Karl Gallagher (libertarianhawk) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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OSC on Civil War in America

Orson Scott Card has a new novel out, about a near-present civil war in the United States. Not one I'm going to pick up. That's too realistic a nightmare for me to enjoy reading it, and having read the sample chapters online it's not his best fiction work. But he also posted the afterword, and I recommend that to everyone:
We live in a time when people like me, who do not wish to choose either camp's ridiculous, inconsistent, unrelated ideology, are being forced to choose -- and to take one whole absurd package or the other.

We live in a time when moderates are treated worse than extremists, being punished as if they were more fanatical than the actual fanatics.

We live in a time when lies are preferred to the truth and truths are called lies, when opponents are assumed to have the worst conceivable motives and treated accordingly, and when we reach immediately for coercion without even bothering to find out what those who disagree with us are actually saying.
The essay lays out how our current mess could devolve into open violence, and has some suggestions on how to avert it. Those boil down to "be polite, and make the people on your own side be polite." I try to live by that rule, but not being in the red or blue camp I don't have leverage to hush anyone else.
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