Skip to comments.How to Use Violence When Arguing with Liberals
Posted on 01/19/2013 6:13:45 AM PST by AnonymousConservative
I was emailing with a reader, who has noticed the same things about Liberal debating tactics that I have. His perception was that every interaction must have a component which will shame the Liberal. It must have some aspect which the Liberal will not want anyone else to see. Of course the reason that such a component would be shameful, is due to the fact that if it became widely known, the Liberal would be out-grouped. It is the threat of being out-grouped which motivates the Liberal to abandon Liberalism. However, there may be more to it, and there may be subtleties that we may want to examine.
Of course, from an evolutionary, and r/K standpoint, shame will only carry Darwinian consequence in a K-selective environment. Only in such a resource-limited environment will one need to belong to a group. If conditions are r-selecting and resources are everywhere, then being ejected from a group will have less consequence on survival, and may even be advantageous, since you will no longer be sacrificing for the good of the group. Under r-selection, shamelessness may be highly adaptive, even as it will get you killed in a K-selective environment.
As the reader and I compared notes, and I reviewed his arguments and mine, one thing I noticed was the most effective shaming tactics may incorporate an opening with a subtle intimation that we are in a violent, K-selective environment. The opening may even personalize the threat this poses to the Liberal. This may be a necessary foundation which greatly enhances the effect of the subsequent out-grouping. If the Liberal has a slight frame in their head that they are threatened, and could get hurt, it may lead the Liberal to feel that they need a group to hide behind, if they are to survive. Because let’s face it, none of these characters would last a minute in a K-selective state of nature.
This introducing a threat frame prior to your argument may be important, given how we seem programmed to respond to these cues subconsciously. If threats are not everywhere, and violence is not seen as real, people may not be shamed as easily over their shameful behavior, since they may not care if they are part of a group or not. I think this is why a civilized, highly productive society will be afflicted with Liberalism to begin with. Under these conditions, being out-grouped may actually be advantageous evolutionarily, and they may embrace it. Just look at how shameless our society is today. I suspect if violence returns in the coming collapse, shame will as well.
This observation of the effectiveness of providing a threat frame, before making your case is supported by scientific research, as well.
John Jost noted that when examining adherence to ideological opinions,
Situational variablesincluding system threat and mortality salience… affect the degree to which an individual is drawn to liberal versus conservative leaders, parties, and opinions.
Much as the Great Depression precipitated rightward shifts in Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Japan, and other nations, heightened perceptions of uncertainty and threat in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, generally increased the appeal of conservative leaders and opinions
Since the publication of our meta-analysis, several additional studies have demonstrated that reminders of death and terrorism increase the attractiveness of conservative leaders and opinions.
Landau et al. (2004) demonstrated that subliminal and supraliminal 9/11 and death primes led college students (a relatively liberal population) to show increased support for President Bush and his counterterrorism policies and decreased support for the liberal challenger John Kerry. These effects were replicated by Cohen et al. (2005) immediately prior to the BushKerry election in 2004. A Spanish study found that in the aftermath of the Madrid terrorist attacks of March 11, 2004, survey respondents scored higher on measures of authoritarianism and prejudice and were more likely to endorse conservative values and less likely to endorse liberal values, compared with baseline levels calculated prior to the attacks (Echebarria & Ferna´ndez, 2006).
An experimental study by Jost, Fitzsimons, and Kay (2004) demonstrated that priming people with images evoking death (e.g., images of a funeral hearse, a Dead End street sign, and a chalk outline of a human body) led liberals and moderates as well as conservatives to more strongly endorse politically conservative opinions on issues such as taxation, same-sex marriage, and stem cell research, compared with a standard control condition in which participants were primed with images evoking pain (e.g., a dentists chair, a bandaged arm, and a bee sting removal). This finding is particularly important because it demonstrates that death reminders increase support for conservative opinions as well as leaders and therefore rules out charismatic leadership as an alternative explanation for the results (see Cohen et al., 2005).
A recently conducted study of the political attitudes of World Trade Center survivors provides further support for the notion that threat precipitates conservative shift even among people who were not initially conservative (Bonanno & Jost, in press).
Thus, if presented fearful/threatening mortal salience stimuli, individuals reflexively became more Conservative on subsequent questionnaires, and they do so across all measures of Conservatism. Perhaps he was presenting what should be a foundational structure of an out-grouping attack, and noting an openness to Conservatism motivated by a reflexive desire to avoid out-grouping.
It is important to note, this isn’t a threatening presentation, which the Liberal could use to out-group you as violent and unstable. It is not telling the Liberal you are going to kill him. That only works if you are able to, and about to swiftly follow-up on it (in which case, the Liberal will immediately agree with you). Rather what I am describing here is merely a wholly unemotional aside, pointing out impartially, that the environment that everyone inhabits is violent and dangerous, and the Liberal may have to face that danger, like everyone else.
Of course, I immediately see Colonel Connell when he began his brilliant out-grouping attack on Mike Wallace by saying,
Two days later they (the reporters Jennings and Wallace) are both walking off my hilltop and theyre 200 yards away, and they get ambushed and theyre lying there wounded. And theyre going to expect Im going to send Marines out there to get them.
You can’t create a perception of a K-selective environment much better than by creating an image of dead and dying Liberals, strewn across a battlefield, desperately screaming and begging for their lives, like the pathetic pansies they are – their only chance for survival being the group of K-selected Warriors they have just pissed off.
This was doubly beautiful, since it combined this violent threat frame with a Diminution of Stature attack, portraying the Liberal to the crowd as weak, helpless, and pathetic.
Is the presentation of violent imagery a necessary foundational opening to an out-grouping attack? I think the science and evidence says it is, and we will explore its use further in future posts as we continue this journey.
Never try to win an argument with a pig.
It wastes your time, and annoys the pig.
This is a highly thought-provoking article, and I appreciate your posting it.
I have a question that is somewhat related to the topic. I’m wondering if there are any psychological insights to be derived from my observations from arguing with progressives? As I have a bit of time during the day between clients, I often jump into political discussions online in mixed groups. It’s generally an unholy mess, but I have noticed a few things that are regular as clockwork about progressive minds-in-motion..
1. No matter what the statement is, I have to challenge the assumption. Practically everything that progressives open with is simply not true. I won’t even call them ‘liberals’ for that reason. This gets down to even basic word definitions.
2. Expect strawmen and absurd misrepresentation of other positions.
3. Expect faulty logic, distorted history and half-true stats.
4. Expect attacks against conservative moral legitimacy, general via accusations of racism, sexism, religious intolerance or general meanness.
5. Expect attacks against conservative intelligence, generally via accusations of being ‘anti-science’, but often on no grounds at all.
5. Expect high intensity offense to perceived hypocrisy. This is often true when there is in fact no hypocrisy at all, except from strawman projection.
6. Expect high intensity offense to any source of authority or information that runs counter to their own. Not just disagreement, but white hot fury. Fox News spelled with a swastika instead of an X. That sort of thing.
7. Expect sneering, sanctimony, closed mindedness and essentially every stereotypical trait they claim to hate about conservatives to be present.
These qualities seem specific to progressives (conservatives have other weaknesses when they argue) and broadly universal to them in varying degrees. I could go on at book length on examples of how these things manifest or in effective tactics to counter them (and I’d like to at a future time, as I’m very good at this), but I’m curious about the root of these reflexes. There are a lot of conservative ideas that are frankly not expressed well by many online conservatives, but even articulate progressives are without fail arrogant, moralizing ignoramuses teetering on the edge of emotional chaos.
I won’t go so far as to say it’s a mental disorder, but there’s some weird psychological mechanism at play in the progressive mind that I simply can’t identify. If you had any insight I would be interested to hear it.
I just get snarky with them. If they ask how I am on abortion I say, “I’m for it. Too bad your mother didn’t go that route with you.” Usually shuts them up.
We are noticing all of the same things, and I think teh answer lies in understanding the r/K material here:
I did a post on examinations of people’s brains as they did things, and it showed high-dopamine function individuals were showing activity in areas associated with the task at hand. They were competitive, and were focusing on the task, to achieve victory. These are conseratives.
Low-dopamine function individuals showed activity in different areas, associated with social maneuvering. Note, having a defective dopamine receptor gene would reduce dopamine function, and is known to predispose one to ideological Liberalism.
As I see it, if you are Conservative, you want to perform your activity right. You need to, in order to succeed in competition with others, for limited resources. If you set a task and fail, you are out-competed practically, and don’t get resources.
If resources were everywhere, and you pursue that strategy, then you have wasted your time, because task success is not useful. The loser will just go somewhere else, and get their food there, and you have wasted a lot of effort winning a fight which gave you no real advantage. You end up right, but the r-selected psycholgy ends up with the offspring, which is where the real battle was all the time. This could be likeend to the sexy sons hypothesis, which only holds so long as the less sexy individuals don’t start killing off the metrosexuals, and denying them resources competitively.
In this r-selective environment, the only way to “win” is to achieve social dominance to facilitate increased mating activity, and this is what Liberals are programmed to do. So while you argue facts, logic, reason, and try to be technically correct, the Liberal’d brain focuses on getting the crowd to support them and ally with them, and doesn’t focus on the mechanics of the task at hand, namely finding truth.
The techniques they use to do this are many, as you noted. Attack your morals, attack your intelligence, lie, cheat, present false assumptions, ridicule, and get angry over anything which makes them look like a tool, to show socially that it is not only wrong, it offends them, and should offend the crowd. I call this all out-grouping. They want to out-group you, to turn the crowd on you. It is their only focus.
As they do this, their brain will show the activity in social maneuvering on a brain scan, and actually look different from ours, as we try to be technically correct.
That is why I make the case I do, to meet the Liberal on this battlefield, and out-group them preemptively, rather than focusing on logic and reason. What point is being right, if Liberals aren’t made to be ashamed of their Liberalism?
It is also why I think an evolutionary understanding of the purposes which ideologies serve in nature is so vital to moving forward. Without it, we are just flying blind, fighting something about which we understand nothing - not even its purpose.
The techniques they use to do this are many, as you noted. Attack your morals, attack your intelligence, lie, cheat, present false assumptions, ridicule, and get angry over anything which makes them look like a tool, to show socially that it is not only wrong, it offends them, and should offend the crowd. I call this all out-grouping. They want to out-group you, to turn the crowd on you. It is their only focus."
This is so good it should be framed.
One of my favorite tactics is to find a point where I know a progressive is being intellectually dishonest, and talk them down to where they agree both the left and right have a point, both are moral, and the difference is largely subjective. No matter how angry or reasoned they thought they were when they started, just the very act of getting to agree both sides have a point collapses their argument.
I always found this curious, because I knew both sides had a morally arguable point going in. I was never able to understand why the simple act of getting them to admit this point would actually win the argument for me, even if they never even changed their minds on the subject in question.
It's like they shut themselves down to the idea that any opposing view could have subjective or objective merit, while simultaneously accusing that from others and congratulating themselves on being paragons of reason and science.
I suppose that's really what I was driving at, though. How are progressives so comfortable with being intellectually and emotionally dishonest? How are they able to hate intolerance by use of the emotion of hate and intolerant attitudes?
At any rate, I'll be adding your blog to my newsfeed. Great stuff.
On a macro scale, this is what they try to do to Fox News, the NRA, or name-your-villain of the week. As Saul Alinksy would say, “Pcik your target, freeze it, personalize it, then polarize it.”
I must mediate upon this.
You needn't worry about your tactics, Liddle Fledermaus.....
Thank you. I love seeing this info spread out, because it (accurately) changes our whole perception of them, from that of equals to that of inferiors. Just that will change the social dynamic in our favor.
Social psych class was very enlightening into their motivational agenda strategies. I was often very angry. Now taking research design and the author of the book is a feminist. I spend more time writing my arguments in the margins than I do memorizing. She is a good writer (first text that didn’t put me to sleep) but holy moly all the examples are progressives=good, conservatives=bad and Marx is a saint.
Yes! That is the perfect quote. And it all of what they are about.
That is what is so cool about all of this. It is a simple idea, which applied to the unorganized mass of data every Conservative accumulates on Liberal defectieness, can suddenly reorder all of it into a neat framework of understanding.
my brother’s coworker is a full blown republican in thought and votes democrat. How to change that?
Yep. That si what they are programmed to do. Out-group Conservatives at every turn.
I hate to admit it, but I think deep down, we evolved a competing strategy which begins with getting very angry when confronted with their straetgy. Even worse, I don’t think any of them understand this.
Just thinking how puzzling that last post of mine will be, if you are actually some sort of German bat scientist.
I was a compliant child but now have a very bad temper. :)
It is tough to comment without knowing all the variables, but a couple of things.
Is he a Democrat due to some K-urge, like loyalty to in-group? This happens to union guys who end up pledging loyalty to the group, but then the group get’s led by leftists, and they can’t bring themselves to betray the group. Here, you have to point out where the group is wrong, according to K-urges, or point out another group he owes loyalty to, to weaken his tie to the original group. That can be difficult to pull off though, if he is deep enough with the group, and if they all identify with it, if it is all they know. The NRA did this effectively during the 94 elections, getting union guys to sign on with them, and vote against the Democrats.
If you can’t identify a means by which a K-urge is holding him, then it is different. I try to see things from an evolutionary perspective, backed by what science there is. I suspect a lot of people are programmed to be highly variable, from an r/K perspective. Probably useful in history, when we would go through periodic gluts of resources, and then periodic shortages. Those adaptable to both did best over time, and passed that forward. If things go r, and resources are everywhere, these people gradually work into indulging fully, and as they do, they become less embracing/tolerant of acknowledging risk. But as things get tight, they will shift back, and learn to acknowledge risk, and deal with it in a productive manner.
As the study I quote above notes, the only way to go back towards K and Conservatism is for the risk to become unavoidable, and present to the individual a subtle threat stimuli. That is what I would try to show the Liberal. It will be a fight, because all of their drive is to try to deny the threat.
I also think getting chronically out-grouped for espousing Liberal ideas is a good way to begin this. Check the Wallace thing I linked to in the post, go to the relevant portion of the video I describe, and look at Wallace after Colonel Connell is done with him. Wallace won’t be arguing for letting American troops die anytime soon after that, whether Colonel Connell is around or not. Colonel Connell made it painful, and like a trained dog, Mike Wallace knew that was a losing proposition after that.
African American living in Philadelphia.
Yeah, that will be a tough one. Every Black American I know has high loyalty to in-group, in this case, the Black Community, which everyone is told is supposed to vote Democrat. A lot think to vote Republican is to betray a group which would be loyal to them.
I am not sure how I would proceed. Might look to emphasize crime hurting black communities, because government tells Black Americans they can’t have guns? I might even start pissing him off against government first, avoiding the political debate. Just bureaucracy and corruption, and waste and oppression. Baby Steps. Program his amygdala to be reviled by soemthing not clearly associated with Libs. Then one day, after being sufficiently programmed, blam! That repugnant item and Libs are connected.
If he is getting reinforcement from other directions, it could be hard. Loyalty to in-group is stong. Soldiers don’t necessarily even agree on the causes of the wars they fight, but they still try to kill each other with all theri heart, for the guy next to them.
I’ll think about it some more, and throw ideas out, but it is tough to do it without walking into a room, and meeting him and all his associations, to see where everyone is coming from.
“This is actually a technique used in pickpocketing, called a pattern interrupt.
That’s cool—I did not know that. Perhaps I missed my calling. Thanks for the insight.
I wonder if “Fuzzy Trace Theory” is useful to help discourage conservatives from using logical arguments in the belief logic will change a liberal’s mind? Fuzzy Trace Theory suggests that people make bad decisions based on using trace bits of evidence to support a general belief they want to have. If you query the same individuals, they tend to know the facts and understand the logic—it is simply not what they want to believe, hence they draw upon the occasional bit of supporting evidence or imagined evidence in support of their belief. If there is no negative consequence to that belief, arguing logic with them won’t change the belief. Inside, they have a good sense of the facts, they just don’t like them.
I spent years in the black community and the social conformity pressure exceeds anything I have seen in any other community. If you point to a person as having misbehaved, eg., J Jackson, it won’t matter. If you portray a person or some action as betraying all blacks—it just might get their attention. If there is a perceived threat to the group—that might get their attention.
I just had a conversation with a state-level Repub political appointee. She reiterated a popular myth that Hispanics are a naturally better fit for Republican conservative leadership. That is a myth for the reasons discussed in this thread. G Bush was modestly successful getting votes from Hispanics—that is because he spoke Spanish and was perceived as one of the group. Nothing more complicated than that. It wasn’t due to conservative or liberal issues.
It might be unwise to interpret the previous election as being about the large percentage of American voters who get gov’t handouts, either, although there is a strong argument for that. Consider that. Demographics play a role if there are group loyalties. Consider that. Just my 2.0000 cents.
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