On seeking the answer in the middle, the persuasive power of being unpersuadable, and the conservative demand for an exclusive 1st amendment right to harass others.
I am in the process of reading this 5 part “echo chamber” of ideas you’ve shared with us and it is an extraordinarily cogent collection. The problem is that, while it is extremely helpful in the process of crystallizing one’s thoughts in these chaotic days, I don’t know that it aids in attaining the one thing that is most elusive since approximately November 8, 2016. Hope. I have none.
"Meanwhile, my opponent and I can talk endlessly about millions of very real people and their unconsidered voices as if we were the only two sides in the equation, as if the truth existed somewhere between the two of us.
Neither one of us ever once lifting a finger to actually find it."
This is exactly how I feel about some conversations I've had recently. Except my experience has 2 complications. 1. When I talk to someone unpersuadable, it frustrates me that I will consider their position and if I don't have a response to an argument, I will continue to learn more about a subject only to come back and find they have kept their same exact argument and position.
2. On a more positive note, with people with whom I already have a personal relationship who for a long time I thought were unpersuadable, I have begun to notice a shift. I believe this has to do both with the changing "spirit" of the times as you say, but also with the fact that by seeking out answers where someone else clearly doesn't care to, you can show them that your position is stronger than theirs.
However, I have come around to the fact that it is much more worthwhile to just do good things and let people see that they are good, rather than trying to convince others of what is good and bad. Especially because if you have to argue with someone, they will likely take no action even if they are convinced.
In my country we have the BBC which is the supposedly impartial government broadcaster but they're happy to parrot government lies. They defend themselves by stating that they get equal vitriol from the left and the right so they must be at the perfect sweet spot. Except that the right are angry that they only parrot some of the lies and the left are angry that they are not calling out the lies 🤷♂️
Thought I had a clever summary for the end of this morning perhaps this classic article is a better response and reminder of our precarious times https://harpers.org/archive/1941/08/who-goes-nazi/
Great essay. I particularly liked: "Blocking is even worse, because one thing that rich bullies believe free speech guarantees is their own right to never have their bad ideas rejected, to never be ignored, and to never not be heard first, longest, loudest, and forever. Blocking tells bullies that you are unpersuadable, and you will not give them the benefit of being seen trying to be persuaded by you."
Dreaming of the day I get to tell my MIL I won't hug her because she votes against my mother's rights.
Thanks for this! I've been thinking a lot about something along these lines myself, and I think what I want to say is a little different, but I don't know what it is yet. I definitely think you're onto something about rightists being unpersuadable. It's something I've found distressing, as I've become convinced over the past however many years (maybe 7?) that it's not worth trying to persuade them. But you're getting at a further move, which I think is on the right track. Appreciate the food for thought!
Another well crafted piece. I've shared many of your posts with friends, and I want to share something with you. It's a music video that covers some of the territory you explore regarding supremacy and sticking up for marginalized people. I wrote the lyrics and made the video. It's called Bend the Arc; you can find it on YouTube, and I hope you enjoy it: https://bit.ly/Bend-The-Arc
Your writing is always thought provoking, in the best way possible. I share your posts often. Thanks for your work.