A teenager comes home late from a party to find her mother waiting quietly at the doorstep. The mother points at the clock and asks where on earth her daughter had been all night. The teenager skulked out of the room. Mom had to stay firm, for it was two hours past curfew and her daughter never called. The punishment was simple: one week without a car. But the teenager raged about the house, hurling insults at her mother, slamming doors, and wailing about how it was all “so unfair”. It was then that her agitated father rose from his slumber, stomped to her room and raised that dreaded one week sentence to a month.
Daniel J. Boorstin warned of behavior such as this in his book The Decline of Radicalism It describes how dissenting behavior is a “symptom, an expression, a consequence, and a cause of all others” and how it differs from civil disagreement. Disagreements show two opinions presented out of logic, producing new ideas and change. Dissent is spiteful, often arrogant; alienating the minority that uses it in an argument. Had the teenage girl come to h...
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