Roberta X on civility, or the occasional lack thereof:
What is clear is once anyone has become so convinced that one of the two halves of the Running Things Party comprises every human vice and ill (and no few I had previously thought limited to the animal kingdom), then there’s no further reason to talk. The attitude itself is what gives rise to purges and pogroms, killing fields and death marches — no matter who espouses it or what virtues they ascribe to themselves and their supposed peers, or even practice. Persons who speak like that will murder you — or hand you over to be used up and killed — if they even suspect you might be a member of a group they loathe; and they will sleep soundly that night. Left, right, center; amoral and “practical” or rigidly moral and unworldly, it doesn’t matter: once that level of dehumanizing rhetoric has infected someone’s mind, they are like an armed landmine. (And at the same time, they are pathetic causalities for whom little can be done.)
Not wishing to land on anyone’s causality (or casualty) list, I keep careful track of my ills and vices; this serves as a useful reminder that I am not necessarily all that and a bag of chips. And the chips are probably stale by now anyway.