Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Disagreeing to Agree to Disagree



In civilized societies we engage in civilized debate. And sometimes, in the end, civilized people agree to disagree.

But screw that. I disagree. Agreeing to disagree is fine and dandy if you’re arguing about something like whether Coke tastes better than Pepsi. Because in the end, who cares? Civilized Person A can drink their Coke and Civilized Person B can drink their Pepsi and we can all still live happily ever after.

But suppose I’m flat on my back and somebody is stepping on my throat. I tell that person to stop stepping on my throat. That person says no. Like civilized Americans, we agree to disagree.

The problem is, I’ve still got somebody stepping on my throat. That’s not very civilized. So agreeing to disagree won’t cut it. I’ve got to do something to get that person to agree with my point of view that they need to get the hell off of my throat.

What’s that? In civilized societies people don’t step on each other’s throats? Well I remember a time when public transportation buses weren’t accessible to cripples who couldn’t climb three big honkin’ steps. That’s because back then public transit buses were designed with three big honkin’ steps right inside the entrance, just because somewhere along the line somebody decided that’s how public transit buses should be designed. I’m sure glad enough cripples disagreed to agree to disagree that that’s how things must always be.

And some people have been fucked over way worse than that by civilized society. How about coal miners? Jesus, they go down in a pitch black hole every day! And they used to be paid shit for doing it and if they got sick as a result they were tossed on the fucking scrap pile. The degree to which things have improved from that is only because the miners also got together and disagreed to agree to disagree that that’s how things always must be.

And what about slavery? What if we were all still agreeing to disagree with all those civilized slaveholders?

I’m getting too worked up. I need to go sit down.


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