutely needed today. In modern society we have the opposite occurrence. No one wants to bond with each other. People want to hate one another. This way it makes it easy to disagree and thus no one ever has to check their assertions. But watch, once you get to know someone on a personal level, it is often hard to hate people. And is it not funny that all of sudden identity politics does not hold as much water? Think about all your friends and family members that you know personally and how many of them differ in political views from you. You don’t hate them. But you hate that random person who has a political belief you don’t like. You are picking and choosing who to apply identity politics to. Stop that. 

This is my proof that people are not just merely their beliefs. Again, these are important, I am not diminishing that. But we need to get past this problem of hating on people that think differently from us. This is tribalism all over again. And if it is not stopped, it will kill modern society. Our current society only functions on basis that we have moved past tribalism. We live in a massively integrated world via our highways, water and power structures, complex governing systems and laws, and other creations such as the internet. But if we revert, and people start banding together into their tribes this will have ultimately have an effect on the aforementioned connections. Never forget that people are teleological beings. They operate towards an end, a goal of sorts. If a human decides that their goal is to benefit a certain tribe, or to oppress another tribe (as these often go together) then that will have consequences in the real world when they start actively working towards that. That could be denying a particular group rights via changing the legal system, that could be closing a waterway to a certain town, it could be limiting the internet so that others cannot access outside opinions, and much more. And all of these scenarios have happened before and are happening now. Do not get it mistaken. Currently we live in a rather peaceful society. We as a people have not felt the brunt of major disasters such as a vicious war on our home soil or the complete breakdown of law. But these things can happen, and they will happen if we do not look for the warning signs of the winds of change. 

I believe we are seeing some early signs right now. Political discourse is at an all time low. People just want to name-call and demonize rather than actually argue points. Politicians today also lack spines, where they are often afraid to tell their voter base that they are wrong and as such they change their policies as the mob changes its mind. We have too many career politicians today who only know how to live in current society as an elected official and as such they change like the winds so to stay in office. This is not what the founding fathers of America ever would have wanted. 

Wrapping up this rant, I really do believe that these issues start at the bottom. It’s at the dinner table, at the bar, or on the subway where you talk with another human being and share your views. And based on how people share their viewpoints every day they start to create a certain atmosphere that becomes representative of society. In certain times people were more cordial and they were more open. In other time they were even more hostile. Remember, things can always be worse: just read history. Currently, we still have it pretty damn good. Very few people are getting killed in the streets these days compared to what has happened in this past century. You can be thankful that since you are reading this that you weren’t born in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge. Chances are if you were you wouldn’t be reading this. (Because you were murdered)

But, the signs are visible. People are hostile to talk with someone that disagrees with them. And if this keeps up, people will naturally segregate themselves based on ideology and it will become easier and easier to define the other side as the enemy, obviously because they are not present to be able to defend themselves.

You cannot understand what you don’t know.

And today people don’t want to understand the other side. So therefore they don’t know them. So then they label them. And then here we go down the rabbit hole. 

So, my words to you reader, is to start talking to people. Do your part and have discourse. Be brave and instead of running from the problems do your small part to fight against the tide and show people that we can disagree with one another. Fight against the tide of tribalism and identity politics and hopefully we can get our society back on the right course. We haven’t crashed into the rocks or sailed into the maelstrom yet, but I truly believe that we are on course.

Even with these alarming depressing thoughts in mind I still want you to keep smiling,

Nolan

One thought on “Can’t we all just not get along?

  1. Very good thoughts to consider. So much can be said about making a practice of “love thy neighbor” in its truest sense. Helping others when you see the need pays forward what others have done for us, and makes us more of a family. *I’ve had this discussion many times in classrooms, and will now add your thoughts. If you can’t get along with your own sibling, with the next door neighbor, how in the world can you have world peace? Wars happen because of what is happening in individuals and families, carrying forward the same at each step, whether at work or otherwise. Wars happen because counties have not embraced listening to one’s self. Like one person said, if everyone listened to themselves, the politicians would have a war and no one would come.

    Liked by 1 person

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