Lt Col P sends: “Why No Civility Is Possible Today”

Lt.Col. P passed this excellent essay on Civility by Father James Schall for your Friday reading. Given the anniversary of World War I and it’s precursor in the American Civil War, this is a timely read. To whet your appetite, here is the opening paragraph:

Civility means to act as one would in a settled city wherein law and manners, not force and passion, guide the interchanges of the public order as well as the normal affairs of men within their homes and voluntary associations. Civility presupposes reason, but includes courtesy, compassion, and good taste. It usually involves a written or unwritten constitution that broadly defines the orders of procedure for ordinary human exchanges of opinions. It details, through proportionate sanctions, the degree to which the public order is violated by disordered actions. A constitution itself recognizes, at least implicitly, the possibility of a law higher than itself. A constitution’s own authority to be followed does not depend on itself, but on the citizens for whom it is intended. They in turn cannot will just anything. They too are subject to the reasonableness of the things that are, including what they are.


About DaveO

Retired soldier, micro-farmer, raconteur and pet owner from the great state of Oklahoma. Wandered in as a frequent commenter and have been enjoying blogging ever since.
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5 Responses to Lt Col P sends: “Why No Civility Is Possible Today”

  1. Is Lt. Col P still alive?


  2. keydet1976 says:

    Both sides liberal and conservative have long ago forgone civility. Part of the problem is we do not associate with those on the other side which makes being uncivil easier. Moreover social media allows us to write things that in polite society we would refrain from doing.


    • DaveO says:

      I disagree only in that such thing would be said because “polite society” no longer exists as a civilizing norm. There are camps, tokens and interlopers — all of are speaking “truth to power” with varying holds on reality. Polite society = echo chamber, with members vying for attention through increasing outrage.


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