Saturday, June 09, 2012

Dewey on the corrosive effects of fear and hatred

Via Jeffrey Feldman in Outright Barbarous: How the Violent Language of the Right Poisons American Democracy:

"Intolerance, abuse, calling of names because of differences of opinion about religion or politics or business, as well as because of differences of race, color, wealth or degree of culture are treason to the democratic way of life. For everything which bars freedom and fullness of communication sets up barriers that divide human beings into sets and cliques, into antagonistic sects and factions, and thereby undermines the democratic way of life. Merely legal guarantees of civil liberties of free belief, free expression, free assembly are of little avail if in daily freedom of communication, the give and take of ideas, facts, experiences, is choked by mutual suspicion, by abuse, by fear and hatred. These things destroy the essential condition of the democratic way of living even more effectually than open coercion." - John Dewey, "Creative Democracy - The Task Before Us"

This is an excellent quote to keep in mind while reading Arthur Goldwag's The New Hate: A History of Fear and Loathing on the Populist Right, for, as Goldwag succinctly put it himself, "the New Hate poisons our political discourse and divides us even more than we are already."

No comments: