Light Guidance on Civil and Progressive Discourse for the IPPG
From the discussion, "Reminder about Site Guidelines, Please Engage in Civil Discussion", Craig Zelizer, under whose aegis this site runs, suggested lifting what at the the moment are conclusions on it to this front-page kind of space.
I (James) said:
We have pretty good body of talk from this group, from its start to today, so I will tack on here some practical guidance to help keep the daggers sheathed.
1. Address the issue, not the person.
a. In this category, I think we're going to be able to short list recurring themes, from "Holocaust denial" to denial of the potential or presence of accommodating personalities--we have a lot of lurkers here (about 80 members)--to have done with them, just as one retires trite and tired tropes.
2. Agendas. Reconsider one's own. In the ME Conflict, peace is not about "winning" or "prevailing"--in the modern way, it may turn out more about reflecting and redesigning, albeit with regional and global resonance.
3. From Landmark's mantras, remember: "Get off it" and "You don't know what you don't know"; also "Try not to put the past in front of you." Universally, we have our dark spaces (repair) and unconsidered dark spaces (find them), obsessions (modify), and grievances (let go a little): go through the baggage, lighten the load, and count on occassional moments of great insight.
4. Power is not necessarily Good and Good is not necessarily Power. Speak well and do good first and foremost.
I think we both agree that moderation must be a bit more active from now on and that your first point ("address the issue, not the person") is the most important guideline of all.
Be friendly. Be respectful. Be tolerant. Be open-minded. Don't judge people by what they say or how they say it. Try to engage, not to preach.
And always remember: 'Our' topic is one of the 'hottest' topics in international conflict studies. Everyone here can make a change by distancing oneself from the hardliners in the respective political and religious camps.
And Craig said:
Thanks. Maybe you can post this on the main page of the group.
I say: done.