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First in line for offensiveness are those who know what they are doing. Second in line for offensiveness are those who cluelessly assume that if the former are respectful in tone, the content of their objections cannot possibly be noxious.
In a word, if you patently do not believe in the public good or in the productive role of the state in society, why the hell would you bother militating in the party on the putative left? And yet, and yet....
Which is precisely why Mr Chazelle's quote is quite apt. How can they possibly find fault with a polite enemy, when they themselves have no fundamental core values to give rise to the possibility of an adversary?
Raising the tone never convinces anybody though, this is true, and perhaps even some might have been convinced with a different tone. Calling you an asshole and impugning your personal integrity though, as some did - that was out of line under any circumstance. Personally, I think that was your best diary over there ever, polemical in structure, thought provoking, impeccably logical, and ambiguous enough of wording to suscitate a heated debate on values.
The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet.
I guess people reacted intensely to the "I don't do charity" bit. I could have written "We should not have to rely on charity for basic services" rather than the more abrupt "I don't do charity" but the point of my diary stands even if I am the evil, callous, heartless bastard so many of you have seen in my diary, which is precisely why I put it this way. But as you wrote, this went over many people's heads - which also meant that they did not understand your vigor in supporting me, and in turn reacted angrily to you.
That point from you and Bernard Chazelle about the lack of values (beyond the "we're nice") - I need to ponder.
In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
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