Advanced search

Why is there no compromise any more?

(20 Posts)
OceanPacific Sun 14-Jun-20 11:10:17

Not really an AIBU, just musing, but I've noticed that there no longer seems to be room for the middle ground with arguments at the moment; everyone seems to take a polar point of view and it's their way or the highway.

For example: statues - either tear them down or leave them up. There's hardly any dialogue going on about how to modify them to make them reflect their stories more accurately.

JK Rowling: she's either a staunch feminist or she's a TERF, no-one seems to be looking and seeing that she can be neither.

There's a decrease in reasoned debate and compromise and so, so much anger these days. Why is this happening?

OP’s posts: |
Jumblebumblemess Sun 14-Jun-20 11:11:44


user8558 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:14:09

Debates have been increasingly polarised for a while now.

If you mill around the centre ground on anything your mocked for being and edge lord. The centre ground shouldn't be a radical space.

But it's usually the left that are driving this. I lean left on most things but I've seen for years now the pressure for idealogical purity. I.e if you're not completely with the most radical factions - it's because you're a tiny bit racist/transphobic etc etc

Sandybval Sun 14-Jun-20 11:14:26

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

user1471517900 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:17:17

There was loads of dialogue about the Colson statue.....however it meant nothing ever got done about it. Not even changing the plaque.

Similar with #BLM and a whole load of other things. That is why things appear extreme now, as so many peaceful less radical methods have led to precisely fuck all.

Pinkblueberry Sun 14-Jun-20 11:17:27

YANBU. I think too many people get a kick out of their own anger. They have no interest in reason or compromise because it’s not exciting enough.

OceanPacific Sun 14-Jun-20 11:18:07

idealogical purity - yes this.

OP’s posts: |
Eskarina1 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:31:01

I agree in general. But User is right about the statue of Colston. Colston Girls School had refused to change its name and held an annual celebration of Colston because he was a wonderful man who did amazing things with the money he unfortunately made through well maybe being a little bit connected to slavery which was probably a bad thing. They have taken his statue down and are looking at changing their name.

The Society of Merchant Venturers blocked changes to Colstons plaque two years ago. They've issued a full apology.

Compromise and polite discussion didn't work.

Similarly in the town where "The black" has been taken down for protection, those taking it down joked about lynching it and wearing white hoods.

When we have Nazi salutes and people joking about the KKK I think it's ok to be angry.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:33:47

It’s the same on lots of fora. People have a viewpoint and state it. Someone else has the opposite view and slates the first one. Before too long, it’s become polarised and personal.

We’ve lost the art of reasoned debate and compromise.

Cam2020 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:36:14

Don't agree with someone, you're a racist or water 'ist' happens to be the devil, depending on what of the week it is.

Bewareoftheblob Sun 14-Jun-20 11:39:25

Add to that the amount of people who are willing to break up friendships, marriages, cut contact with family because they've said something that offends their delicate sensibilities.

At the moment you're either on the 'wrong side of history' or you're right on. No room for critical thinking or diversity of thought. Really fucking scary, if you think about it.

LaurieFairyCake Sun 14-Jun-20 11:42:31

In times of struggle people revert to black and white thinking and extremism rises as it feels 'safer'.

On a human level if you're tired, worn out, anxious and frightened for the future then picking one 'side' is just easier.

When times are good and mental well-being is better humans are really flexible in their thinking.

Flexibility of thinking is the number 1 way imo of determining good mental health.

Pics Sun 14-Jun-20 11:47:37

This extends to peoples views of political parties. If you support a groups you are either a perfect person or a selfish idiot. No-one will ever admit that the party they do not like can ever do anything right and if they do it is some kind of twisted way of getting the upper hand. If fully expect not to agree with everything that a political party says or does, and i also appreciate that i never know the full story - so am not in a position to throw stones. But i don;t dare question anything online as i can't be bothered with stone throwing and hysteria that comes next.

BaileysforBreakfast Sun 14-Jun-20 11:49:20

There's a decrease in reasoned debate and compromise and so, so much anger these days. Why is this happening?

Brexit, IMO. Most divisive thing ever to have happened in my lifetime. It has divided the country into 'tribes'. There is a great tendency for people to jump on a particular bandwagon and then hitch lots of other 'causes' to that wagon. People are tribal so if they see 'their' supporting one issue, they will support other 'issues' those tribe leaders subscribe to without giving it much thought. Then the loudest tribe members spaff their opinions all over social media etc and demand people take either a 'pro' or 'anti' stance. Read any 'below the line' comments, or any vaguely political thread on MN and you will see people ascribing particular values to particular groups. There's a thread now on which certain posters imply (or outrightly state) that 'lefties' don't care about their country, for example.

There's also a dearth of critical thinking in this country which is responsible for a lack of nuance.

In reality, there are millions of people sitting quietly at home pondering various issues and concluding that they support certain aspects of a cause but not others, who can generally support a political party while still acknowledging its imperfections. Unfortunately, in our adversarial, winner-takes all political system of first-past-the-post, there is no room for all voices to be heard. You support this or your support that. You can't say this policy is good, but I don't like that one; you must hitch your wagon to one or the other. Unfortunately, if you're not on the 'winning' side your views will count for nothing and you will have no representation, which then leads to further division. Social media loves all this. Social media can also be manipulated with shills and bots steering 'debate' and fomenting even more division.

Sorry, this has all turned into a bit of a ramble!

NameChange84 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:51:03


As an aside I agree with the removal of the Colston statue as this has been an ongoing issue for decades.

But it’s got ridiculous. And I say that as a member of BAME community.

All issues have seemed polarised for years now; Brexit, Trans, Trump, Veganism, The Environment etc etc

There’s so much hate. Everyone has a loud, angry opinion. No one can actually argue or debate productively. Just endless rants and self importance.

I’ve been saying for years that politically we need to get back to the centre. But that’s just my opinion lol.

There’s a song in the musical Mean Girls (I know, I know blush) and it has these lyrics;

“I don’t need your good opinions, I have plenty of opinions, every asshole has opinions but that doesn’t make them true.”

And I always think of that now when I’m on the receiving end of a rant. People just can’t communicate anymore, many of the people in power are either horrendously PC or horrendously bigoted, the least educated are the loudest most yobbish and militant and want revenge on people who aren’t even oppressing them. We’ve got people who want to move the world on dramatically and people who want to drag it back 150 years and we have tiny little chimp brains that can’t deal with matters this complex.

We all need to calm the fuck down and learn how to a) research b) communicate c) think before we speak/post.

TinklyLittleLaugh Sun 14-Jun-20 11:53:37

People believe easy lies rather than problematic truths.

So lalala everything is luffley. Oh God no, how dare you try and make me really think about it!

cologne4711 Sun 14-Jun-20 11:54:10

there no longer seems to be room for the middle ground with arguments at the moment; everyone seems to take a polar point of view and it's their way or the highway

Yes this has been the case for some time, and explains Brexit and Trump for example. If you constantly tell people their views are unacceptable and refuse to accept there are nuances, then they will head towards the extremes.

I suppose social media also polarises.

AgeLikeWine Sun 14-Jun-20 12:00:30

I blame the rise of social media, which is designed to divide, polarise, create echo chambers and generate confirmation bias.

The appallingly toxic ‘debate’ about Trans issues on this site and others is an excellent example.

OceanPacific Sun 14-Jun-20 12:28:52

I agree with the social media impact - definitely. Twitter's character limit has been the most responsible IMO - people want their voice heard and can't be arsed to do an extended tweet, so they use far more aggressive / emotive language to make their point.

OP’s posts: |
Cam77 Sun 14-Jun-20 12:32:58

People believe easy lies rather than problematic truths.
Also, many people (both left and right) prefer posturing for cheap self-aggrandizing rather than offering practical (often not so cool or radical solutions).

This infects everything from climate change debate (let’s just ban everything!) Brexit (Freeeeddoommmm!!), Feminism (it’s all men’s fault- all of it!!), Race, etc etc
Cheap and pointless posturing with click bait titles rules the roost.

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in