Clarity! Context! Communication!

9/18/2016

 

So many people will promote an idea and then get absolutely upset to a boiling point because they were asked a simple question.

If one posts a meme or bit of content stating, "Government is the problem," and someone asks, "But why is government the problem," why should the inquirer be ridiculed?

Two dozen encounters I've had like this with people in the various aspects of the liberty movements in the last month alone.  And the worst part!?!  I'm only asking questions for clarity. I have no intention of breaking anyone's position.

What this is looking like is that too many people advocating for rebellion against government are doing so without understanding fully the path they are taking. This is not to suggest that they are wrong. No. Rejecting the idea of government is fine. It is for the best.

The problem arises in their inability to answer simple questions. If one has to become nasty and hostile in the answering of a question, then one has more work to do internally than they think. What's worse is that so many people dissenting against government or promoting anti-government sentiment make the horrendous assumption that the inquirer is pro-government.

Ever see those memes discussing Party Libertarian choices making Democrats think they are Republicans and Republicans think they are Democrats? It is a lot like that! Ask a simple question about why government is the problem and so many people seem to think that the inquirer is pro-government.

This is particularly frustrating because it alienates the advocate of freedom, the government dissenter, without them really knowing it. It creates echo chambers in their own thought and they never understand why. Then they become hostile cheering one another on.  Eventually they think that such ridicule and hostility is constructive criticism.

Then one day they realize they lost friends. They discuss or ask about why their friends walked away. Their friends explain. Then the stagnant minds stuck in their self induced echo chamber think nasty thoughts about their friends.

"Oh, they think they are better than us!"

"They are some kind of purists!"

"They're assholes because they have some kind of idea that's supposedly applicable to everyone but they're wrong because everything is subjective!"

This kind of destructive defense of poorly invested pride is what holds back others interested in understanding the crux of freedom, of voluntaryism. It's okay to be a stepping stone of thought for a while; but if you're the same mind at 40 as you were at 20 there is a problem.   And there is nothing wrong with ensuring that the means to a goal are in line with the goal.  That’s not beign a ‘purist’ in order to be an elitist or hold the moral high ground to shame others.  It’s a position of consistency.

I point this out because it is often accepted that the difference between most minarchists and peaceful anarchists / voluntaryists is about six months. If a change can occur that quickly then it stands to reason that change in terms of consistent, continual refinement in simplicity should also proceed afterwards. Yet it doesn't seem to work that way though if we view much of popular voices on social media.

That being the case, this next statement is going to make people's heads explode or trigger a bout of extreme rejection!

If advocates of property rights were truly in control of their logical faculties, they would accept starvation instead of stealing from another to survive pending their circumstances.

Because that statement is not understood in terms of a clear path of thought progression leading up to it, so many advocates of freedom and voluntaryism and anarchism will lash out against it.  This happens for the same reason that advocates of government lash out against the idea that ‘taxation is theft!’  Simply put, they do so because they haven’t invested the time to define terms and comprehend the nature of things they support beyond the feel good emotions and avoidance of social peer pressure from others similar mindsets.  Thus the same advocates of freedom and proponents of government will also lash out against the next statement!

"Parents own their children!"

I'm going to leave it at that! What most of the people observed to create this content won't do is ask questions for clarity. And when some do, they make the choice to respond instead of seeking clarity and deeper understanding. That is what the problem is with so much of the liberty movements. That is absolutely what the problem is with advocacy for government.  Yet people want simplicity without the internal work it takes.

It's fine and dandy to ask another to break all of these concepts down. Yet no matter how one looks at it, the dissenter of government is going to have to invest time and honest effort to comprehend this information. If it is not through their own individual efforts to problem solve and break down concepts it will be through the patience to read what others have done that is almost always lengthy, if crystal clear!

Now ask yourself another question:  If advocates of voluntaryism and peaceful anarchism have this much work left for them, how much work do you think advocates of government have left to do in order to get where the troubles of this article are highlighted?

Recognition of that by those highlighted in this article will go a long way to help curb the hostility rooted in the frustration of not being able to explain an idea beyond feeling it deeply to be right and true.  It will also cultivate compassion.  And this will foster the growth and acceptance of ideological stepping stones among mindsets.  We will begin to understand an idea.  Then our desire to better understand that idea will lead to questioning it further, refining it further, to open new intellectual doors.

Continual growth to be equals in curiosity to comprehend, not simply respond, is what we need; not as ‘statists’ and ‘voluntaryists’ but as members of Humanity!

-JLD

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