Like a moving see saw or a swaying pendulum, groups of people who have passionate views about the way societies should be run are limbering up in several parts of the world to decide whose world view should prevail for some time. Only one side can win at a time in an election, referendum, or any other political moment of reckoning. Does this mean that the opposing point of view can be somehow extinguished or silenced?
Even in authoritarian political systems, the powers that be tend be mindful of the thoughts and activities of their opponents. Anyone who has lived in a society led by autocrats will be aware of the need to be careful about expressing alternative views in random spaces.
Is it possible for interest groups with diverging views to agree to disagree? Perhaps there are circumstances where it makes most sense to let sleeping dogs lie. Once a can of worms is opened up, who can predict the outcome of ensuing events?
There are some important lessons to be learnt from the current unsettled state of affairs. Elitist breeding shouldn’t be conflated with wisdom, gravitas or the ability to lead others effectively, for example.
Is it easy to give up cultural habits that have been passed on from generation to generation?