“Lack of Communication”

The American revolution cannot be understood unless it is possible to see each party to the dispute through the eyes of its opponent. We often speak rather glibly today of the tensions and hostilities between groups in our society as being caused by “lack of communication.” On closer examination this loose phrase seems to mean that each faction must make a special effort to understand the needs, fears, ambitions, and apprehensions of the other. Certain words may, for instance, have quite a different meaning to people with different backgrounds, who have undergone quite different processes of “socialization.” It is evident that the colonists saw several Englands, none of which corresponded very closely to the real England. This is, of course, not surprising, because a poll of Englishmen themselves would doubtless have turned up as many different Englands as there were classes and traditional orders.

Page Smith, in “A New Age Now Begins” p. 184

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