"You know, it’s really hard to shoot at someone you just shared a hot dog with the day before."
@2 days ago with 122 notes
An unnamed man who participates in a monthly block party in Chesterfield County, VA, just south of Richmond. The parties—just one facet of local nonprofit which works in the neighborhood—are credited with building a sense of community that has helped lower crime rates.
What struck me about this comment is that it is so widely applicable, even on the foreign policy scale. When you get to know people, when you eat with them and they become your customers, it’s a lot more difficult to view them as the scary Other which deserves to be the target of war.
As Bastiat (maybe) said, “When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.”
This is one reason I love the internet: It makes it easier to meet people from all around the world. It’s not as good as a block party, but it’s way better than nothing. Below is a video from a couple years ago which encapsulates exactly what I mean:
I’m not an official representative of my country. but I know the streets of my town, I talk with my neighbors, my family, my friends and in the name of all these people …we love you.
We mean you no harm.
On the contrary, we want to meet, have some coffee and talk about sports.
Exposure is a genuine antidote to hate. Things like tariffs and minimum wages simply work to strengthen pre-existing prejudices, as they remove an available economic incentive to look beyond one’s favored parties.
It is freedom and cooperation, not restrictions and force, that can truly topple intolerance.