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Ethan! I missed you, bro!! :D

Posted by Dissident on Tuesday, August 07 2018 at 02:32:55AM
In reply to incrementalism is appealing, for good reason posted by EthanEdwards on Tuesday, August 07 2018 at 01:05:48AM

Let's start with this: I am not against incrementalism in essence. In fact, I have often said that real progress and change takes time and occurs in steps.

I actually read the whole thing.

Thank you! I'm sure it made your day :-D

I deserve combat pay.

You can bill me, old friend :-D

It is awfully rambling and repetitive,|

Translation: You didn't agree with any of it, which means it was a chore to read. I get that.

pulling in a whole bag of somewhat related issues as you tell us about Dissident's subjective experience in dealing with antis over the years.

Meaning, common threads that anyone with an objective eye would notice because they recur over and over again ad infinitum with antis. Nothing you like seeing pointed out, of course.

One summary might be, "People who disagree with Dissident are ignorant, stupid, and/or morally suspect."

More like, "Dissident notices patterns that are very obvious to anyone who has likewise engaged with this group countless times, or read/listened to their spiel and rhetoric countless times over the past few decades." And you call me repetitive :-D

As for stupid? No, they are just required to say stupid things at times in order to support a system that is full of stupidity but preserves the power structures they want to see preserved. Ignorant? Yes, but very willfully so, because they must deny evidence, the lessons of history, and oftentimes common sense. Morally suspect? Supporting a system that routinely results in immoral policies is, like it or not, a moral failing.

Does that automatically make pro-choicers "better" people? No, not necessarily, but what it does mean is that we are trying to create a better world that will bring out the best in all people instead of coaxing the worst out of us.

To get clarity you've got to pick specific issues and isolate them from the surrounding context.

Except this post was intended to be a list of common anti traits, not an in-depth discussion of any of those listed traits in particular. We've done that in the past, and doubtless we'll have just as much fun doing so again in the future. If you qualify for combat pay, I want mine too! :-D

Underlying much of what you say is your vision for the Good Society, achieved by a collection of quite radical readjustments.

Virtually all liberal and progressive beliefs were radical at one time. Radicals are required to make most such beliefs become debatable points in the first place. It's part of that incrementalism you mentioned early on.

There are many separate issues that smart people of good will could disagree on in terms of how to transform the world.

History has shown that ideas favoring prohibition, restrictive laws, a hierarchical structure, and a standardized status quo has not benefited the great majority.

One initial reaction: We could do much better completely forgetting anything to do with children's sexuality.

Mmmhmmm. Whoop, there it is!

It is as you note an emotional issue and you raise so much else that wouldn't have such strong feelings involved.

Yet greater society itself refuses to get their mind off that issue. It's just mostly in regards to prohibiting said rights and all forms of expression thereof.

From memory, your other worries for children include:


You say all the antis assume the world can't change. Obviously vast numbers of people don't think about society changing a great deal, whatever their beliefs. Why should pro-legalization folks be different?

Pro-legaliation folks do differ in their visions for what type of economic world order would constitute the best type of system for all to live under, but they do more often than not envision and accept the possibility of fundamental change. Our stance makes it beneficially difficult to envision the status quo as it is today, with all its manifold problems, continuing indefinitely forward. It forces us to think outside the box in ways that those who are against legalization necessarily cannot afford to do. Because their stance on this issue forces them to envision a future that maintains most of the features and power structures that continue to make hierarchy, prohibition, and moral suppression possible.

I suppose because it's hard to see a path from where we are by a series of modest changes to a world where adult-child sex is accepted.

Yep. But more specifically, a world where youth liberation in a general sense is extant, and kids are treated as full citizens with a right to engage in society on all levels in accordance with their individual merits. It has never been all about sex and sexual freedom only.

If what unites people is the holy grail of making it accepted, you have to imagine a world that is quite different. Well, I can imagine a world that is different in dozens of respects that are independent choices. Legalizing adult-child sex is one of the least important I can think of regarding children's welfare.

I fully disagree, because sexual rights are among the most fundamental and important of all freedoms, equal to that of many others that are considered important which we can discuss here (e.g., voting rights, labor rights, freedom of speech, free access to information). Sexual prohibition laws have historically been used to control people, and never worked out for the best interest of any demographic. Maintaining such laws require continued censorship of information, continued punishing of innocent people of all age groups, and continued forcible suppression of sexual expression. It's only the "least" important in your worldview because it's the one that offends you the most, going back to the emotional issue. It impacts all society on a vast number of levels, and none in a positive way. It's among the worst and most repressive of all the Nanny State measures.

The complaint you lay on "antis" is assuming the world can't change. I'd frame it differently. What everyone has a much better shot at agreeing about is the way the world actually is right now. I dare say most people are incrementalists, wanting to implement change one step at a time based on where we actually are right now.

Again, I have always supported the concept of incrementalism, and have always cautioned the community against expecting vast changes in just a few years. What I do not support is deliberately working towards keeping changes as slow as possible, and only geared towards a future world order that resembles the current one far more than it differs. In other words, a projected future of petty and superficial changes only as the ultimate goal. Hence, I think we are using largely contrasting definitions of "incrementalism."

Proponents of a variety of beliefs could all share this criticism of the incrementalists... those hoping to make the world a Christian state, those bent on space colonization, those who want total disarmament, radical greens who want a drastically reduced carbon imprint, even the voluntary extinction people. Any fierce commitment to a big change from the way our world works is going to give rise to a criticism of incrementalists. Pro-legalization of child-adult sex is just one of a large family.

I think a fully democratic society, one based on strong fundamental freedoms, is something the majority of us can agree on in time. What we need to do first is to dispense with the contention that a few choice examples of draconian law to spare our personal sentiments and retain a big chunk of the current world order can and should be retained.

It's fine to think long-term thoughts, but it's hard to gather many people into a consensus. Each group will argue that it has the correct political line and there's no sign of cohesive radical political parties forming.

There are actually several, but they are heavily marginalized in the current corporate controlled press that has to appeal to the numerous wealthy sponsors paying their bills, as we have discussed before. The Greens, in fact, are getting more radical of late, and are often debating how radical they should get... which is common when the old is in the process of making way for the new.

Maybe you will get support from the less intellectual GCers with, "Well, I guess Dissy knows the details and I don't, but he's fighting for what I want, so he must be right".

Or maybe I will get the support from GCers who are indeed intellectual, but are not enslaved by their emotions and loyalty towards the status quo they are familiar with that they want to preserve huge chunks of it for that perceived future society. Not a Great Society, but a Tweaked Version of the Present Society. Maybe they prefer a system that everyone has a stake in, not just a few specific demographics. One that is a lot more flexible, and doesn't impose standardized expectations and rigid hierarchies. Maybe they will not take my word for anything, but do the necessary research I point them towards and come to similar conclusions based on that. I insist that no one here takes my word for anything, but to do the objective research. I also encourage them to support bringing younger people to the table while guaranteeing they will not be punished for speaking their mind and getting their opinions on the matter, rather than leaving them out. Let's do that and see what most younger people decide.

Supporting a destructive, reactionary system is not a sign of intellectual understanding, but a stubborn and very non-intellectual opposition to actual change. Which is another reason so many adults do not want to liberate youths: It has been shown in many cases that younger people are more likely to accept fundamental change, rather than becoming set in their ways and stubbornly supporting only what they are accustomed to.

But most of what you suggest is hand-waving "come the revolution, all will be well", bypassing all the difficult, thorny questions that will divide people along the way.

Those thorny and difficult questions invariably come down to whether or not all of us can or should be equal in the eyes of the law, whether or not everyone should have freedom of making personal choices, whether or not everyone should have full access to objective information that will enable them to make informed choices on that basis, and whether or not society should be flexible enough to accommodate everyone. Hence, the revolution is all about whether we should embrace true civil liberties. Nothing thorny or difficult about that.

It's not much different from what lots of Trump voters said, "I don't know the details, but Trump talks like I think, so I'm going to vote for him and he'll work it out".

Funny, Ethan, but I never heard Trump recommend that people who support him do their own research, or keep an open mind, or make any sort of challenge to the established world order. The same for any politician promoted by your fellow Democrats. They support essentially the same world order Trump does, only they play for a different team utilizing a different style of rhetoric, but all towards achieving the same goal at cross purposes with each other.

In fact, I encourage everyone here who may be "on the fence" about the issues to not take my word for anything here, but to engage the antis (no quotation marks merited!) on an objective basis and decide for themselves if my list of observed traits are merely subjective to me or are actually quite evident. I also ask them to observe the exchanges between the pro-choicers and anti-choicers and likewise make that assessment entirely for themselves.

Not exactly Trumpian of me, huh? Nor Clintonite, for that matter!

The narrow-mindedness you ascribe to antis is better thought of as the vast majority of people being incrementalists.

The majority of people either do not want major change out of a preference for what they are used to, that humanity is too inherently flawed to achieve much better than what we have now, convinced that change is simply whether or not a Republican or Democrat is sitting in the Oval Office, or based on a learned apathetic belief that such is not actually possible. That is not incrementalism but cynicism and fatalism. yet throughout history, fundamental change has occurred anyway.

All those other groups I mentioned -- ones wanting the Christina state, space colonization, voluntary extinction, etc. -- will write scathing critiques of you for failing to address the truly important questions -- you're just committed to the status quo, they'll say.

No status quo they will be familiar with. As I do not argue to retain the laws, the value systems, and the hierarchical structures that predominate in society today, and which always result in basically the same type of system. I think it's more a matter of wanting to deter the question of fundamental freedom for all and address anything other than that.

There are of course many more issues to be addressed, but I'll start there.

It was a good start, and I'm sure we have a lot to look forward to, as always :-)


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