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Sunday, April 23, 2017

“Being Polite” versus “Being Nice”; social implications.

“Being Polite” versus “Being Nice”

1. People keep confusing “being polite” with “being nice”.
“Being polite” means – no any physical encounter, no offensive words, no name calling, etc., and REQUIRED by the law.
And for way too many people “being nice” means – “do not tell me what might upset me”.
But - there is NO law that requires people to be nice.
An imaginary conversation.
"You should not tell me this".
"Because it makes me feel sad".
"You should not tell me this"!
"Because it makes me feel sad"!!
"Do I call you names?"
"No but ..."
"Do I say something degrading about you?"
"No, but I don't feel uplifting, I feel difficult, uncomfortable."
"We need to be polite and discuss matters that may affect our life. Why should I care all the time about how you feel? Why should YOU care all the time about how I feel? 
"Because ...  ... you need to be nice!"
"Because! ... I'm leaving! You are impossible!"
There is another version of a this discussion.
"Don't tell me that!"
"But those are facts!"
"I don't care! It makes me feel upset."
"But we need to know facts for designing the best strategy"
"I don't want to hear anything that upsets me! Go away, or say something nice!"
If someone gets so easily upset, that one simply should not go any close to politics (or management, or any professional field that requires communication with other people, really: for more follow to “Intellectual stagnation, social conformism, and the crisis of logical communication).
More on avoiding difficult conversation at "When conforming to conformity leads to social deterioration".
Also, watch a great conversation between Mill Maher and Dr. Jordan B. Peterson.

2. Now I would like to add my two cents to the debate about “party unity”, “censorship”, “Facebook rude posts”, etc. 
The more debates take place the better. 
Censoring posts on the ground “I disagree with it”, or “this makes me feel bad” only leads to pushing people out of THIS place of the debate, but not out of the debate.  
People will not stop thinking what they are thinking, but will find other venues to express it (for example, by voting for Trump). 
In the long run, that is exactly what we need these days – we (democrats, progressives, liberals) need to get separated ("give each other a space"), give time to different groups to get a better, clearer understanding of who wants what and who is who, and what they really want. Then those different factions, groups, "cliques", would be able to find a common ground.
To the advocates of censorship "because it will cut fake news" - (a) if you cannot see which news is fake, you should not go into politics; (b) if you are afraid that people would be influenced by fake news you should offer your counter-opinion; (c) make sure that for you "fake news" is not just something "I don't like it".
3. At some point, everyone will need to make a decision: am I BY the movement, or IN the movement (does not depend on what movement)?
BY the movement means – providing types of support – verbal, monetary, etc.
IN the movement means – allocating a certain amount of time on various political actions. Among those actions; #1 is educating themselves on the laws governing social changes (of course, only if you want to make some social change to happen).
For better or worse, Karl Marx’s “Das Kapital” became the theoretical foundation of many social revolutions.
For a "progressivist", the theoretical foundation is “Saving Capitalism” by Robert B. Reich.
Read, think, discuss, plan, act.
Or - don't like the books I offer? - offer another book!
Yours (and mine, and many of us) tweets and Facebook posts do NOT represent a solid logical theoretical foundation for the actions needed to do "Our Revolution" (or ANY revolution).
Let us be clear – without deep understanding of the true reasons for the country getting to the current social, political, economic state, the fate of any movement (all movements) will be the same as the fate of the “Occupy Wall-Street” - gradual decline and dissolving.
4. Bernie Sanders said “It wasn't that Donald Trump won the election, it was that the Democratic Party lost the election”
BTW: he said it five month after the election day; I said the same right after it (, but the difference is – no one cares what I say, Bernie’s every word gets scrutinized from right and left.
After Sanders said it, there is no turning back. Now everyone inside and outside of the Dem Party has to express his or her position toward the statement: agree, disagree, not sure - or ignore it (acting like he has never said it).
Arguing about the meaning of this statement is just useless
This type of a statement cannot be logically proved or disproved; it is a belief-based statement - like "aliens/ETs/UFOs exist". One can say that the universe is so vast, and there are signs of aliens visiting the Earth, so they exists. Or one can say there are no facts (bodies, objects, machinery) proving the alien existence, hence they don't. But in either case - it is just a belief.
5. Politics needs knowledge and logic; political actions need time, effort, and SLOGANS!
6.  An ice cube in a freezer remains an ice cube as long as it remains in a working freezer. What will happen if one cuts the power cord, or just opens the door and keeps it opened for a long time? Ice turns into water (hopefully, no one has any doubts about this). This is just an example of how external conditions, a.k.a. environment, affect properties of a system. It works for any system and any environment.
Four words:
describe the drastic change in the social and economical environment of all countries in the world. 
What will they turn into?
(a) no one really knows
(b) everyone has a chance to push it in a direction one likes - and eventually the melting of social and political structures will take the new stable form. 
What form?
No one really knows.
Can be ANYTHING (democracy, fascism, you name it).
7. Confusion between "polite" and "nice" is not confined by politics, one can see it in science, in business, basically everywhere where people talk. In politics it is called "political correctness", in other spheres it may be called "rudeness", or "cynicism". Unfortunately, this confusion presents a huge obstacle to forging an effective collaboration.

Thank you for visiting,
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
Education Advancement Professionals

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