These next few weeks will be hectic as I put the finishing touches on my next book. Several blog posts are finished, but their release depends on other coinciding events.
In the meantime, there is another post way back in the archives that I wrote when I just started blogging. Thus, it has been lost to the many new readers I’ve acquired over the last year and a half. It is something I want to share because, while the nature of online discourse hasn’t really changed in that time, the new influx of Social Justice is increasing the volume of our detractors. Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate between ally and antagonist, or what tactics to use against them.
The distinguishing factor between the people set against you is verifying that they are an opponent or an enemy, for there is a difference between the two.
When I think of the word opponent, I imagine someone in a gi on the other side of the mat, about to kick my ass. They stand in my way but they don’t necessarily want to kill me, and I don’t necessarily want to kill them. We both come to the conflict with some degree of understanding of why we’re here – to test our abilities, or even to pick up some more tricks. There are ground rules, some spoken or unspoken, that we don’t cross certain lines out of respect and we are allowed to tap-out, breaking the conflict without fear of being run down and obliterated.
They aren’t seeking my complete destruction, and I’m not intending to do the same. I might not even want to eliminate an opponent because the continual sparring will make sure my strategy is precise, or to the contrary that my weaknesses will be revealed so that I may correct them. Likewise, I do the same for my opponent. This is the dialectic that is created between antagonizing beliefs. Each side evolves against one another, and perhaps a greater truth or experience is found as a result of the struggle.
The word enemy, however, comes with an entirely different connotation. When I think of an enemy, I image a horde of barbarians breaking through the gates and slaughtering everything in their path. They don’t lay down rules because mutual combat isn’t their intent. They don’t look to debate. They don’t entertain the idea they’re wrong. They don’t let you retreat, and should you submit they will only try to crush you further.
Online it may be hard to separate the two, but it’s important that you scrutinize your antagonist’s intent to sort out which is which. You don’t want to misconstrue an enemy for an opponent because they will steamroll over your patience and decorum. Similarly, you don’t want to mistake an opponent for an enemy, otherwise you run the risk of using the rhetorical nukes on a soft target.
At one time, I had civil discussions with Marxists and even some outright Communists. They saw things that I didn’t; I saw things that they didn’t, and by the end we left it at that, retiring to our own domains of the internet without needing to throw bricks or incite a mob. I don’t want to destroy the people I disagree with politically because they may have a point. It was the crucible of disagreement, after all, which brought me to where I am today.
When criticism appeared on my blog, I took it in stride because most people make it clear – unconsciously – that they’re opponents, not enemies. Never have I seen a frothing barbarian try to tear this place down.
In the past year, I have seen clashes in here in the ‘sphere and, while we all have differing opinions on how to measure success and what we should value, no sect of the manosphere has ever actively pursued the destruction of all others. Despite the differences in the tradcons, MRAs, MGTOW’s or whatever acronym you subscribe to, there is no internal warfare, just sparring matches. That is something that we need to remember when these clashes happen. Here, we’re not out to defend our very lives from fellow travelers. That is something that I cannot say for our ideological opposites in the blue pill sector.
In this same year, I’ve seen a raise of enemies through events like GamerGate, and recently with the round of Hugo nominations. Here we see different behavior than what should normally come from simple disagreements: absolute thinking desiring complete submission. I.E. the desires of an enemy.
In this original post, I stated that Political Correctness is an enemy because it treats all people as potential enemies in its effort to purge all forms of sexism, racism, discrimination, privilege and oppression from society, no exceptions. Anyone who holds those beliefs or has any sort of privilege is to be attacked and shamed without respite until PC’s complete and total domination reigns supreme. There is no middle ground and there are no bystanders in the eyes of Political Correctness. There is no room for compromise or discussion.
However, Political Correctness is merely a thought bubble that cannot carry out its own will. It has no physical form, rather it is people who give action to these ideas, and it is people that we need to be mindful of. The particular people who have risen this past year have been Social Justice Warriors. I’m not sure what new University curriculum was approved, but if GamerGate and the increasing fury of the Tumblrists and Twitteristas is any indication, someone is teaching them to be enemies rather than opponents.
They can’t sit by and just let games be games. They won’t even let the privileged have their own territory within gaming because if one game, just one, was not up to par with their particular standards then it is torn apart by outrage. Again, is that the behavior of an opponent or an enemy?
That thinking right there is a far cry from the disagreements we behold within the ‘sphere. Can a Social Justice Warrior honestly admit that, if given the chance, would they leave their opponents alone or is every pizza restaurant that doesn’t agree to be burned to the ground? Is any state with any law slightly against the oppressed supposed to now be boycotted? Similarly, would they allow other authors that don’t share their views onto the Hugo slate without a tantrum, saying to themselves “well, better luck next time”?
The answer is no. If they could console themselves through defeat or if they could tolerate the world as it is, maybe even seeing the good within it, then they wouldn’t be Social Justice Warriors. They could have compromised a long time ago and perhaps found a nice middle ground to occupy, but because everyone else has compromised with them they feel entitled to dictate the ways of the world, and not just dictate but to dominate completely. Their tactics make it quite clear that they are ideological enemies.
How do you deal with ideological enemies? First, you don’t treat them as opponents. Ideological opponents are granted respect and manners because the debate is mutual. With opponents you and they are allowed to retreat. Once you do, there is an understanding that you don’t cross into their territory, whether that be a spot on the Earth or a server on the web, and they don’t disturb yours.
Because enemies aren’t inclined to do this, you shouldn’t feel the responsibility to do it for them. Taking the moral high ground doesn’t help you when the barbarians pile on their assault. Purposefully handicapping yourself against a rabid enemy doesn’t bode well for you. Probably the best way to combat enemies is to do to them exactly what they do to you. GamerGate and the recent Hugo nominations have found that strategy to work. Turn their tactics back on them, show them the pressure of their own wrath. Feel free to let lose the rhetorical nukes. Ridicule and make fun of them, if you wish. Don’t feel sympathetic to people who feel no sympathy toward you, who would crush you if they had the choice, and who, if they ruled, would not let people simply live and let live.
Throughout the process, just remember to correctly identify: opponent or enemy.