Re: Crocker's Rules (WAS: Women, fire...)
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 11:33:34 -0400

Eliezer writes: wrote:
> I've always construed the intent of Crocker's Rules as a >personal declaration of personal responsibility for personal >reactions. I don't say: "I can say anything I want to anyone, and >if they take offense, it's their fault." I say: "Anyone can say >anything they want to me, and if I take offense, it's my fault."

Thinking about Crocker's Rules, I conclude that they only work when two parties explicitly agree to abide by them.

Also, it seems to not promote emotional maturation or internal adjustment to the other person, but rather saying--You have to treat me the way I want to be treated, and I get to treat you the way I want to treat you. See, that's the pesky thing about basic ettiquette--it takes some amount of effort and may not be reciprocated. Is that a reason for abandoning it altogether?

>We can hope that this mental discipline will
>eventually spread, and drive out the sick culture of "manners" and
>"politeness" based on social dominance, politics, fear of >retribution, and the desire to avoid trouble.

According to cultural historians, 'manners' originated precisely to minimize threats of violence. Shaking with the right hand developed in the Middle Ages in order to show the other person that a weapon was not held in one's dominant hand. Passing on the right side developed for that same reason. People agreed to take on the responsibility of showing that they were not a violent threat to another person, in order to develop more complex patterns of interaction, such as economic exchange. Surely, as humans move away from an era of violent wars and into an era of increasing global economic and personal interaction, new methods of maintaining civility will develop.

Kathryn Aegis