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Old 22nd October 2019, 05:26 AM   #1
uke2se
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Why we shouldn't be talking to reactionaries

First off, I've got most of our resident reactionaries on ignore. The reason for this I will outline below.

Postmodern conservatives - which is the most prolific current of conservatism - are an unusual bunch in that they aren't really followers of an ideology, but rather a set of affects. It's about reacting to something or creating a situation in a way as to effect a negative emotion on a perceived other. They will assume political positions, but only in service of the previously mentioned. This is the reason that they will almost inevitably appear to hold a position one day that is diametrically opposed to one they held the day before. The objective is the "debate" and the negative emotions this create in the opponents. With few exceptions, this is the type of "conservative" we encounter here, or in most online spaces.

"Not all conservatives" and so on, but this is the most visible and audible group.

The nature of this philosophy is to gravitate towards ever more extreme positions, and as it isn't about outright lying about your position but rather about sincerely believing every argument until it's no longer advantageous, the philosophy also tends to lead to expressions of violence when there's no where more extreme to go.

As there is no tangible position to argue against that isn't simply "whatever makes the --insert group I hate here-- mad", there is no point in discussing anything with adherents of this philosophy. In fact, doing so only validates the postmodern conservatives. Their vapid opinions being treated seriously is taken as validation that they are correct. Their vapid opinions being mocked is taken as validation that they are correct because their 'enemy' thinks differently.

My advice for a better forum experience: Do not engage. Ignore the poster and instead, discuss the pathology behind the behaviour with other forumites. This isn't about silencing opinions. It's about discarding dishonest opinions held out of pure spite. We are dealing with something that cannot be argued away. De-radicalization is needed, and that's a long process that we aren't equipped to handle here. In fact, we are likely to make things much worse.

For those few conservative posters here and elsewhere on the internet who feel annoyed and unfairy targeted by this post: if you have sincerely held beliefs that are subject to change as facts are presented, and don't simply consist of "gotta own the libs", you aren't the ones being discussed here.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 06:03 AM   #2
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There's always Atheism+ for those who are scared of "conservatives" and looking for a more authoritarian hive-mind internet posting experience.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 06:07 AM   #3
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I've said it before, I'm saying it now, I'll say it again. I'll say it until the end of time.

"Just ignore them" only works on people who are powerless. Ignoring people who have the actual ability to affect change is a bad idea.

When you cut people out of the conversation they will seek other, often more damaging, ways to express their opinions.

That's how 45% of the country turned into that one racist uncle everybody had growing you only saw on Thanksgiving. He's now an archetypal angry shut-in who lives on the internet and only leaves his house once every four years... problem is that's to vote.

Cutting toxic, can't be reasoned with people out of your life might be better for (g)you, but it certainly isn't better for everyone.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 06:55 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I've said it before, I'm saying it now, I'll say it again. I'll say it until the end of time.

"Just ignore them" only works on people who are powerless. Ignoring people who have the actual ability to affect change is a bad idea.

When you cut people out of the conversation they will seek other, often more damaging, ways to express their opinions.

That's how 45% of the country turned into that one racist uncle everybody had growing you only saw on Thanksgiving. He's now an archetypal angry shut-in who lives on the internet and only leaves his house once every four years... problem is that's to vote.

Cutting toxic, can't be reasoned with people out of your life might be better for (g)you, but it certainly isn't better for everyone.
I'm not saying you should ignore them. I'm saying you shouldn't engage them in conversation. You will not win any argument, and the only purpose served is to validate the person on the other side, no matter what he or she stands for.

Note, this applies to internet converstations. I should have made that clear. If you have loved ones that behave like this, you should absolutely try to de-radicalize them if you feel up to it. There needs to be a personal connection for that kind of thing to work. It doesn't work over the internet.
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Last edited by uke2se; 22nd October 2019 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 07:05 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I'm not saying you should ignore them. I'm saying you shouldn't engage them in conversation.
Yes, you are:

Quote:
My advice for a better forum experience: Do not engage. Ignore the poster and instead,
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Old 22nd October 2019, 07:10 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Yes, you are:



Hans
Ok, fair enough, I expressed myself incorrectly. You should absolutely ignore posters on these forums that behave like this. You should not, nor can you, ignore people in power than behave like this. You also should not ignore loved ones that behave like this, but to engage loved ones you really need to know what you're getting into.

Is that cleared up for you?
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Old 22nd October 2019, 07:21 AM   #7
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The OP seems to be describing trolls. Convince me I'm wrong? Other than that, I don't disagree.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 07:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I'm not saying you should ignore them. I'm saying you shouldn't engage them in conversation.
That's a distinction without difference.

Quote:
You will not win any argument, and the only purpose served is to validate the person on the other side, no matter what he or she stands for.
I don't care. Arguing with the dense is not always for their benefit. There is nothing gained, in any scenario, by casually giving them an unopposed soapbox.

Quote:
Note, this applies to internet converstations. I should have made that clear. If you have loved ones that behave like this, you should absolutely try to de-radicalize them if you feel up to it. There needs to be a personal connection for that kind of thing to work. It doesn't work over the internet.
A portion of the population gets most of their information and engages with other people primarily on the internet. I'm not going to put some exact percentage on it to be nitpicked to death and back but it's enough to not be ignorable.

And besides this is how it always go. We make being showy deals of "ignoring" insanity when it manifest in small, insular communities because it's less stress on us. Then it festers and grows and becomes self feeding and we can't stop up when it crosses over into the mainstream and act surprised.

We'd have a lot fewer Nazis in public office now if we hadn't been browbeaten into "Just ignoring" the Nazi on the webforum 10 years ago.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
I'm saying you shouldn't engage them in conversation. You will not win any argument, and the only purpose served is to validate the person on the other side, no matter what he or she stands for.
Maybe you shouldn't think of winning arguments, but of exhanging views?

Your advice is good, solid Sour Grapes advice: If you're feeling frustrated because things aren't going your way, consider taking a break, or finding a different activity to occupy your mind.

But being frustrated because people don't always think the way you want them to think, and don't alway want to let you "win" a conversation, is a personal problem, not a general problem. It works for you, because that's where you are, personally. It doesn't necessarily work as general advice.

This advice is about managing hate. Don't validate people by having a conversation with them? That's hate. People who aren't as frustrated, that the object of their hate hasn't gotten the hint and changed their spots, don't really need this advice.

And look what message you're sending to everyone you don't yet have on ignore: You're here to win arguments, and you don't want to waste time validating anyone who doesn't agree with you. I predict that no matter how long your ignore list grows, you'll still be frustrated.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:57 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
First off, I've got most of our resident reactionaries on ignore. The reason for this I will outline below.

Postmodern conservatives - which is the most prolific current of conservatism - are an unusual bunch in that they aren't really followers of an ideology, but rather a set of affects. It's about reacting to something or creating a situation in a way as to effect a negative emotion on a perceived other. They will assume political positions, but only in service of the previously mentioned. This is the reason that they will almost inevitably appear to hold a position one day that is diametrically opposed to one they held the day before. The objective is the "debate" and the negative emotions this create in the opponents. With few exceptions, this is the type of "conservative" we encounter here, or in most online spaces.

"Not all conservatives" and so on, but this is the most visible and audible group.

The nature of this philosophy is to gravitate towards ever more extreme positions, and as it isn't about outright lying about your position but rather about sincerely believing every argument until it's no longer advantageous, the philosophy also tends to lead to expressions of violence when there's no where more extreme to go.

As there is no tangible position to argue against that isn't simply "whatever makes the --insert group I hate here-- mad", there is no point in discussing anything with adherents of this philosophy. In fact, doing so only validates the postmodern conservatives. Their vapid opinions being treated seriously is taken as validation that they are correct. Their vapid opinions being mocked is taken as validation that they are correct because their 'enemy' thinks differently.

My advice for a better forum experience: Do not engage. Ignore the poster and instead, discuss the pathology behind the behaviour with other forumites. This isn't about silencing opinions. It's about discarding dishonest opinions held out of pure spite. We are dealing with something that cannot be argued away. De-radicalization is needed, and that's a long process that we aren't equipped to handle here. In fact, we are likely to make things much worse.

For those few conservative posters here and elsewhere on the internet who feel annoyed and unfairy targeted by this post: if you have sincerely held beliefs that are subject to change as facts are presented, and don't simply consist of "gotta own the libs", you aren't the ones being discussed here.
As you are a relative new comer... allow me to quote from the "New members - Useful info" section of this forum:

"be prepared for people to disagree with claims or statements that you make. Do not take offence if people disagree with your opinion, and dissect it or refute it."
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
This advice is about managing hate. Don't validate people by having a conversation with them? That's hate.
No, it isn't. It's indifference.

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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
No, it isn't. It's indifference.
If it's indifference, why post it at all? I'm indifferent on a lot of subjects so I spend zero time on them.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:28 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
No, it isn't. It's indifference.
Indifference is indifferent to the problem of validating people who disagree with you. The OP is clearly not indifferent to this problem. Quite the opposite.

In any case, "don't validate people" reads as hate to me, in pretty much every context.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
First off, I've got most of our resident reactionaries on ignore. The reason for this I will outline below.

Postmodern conservatives - which is the most prolific current of conservatism - are an unusual bunch in that they aren't really followers of an ideology, but rather a set of affects. It's about reacting to something or creating a situation in a way as to effect a negative emotion on a perceived other. They will assume political positions, but only in service of the previously mentioned. This is the reason that they will almost inevitably appear to hold a position one day that is diametrically opposed to one they held the day before. The objective is the "debate" and the negative emotions this create in the opponents. With few exceptions, this is the type of "conservative" we encounter here, or in most online spaces.

"Not all conservatives" and so on, but this is the most visible and audible group.

The nature of this philosophy is to gravitate towards ever more extreme positions, and as it isn't about outright lying about your position but rather about sincerely believing every argument until it's no longer advantageous, the philosophy also tends to lead to expressions of violence when there's no where more extreme to go.

As there is no tangible position to argue against that isn't simply "whatever makes the --insert group I hate here-- mad", there is no point in discussing anything with adherents of this philosophy. In fact, doing so only validates the postmodern conservatives. Their vapid opinions being treated seriously is taken as validation that they are correct. Their vapid opinions being mocked is taken as validation that they are correct because their 'enemy' thinks differently.

My advice for a better forum experience: Do not engage. Ignore the poster and instead, discuss the pathology behind the behaviour with other forumites. This isn't about silencing opinions. It's about discarding dishonest opinions held out of pure spite. We are dealing with something that cannot be argued away. De-radicalization is needed, and that's a long process that we aren't equipped to handle here. In fact, we are likely to make things much worse.

For those few conservative posters here and elsewhere on the internet who feel annoyed and unfairy targeted by this post: if you have sincerely held beliefs that are subject to change as facts are presented, and don't simply consist of "gotta own the libs", you aren't the ones being discussed here.
As a more or less staunch conservative, I'd be honored if you would put me on ignore if you have not already.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 12:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
The OP seems to be describing trolls. Convince me I'm wrong? Other than that, I don't disagree.
I both agree and disagree. As a "why I shouldn't be talking to reactionaries" solution, I agree: If that's what the OP needs, then that's what he needs. Who am I to tell him it's not working for him? As a "why all of you shouldn't be talking to reactionaries" solution, I disagree. He's turning a personal challenge into a general rule, and that's no good.

As for convincing you you're wrong? I'm not sure I could, and I don't want to try. But here's how I see it: He seems to be saying that people who disagree with him and don't let him "win" conversations are triggering, in much the same way as trolls are triggering. And therefore, the solution for avoiding being triggered by trolls will work here, too: don't engage them. It won't stop them from disagreeing with you. It won't stop them from getting the last word, and "winning" the conversation. But ignoring them will stop you from getting triggered by them all the time.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 01:25 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
Ok, fair enough, I expressed myself incorrectly. You should absolutely ignore posters on these forums that behave like this. You should not, nor can you, ignore people in power than behave like this. You also should not ignore loved ones that behave like this, but to engage loved ones you really need to know what you're getting into.

Is that cleared up for you?
Oh, I know what to do .

Hans
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Old 22nd October 2019, 03:41 PM   #17
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People don't really use the ignore function do they ? I don't get it, it's much more fun do do your ignoring manually and simply scroll past the post and watch it disappear off the top of the screen, like an angel that's grown wings and is off to Heaven.

Speaking of death. I erred earlier. Atheism+ ate a shotgun barrel a couple of years ago after a long illness so it's no longer a recommended destination should this turn into a flounce thread.

The rather ironically named Free Thought Blogs is still accepting acolytes. Not a conservative in sight over there. Fun Fact, I was banned over there for saying that I hauled a bunch of beer into a bush party using a trumpline.

And there's always The Orbit however it appears to be decaying and night soon burn up.

Good luck out there.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 03:49 PM   #18
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Talking to reactionaries for many isn't going to be very useful, but talking with them can be.

You have to understand that they aren't going to argue in good faith. You aren't going to convince them and they don't actually value any argument you or they produce, even if they wish they did. However, it can be productive to talk with them but to an audience. A lot of people who run with reactionaries or are just near them don't realize just how much utter ******** the arguments and views are, and how quickly a lot of them fall to pieces under the slightest examination. There are more than a few on the road to becoming radicalized that can be shocked out of it with just the slightest bit of fact, or reasoning, or even perspective.

And of course there are some boundless kindness and understanding people who can indeed help by addressing directly extremists.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 04:00 PM   #19
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To begin with ,how do you define a reactionary?
FOr some people anybody to the right of Karl Marx is a reactionary.
Second, I don't think it's a good idea to be so utterly intolerant of somebody whos opinion you don't agree with.
Third, it is just a little bit too remininiscent of the way Trump worshippers behave.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 04:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Stout View Post
People don't really use the ignore function do they ? I don't get it, it's much more fun do do your ignoring manually and simply scroll past the post and watch it disappear off the top of the screen, like an angel that's grown wings and is off to Heaven.

Speaking of death. I erred earlier. Atheism+ ate a shotgun barrel a couple of years ago after a long illness so it's no longer a recommended destination should this turn into a flounce thread.

The rather ironically named Free Thought Blogs is still accepting acolytes. Not a conservative in sight over there. Fun Fact, I was banned over there for saying that I hauled a bunch of beer into a bush party using a trumpline.

And there's always The Orbit however it appears to be decaying and night soon burn up.

Good luck out there.

I use the ignore function, but it generally for people I consider trolls rather then people I might not agree with.
<snip>
And, with the ignore function you have in this forum, you have the option of looking at the individual posts of people you ignore.


Edited by Loss Leader:  Edited for Rules 0/12.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 06:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
As you are a relative new comer... allow me to quote from the "New members - Useful info" section of this forum:

"be prepared for people to disagree with claims or statements that you make. Do not take offence if people disagree with your opinion, and dissect it or refute it."


Yup. Happens all the time and sometimes really gets to the core of something. I find it a better feature of here.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 07:00 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Talking to reactionaries for many isn't going to be very useful, but talking with them can be.

You have to understand that they aren't going to argue in good faith. You aren't going to convince them and they don't actually value any argument you or they produce, even if they wish they did. However, it can be productive to talk with them but to an audience. A lot of people who run with reactionaries or are just near them don't realize just how much utter ******** the arguments and views are, and how quickly a lot of them fall to pieces under the slightest examination. There are more than a few on the road to becoming radicalized that can be shocked out of it with just the slightest bit of fact, or reasoning, or even perspective.

And of course there are some boundless kindness and understanding people who can indeed help by addressing directly extremists.
That's pretty much my philosophy, too.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:32 PM   #23
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Why is this in current events? Is your opinion about the forum that important? Looking at the responses I would say it is not because nobody has agreed with you.

I have no issue with the poster in general but when someone comes on here and tries to tell the rest of how to behave, and even starts a thread about it, the arrogance is hard to stomach.

And to go so far as to recommend people use the ignore feature...not a good look. I have no beef with the OP and don't want to personalize this anymore so I'm done.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:35 PM   #24
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thread is looking shaky.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 08:58 PM   #25
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Maybe it's time to discuss the pathologies that led to the behavior the OP has exhibited in this thread? First, it's obvious that he has a controlling personality; he feels compelled to tell people that they are doing it all wrong. Second, he's clearly insecure; hence the need to "win" every argument. Third, notice the unspoken assumption that he would win every argument if it weren't for the unfair tactics of the reactionaries. Delusions of grandeur mingled with a little projection, anybody?

You're right, this is kind of fun.
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Old 22nd October 2019, 09:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Stout View Post
There's always Atheism+ for those who are scared of "conservatives" and looking for a more authoritarian hive-mind internet posting experience.
Touché.

(See my posts in the elevatorgate threads.)
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Old 22nd October 2019, 10:42 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Stout View Post
People don't really use the ignore function do they ? I don't get it, it's much more fun do do your ignoring manually and simply scroll past the post and watch it disappear off the top of the screen, like an angel that's grown wings and is off to Heaven.
Personally? I absolutely do, and have a few dozen people who have expressed outright racist/sexist/etc. opinions, or who seem entirely unable to engage in reasonable argument. Mostly the former, and mostly people who are either inactive or banned (ElfGrinder, TBD, and logger are all obvious examples that I can use safely, but there are others, some still active). My reasoning is simple - it's a reminder not to bother reading these people, and generally also ignore replies to them.

Will I do so on occasion, if I think that replying to them will provide info for others? Yes, if I notice that people are missing an important point (around here, this is rare), but I feel no obligation to do so, particularly when I can wander into any old public space and hear the exact same bigoted garbage, whether stated seriously or to "own the libs", and regardless of whether or not I actually *want* to listen to their crap. - and especially since, as I keep saying, the most oversensitive people in the US are white male reactionary Christians like this fella.

It was no less than Ronald Reagan who argued that the most frightening words were "I'm from the government and I'm here to help", while also actively looking for a way to overturn Brown vs. Board and bring back Jim Crow laws, and simply shrugging his shoulders at the HIV epidemic. The same "skeptics" who whine about "safe spaces" also have gone to extremes to turn video games, comic books, RPGs, and entertainment in general into "safe spaces" for pseudo-conservative young white men, and the Nazi wannabes who wish to recruit them.

The bigots on this forum? They're the losers of the trolls and bigots that make up modern-day republicanism and US pseudo-conservatism. They aren't major political figures, they're not the guys on Youtube selling overpriced coffee mugs or pills that promise an Underdog-esque energy boost. They're the ones that listen to this crap, vote against their own economic and political self-interests, and throw money at the scammers because they think white/straight/Christian solidarity is more important. They're the whales in lootcrate-based video games, the pigeons in pigeon drops. The chumps.

In short, this small group with an always-changing active membership isn't worth reading 99% of the time, so why not just put them on ignore to remind myself of that simple fact, in case I don't see them for a year or two? Furthermore, why would I bother arguing with people who are hellbent on seeing others harmed to the point where they take their own suffering as acceptable, when I could be talking to people who...well, who aren't that pathetic?

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I've said it before, I'm saying it now, I'll say it again. I'll say it until the end of time.

"Just ignore them" only works on people who are powerless. Ignoring people who have the actual ability to affect change is a bad idea.
Being Afro-Latino, I'm immediately stereotyped by those dopes as a person who "hates white people" and "just wants welfare" or "revenge for slavery", even when discussing my career and circle of friends. Again, white supremacism is ultimately a problem for white people to solve - I don't have any racist uncles that sit around raging along with Fox News. And the people you're describing are primed to write off anything and everything I say, but would listen to the exact same argument from a white guy and take it seriously.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 01:02 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If it's indifference, why post it at all? I'm indifferent on a lot of subjects so I spend zero time on them.
That's kind of what I meant. If you don't bother posting in reply to people who you think will simply disagree with everything you say, hence not validating them, that's functionally identical to indifference.

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Old 23rd October 2019, 01:04 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
In any case, "don't validate people" reads as hate to me, in pretty much every context.
Then you speak a very strange language. Not validating people, in my language, means ignoring them. On a forum, that translates to simply not replying to or addressing anything they say. In other words, indifference.

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Old 23rd October 2019, 04:38 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
We'd have a lot fewer Nazis in public office now if we hadn't been browbeaten into "Just ignoring" the Nazi on the webforum 10 years ago.
I think this is the opposite of reality. The reason we have Nazis in public office is that we have given them attention and opportunities to spread their message by not debating smartly. Having a debate with a Nazi means the Nazi will win. Not because his/her arguments are stronger, but because he/she doesn't have to rely on facts or reason, but will make an emotional appeal that will resonate with some. Even if 90% of the onlookers agree that you won the debate, the 10% who disagree are one step closer to being recruited as new Nazis.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 04:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Maybe it's time to discuss the pathologies that led to the behavior the OP has exhibited in this thread? First, it's obvious that he has a controlling personality; he feels compelled to tell people that they are doing it all wrong. Second, he's clearly insecure; hence the need to "win" every argument. Third, notice the unspoken assumption that he would win every argument if it weren't for the unfair tactics of the reactionaries. Delusions of grandeur mingled with a little projection, anybody?

You're right, this is kind of fun.
This is very close to a personal attack.

Edited by Agatha:  Edited to remove breach of rule 12
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:11 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by tyr_13 View Post
Talking to reactionaries for many isn't going to be very useful, but talking with them can be.

You have to understand that they aren't going to argue in good faith. You aren't going to convince them and they don't actually value any argument you or they produce, even if they wish they did. However, it can be productive to talk with them but to an audience. A lot of people who run with reactionaries or are just near them don't realize just how much utter ******** the arguments and views are, and how quickly a lot of them fall to pieces under the slightest examination. There are more than a few on the road to becoming radicalized that can be shocked out of it with just the slightest bit of fact, or reasoning, or even perspective.

And of course there are some boundless kindness and understanding people who can indeed help by addressing directly extremists.
I used to hold to this view. That engaging reactionaries could be worthwhile because other people would see their bad ideas held up to real scrutiny.

But the more I see of online discussion and the more I learn about how people actually change their minds, the more this seems like a foolish religious faith in the power of logic.

Regardless of how logic people think they are and how many fallacies they can name it's rhetoric and feeling that changes minds. And at least the current crop of reactionaries (or whatever you want to call them) practices rhetoric all day, with talking points drafted by buildings full of full time professionals. And the kicker is that as uke2se says, their style is especially calibrated to thrive on engagement. Its not mold that grows in the dark and can be disinfected by sunlight. Its a nasty rash that will spread and worsen if you scratch it.

Their rhetoric is free of any need for consistency or honesty or truth. So trying to convince anyone who is still taken in by their rhetoric at this point is futile.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:20 AM   #33
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Talking to or with reactionaries is pointless.

Talking at them is often very fruitful.

Brushing aside the weeds of semantics as much as possible there are options between "Ignore" and "A noble spirited debate at the Alqonquin Round Table amongst equals."
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:40 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Talking to or with reactionaries is pointless.

Talking at them is often very fruitful.

Brushing aside the weeds of semantics as much as possible there are options between "Ignore" and "A noble spirited debate at the Alqonquin Round Table amongst equals."
As I said, I think this is often not only wrong, but can often have the opposite effect. If you and a Nazi share a stage and you adress the Nazi's arguments, you are seen by an onlooker as an equal to the Nazi and your arguments are to be treated with equal weight as the Nazi. You have basically elevated the Nazi to someone that deserves to be listened to.

And after the debate, again, it doesn't matter that you won and most of the people walk away feeling you had the better arguments (often, this won't be the case). There will always be a couple of people who believe the Nazi's arguments were at least worth considering. Thus, you have created a few new Nazi-recruits through elevating the Nazi.

ETA: Also remember, you will encounter a person who will make increasingly extreme arguments and won't bother to back up assertions, or will lie straight to your face. As skeptics, we tend to simply do some basic fact checking of an argument and then go "well actually..." This is a clear sign of weakness. We take much more time to disprove a claim than it took the Nazi to make the claim, thus we are seen as being the weaker position. Of course, this isn't actually true, but it's all about perception.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:43 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
As I said, I think this is often not only wrong, but can often have the opposite effect. If you and a Nazi share a stage and you adress the Nazi's arguments, you are seen by an onlooker as an equal to the Nazi and your arguments are to be treated with equal weight as the Nazi. You have basically elevated the Nazi to someone that deserves to be listened to.
To torture the metaphor a tad bit we don't have to join the Nazi on stage or ignore him. We can heckle him from the audience. And preferably throw things.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:47 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
As I said, I think this is often not only wrong, but can often have the opposite effect. If you and a Nazi share a stage and you adress the Nazi's arguments, you are seen by an onlooker as an equal to the Nazi and your arguments are to be treated with equal weight as the Nazi. You have basically elevated the Nazi to someone that deserves to be listened to.



And after the debate, again, it doesn't matter that you won and most of the people walk away feeling you had the better arguments (often, this won't be the case). There will always be a couple of people who believe the Nazi's arguments were at least worth considering. Thus, you have created a few new Nazi-recruits through elevating the Nazi.
problem is if you just let the nazi talk without rebuttle people will see him/her as an authority to which the other side has no rebuttal. It makes them appear more powerful, and they can play the being ignored by the other side because they know they are wrong card.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:50 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
This is very close to a personal attack.

Edited by Agatha:  Edited to remove breach of rule 12
Edited by Agatha:  And response to same

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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:53 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
To torture the metaphor a tad bit we don't have to join the Nazi on stage or ignore him. We can heckle him from the audience. And preferably throw things.
And heckling is fine. It's not really something that we can do on these forums tho.

The reason I made this thread is that I keep seeing rational posters get drawin into debates with reactionaries. I'm simply trying to spread the word on what I believe is true and extremely important: don't do that, you're making it worse.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:55 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Hungry81 View Post
problem is if you just let the nazi talk without rebuttle people will see him/her as an authority to which the other side has no rebuttal. It makes them appear more powerful, and they can play the being ignored by the other side because they know they are wrong card.
On the internet, specifically on these forums, if someone posts and nobody replies, very few will read what is being said. It also removes the Nazi's chance to elaborate. Nazis and other reactionaries wants to and needs to be engaged and disagreed with and argued against. That's the strategy.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 05:58 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by uke2se View Post
And heckling is fine. It's not really something that we can do on these forums tho.

The reason I made this thread is that I keep seeing rational posters get drawin into debates with reactionaries. I'm simply trying to spread the word on what I believe is true and extremely important: don't do that, you're making it worse.
And I vehemently disagree. The whole "Oh just let stupid/wrong/evil people be stupid/wrong/evil" because "you'll never change their mind / it makes people think they are your equal" is a very dangerous mentality to cultivate, a worse yet mentality to cultivate and start playing the "I can ignore them better then you can" game on.
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