Besides the institutional aspects of civil society, there is the normative dimension of civility – which means a spirit of non-violence, mutual tolerance, and respect. Civil society institutions are supposed to deal with one another and with citizens in general in such a spirit, regardless of differences in belief, political conviction, lifestyle, and organizational affiliation. There are scholars who prefer not to include this criterion of civility in the definition of a civil society institution. The inclusion of civility among the criteria for membership in civil society certainly carries complications. Yet, at the very least, we might state that the prevalence of a spirit of civility is essential for the maintenance of a stable, inclusive, and pluralist civil society and is, thus, a necessary social good ingredient of it. It is important to realize, however, that (collective) actors may emerge in the realm of civil society that is not so civil in terms of their final objectives and even some of their current activities. As far as final objectives are concerned, 19th and 20th-century history during which the “energies of groups, such as missionary movements and religious and trade union associations… fought for their right to survive and thrive as civil associations by using universalist language that threatened the principle of plurality upon which civil societies thrive.”
Any civil society is beset by tension, conflicts, and contradictions between interests. In this vein, civil society tends to paralyze and undermine its own pluralism. These tensions and conflicts constitute also civil society’s endogenous sources of incivility. Violence is not simply the antithesis of civil society;” rather, every known form of civil society tends to produce this same violent antithesis, thereby preventing it from becoming a haven of non-violent harmony. The case of currents to shows us as well that the same ideology or even the same movement can give rise to peaceful and civil as well as to violent and uncivil trends. Judgment is that, since the concept of civility does provide an important normative framework for a balanced and pluralist civil society, the activities of civil society actors must conform to a minimum of civility in order to be classified within the realm of civil society. A certain tolerance and respect for the rights of others are basic in this regard. Groups whose main objectives and types of social good action contradict this distance themselves from the realm of civil society. However, as is the case with the system/lifeworld divide, while a distinction between civility and incivility can be drawn, there is no clear dividing line between the two phenomena. Civility may disintegrate or degenerate into incivility, and incivility may evolve into civility under certain circumstances. Yet, consensus on where the boundaries between civility and incivility lie are non-existent. Crossing the line of civility by taking physical action against objects and devices that pollute the maritime environment is a question that will always give rise to disagreement.
CIVIL SOCIETY: INDIVIDUAL OR COMMUNITY?
The concept of civility relates primarily to peaceful relations among the individual members as well as the organizations of (civil) society themselves, rather than to the institutional relationship with the state as well as with the economy. This dimension touches upon another kind of contradistinction: that which exists between civil society and the individual. Civil society is supposed to transcend the self-interest and egoism of individuals by providing for solidarity within associational frameworks. A civil society defined by individual freedom and liberties (often negatively formulated in terms of a rejection of interference by state and community) is contrasted with a communalistic one based upon religious injunctions regarding social responsibilities and justice. This raises the question of how a liberal civil society, based primarily on “individual liberty” relates to a religiously inspired civil society, based on “moral and social responsibility:” a “rights”- based approach versus a “duty”- based approach.
SOCIAL GOOD MESSAGE
Sparrows by morning, live in peaceful nests! Design shouldn’t dominate things, shouldn’t dominate people. It should help people. Don’t spend your time solving your favorite problems, solve problems that need to be solved, generically. A home is a place where you live, and society is a place where your story begins. Honesty shares honesty, as it is honesty’s nature. Stay always in Ablution and get back to the trust you have been, with.