Monday, May 09, 2005

Civic-Civil-Civility, still in the letter C

The direct roots of these three words refer to belonging to a city, and loving the city to exclusion of the tempting charms of all other cities; the purpose of this love to keep good order within the city walls. The opposite of this inate tendency rooted in being a human being is cosmopolitanism, I guess (I'm going to need to suss out these notions in the coming weeks). And there can be no sense of true civility without the recognition that there is a thing outside our walls called barbarism. Now, barbarism is a judgement word, a violation of a set of Pecksniffian Grundyisms mistakenly labelled tolerance (I'll rant about this word when I reach the letter T). I'll leave it to those who crank out the word tolerance so freely why one should tolerate barbarism.

Anyway, this is all part of that weird Mobius strip type of argument where we are told that one can never sit in judgement on the other, without explaining that this anti-judgement degree is a judgement in of itself.


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