Rules of engagement, and what it means to find "common ground" with supremacists.
A great underlying theme here is power and the recognition of it. I think it's worth highlighting (which you may have done in one of your other essays). When someone is in a position in which they feel they must be persuaded before they make a change, they feel they are in a position of power. The easiest way to take away that power is to simply give them the choice to follow you or to remain unpersuaded and let them understand that reflects on how you see them.
This is really great! I do have two questions: Was the gender choice for each role intentional? How many fingers does the wife have? It strikes me that all characters appear to be a binary gender, and only the wife is a more or less passive observer/supporter (I'm not including the general public, which is also, collectively, a passive observer, because I assume that they represent a spectrum of all non-specified characters). The son could have as easily been a daughter or a nonbinary, gender fluid or agender child, but you chose to make him a son. I am curious about these choices. The reason I ask about the wife's fingers because one important aspect of oppressive systems I don't see here is the impact of internalized oppression, which -- along with unconscious bias -- is a requirement for oppressive systems to maintain their power.
I started following you on the platform formerly known as Twitter a few years ago. I bought, and loved, The Revisionaries. I am frankly awestruck by your insight and eloquence, one might even say "persuasive gifts". Thank you for your industry, too.
Brilliant. Thank you.
Your parables are a gift to us. Thank you.
This is one of the most powerful and thought-provoking essays I’ve ever read. Thank you so much.
Also a nice parable for those who objected to the Iraq War, and in fact, actual torture.
What should they do: emigrate, toss away their American citizenship, avoid association with the war crimes? Continue as Americans, their taxes for torturers, but able to continue "persuading" America to leave by voting every few years?
Neither was a good answer.
The parable strikes me as an echo of Thucydide's work, famous for the story of Melos and the "realism" that "The strong do what they can, while the weak suffer what they must" .... except that Thucydide's overall work shows that he thought the Athenians DID undermine their own power through their dominance and cruelty, because sooner or later, everybody needs friends. (I am not sure a history professor would call that a good summary.)
Thank you for so eloquently putting something I've been trying to tell people for years. Every time I've ever been persuaded by someone to abandon a supremacist belief has been because they were brave enough to plainly explain to me that it was untrue and harmful. They gave me the knowledge I needed to change my own mind, and the rest was on me.
I've often been told this approach is condescending and will simply turn people away, because if you tell someone what to believe they will automatically believe the opposite (strangely, this only seems to be true when you tell someone to not believe in supremacy). It's never been clear to me why telling someone the truth and giving them the choice of whether to follow it is condescending but treating them like they'll abandon their beliefs and choose yours if you just use the right words in the right order isn't. Worringly, it implies that the person claiming this could themselves be persuaded to believe in supremacy if the right words were said in the right order, and of course it wouldn't really be their fault because the anti-supremacists had failed to say the right words in the right order.
Oh gosh, just another brilliant piece. Thank you. 😁🙏
Great Read 📚
The line I most despise from those I’ve tried to persuade is “Let’s just agree to disagree.” If that is the solution then I would be condoning lies. I have moved on with determination.
"Florida is the state led by the first bag of sand to ever be elected governor in the United States, Ron DeSantis". Love love this. I live in Florida and hate the direction our state is taking. Our governor won't even acknowledge we are a haven for white supremacy and neo-nazis. Loved the whole post and I appreciate your wisdom and intellect. Thank you😍.
And finally, at last, they came for the persuaders. Or was it at the first?
I wonder how long it takes to create writing this good? I feel like I could spend months trying to create something like this and it’d still be muddled but @armoxon does this every week! Such a pleasure to read even though it’s a hard truth.
“ I guess what I’m saying here is, an abusive system abuses people, and any system build on a lie will eventually collapse. Don’t be so sure you’re not next one in the basement.”
Something I *thought* my fellow white women would have figured out before 2020. Nope. And I suspect they will still be voting under the delusion that their privilege will be protected by a Republican president and legislative majority.
Choosing absence of tension over justice. But I’m supposed to persuade them, I guess... And I will try. Because how can I not? Too many people are being harmed for to do otherwise.
But I won’t invite it into my home. My social sphere. There I’m choosing separation. Because, as one of my children said, “If you know someone wouldn't be treating you the same if you were a sociopolitical minority, why accept their politeness? I want their disdain.”
Ok. So whew, a LOT to think about as usual and a large part of why I subscribe. I appreciate and agree with your description of the meaning of woke not only because it succinctly encapsulates my thoughts about that term. And I find that people like De Santis and his supporters can't define it except it's a bad word and a negative to thier comfortable supremacist doctrine. Anotger thing that struck me is like people who call for civil war or "national divorce" the subjects of the kingdom don't think they or thier loved ones will ever face the finger cutter,, only those bad people who want equity or don't want to be reduced to the tents in the park or alley.or pretty much anyone that threatens thier comfort zone. Anyway I like the idea of an ongoing series you have stumbled into and I for one am happy you stumbled onto it. And thanks for the potential tactics for talking to people.