The blogpost where Buffy tries to be all clever and pretend he's a bit wise like Socrates, but convinces no-one....

This is expanded from a comment I made in response to the excellent and erudite Mindfump. [He's great. You should go read his stuff.] 


At the risk of sounding particularly smug, I pride myself on having impeccable taste in friends... indeed, without exception, all my friends are delicious and fabulous people. They also all rate extremely highly in the compassion stakes... one of the biggest reasons, really, that they're my friends. 

They're also all more clever than myself [it's not hard, to be fair] -- it's always good to have wise and clever friends. They raise us up.

However, this circle of friends also has a wide diversity of political and religious viewpoints -- from hippie liberals to stodgy socialists to curmudgeonly conservatives -- sometimes dissimilar to, and occasionally at odds with, my own. Though of course, these disagreements are always chummy... if possible, I do everything in "chummy" fashion, as is my way. 

I've always liked to debate in the fashion of the "Socratic Dialogues" of ancient Athens... albeit in a much less erudite fashion, and with much more wine [as is the way at Chez Buffy, or my local pub]. 

I definitely welcome this chummy sense of disagreement and debate: after all, if my friends all had identical or even very similar views, and furthermore always agreed with me, then that'd be the most direct route up my own arse that I could possibly take. 

Possibly due to my sense of duality, I'm also firmly of the belief that, agree with them or disagree, the majority of the UK's political parties have their angels, and have their demons. Certainly you won't find me turning my back on anyone for their political views [within reason... he added, quickly covering himself]. 

Also, my own political views are quite fixed, but they can get moved a little depending on new facts/arguments I encounter. That's good. It's evolution. 

But is being welcome to a diversity of views going out of fashion? The more I read about politics and hear the comments of people online, the more bigoted, polarised, and restricted are the views that I hear. 

This has been happening for some time, I think: the voting for, and reaction to, both President Trump and Brexit may have firmly underlined this mutually antagonistic tribalistic mentality, but it didn't produce it. 

Is tribalism the nature of online commenting, or does it reflect the UK at large, the USA at large, and the world at large? 

A while back, out of weariness I had to turn my back on both Facebook and twitter. My reason? It simply wasn't fun the way it used to be. I felt like I was drowning in a deluge of bigotry, emotive exclusionism, elitism, virtue-signalling, and more bigotry. 

Socratic it ain't. 

-- Is it wrong of me to be jaded? 
-- Is it wrong of me to be intolerant of intolerance? 
-- Is it OK that I want to believe in compassion and good sense and democracy and progressiveness and patriotism... but at the same time, am very suspicious of people who bandy those words around as if they're going out of fashion? 

And, as with so many things, I remain confused. 

Heck, will I even be voting on June 8th? 
I suppose I won't know 'til June 8th.

But, for the time being, I'll be proud to encompass diversity of mind. 

For me, that's where Utopia begins.



  1. I like your view on things… you are still compassionate and in a world full of angry people, it is indeed beautiful to see. I myself seem to have grown bitter… and I am not sure how to change this. I do still see myself as compassionate…. but I have limits. And the further my mental health deteriorates the more bitter I get. You see, I blame the world! Every person that makes ignorant statements on facebook, that chastise me for seeing all the sides to a story, the people that threaten me for not agreeing with them and all of them that are just simply too ignorant to even make sense of their own arguments…. I blame them. For the world how it is today. I blame them for the selfishness of our next generation.

    So I do not read those comments anymore. Only on very bad days and then I let them have it. I am not sure if my bitterness has improved… but it hasn’t gotten worse either!

    Well, that was my little rant for the day 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha it was a good little ‘rant’!
      And thank you very much — admittedly I have to put some effort into being ‘neutralistic’, from time to time!
      I can very much appreciate the mental health/bitterness angle… people definitely don’t want to, or can’t be bothered to, take responsibility for themselves or their own ignorance and how it affects others — and that can indeed be maddening. I think it’s a bit of a descending ‘spiral of hate’… and sometimes if we can’t break it, all we can do is remove ourselves from it.
      As such, you’re wisely taking care of yourself. Good for you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I vote for you staying “neutralistic”. I know what I believe but don’t feel everyone on the planet has to believe the same way. Our differences are what make us great. I always say this, people have been different from the beginning of time, thats why they make vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavour ice creams, isn’t it? Being able to express our opinions and not yelling at, or hating the other person, if they don’t agree is what makes us civilized, doesn’t it? Short of that we are just packs of animals.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Exactly… that’s indeed the fine line between the civilisation and the savage — or should be(!) Good analogy with the ice cream flavours… my grandmother used to say “there’s no ‘best’ between chips and chocolate”, which is pretty much the same thing. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re grandmother was very wise 🙂 I hear people get so heated, too heated about things that are really for discussion, not a battle. It elevates and at that point what is accomplished? Nothing that I ever see. What ever happened to being open-minded? Open to differences, of all kinds. That is when you learn. When you come across things that are different. Sadly, this has gotten lost some where along the way.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🙂 Well, getting irate does my nerves no good, so there’s a health aspect to neutralism, too(!) And absolutely: to be open-minded is to be open to development and growth of the mind and soul… I think some people’s egos like to think they “know it all” as soon as possible… in essence, the antithesis of wisdom, I think!
        Haha, what’s the wise phrase? “I know that I know nothing”… Plato, or Socrates. I think! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😉 I’m with you on the nerves. Pretty much why I keep it to myself on the subjects that I know people are going to go overboard on, and make a hasty exit if I start feeling my heartbeat. If you know what I mean 😉 It was Socrates, but Plato was doing the quoting. Yes, and he is wiser because he knows that he doesn’t know. People now have to be “know it alls” Because when you read the whole quote Kind of like what we are talking about.

        “I am wiser than this man; it is likely that neither of us knows anything worthwhile, but he thinks he knows something when he does not, whereas when I do not know, neither do I think I know; so I am likely to be wiser than he to this small extent, that I do not think I know when I do not know

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Yes, I know what you mean, entirely: here’s to hasty exits(!)
        Haha I nearly know my Athenians! Thank you for the whole quote — I must have read it years ago but the gist of it stayed with me. Know-it-all’s like to pounce on uncertainty, don’t they, almost as if it means weakness? Not that it’s anything new, when one considers the centuries-old problems of people who are ‘holier-than-thou’.
        Haha I could go on (and on) but I probably don’t need to!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Well and most of the time it isn’t uncertainty they pounce on its the “thought” of uncertainty. I find that most time because the person they are pouncing on knows much more but wishes not to get into it, so, it is taken for ignorance of the subject. They feel they know it all and want to exert that knowledge, not realizing the person they are trying to enlighten knows what they are talking about but chooses not to engage. If that makes sense 🙂 You can go on all you like. I enjoy talking with you, and it is your blogs comments section after all :):)

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Ah yes, that makes good sense… it’s often the more inwardly secure people who wear their intelligence lightly, as it were. 🙂
        (Haha, not me… I mostly just keep quiet and hope people think I’m clever. 😉 )
        Ah, too kind — ’tis a pleasure to converse with you, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on perfectlyfadeddelusions and commented:
    I can’t count how many time I have been called a bigot, xenophobe, islamophobe, homophobe, transphobe, racist, sexist, alt righter.

    I’m a classical liberal, libertarian.

    It upsets me that talking about politics, and discussing views comes down to name calling, and telling people to kill themselves.

    Great comment to Mindfumps post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I usually refuse to get into debates these days because both my own observations and a series of scientific studies agree that debating someone is most likely to cause them to dig in their heels even when confronted with a weight of fact and logic against their views. That is, it doesn’t change minds, but does the opposite most times.

    Having said that, I still enjoy a good discussion even with people I disagree with. Well, especially with them. I just listen and ask questions in order to understand their views, then lay out my own, and move on. The closest I come to debate is when I ask questions like, “Do you think x is a good reason for believing y?”

    I’ve been wondering whether what we’re seeing these days is the majority of people gone bonkers, or the lunatics become more vocal? I’m not sure which.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you’re taking the most sensible option: I don’t really debate much, either, unless it’s to possibly correct some erroneous information, if I know it to be so (and sometimes not even then).
      Ah yes, I think you definitely do what I do: halfway between a mild Devil’s Advocate and the “wise old owl” of the well-known poem? Haha, Paul, you make me think I’m doing something right!
      Hmm… well I’m hoping it’s just the lunatics being more vocal, but it could indeed be either: but I have to remind myself that reported “outrage” about certain things is often whipped up by media/social media… it’s hard to tell what the ‘real’ overall feeling about things is; after all, indifferent people do enjoy being silent, but silence is notoriously difficult to hear!

      Liked by 1 person

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