Yes, it’s true. Both ‘Team Freedom’ and ‘OPFOR’ are basically two sides of the same coin when observing them in their natural habitat on the internet venue of choice. Here’s a few examples that provide a synopsis of commentary on various subjects at blogs both in the ‘liberty movement’ and the other side ‘liberal/progressive/cultural Marxists/communists’:
Fallacious reasoning, ad hominem attacks, circular arguments, demonization, arrogance, group think, BFYTW (a chicken shit excuse to avoid presenting reasonable explanation to a challenger in a discussion), etc., etc., etc.. And our ‘side’ wonders why readership and mindset growth based on value added discussion doesn’t occur. Our side wonders why such ‘piece of work’ groups such as Antifa is growing. Why should anyone ask a question or join a discussion when there’s a good chance some brave, consequence free keyboard hee-row is going to use the same exact Alinsky tactics to silence his or her opinion? Especially when our consequence free keyboard hee-row uses the ultimate, “I get the last word, so there!” junior high school ‘slam.’
My own thoughts on the subject are simple: If ‘Team Freedom’ wants to move ahead, get ‘the message’ out to a larger audience that will also help us move forward, we need a really significant lesson in ‘Come, let us reason together….’ Debate is fine; disagreement is fine; inability to back away and not get the last word (typically a cheap shot) is a losing proposition because it does not move our ideology forward or gain a single follower. It might make the person taking the cheap shot think, “so there!,” but the victory is short lived, because someone who may have helped us most likely walked away.
The paragraph above is the primary reason comments on here are closely moderated.
Commentary that adds to the discussion, whether in the form of reasonable debate or disagreement on any topic, acknowledging that even brand-spanking new people bring something to the table (willingness to learn and personal motivation comes to mind), is entirely welcome and encouraged. Commentary designed to attack, discredit, demonize, or otherwise fallacious in nature that will stifle discussion for the sake of discord is not.
Some have said in the past, “Oh, so no free speech here? Well, Fuck YOU!” and then they either leave or are banned. What those few who’ve been banned or left on their own to never return fail to understand is simple: ‘Free’ speech is not license to crap all over input by another commenter or spread garbage where ever one wishes consequence. Free speech guarantees under the First Amendment refer to the limitation on government entities attempting to limit speech, not discussions between private individuals in one forum or another. There are consequences here for speech that doesn’t follow the guidelines set forth. There are only two: Banning and self-elimination from commenting. Pretty reasonable, in my opinion.
Bottom line at DTG: Positive discussions, debates, and disagreements that move the subject forward, even if corrective in nature, so long as those discussions, debates, and disagreements are not debilitating to those who may have a different opinion are welcome.
Let’s reason together and move toward the objective. Anything or anyone that doesn’t help that really isn’t on the same side intellectually or ideologically.
We need consensus, which is not unanimity.
Reaching consensus is reaching substantial agreement by discussion but not necessarily unanimity. There are four positions participants take while trying to reach consensus. The first three can be included in a consensus agreement:
- This is what I want.
- This is not ideal but it’s OK by me.
- This is not what I want but I can agree to support the group and not interfere.
- This is not what I want and I cannot agree to support it.
Getting to the first three bullet points above, where most ‘can live with’ what has been developed can be measured individually with a simple method of problem solving:
- What is the problem?
- What are the root causes?
- Who owns the problem (who does it significantly affect?)
- Why is the problem important to you?
- What evidence supports the assertion that the problem exists?
- What are the objectives of our ideology (political, economic, personal)?
- What strategy or options are available to nullify the root causes?
- What methodology will be most effective to implement the strategy or options for root cause mitigation/nullification?
- Who will follow up to determine if any ‘course correction’ or other action is necessary to reach consensus?
Here’s a few questions one can ask himself to determine whether or not he or she ‘consents’ or is joining in group consensus on a particular subject:
- Does the agreement being reached come somewhat close to fulfilling my interests?
- Will other people involved in the agreement fulfill their end?
- Does an effective process for measuring/monitoring the actions agreed upon by those involved being implemented?
- Does the substance of the agreement having consensus and the process by which it was reached satisfy a majority of those involved?
- Will all the other people involved in the process provide the same answers, give or take?
Note there’s nothing unanimous when reaching consensus. I’d be suspect of a group that didn’t have differences and rarely, if ever, reached unanimous conclusions or decisions. Differences are essential to move good ideas, plans, and processes forward into the arena of ‘great ideas, plans, and processes.’