hans.gerwitz.com

Be Rude On Purpose

The public debate in America today is about civility. Should we “go high” and not feed the trolls, or is it always okay to punch a Nazi?

The Washington Post brought some science, sharing that rudeness begets rudeness.

But what does that settle? It does mean we should avoid being rude if our intention is to preserve civility, but what if our intention is to slow moral decline in a larger sense, or defend a democracy from slipping into hate-fueled autocracy?

This bit of science reporting goes on to share “perhaps most worrisome" research showing a decline in personal well being associated with incivility.

On one hand, this is the neoliberal order that the radical left is fed up with. Don’t be rude to the Nazis, kids, because it will only make you depressed and that’s bad for GDP.

But in that reporting, William Wan is concerned about mostly our well being as individuals. He’s right to worry, but my conclusion is not to play nice, but to retain self-control. As Christopher Rosen advised, we should not act on our impulses.

When someone fascist asshole pisses you off, don’t mindlessly lash out. Step back, consider why you’re feeling the way you do, and think about their perspective.

Then punch the Nazi.