November 05, 2016

Good Hunting, but do Be Careful

J.C. Carlton (whose blog you should be following) has a thoughtful disquisition on the state of political discourse. Out of consideration for our readers, we'll post our quibbles below the fold and post a picture of Best Oni here. 




Because she's relevant. 
Mr. Carlton lays out the situation quite well. The progressive left has developed a completely feral and tribal view of discourse, one that is completely at odds with the civics necessary for a representative republic. Indeed, it is quite totalitarian.

They are essentially replacing morality with game theory.

Carlton's premise, is one I've seen a LOT of late, and is, essentially, that since the left's bullying tactics are horrifyingly effective, and the left is in control of the culture to a vast extent, that there is no dishonor in using their methods since "them's the rules now".

In a culture war, if you have the means to strike back at these people, you will have to engage with all your power and attention.  The problem is that the only thing  these people understand is the fact that somebody can inflict pain on them. We’ve seen case after case of the fact that these people are relentless unless stopped early.

This sounds reasonable, and from a purely rational perspective, it simply represents an application of game theory .

He links to two-posts by the late Steven DenBeste. The thing is, these concern International issues, However, while game theory does work, and is suited very well to certain applications, and is near optimal for international relations, it does not lend itself to civics and is a poor substitute for morality.

The left's tactics have all but destroyed our civic discourse. Adopting them is, as Carlton suggests, the only thing that is likely to deter them, since their only goal is power and the only language they understand is fear.

However:

One of the most important rules of slaying monsters, is to not become a monster in the process, for that defeats the purpose of the exercise, as even if one "wins",there is still a monster to menace those one set out to protect.

This is not to suggest that we not punch back, and do so with verve, but to implore my fellow conservatives that as we punch back and educate these totalitarians in basic civics, we need to ensure we do not become as tribal and power obsessed as them. At that point the fight becomes a battle between two sets of totalitarians...making the outcome rather moot. 


   

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