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Taking Offense

by Peter Rose 4 years ago in opinion

What If the Majority Have to Be Right, by Definition

Taking Offense.

There is a great deal of media and social media attention given to complaints by somebody taking offense at some remark or action by others. To any rational person who is not directly involved, the offended person often appears to be getting agitated over very little. In our modern world where gratuitous abuse can be heaped on another anonymously, without any responsibility for accuracy or let alone good manners, it is really hard for any sensible appraisal of the reality to be made.

Offense is defined as; annoyance, displeasure or resentment.

All of us can feel annoyance when another disagrees with us, so by this definition any one disagreeing with me, about anything at all, is causing an offense. This has always been the case. What is new is the reaction when anyone is offended.

The modern change is that the offended person now seems to really believe that those giving offense must be prevented from doing so. This is absurd, if two people disagree about which sports team is the best, are they both to be prevented from having their opinions, because each is giving offense to the other? When someone on social media claims others should not hold the view that socialism is a bad way to govern, this is an opposing of opinion. Each have a right to their opinion and they have a right to voice that opinion. There should not be any attempt to silence either view. Forcing or attempting to force, a person to change their views is a totally different situation. The unjustified use of violence to suppress another opinion is a violation of the law. It is not about causing annoyance, it is breaking the legal framework of society.

The rise of political correctness appears to be an attempt to suppress differing opinions, without violence, but by creating a quasi-official censorship of what may be said. Who is doing the attempting and what authority they have for attempting this, is impossible to accurately establish. Observation suggests it is mostly left of center political intellectuals who establish themselves as judge, jury, and lawmakers; all rolled into one unaccountable group. How they achieve enforcement of their views is just as hard to pin down. It seems that they have like-minded people in control of sections of the press, the public broadcasting organizations, and among senior bureaucrats in western governments. Through this network of homogeneous thinkers, they decree which opinion is “acceptable” and which not. They also appear to have the arrogance to actually believe that, not only are their opinions correct but that holding an opposing opinion should not be tolerated. It is this arrogance that caused the shock when the majority of the people voted for President Trump and for Britain to leave the EU. Because they do not believe anyone can sensibly hold an opinion that differs from their own, they found it inconceivable that the majority of people disagreed with them.

These creators of what is politically correct have also, inadvertently, also created a culture where being offended leads to claims that the cause of the offense should be punished or at least restrained from causing further offense. Now that a choice of words or a strongly held opinion, that differs from that of any section of society, can be seen as being “not politically correct,” then it follows the being offended by those words can call for retribution. The same justification does not apply to others, even when in a democratic majority, if they are labeled as being “not politically correct.”

What if the situation becomes reversed and the majority start to exercise their right to label differing views as being unacceptable? What if being politically correct only becomes acceptable if the view is also that of the majority? The present elite who foist their own views on everyone else will not like having to be in tune with the majority, they feed their own false sense of entitlement by considering themselves to be superior to the “common person ” or majority of people. If the unwritten rules are changed so that the only acceptable beliefs and the only acceptable expression of belief, is that which agrees with the majority, then we would have true democracy but also a very rebellious elite.


Peter Rose

Collections of "my" vocal essays with additions, are available as printed books ASIN 197680615 and 1980878536 also some fictional works and some e books available at Amazon;-


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