Once the facade is dropped, the double-standard is as clear filtered water. You’ve heard it before…you’ve seen it before. Shoot, even by a cursory glance at the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch it is difficult to miss. What is it?
The idea that if you have a perspective that is both logically unassailable and difficult for people to grasp, then you have some kind of obligation to-somehow, someway-make not your POINT the focus of your argument, but your “tone”. In other words, not offending the delicate sensibilities of the masses subverts the entire discussion by crying “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.
But if it is NOT what I say, then what difference does it make how I say it? If it is untrue, state your reason…appeal to the logical fallacy. Oh…they will say, we do that, but you are just so mean.
What they mean is that they do that—they argue their points—but when the other person does not concede on the grounds that their argument is not logically consistent, instead of dropping the discussion, they assault “tone”.
And once again, the Marxism and determinism implicit in so much of the evolution of Western thought breaches the surface like a lazy whale. You see, it isn’t THEIR fault they aren’t able to effectively defend their ideas…no, no. It is YOUR fault because you aren’t saying it nicely. They are blinded by their offended egos…and the fault is yours. YOUR meanness is such an affront that it creates an insurmountable hurdle to their reason; to their communication. YOUR tone has DETERMINED that they cannot possibly be responsible for not conceding what they might otherwise concede if you weren’t such a meanie.
If you were just nicer they would be able to engage their will, and perhaps might have their minds changed, or at least part amicably with an understanding that either they don’t understand, you are not communicating your point clearly, or that they are confident that you have not argued away their own ideas.
But it never ends there because what happens is that the implicit Marxism and its twin brother, determinism, ALWAYS have to have their say. They ALWAYS need to remain the nucleus of ANY debate or discussion. You see, if they agree that the communication is either not sufficient or that they are actually wrong…well, in either case, this implies two things: Human culpability for actions; and that those in positions of “power” (intellectually or otherwise) are NOT actually obligated according to the morals of the Primary Conscience to FIRST consider the subjective well-being of the helpless and ignorant masses BEFORE making their point.
And in light of thousands of years of Platonist thinking culminating in Immanuel Kant and then finding its political footing (and inevitable human destruction) in the Communist Manifesto…these trends are not surprising.
Which…you know, it wouldn’t be so bad (well…okay, it would) if it wasn’t such a double standard. A reading of the Stockdale comments thread over at Wartburg Watch illustrates this perfecting. Look at the number of posts complaining that it isn’t so much that I don’t have a right to my opinions…no, this they concede. But unfortunately this argument is made utterly moot by the explicit proclamation that I DON’T have the right to my way of communicating those ideas. And in this sense, again, the right to my opinions is moot. For ideas are THINGS. They have corners. They have a premise, an argument for that and then an appeal to behavior modification in service to the premise. They can be defined, dismantled, organized, applied, rejected, and modified with objective outcomes.
But this is impossible with DELIVERY. Delivery or “tone” is massively subjective, and the power to interpret this is EXCLUSIVELY reserved for the listening party. The person communicating knows the delivery; the person listening seems to reserve the categorical right to determine if the communicator is delivering it right or not. It’s all how the listener subjectively interprets it. And if they are “offended”, the debate is screwed. It is no longer about ideas, it is about CONTROL. And he who controls tone, controls content.
And that is exactly what Dee is doing at Wartburg. She claims that ideas are fine, but if she doesn’t like your tone, you are summarily assaulted. This is merely the functional equal of content control. Which she has every right to do. But don’t pretend ideas and tone are separate functions; are able to be “moderated” separately. That is a false assumption.
The two (ideas and communication style) are inseparable in this regard. IF one has the right to ideas but NOT the right to decide how to communicate them, then there is no functional difference between not having the right to communicate and NOT having the right to the IDEAS you communicate. If they can control HOW you say what you say, they can control WHAT you say. It is as simple as that…and it is the root of the first amendment, by the way. This understanding of the impossible separation of the two. (And here, understand, I am talking about communicating ideas; I am not suggesting that abusive language designed to only inflict psychological violence on the listener applies in this situation. That is not communications. Again, that is violence. That is not what I am excusing. I am referring to communication styles: abrasive, perhaps; gentle, perhaps; frank, perhaps; roundabout, perhaps…etc., etc.)
The worst part though, is the double standards. Look at the vitriol directed at me over there, without a peep from the moderators…and when I respond in kind (sarcasm for sarcasm; tongue in cheek for tongue in cheek), I’m lambasted by Dee and a host of other offended parties. Why…well, because for some reason, by virtue of my surety of my ideas and the inability of other commenters to dismantle my reason, I am “privileged”.
And therein lay the Marxism. The idea that the “haves” must sacrifice what they “have” in service to the poor masses…the have-nots. If you are perceived to have some kind of position which is “superior”, and others are “subordinate”, you are on the hook for catering to their subjective needs first, and EVERYTHING else second. In other words, say it the right way so that the “people” are happy. Give the people whatever they want first, because this is the only morality a person of “privilege” can actually do.
Kill themselves, their ideas, their labor, their produce, their time, their profit and their status for the “good” of the masses. Your death, your pain, YOUR sacrifice is the only good you can do. The greatest good for you is to NOT be YOU so that what you have can be divided up among the “workers”. You are nothing more than the collective; and you better get this straight. Your ideas don’t matter, but only the subjective “good” of the people who, by virtue of your “superior” and “privileged” position claim the moral right to own you, and all you have and all you think.
And we think Calvinism is being confronted on these blogs.