Sunday, February 16, 2014

No Compromise

I've noted before the futility of trying to compromise with liberals as to the issue of gun control. James Delingpole explains that the same is true of liberalism in general:
This war [against cultural Marxism] has many theatres: radical feminism; progressive educationalism; the Nanny State; political correctness; race; disability; Islamism; communitarianism; environmentalism; and so on. But the techniques used by the enemy are always the same: vicious ad hominems; appeals to authority; feigned outrage; legislative bullying; attempts to close down the argument; lies; threats; smears; sabotage... 
All these I have experienced many times myself as a right-wing blogger and let me tell you, it isn't for the faint-hearted.

"But what is it about my argument that they find so objectionable?" I've often asked myself. "What exactly is so evil about arguing, say, that schools should teach kids rigorously, or that climate scientists should do more science and less political activism, or that bigger government only perpetuates the power of a corrupt elite at the expense of ordinary people?"
And the conclusion I've long since reached is that there are some people out there who you're simply never going to reach through logic or sweet reasonableness or basic courtesy. These people will always hate me - and those who think like me - as a matter of fundamental principle. It's an ideological clash of total opposites: tyranny v liberty; poverty v prosperity; hysteria v reason; the state v the individual; misery v happiness.

So in what way, may I ask, would it be a sensible policy to halve the difference between those two extremes in order to reach some kind of "reasonable" consensus?
It's what I call the 'Dogshit Yoghurt Fallacy'.

On one side of the argument are those of us who think yoghurt works best with a little fruit or maybe just on its own. On the other are those who believe passionately that what yoghurt really needs is the addition of something more earthy, organic, recycled - like maybe a nice scoop of dogshit.

Now you can call me a dangerous extremist if you like, for refusing under any conditions to accommodate the alternative point of view. Or you could call me one of those few remaining brave souls in a cowardly, compromised world still prepared to tell it like it is: that dogshit into yoghurt simply doesn't go, no matter how many expert surveys you cite, nor how eco-friendly it shows you to be, nor how homeopathic the dosage.

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