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Br16

Workable Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

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2 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

I'll leave it up to him to respond. But I think his points apply quite generally to these types of conversations, not just this thread (in fact I think this thread has shown a number of people actively engaging with the OP on the topic, which has proved very useful and helpful. There were also the usual few who do nothing but post memes or try and be funny which is pretty much exactly what hes getting at) 

Personally I found the thread very interesting, I think it did a good job at actively persuading me in one direction, and it did it by discussing the topic openly. If it was just people, who like you, tend to shout and rage at people and use sarcasm as debating tools then I wouldn't have learnt anything and would probably think that Br16 might have a point and you were all just trolls. 

So I'd suggest going back and rereading KoW's posts and seeing how you can better improve yourself in the future. 

You're not very good at engaging substantive critiques yourself. I did use anger and sarcasm, but again, I started off with a real world example of the problems with objectivism, and there hasn't been a real response. I've brought something to the table. All you've got is useless and inaccurate whining about civility, when, as I have explained numerous times, civility did not get any real responses from the OP.

Given that you've relied in the past on exaggerated claims to make your own arguments, maybe you could stand to learn something here too. There has been no rash of careers ended by accusations of racism, liberal outrage culture did not get someone arrested for making jokes about bombing an airport, and Br16 did not get shouted mercilessly off the stage before he had a chance to respond to polite, substantive criticisms of Ayn Rand.

You're so good at ignoring other people's arguments and just repeating your own bullshit endlessly, it's not a stretch to call you a gaslighter.

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1 minute ago, DanteGabriel said:

You're not very good at engaging substantive critiques yourself.

Well I admit that I do get caught in the emotion of these discussions and haven't always been able to engage how I would have wished. However in my defence I think that when people such as yourself like to come in with personal attacks and belittlement rather than talking calmly it is hard to stay straight. I praise someone like Br16 for not in fact responding to any of the childish comments made about him or his ideas, its something I wish I could do the same.

Again, I'll keep saying it, if you want to keep saying outlandish things about my opinions then come chat to me on PM, rather than constantly trying to derail threads with the same tired arguments. 

This is ironically another thread derailed by this stuff where we are both not learning from KoWs posts. 

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Just now, Heartofice said:

Well I admit that I do get caught in the emotion of these discussions and haven't always been able to engage how I would have wished. However in my defence I think that when people such as yourself like to come in with personal attacks and belittlement rather than talking calmly it is hard to stay straight. I praise someone like Br16 for not in fact responding to any of the childish comments made about him or his ideas, its something I wish I could do the same.

Again, I'll keep saying it, if you want to keep saying outlandish things about my opinions then come chat to me on PM, rather than constantly trying to derail threads with the same tired arguments. 

This is ironically another thread derailed by this stuff where we are both not learning from KoWs posts. 

Again, Br16 IGNORED (maybe using all caps will get you to acknowledge this fucking point) Liffguard's substantive and polite critique of Rand to respond to my angry posts several times. He did, in fact, choose to sink to a lower a level by saying "Try the Maduro diet" -- like that's a real response to any critiques of Rand. So what's your point, again? You act like one person being mean is an unlimited excuse to ignore the many other intelligent and polite criticisms he COULD have responded to, but HE CHOSE NOT TO.

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Just now, DanteGabriel said:

Again, Br16 IGNORED (maybe using all caps will get you to acknowledge this fucking point) Liffguard's substantive and polite critique of Rand to respond to my angry posts several times. He did, in fact, choose to sink to a lower a level by saying "Try the Maduro diet" -- like that's a real response to any critiques of Rand. So what's your point, again? You act like one person being mean is an unlimited excuse to ignore the many other intelligent and polite criticisms he COULD have responded to, but HE CHOSE NOT TO.

Sure, then he should respond to that post. I'm not really talking about that. There were a number of posts directed at him that any normal person would have reacted pretty negatively too, but he mostly kept his cool and answered. Good on him. I've seen the same general trend in a lot of other threads too with other posters, some people have the patience of saints, I'm not sure I have that level of patience.

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2 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Sure, then he should respond to that post. I'm not really talking about that. There were a number of posts directed at him that any normal person would have reacted pretty negatively too, but he mostly kept his cool and answered. Good on him. I've seen the same general trend in a lot of other threads too with other posters, some people have the patience of saints, I'm not sure I have that level of patience.

Br16 is definitely better than you at refusing to respond to anger with more anger. Look, we agree on something after all. He's not any better than you at actually engaging with solid counterarguments though.

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28 minutes ago, DanteGabriel said:

You haven't earned any special attention from me, snowflake. I notice Kal had some good responses to you that you chose to ignore in favor of engaging with me. If you're trying to sell this idea that civility earns quality responses, you haven't practiced what you preach.

Where? As far as I can tell I have replied to them. Unless I missed it. Can you point me to it?

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

First off, it's important we make a distinction between what you can/are allowed to speak, and what you should (n't) speak. The first one is, we seem to agree, pretty broad category: you can speak almost anything you like, provided you give others the same opportunity. I haven't disputed this. So yes, you can call others racists, bigots, inhumane or whatever, but the question remains whether you should. Will it lead to productive discussion or are you saying it just to gratify your desires.

The question is will it will it help lead to dehumanizing ideas to spread or not? David Duke getting into a “polite” discussion with how awful Jews are is not more productive by virtue of the person he’s arguing with not pointing out his type of rhetoric is anti-Semitic and has literally lead to the deaths of millions.

14 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

The thing is - while it's true that there are actual nazis, bigots etc. out there who genuinely don't care whether they hurt or step on somebody else, I don't think there's that many of them. Far more common is, I believe, that proclaim others as racists, nazis etc. and then justify these labels to shut them down. Just look at this very thread, for example: one guy opened a topic on a subject he was interested in, was immediately bashed by almost everyone, was labeled various nasty labels a dozen times and then retreated when discussion became too toxic (and this is without going into content of the discussion, for I disagree with him in almost everything he said). Does this sound like a insidious nazi quietly spreading his propaganda to you using polite speech? Have we become so fearful, so afraid and frightened that we must protect ourselves against one objectivist by proclaiming him inhumane, stupid or whatnot; and to assume he's masking some nefarious agenda by being polite and respectful? If so, we have a huge problem ourselves.

You’re seriously taking some rude responses in a thread about the merits of a really  dehumanizing ideology on one site dedicated to a book series largely about a young socially progressive pro-refugee/pro-mass migration  youth going head to head with the traditionalists in his community, as evidence for the scarcity of racism lol?

How about we look actual polls, and laws, and the sort for seeing how big bigotry is is in society instead of just you know the fact in a thread in a section on a site just about a book series some people were rude to a poster trying to politely argue why the working poor are worthless.

Which shows  bigotry isn’t  nearly as uncommon as you make them out to be: around 20 percent of Americans are against interracial marriage: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newsweek.com/20-percent-america-thinks-interracial-marriage-morally-wrong-poll-finds-845608%3famp=1

In Alabama it wasn’t until 2000 that the state finally got rid of an Amendment in their state constitution that banned interracial marriage-and 40 percent of Alabamians voted to keep it on.  

 

https://ballotpedia.org/Alabama_Interracial_Marriage,_Amendment_2_(2000)

In multiple southern states it is mandated by law for the government to praise confederate figures.

Hell the governor of Tennessee has to publicly praise Nathan Bedford Forrest periodically-the guy’s whose biggest contribution to America was starting the KKK: https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/breakingnews/story/2019/jul/12/tennessee-gov-bill-lee-criticized-confederate-proclamation/498724/?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

20 percent also want to throw gays in cages for having gay sex.

The US just elected a man whose retweeted white supremacists. Even their propaganda. Hell even Mussolini at one point.

I know it’s really, really in right now to complain about how “PC” everything is really now a days and act like legitimate forms of bigotry in terms of racism, homophobia, etc are so rare now a days it’s really not worth commenting on. I find such attitudes speak of a lack of research.

No genuine bigot really sees them as such. Ask any of the people who said they were against interracial marriage the majority of them will deny being racist or bigoted in any way and give spill on how they’re objections are entirely utilitarian.They’d good for all races to be segregated-it’s really much to the benefit of all races. 

Also, did not call this particular guy a Nazi. I pointed out he did explicitly argue for it it being ok to look at someone as inferior based solely on their lower economic status and asked candidly how bad does the message have to be before the person making the argument  gets called out as x? There are neo-nazis, KKK members and fascists in the like who can be “civil” when discussing their ideas of why their bigotry is justified. Are you seriously contending it’s morally wrong to attack any people from those camps as bad people for their ideas about it being ok to purge the lands of certain ethnic groups?

14 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

In fact, it's telling that, when I mentioned how you might find yourself surrounded by majority who may try to shut you down, you immediately started talking about genuine nazis and racists - people who are, in modern society - almost an archetype of "bad" or "evil"

Actually I first said I’d hope someone actually call me out as a bigot if they thought I was rather than keep silent about just to be polite. It’s telling that you seem to have deliberately missed my point my use of Nazis immediately after that-which is rather simple-it’s ridiculous to cause uproar over “rude” tones and responses in a conversation about human rights as a rule.

They-If people took your view-would’ve d not be lambasted as heavily for essentially actively trying to strip the rights of non-Caucasian males-after all they have a different opinion, that doesn’t make them bad people just because they have “unpopular” opinion concerning how society should work and look like. That they shouldn’t be seen as bad people just because they desire for their country to become to become a white-ethnostate. They’re just proposing some ideas.

If you disagree with this assessment I’d hope you’d say you wouldn’t get mad at a man who says “fuck you your a bad person” to a KKK member peacefully trying to convince members of their community the merits of white-supremacy for the sin of judging another based on the ideas they theighn preach

You seem to be  saying “Don’t ever judge them for the ideas that they actively espouse” as if ideas don’t often translate in the real world.

14 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

But the world is rarely so black and white - what happens e.g. when you're arguing for women's right to have an abortion, and can't make your argument becuase the other side is rabidly calling you child murderer? Or e.g. when you speak about being an atheist, and bunch of deeply religious people are labeling you as amoral psychopath. Or maybe the opposite occurred: maybe you happen to be religious and found yourself among atheists who were more than happy to tell you how dumb and deluded you are.

Meh. Honesty of thought is more important than civility. 

14 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

In all of these (each of I've seen actually happen) what happens is always the same: majority is uninterested and unwilling to engage and hear the opposing side, and finds it much easier to tag some label onto them. Being polite and respectful, on the other hand, simply means giving the other side the benefit of doubt: assuming that they aren't really evil jerks with dark agenda, that they maybe have something interesting to say and that they - like you - are arguing in good faith. That's it. And I can't help but think that world would be a better - and smarter - place if this was default position for every argument each of us had.

No. It can normalize truly awful things as ok. You say the world isn’t always black and white. Sometimes it really should be treated as such. If a man gets on stage and argues that x racial group needs to be expunged from the land how to best politely respond him in a way that doesn’t make him feel personally attacked attacked shouldn’t be that important. 

9 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

I'm not calling for the OP to be banned, or for his speech to be limites, just for his ideas to be ridiculed.  Who cares if a conservative think tank doesn't invite leftist speakers for an event, or a Milo Yiannpoulis gets protested?  Deplatforming someone isn't revoking their freedom of speech.  

I wish more people could understand this. You’re not entitled to whatever platform you so choose.

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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18 hours ago, Kalbear said:

Not particularly, and certainly not compared to his reach on Facebook and instagram. 

The downfall of Milo was when he was removed from most social media platforms. Maher increased his fame significantly. 

This doesn't appear to be backed by evidence. Richard Spencer was well known before being attacked. After being attacked and forced out of, well, anywhere, he admits that his own message is basically done for and he can't be heard anywhere.

Attacking Spencer and shouting him down didn't make him more famous. It made him afraid and weak. 

Again, history shows this isn't remotely the case for any level of 'vile' that you'd care to administer.

The fallacy here is that there existed some magical time where there was convincing people that weren't in your group via rational discourse of something different. If that time existed, it was fleeting and narrow. 

 

6 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Where? As far as I can tell I have replied to them. Unless I missed it. Can you point me to it?

Your response about Spencer didn't really engage with what Kal said about Spencer and you didn't bother to address the last two lines in particular. You instead pivoted to smarming about how you wish everyone was like KoW, by being civil to people with stupid or vile ideas, while continuing to engage in conversation with the person you apparently think is the worst and most counter-productive participant in this thread.

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21 hours ago, Heartofice said:

It might have increased his fame but I don't think it made him more popular. He was horribly exposed on that show and Bill Maher really showed him up. Milo was made famous by being able to look sane up against people who couldn't challenge him, but one he came up against someone better than him he looked stupid. It was really his Paedo comments that killed him, and anyone who was supporting him tended to fall away. Plus he wrote a terrible book that I think nobody bought. 

 

This doesn't match history or timeline. Milo wasn't ever particularly popular and that's not what he cared about - he cared about fame. 

And then he was removed from various platforms due to his child sex comments. And then he lost basically everything. 

21 hours ago, Heartofice said:

Richard Spencer is an actual nazi. The reason that you see so many of these internet alt right types doing so well is that they get deplatformed or shouted down for saying far less controversial things, they get called Nazis etc and equated with Spencer when they are really not the same. Being shouted down and deplatformed is actually really helpful for a lot of people, it makes the deplatformers look unreasonable and crazy and creates victims. There wouldn't be a Jordan Peterson if people didn't scream at him when he talked, probably no Ben Shapiro either. 

This makes really no sense at all - so you're saying that because Spencer was deplatformed it's okay because he's actually a nazi (he isn't), but because Shapiro HAVEN'T been deplatformed that it's clear it doesn't work?

How does that jive in your mind? 

Ben Shapiro has not had remotely the same kind of protesting that others have, largely because he's not particularly special. Jordan Peterson is the same. I think that they're well-known in your neck of the woods, but neither is showing up on Maher or getting really any edge past the infowars bubble.

And that, btw, is another good example - Alex Jones getting deplatformed has reduced his revenue and reach absurdly well. And it didn't take a mob shouting him down (or at least not JUST that) - it took facebook and twitter. 

Also, I find it exceedingly ironic that in a topic about ostensible superiority of objectivist views, people are claiming that all speech should be heard and tolerated and allowed to flourish. That is not remotely an objectivist viewpoint. The people with bad views and bad ideas should be crushed, they shouldn't ever speak, and if they do they should be mercilessly crushed by the gifted, because the gifted are more right. 

19 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

But what about the cases where the deplatformed is not an utter asshole? What if he merely has a different opinion or even is outright progressive? What about e.g. 19th century feminist fighting for women's right who couldn't get her/his message across becuse nobody wanted to give her/him a platform? What about a filmmaker whose movie details huge amounts of corruption and the highest level - but he can't get it played anywhere because no cinema (or TV station) wants to make enemies of some powerful people (this happened in my country 2 years ago)? 

What about those things? Those are all excellent examples of how successful deplatforming can be. In the case of feminism, they're examples of how good ideas work through those kind of things. Clearly if you heard about the filmmaker, it didn't work particularly well in their case either. 

That said, here's the central difference: the 19th century feminist was largely bound not by public deplatforming, but by the governments. Same goes for your example of the patriarchy. Same likely goes for that film maker. The solution is to shockingly allow for deplatforming by the people ,but not by the government. 

19 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

What keeps all these groups from tearing at each other is the possibility of public discourse.

History disagrees. What keeps those groups from tearing at each other is the thought that there exists an easier way to get their policy and emotional goals met aside from revolution, violence or destruction. "Public discourse" is not remotely it, and there are absurd examples of this alone. Public discourse didn't make the civil rights movement work - it was the shocking public brutality against defenseless people combined with the implied threats of massive riots. Arguments don't sway people - movements do.

19 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

They each had to choose between being allowed to speak and allowing others the same; and shutting down others and being shut down by them in return - and somehow each of them figured that former is the better option. That's why the idea of free speech is so important, and should be IMO limited only in narrowest of circumstances (such as inciting violence and such).

I agree - free speech is an incredibly important thing. You understand what that 1st amendment right means, right? It doesn't mean that you are free to have your voice amplified however you choose; it means that the government cannot restrict your speech. I firmly believe that the government should not be restricting people's speech. I am also a firm believer that speech that is inherently illiberal and undemocratic must go opposed with great vigor by the people. These two ideals are not remotely disconnected in any way. 

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On 8/21/2019 at 2:09 PM, Knight Of Winter said:

you achieve absolutely nothing: you deny him the opportunity to learn anything from you (really, when was the last time any one us us learned anything from someone else after being called an idiot); and you deny yourself an opportunity to learn anything from him and meaningfully engage with his ideas.

The problem here is assuming that the ideas are worth engaging with when the problem is precisely that some ideas are not.

It's a simple aphorism that all people deserve a measure of respect (i.e. civility), but all ideas do not.
The problem here is knowing how to explain to someone that their ideas are utter crap.
But in actuality it depends what the objective is. The objective can be to convince the speaker that their ideas are crap, or the objective can be to convince the public at large that those ideas are crap. In the first case it is helpful to be as patient and civil as can be ; not so much in the second case where ridicule may prove a useful tool against the worst kind of ideas.

On 8/22/2019 at 9:42 AM, Heartofice said:

I think that on the whole most people have a good idea of where the line is and what is reprehensible and what is acceptable.

Quite the contrary, all the evidence shows that people are terrible at judging what's "reprehensible." In a vacuum, most people spontaneously seek for a form of "balance" and constantly construct false equivalences. This is an actual problem today in the media.

22 hours ago, Knight Of Winter said:

Have we become so fearful, so afraid and frightened that we must protect ourselves against one objectivist by proclaiming him inhumane, stupid or whatnot; and to assume he's masking some nefarious agenda by being polite and respectful? If so, we have a huge problem ourselves.

No, we don't. You're the one making dubious claims and arguments to justify a precarious position.

Contrary to what you claim, all in all there were rather few ad hominem attacks on this thread. Ironically such attacks only appeared when the poster failed to engage in meaningful discussion. Most attacks were initially directed at objectivism itself. In fact, the examples you take ("stupid," "inhumane") are very clearly directed at objectivism, not at any specific objectivist.

Thing is, objectivism is very clearly stupid and inhumane. The problem for me is not that people on this forum, or in society generally speaking, have become "uncivil" or whatever. To my eyes the problem is the very opposite: we have become so civil that people like you are confusing the demeaning of silly ideas with the demeaning of the people who hold them. And to some extent, the confusion is sometimes deliberately entertained by people who want to be able to proudly spout the most ridiculous or most heinous ideas. For some reason it is now considered "uncivil" to tell people in unambiguous terms that their ideas, or at least some of their ideas, are stupid, Or a different way to put it is that some stupid ideas have managed to gain way too much respectability through their popularity.
And yet some ideas are stupid, that much is certain. And some stupid ideas are popular, that much is also certain. It may be an unfair rhetorical device to call someone else's ideas stupid because it challenges them to demonstrate the contrary. But it is not uncivil, and it is not a problem. That is how discussions are conducted, especially on the internet. If you want to defend ideas but are not ready to see them challenged, then what are you defending exactly? A mere opinion. And as the saying goes: opinion are like assholes, eveeryone has one and most of them stink.

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23 hours ago, Kalbear said:

The other thing that is effective (though not necessarily in changing that person's mind) is deplatforming them. Shouting that person off stage, removing their mic, removing their ability to continue their speech, never treating their asinine ideas as having any merit or having any right to even be heard - this, well, works. It doesn't convince that person, perhaps (eventually a lot of people get tired of not being able to be heard), but it convinces others to shout them down too, and eventually they just...don't get to talk much. This is one of the most underrated things to do with respect to white supremacists and objectivists and the like. Milo Y used to be a guy who showed up on Bill Maher; now he's unfunded, begging for money and no one cares about him because people removed his microphone. 

It works until it doesn't and depends a lot on what happens when a lot of people get tired of not being heard. You're hoping that their ideas will simply stop being propagated altogether, but, judging from history, it's quite possible that a small fraction of these people will eventually choose to express themselves in ways that are far more difficult to prevent and nearly impossible to ignore.

4 minutes ago, Kalbear said:

That said, here's the central difference: the 19th century feminist was largely bound not by public deplatforming, but by the governments. Same goes for your example of the patriarchy. Same likely goes for that film maker. The solution is to shockingly allow for deplatforming by the people ,but not by the government. 

What is "deplatforming by the people"? All of humanity does not get together and decided what is and is not acceptable. In person, deplatforming is mostly performed by small mobs of sufficiently angry individuals. Online, the vast majority of both deplatforming and its close relative, demonetizing, is done by colossal multinational corporations which command more resources and have more clout than nearly all 19th century governments. And worse, nobody knows what is and what is not acceptable to them because their primary motivation is money so some offensive things are allowed if they're sufficiently popular while tamer stuff is banned because it's not as popular. You keep bringing up the fascist wannabes, but in absolute terms, there's way more censorship of other stuff.

In fact, this illustrates the central problem of not just Objectivism, but all libertarian philosophies: if government is limited or ineffective, society will eventually be dominated by structures of the same scale as governments, but now they'll be private ones and no longer responsive to electoral pressures.

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Re: deplatforming and free speech:

I am in no way a supporter of actively giving a platform to fascists, other associated far-right supporters, climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers etc. I think that to put them on a stage, even to debunk them, grants them a dangerous degree of legitimacy. Regardless of who “wins” a larger debate, the mere act of engaging with someone on a respectable public platform can give the mistaken impression that there’s actually a debate to be had. I’m not saying that nobody should ever debate the far right, or give them a platform in order to debunk them, but it needs to be done very cautiously, and with a firm understanding of what the goal of doing so is.

That being said, I’m sceptical about the argument that deplatforming by private corporations is not a free speech issue. The argument generally runs; it’s only a violation of free speech if the government does it, companies have no obligation to host or promote speech that they disagree with or they think will be damaging to their brand. I’m sceptical of this argument because in most other spheres, it’s recognised that companies can absolutely act within their “rights” as private entities in ways that utterly trample all over individual people, and that this isn’t okay. Arguing that it isn’t a free-speech violation if a company does it seems like a very, well, objectivist take on the matter. It’s funny that on this issue, conservatives seem to be arguing that private companies need to have their behaviour constrained, whereas left-leaning people are willing to defend their use of a major power imbalance.

If a company de-facto controls an enormous chunk of a population’s means of communication, then their restriction of the speech of users might not technically be a restriction of free speech in principle, but it surely is in practice. If you rely on Twitter to get your message out, and Twitter bans you, your ability to speak has, in a real-world sense, been restricted. The ban may or may not be entirely justified, but it’s still a restriction.

I’m not arguing that therefore all platforms must allow all types of speech. To be clear, I’m entirely okay with youtube shutting down fascist channels (hypothetically). I’m just saying we shouldn’t be making the argument from a free speech perspective, because it cedes far too much ideological ground to the opposition. If Facebook banning you isn’t a violation of free speech, then Nestle buying up all the local fresh water isn’t a restriction of your right to life, and your employer forcing you to sign an arbitration clause isn’t a violation of your right to sue. Instead we should be willing to acknowledge that these private platforms wield such a great degree of power that their actions absolutely can be a violation of civil rights as egregious as if a government was doing it. We might be okay with those actions in certain contexts, but better surely to take that ability entirely out of the hands of private individuals?

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arguing that it isn’t a free-speech violation if a company does it seems like a very, well, objectivist take on the matter.

that's constitutional law, is all.  but, yeah,  objectivism is interested almost exclusively in property rights; it is completely illiberal in this regard, and will sacrifice every other liberal preference to property, inclusive of elections.

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2 hours ago, Liffguard said:

Re: deplatforming and free speech:

I am in no way a supporter of actively giving a platform to fascists, other associated far-right supporters, climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers etc. I think that to put them on a stage, even to debunk them, grants them a dangerous degree of legitimacy. Regardless of who “wins” a larger debate, the mere act of engaging with someone on a respectable public platform can give the mistaken impression that there’s actually a debate to be had. I’m not saying that nobody should ever debate the far right, or give them a platform in order to debunk them, but it needs to be done very cautiously, and with a firm understanding of what the goal of doing so is.

That being said, I’m sceptical about the argument that deplatforming by private corporations is not a free speech issue. The argument generally runs; it’s only a violation of free speech if the government does it, companies have no obligation to host or promote speech that they disagree with or they think will be damaging to their brand. I’m sceptical of this argument because in most other spheres, it’s recognised that companies can absolutely act within their “rights” as private entities in ways that utterly trample all over individual people, and that this isn’t okay. Arguing that it isn’t a free-speech violation if a company does it seems like a very, well, objectivist take on the matter. It’s funny that on this issue, conservatives seem to be arguing that private companies need to have their behaviour constrained, whereas left-leaning people are willing to defend their use of a major power imbalance.

If a company de-facto controls an enormous chunk of a population’s means of communication, then their restriction of the speech of users might not technically be a restriction of free speech in principle, but it surely is in practice. If you rely on Twitter to get your message out, and Twitter bans you, your ability to speak has, in a real-world sense, been restricted. The ban may or may not be entirely justified, but it’s still a restriction.

I’m not arguing that therefore all platforms must allow all types of speech. To be clear, I’m entirely okay with youtube shutting down fascist channels (hypothetically). I’m just saying we shouldn’t be making the argument from a free speech perspective, because it cedes far too much ideological ground to the opposition. If Facebook banning you isn’t a violation of free speech, then Nestle buying up all the local fresh water isn’t a restriction of your right to life, and your employer forcing you to sign an arbitration clause isn’t a violation of your right to sue. Instead we should be willing to acknowledge that these private platforms wield such a great degree of power that their actions absolutely can be a violation of civil rights as egregious as if a government was doing it. We might be okay with those actions in certain contexts, but better surely to take that ability entirely out of the hands of private individuals?

A simple rule is to never argue with idiots. It is like wrestling a pig in mud. Both get covered in mud and the pig enjoys it.

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Sorry for the late reply, I was at a friend's wedding for a few days.

@Varysblackfyre321 That's a rather simplified, almost Manichean worldview. On one side there are various various bigots, racists and other -ists, and on other are righteous people whose holy duty is to call out a former group where they see them. There's no room for nuance or shades of grey in between them. There's no room for misinterpretations or difference in opinion or anything similar.

Even the word dehumanizing s being thrown around way too liberally, Has OP ever claimed, for example that " trying to politely argue why the working poor are worthless ", as you directly said. He hasn't, to my knowledge. From the fact that he spoke favorably of objectivism, you deduced that he somehow supports all the worst facets of objectivism. You could also do so for pretty much any ideology on planet Earth:

- you're a Catholic? Oh, that means you must support pedophile priests and Inquisition.
- you're leftist? You monster, how dare you support likes of Mao and Stalin?
- you're rightist? How dare you exist, you sexist, racist and nazi piece of shit?

etc. Come now, give the guy at least some benefit of doubt. Try asking him a question of two before jumping to the conclusion that he thinks the poor are worthless and so. It will lead to a more constructive thread, I guarantee.

@Kalbear A few quick things first.

- I don't agree with your take for 19th century feminists. They were perhaps censored by the government, but they were censored by the people as well. Somehow I doubt that all the institutions and organizations of the 19th century were vying to give feminists the platform but couldn't because of government.
- filmmaker actually got shut down pretty effectively. He only became more popular after the magnate in question (whose corruption film exposed) fell from grace and faced prosecution.

And this:

On 8/23/2019 at 7:57 AM, Kalbear said:

What keeps those groups from tearing at each other is the thought that there exists an easier way to get their policy and emotional goals met aside from revolution, violence or destruction. "Public discourse" is not remotely it

While I very much agree with the bolded, I do think "public discourse" is indeed "it", or at least significant part of "it". Can you elaborate your position here, I'm interested in your arguments why you think oppositely?
 

The rest of your argument, I think, relies on this particular proposition, so I'll discuss it here:

On 8/23/2019 at 7:57 AM, Kalbear said:

The solution is to shockingly allow for deplatforming by the people ,but not by the government. 


1) Just like how you assert that deplatforming can stop bad ideas and cease their spreading, it can likewise stop good, even phenomenal ideas and halt the progress we all want. And this is true for both "deplatforming by government" and "deplatforming by people". That's what I was getting at while mentioning filmmaker's and feminists' examples, but the variations are practically limitless. I live in country where, for example, far-right (think of it as American alt-right, just more powerful and influential within the country) successfully deplatformed some artists by using basically exactly the same argument that people here are using: by proclaiming that art (or idea; or ideology) in question is morally heinous. So if there's one things I'd like to emphasize and cut to the truth of it - it's this: would you want to live in such a society? Would you like to live in a country where far-right can deplatform you if they think your speech doesn't match their idea of morality? After all, far-righers are no less people than you or me, and thus have the equal right to decide who or what gets deplatformed? @Varysblackfyre321, same question goes for you.

Arguing against deplatforming, for me, means admitting a certain measure of humility and ignorance. It means admitting that no single person, and no single group within society, is qualified enough to measure by themselves what kind of speech should or shouldn't be deplatformed, and that you need some kind of objective criteria to do that. Speech inciting violence, for example, is one such criteria.

2) Deplatforming doesn't solve any problems, it just moves them out of sight, where they continue to persist.

I've spoken to few people who, for example, ashamedly admitted to being anything from "discomfortable around the idea of gays" to "strongly homophobic". In each and every case, what changed their mind was that they met a gay or two, started to hang out with them, and saw that they really are no different than the rest. Then, and only then, did they start to question their beliefs. Then, and only then, did they start to change and improve as people and feel ashamed of their former selves.

What applies to people applies to societies as well. If parts of society holds bad or harmful beliefs, the solution is not to segregate them - the solution is to expose them to the arguments - and not only arguments but also feeling, emotions and thoughts - from the other side. To appeal to their better selves etc. That's how you make a lasting change.

I've spoken of anecdotal personal evidence so far, but wide-scale examples also are numerous. Fine example would be recent Ireland abortion referendum, where two sides were simply both to big to shut down/deplatform each other and had to rely on other methods to make their case. And I daresay that pro-choice official campaign played it pretty smart - instead of incoherent rambling how pro-lifers are vile misogynists, monsters and oppressors (an argument that is bound to convince exactly no one), instead they played on people's ideals. They presented it as a human rights issue. They brought forward many women who spoke how abortion laws struck the personally so that everyone listening could see how much pain and suffering it brought. And hey - it worked. Whatever pro-choice campaign did- it worked, for they won in a landslide. Some people admitted to changing their minds after hearing women's testimonies.

Bogaletch Gebre could make a fine example, as well. I implore anyone who hasn’t heard of her to check her out – for she is IMO one of greatest do-gooders and forces of progress living on planet Earth. Ethiopian sceintist and activist fighting against truly horrible ancient practices – such as forced marriage of little girls or FGM whith stunning success rate: in last few decades she managed to reduced rate of FGM in her region from around 90% to 3%.

Anyway, I’ve read an interview with her where journalist asked her about her methods. She’s obviously very successful at convincing large amounts of people to rethink their beliefs and changing the society (for the better), so how did she do that? Gebre’s answer in basically the opposite of deplatforming. Although confronted with villagers whose practices she (and us) must have deemed monstrous, she didn’t belittle or judge them. She treated them as people, she helped them with small stuff to gain their trust – and she basically platformed everyone involved. Soceties she tried to change were burdened with lot of segregation of various groups with insufficient communication between them: men and women; young and old etc. Gebre encouraged each of them to talk to each other, to realize each other’s problems and to partake in their solution. And only then did the things start to change – only after they heard each other’s perspective thanks to massive platforming that she provided.

There are more examples, but all of them have the one thing in common. They show us that change is hard but possible. That confronting beliefs and ideas we would undoubtebly dub as toxic and outright vile take courage and patience – but that it ultimately pays off. Conversely, deplatforming somebody is a easy way out: effectively removing not the problem but your perception of a problem. Deplatformed nazis won’t stop being nazis. Confronted nazis might.

And there’s something very intuitive about that. People want to be validated and recognized. They want their opinion to be heard and acknowledged – and then, and only then – are you able to change it. If you shut them down and keep talking how stupid and bigoted they are (aka deplatform them), you’re denying them the possibility. The solution to fighting dehumanizing ideas paradoxically is not to dehumanize people who have them.

3) Deplaforming is only effective agaist people who are otherwise not really powerful.

Deplatforming would work great against e.g. that filmmaker we were talking about, or agaist likes of you and me. If, for exmaple, facebook, twitter and newspapers decided to deplatofrm us, our ability to reach the public would be de facto brought to zero.

Who deplatforming doesn’t work against are people and groups who deplatofrming is mostly aimed against. Even if you ban every neo-nazi you see, they’ll still find some facebook group or online forum and speak their mind there.

4) The possibility of deplatforming leaves great chance to various abuses and misuses.

Try as we might to believe that deplatforming is a great tool for holding genuinely horrid ideas at bay, the truth is that it could (and will) just as easily be used for less noble purposes. People will deplatform various ideas they don’t like, have no arguments against or are unwilling to face. Most likely they will post facto rationalize their decision by proclaiming the ideas they deplatformed as bigoted or morally wrong otherwise; just to justify this censorship to themselves.

Not to mention how deplatforming can be a great tool for oppression. There are very few ways to publicly hurt any group – be it LGBT, civil engineers or scientists – than to deny them any platform to speak on or to shut them down should they manage to find one. I don’t think I have to explain how bad this can be.

5) Deplatforming may cause people to turn to other, less constrcutive ways of expressing themselves.

 

This is speculative from my part, but still worth discussing, IMO. So let’s say we found someone whose opinions we dislike or find toxic and deplatform them. The question is: what will they do once they can’t express themselves by usual manner – by speech in public discourse? And I suspect the answer won’t be something along the likes they’ll meekly accept that they cannot speak – more likely they will find other, less good ways to push their opinion forward and expressing it to the world. And there’s all kinds of destructive behaviours – even violence – which people can do – to themselves or others as a result. As I said, this is speculative and I’d be very interested to hear if there’s any psychological research on this.


 

@Rippounet

Firstly, let’s make it clear: lot of posts here crossed the boundary between polite criticism of one’s ideas and toxic personal ad hominems. Secondly, and more importantly – I don’t think we understood each other here. I was not saying that each of us should be polite because each idea is equally worth, or because we’re all fragile flowers whose delicate feelings may crumble if we hear a rude word; in fact, my advocacy of civil discussion and non-deplatofrming mainly stems from two different ideas:

the first one is that I’m denying myself any possibility of learning something new or useful this way. I’m approaching this thread, and every other thread, considering the possibility that the other party may know something that I don’t – no matter how stupid or ridiculous his idea may sound at first. For example, if my memory serves me well: in the other thread, I’ve seen you speak favorably about Soviet communism – a system infinitely more dangerous than anything that Ayn Rand said or did, with millions of human corpses to prove for it. And yet, should we ever engage in a debate about this, I’ll try to speak politely and engage you constructively. Why? Because I’m considering the possibility that you know something (or many somethings) about the subject that I don’t. I’m considering that supporting an ideology doesn’t mean supporting all the worst aspects of it, and that probably you don’t support Maoist and Stalinist murders. I’m considering that there are perhaps some interesting aspects, angles and ideas you find inspiring, even if you don’t agree with overall result. Etc. That way, I can actually learn something and profit from a discussion.

And I believe I owe the same to br16, and objectivists in general. I think they’re worth giving benefit of doubt to that they’re not heartless monsters to don’t care about the poor. Maybe they don’t agree with everything Rand said, but just find her overall approach to be interesting. Maybe they found some particular aspect of objectivism particularly interesting or inspiring. There are a thousand maybes here, and I believe they should have the chance to clarify what they meant before we lambast the shit out of them.

And in turn, once you open yourself to the (probable) possibility that the other side is not wholly stupid, misguided or ignorant, you also open their receptiveness to anything you say – a fact that they’ll genuinely appreciate. Maybe they’ll come out of the debate enriched by new ideas and seriously considering your arguments. 

And neither of what I said above is possible without civility. I don’t think I have to explain how toxic and detrimental to the discussion is insulting and humiliating the other side. Once you call someone an idiot or a fool, you basically shut down any probability what the two of you will take anything constructive from what was once a debate.

Second reason is that being insulting and non-respectful usually represents an useless act motivated by ultimately selfish reasons. I’ve learned a long time ago that collective intelligence of the people is not something to be proud of, and I’m reminded of that fact daily as soon as I open my facebook wall or read comment section of some news portal. Each time anew, I’m defeated by sheer stupidity, toxicity and complete lack of any critical thinking from post posters. So, believe me, I do know the urge you feel when you see something incredibly dumb or toxic written – an urge to respond with something like “How the hell did you survive so long in this world by being so monumentally dumb?? You likely didn’t have a single intelligent thought in your entire life, you sexist, vile, ignorant piece of shit!” or something milder like “Lol, everything you say is uttrely stupid”.


And a few times, I did just that. And the other guy sometimes didn’t respond. Sometimes he insulted me back, and we’d traded few volleys back and forth until one of us got tired. And this kind kind of approach led me exactly nowhere – I was none the wiser, and neither was he. Our exchange of words has been counterproductive and monumental waste of time. So it dawned to me how selfish I’ve been, how utterly motivated by sheer self-gratification at the expanse of others I was. I didn’t use the gift of language to speak my mind constructively, or to understand other party, or to create something new and meaningful – instead I used it to gratify my primitive self-congratulatory desire to humiliate the other side by calling him stupid. 

So, yes, even when you’re faced with most stupid and ignorant interlocutor who’s speaking no sense at all, I maintain there’s a lot of reasons to remain respectful. Of course, you’re under no obligation to face him at all: in which case ignoring and saying nothing still is an infinitely better option. But if you do engage with him – you owe both him and yourself (yourself foremost) to do it in a manner that has at least some chance of being constructive.



 

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You make some good points but I'll daresay you missed mine: I didn't say we shouldn't give people the benefit of doubt, what I was trying to say was that the benefit of doubt should only last so long. I for myself would actually have liked reading a well-constructed argumentation defending objectivism with a few studies and real-life examples to back it up. But at some point it became clear we were not going to get anything close to that.

Having checked page 1 of the thread however, I have to agree that the ridicule started too early. Which pretty much means that all in all you are probably correct.

On 8/26/2019 at 6:59 PM, Knight Of Winter said:

For example, if my memory serves me well: in the other thread, I’ve seen you speak favorably about Soviet communism – a system infinitely more dangerous than anything that Ayn Rand said or did, with millions of human corpses to prove for it. And yet, should we ever engage in a debate about this, I’ll try to speak politely and engage you constructively. Why? Because I’m considering the possibility that you know something (or many somethings) about the subject that I don’t. I’m considering that supporting an ideology doesn’t mean supporting all the worst aspects of it, 

It's even simpler than that: speaking "favorably" of any regime doesn't mean you support its ideology. To my eyes, reminding people of early Soviet economic successes is like saying that Trump's campaigning strategy is quite smart in several respects. My desire for accuracy (or my pedantism) says little about my personal ideas.
In this case I was not trying to engage anyone though, just "setting the record straight" for its own sake - without even bothering to explain why.
Which leads me back to underlining the fact that it's all about your objectives. Overall I share your sentiments but on the internet people do tend to seek self-gratification/self-aggrandisement first and foremost. And perhaps it would be better if we all did that in a civil way, without the mockery, the condenscension, the ridicule, and all that... or perhaps it wouldn't be. Part of the fun is also about being witty and snarky, as childish and petty as it is. People on this forum tend to be more educated than average and many witticisms come at another poster's expense. Is that nice? Is that smart? No.  But it's kinda part of the local netiquette, as one of my old teachers would put it. Or, to sum up, the main purpose of this forum may be entertainment rather than political exchanges...

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Yeah, that's too long. Sorry, not going to bother to read that. 

I'm just going to say this: human history has virtually no examples of where civil discourse has made significant societal changes, whereas it has an absurd amount of examples of uncivil discourse that have changed worlds. If you can find an example where civil discourse was the main key instead of the actual threat of violence or discord being used as the stick, feel free. In general humans think that they are able to be convinced by facts and data, but they almost never are; what convinces them is their ingroup changing their opinions and threatening to ostracize those who disagree. 

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2 hours ago, Kalbear said:

If you can find an example where civil discourse was the main key instead of the actual threat of violence or discord being used as the stick, feel free.

Hm.  I haven't kept up entirely with this thread - I agree there's things that are too long that I just don't want to read - but this is an interesting question in regards to the Constitution.  There was Shays' "Rebellion," sure, but that was largely ginned up by supporters of a stronger federal government (there are letters of Madison convincing Washington of attending the Convention by plainly exaggerating the threat). 

Plus, it's not like Daniel Shays was at Philadelphia, and while there might have been a few that threatened violence on either side, that wasn't seriously considered by either side over the summer, at least according to Madison's notes.  And the dissenters certainly weren't "deplatformed" (is this a term people actually use these days?  I've never heard it until reading this thread) during Ratification.  So, that was effectively a bloodless (or almost, again if we're counting Shays, wikipedia says 4 people died) overthrow of the government.  Of course, the only reason the Framers were able to pull it off is because they conducted the debate in secrecy, which seems relevant to this discussion on "public" discourse.

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13 minutes ago, DMC said:

Hm.  I haven't kept up entirely with this thread - I agree there's things that are too long that I just don't want to read - but this is an interesting question in regards to the Constitution.  There was Shays' "Rebellion," sure, but that was largely ginned up by supporters of a stronger federal government (there are letters of Madison convincing Washington of attending the Convention by plainly exaggerating the threat). 

Plus, it's not like Daniel Shays was at Philadelphia, and while there might have been a few that threatened violence on either side, that wasn't seriously considered by either side over the summer, at least according to Madison's notes.  And the dissenters certainly weren't "deplatformed" (is this a term people actually use these days?  I've never heard it until reading this thread) during Ratification.  So, that was effectively a bloodless (or almost, again if we're counting Shays, wikipedia says 4 people died) overthrow of the government.  Of course, the only reason the Framers were able to pull it off is because they conducted the debate in secrecy, which seems relevant to this discussion on "public" discourse.

Yes, other than the 4 people who were killed and it not being public discourse, it's a good example of civil conversation carrying the day. And that's not exactly counting the, ya know, revolutionary war that was sort of a big deal alongside it. 

The thesis was basically that the only reason that people make deals like that is because of the implied threat of what will happen if they don't. Shays rebellion - with people lying about the implied threat in order to get what they want, backroom deals, and the actual threat of violence there - is a good example of what I mean. People didn't just sit down and hash out their differences and were all 'cool beans' if they didn't get what they wanted. They were all 'we want concessions or it's time for a rebellion'. Much of the constitutional convention and deliberations were like this - the implied threat of something Very Bad happening if they didn't get their way. This is most notable in giving southern states the electoral power of slaves via 3/5ths of a person without giving those people actual say in anything - remarked on at the time as a gross indecency - but the alternative of the southern states going it on their own or fighting another war was not acceptable. 

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