Why is civility so important in a free society?
Civility in a free society means more than simply being polite. Civility, shaped in large part by humility, is to acknowledge that those whose opinions differ from ours might be right and we might be wrong. Civility is that “step back” we take when confronted by differing ideas and opinions. Civility is seeing other people as people and not as objects.
Civility allows us to separate the rules of competition from, say, sports and politics – while both are certainly competitive, sports permits the objectification of opponents (which is why acts of magnanimity in sports are always surprising) whereas the cause of freedom requires citizens to rise above objectification of opponents and humbly consider the differences in opinion of others as equal human beings.
Research Study: Civility in America
Blog: Decline of civility
Podcast : Civility in communication
Podcast: Civility defined
Book: Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in American Politics