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Civility and Civil Disobedience: Not Mutually Exclusive


Civility and Civil Disobedience: Not Mutually Exclusive

Keith Kozloff

"Civility" is the ability to conduct a respectful conversation with someone who has completely different views about an important topic. Recent events (such as the treatment of Trump Administration officials at restaurants) have stimulated public debate about the role of civility in political discourse. This debate is likely to become more heat


Civility is a nice concept in a smiley face sort of way. It refers to the tone or demeanor of the narrative. However, when lying sacks of ignorant shit (forgive my incivility) like Tucker Carlson of Faux News spew purposeful disinformation as factual, there can be no civility in the matter despite the innocuous (and vacuous) presence he maintains. The truth is in a war with disinformation. This is no time to be worrying about the “civility” of the messengers. Purposeful disinformation is intrinsically uncivil and should be thrashed with the greatest dispatch.


Anyone who thinks that civility is still the way to go should take their civility to the next Trump rally and see what it gets them. Best of luck.


With the exception of your opening phrase, what you say is perfectly in line with the author’s message.


I don’t believe you understood the essay.


This whole essay is ludicrous. In civil disobedience, the only thing that matters is non-violently building and using power to achieve stated goals and build power to achieve change. This whole notion of “civility” is a distraction to turn people away from what we need to do in political work and struggles.


Ditto. You might read it, again, yourself.


The only thing “Civility” means in 2018 is not to be violent, destructive, or engage in trespassing into ptivate homes. But everything else goes. Do everything you can to make right-wing A-holes feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, and un-human. And do it EVERYWHERE you legally can.

F*** civility in 2018.


However, it is difficult to persuade someone that they are wrong (fos) when their very lucrative paycheck demands that they continue to be wrong (lie).


Okay; I did. Now please tell me how your global condemnation of civility is an appropriate reaction to this piece. It seems to me that he is careful to advocate for civil discourse in limited contexts.


Did you even read the piece? The author maintains that civility is mostly likely appropriate in only limited contexts. Civility is far from a distraction (especially when employed in the limited fashion this author describes); it rests on the the principle of charity, often a logical prerequisite to rational deliberation.


True. Here is a seminal quote on the matter:

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked (1934)


That is the actual quote; I was just paraphrasing it. Too lazy to look up the actual one. Thanks for your reply.


Unfortunately, the quote has been burned into my mind as a result of the times in which we find ourselves.


It’s far past time to remain civil.
It is far past time we struck a blow against the blind ‘elite’ who are running the country.
A General Strike is needed. Otherwise expect further disregard for your concerns and issues. As long as elected officials allow unrestricted corporation mergers, unless they are down to only 2 providers, you can expect further erosion of the “services” you are provided in exchange for the meager salaries your employers pay you to use you as a consumable resource to make their obscene profits!


As Lewis Lazare reports in the Chicago Business Journal, the (American Airlines) airline last week sent staff a memo entitled: Hey, Enough of That Sympathy. You’re not Nurses, You Know.

Past time.


Let me say first, that I have NEVER advocated for anything but non-violence and that will always be true – because violence is self-defeating and works to help the right wing . . .

IMO, this is a very poor attempt to STOP confrontation with members of government who have for 50 years and more have been ignoring the will of the people while hiding behind secrecy and national security to remove protesters from government hearings and government offices. And by remaining MUTE – absolutely MUTE – while watching demonstrators and protesters being attacked by militarized police and jailed for simply demonstrating. Also fully realizing that agents provocateur have been more responsible for any disturbances in demonstrations that the demonstrators have been.

We are living in a time when we are realizing that we have been just as propagandized as the Russians have been (but they knew it), when we have begun to understand just how RIGGED our elections have been under the control of two corporate parties for decades and decades while Americans have voted on hack-able voting computers. While MSM delivers “results” of “winners and losers” based on large computers, basing those results based in 1% or even 0% of the vote count. Previously, our MSM had only been permitted to report actual votes tallied.

We are also living in a time when our government/CIA is fighting “illegal wars of aggression” in the Middle East for OIL / for Empire, in Afghanistan and Iraq and threatening much of the rest of the world. Also, while our government is spying on Americans 24/7. And when our government is threatening our journalists with being labeled “terrorists.”

Meanwhile, our government/CIA/SC continues to IGNORE right wing violence and terrorism which has for almost 50 years been attacking Roe v Wade by murdering doctors at women’s clinics. By bombing women’s clinics. And our un-Supreme Count has prevented for decades RICO laws from being used against these right wing terrorists.

The right wing in America has come to power by secrecy and secret operations – maybe a thousand or more of them – to destroy our free press and turn it into an arm of the CIA for propaganda purposes. To move ex-Nazis into the US, to use them to found the CIA, and to filter them into the FBI and other government agencies. CIA operations unfailingly delivered on all of these programs – including operations in nations over whom the US had influence and control at the end of WWII – Germany, Japan, France, Italy – to permit ONLY right wing governments to rise in those countries and continue to hold power in those countries.

The right wing misses no chance for violence and continues its war, as well, on women/reproductive freedom, on Native Americans, on African Americans – on Homosexuals – and on Nature via continuing exploitation, including of animal-life and natural resources.

We’ve recently had an non-SC declare that a bakery could discriminate against a customer because that customer was a homosexual. Immediately, signs began to pop up in windows of businesses saying “Homosexuals NOT welcome.” We were all supposed to accept that as some kind of truth / wisdom; the very opposite of what it was. Currently, Americans have begun to do some of the confronting that the right wing has been doing for decades and decades now, but without the guns/rifles that the right wing have paraded around with at Town Meetings – and without MURDERING ANYONE. They have merely confronted government officials – not even to hiss and boo at them – but to show them their disagreement with their actions – often with signs. Keep in mind that for 40 years and more, anti-abortion fanatics have followed clinic personnel home, been visible outside the churches of clinic workers (or the schools of their children) with pictures of alleged “dead fetuses.” They have actually shut down clinics by bombing them and during that time severely injured nurses and other clinic workers. They have MURDERED doctors. And recently in New Jersey a man drove a truck into a Planned Parenthood clinic causing “extensive damage” to the building. A clinic staff member was also injured, as well as TWO patients, including a pregnant woman.

Allegedly we have Separation of Church & State in the US – or do we?
All American taxpayers are funding the Catholic Church’s “faith-based” religious organizations since “W.” Catholic Church has the majority of these organizations.
During the campaign for John Kerry for president, the Pope at that time told Catholics not to vote for him because he supported a woman’s right to abortion.

During the campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, the Catholic Church and the Mormon Church funded the anti-abortion campaign to STOP the ERA. And they did it with TAX-EXEMPT dollars. The Catholic Church is now approximately HALF of what it was in the 1960’s in America because American citizens – protected by Separation of Church & State – can and do walk away from organized patriarchal religion here: male-supremacist religion. The Catholic Church operates as a dictatorship over its members and large segments of our societies – and underpins ELITE-PATRIARCHY. Despite that reality, our government – allegedly pledged to the concept that “all are equal” – continues to fund these Churches’ organizations and allow them to POLITICIZE their preachings to members while our government continues to offer them TAX-EXEMPT status.

And the UN continues to recognize the Vatican – an all male nation of a few square acres – as a sovereign nation – with voting rights.

Those TAX-EXEMPTIONS for male supremacist religions are not simply for their churches and their surrounding property and their soup kitchens. Those exemptions are for ALL of their real estate holdings, where many members leave their estates/property to these churches. Much of church property and holdings are under-appraised. And those TAX-EXEMPTIONS are also for all of their stock portfolios and investments.

It’s not like the Vatican hasn’t been engaged in the murder of men and women over thousands of years – of native people they labeled “pagans”… “only fit to be fed to the dogs.” Until the invaders succeeded in total GENOICE against the native people here.

It’s not like the Vatican didn’t back the “enslavement and/or killing” of the African here.

It’s not like the Vatican hasn’t preached to their members every Sunday that the homosexual is an “abomination” – and that they have done that so intensely that parents of homosexuals actually learned to HATE their own children and chase them from their homes.

It’s not like the Vatican didn’t war on women for thousands of years – not only in Europe, but here on this ground, as well – in Burnings at the Stake. Easy for them to do as they have the power to label others and have been doing just that – including in labeling Jews they held in Ghettoes for 1,100 years. Women who were the healers and who held the knowledge of plants which are our medicines and our drugs were labeled “witches” by the Catholic Church and put on trial for their lives. They were deprived of the right to property, to their own children, to inheritance – much of those property rights and financial prohibitions were not overturned until the 1960’s in this country.

Should we do the same to them as they have done to others – NO !!!

What has merely been done in a few cases is that protesters have thrown some “verbal” PIE back at those who want to use our government to enforce their religious beliefs oddly centered on CAKE for homosexuals.

Trump, his backers and our non-SC have shown us their intentions to have 5 dishonest men on the Court rule our nation . . . certainly NOT how a democracy works.


What if the Supreme Court had been looking at the refusal of the bakery to sell their cake to a JEW? Could they have gotten away with it?