Toxic in the extreme and not desired in a democracy
I believe that it was Clint Eastwood that explained the worthiness of opinions best: “Well, opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one.” Let us acknowledge from the start that opinions do not carry the same weight. They ought not to. A specialist’s opinion should mean more than that of a non-specialist when in his specialist field. That is why you pay through your neck to speak to professional people, doctors, accountants, lawyers, engineers, the experts capable of giving you good advice. Mostly the system works fine as long as you keep a healthy sense of balance. Or in plain English, some opinions are simply not worth as much as others.
This healthy balance has now all but disappeared. The internet arrived and it opened the door for everybody’s opinion to be heard or at least be stated for all to admire or hate. If it ended like that, all good, a rant is sometimes a good thing and not always toxic. However, it did not stay at merely stating an opinion. Now it is a matter of life and death and at times outright trolling those that disagree with you. An active hatred arose and one where opinions are forced upon people. Friendships have been lost or irreparably damaged by Facebook/social media comments and replies. Courts had to intervene in extreme cases and no doubt elections are being swayed by simply banning “other” opinions, whether to the left or the right. That, folks, is called censorship as much as you have in North Korea and in the old Soviet Union. It is not free debate and exchange of ideas. It is evil and unhealthy.
What is worse is that now we find that actions taken on unwelcome opinions became radicalized. If someone disagrees with you, or do not agree immediately with your opinion on whatever subject, that person is immediately classified as the enemy. He is then hounded off social media, the internet and fired from his job for stating his opinion. In other words, the consequences of stating a different opinion became perilous today. So perilous that many will not dare to state their opinion in public anymore. Books are removed and websites banned for having different opinions. Yet, certain ones are left alone to be forced upon everyone else since that is all to see. This is the same as burning a book as happened in Nazi Germany. There is no difference whatsoever. In politics, this is known as a “one-party state” and seen as bad. It also shows a complete lack of respect by those that became so radical in thought to be “always right” and hating, yes, hating, those that disagree. We are now in an era of censorship through fear. Not even universities have the freedom of a robust exchange of opinion anymore. The next step will be violence to enforce your opinion which is called anarchism among educated people. It is already happening legally with enforcing lockdown rules that have no scientific base or at best widely discredited and differentiating opinions by the experts on it, i.e. the forced wearing of masks. Those that point out the lack of conformity of expert opinion are shamed and fined heavily. Let me not even write again on the tracking and tracing done for your own good and has nothing to do with your own good but failed, scared, and pathetically inadequate politicians that are covering their asses. That is called a police state among educated people. You just cannot see it yet.
I must ask. Are the above what you really want? Is this your intention? Does it really matter if your opinion is not abided to? Are you that important or that arrogant to think that you know everything? Is there a need to be violent to bring your unsought-for opinion across? Not that it is violence to “dox” a fellow in the hope that he suffers physical harm, loses his job, and with a bit of luck, even his life. That equates violence. You have malicious intent. Get that! It is the same as putting a hit on someone. It will have consequences even for you feeling so safe behind your keyboard. You can be sued and you should be. Think carefully if this is worth the time and effort. Will the hatred of differencing opinions have a good ending?
No. In my opinion, based upon almost 30 years of law and counterterrorism, no. Not at all. And at the end of the day, who cares what you have to say or what your non-expert mates have to say? It is just an opinion and everyone has one as Mr Eastwood said so long ago. It should not be taken so seriously. Frankly, 99.9% of the opinions out there are not even based upon any known expertise but emotion. Or in other words, useless and of no great value. And that is the problem, opinions are taken too seriously. The logical consequence is fascism where you will not be allowed any opinion at all. I am afraid, this too is with us already. See as an example the Australians flooding police reports on people breaking the Corona rules. See the telecoms companies in Europe tracking people and giving the data to the authorities without any legal justification. See the fear among ordinary people. It will get much worse.
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