Sunday, 14 February 2016

Why I don't delete insults and smears

The Another Angry Voice Facebook page is attracting more and more right-wing blowhards who use tactics like personal insults (against me and people who follow my work), deliberate misrepresentations, libellous accusations, fallacious arguments, mindlessly regurgitated tabloid rhetoric, historical revisionism, whataboutery, the use of political words as insults, pseudo-logic ... 

I don't know who these people think they're convincing when they leave comments describing my work as being nothing more than "a stream of hate filled vitriol" and dismissing everyone who follows my work as "hateful" and "envy filled".

I'm pretty sure that even people who strongly disagree with most of my political views would concede that I do try to back up my arguments with stuff like facts, evidence and cogent analysis, and that I rarely ever use the slinging of vitriolic hate-filled insults tactic.

I'm also pretty sure that most people would recognise that someone who insults 234,000+ people simply people because they follow a certain Facebook page must be pretty crude and narrow-minded to generalise so wildly about such a vast number of people.

It seems likely that the only people who might ever be convinced by such transparent personal attacks are fellow narrow-minded right-wing blowhards of the type who consider personal abuse to be a superb form of debate winning tactic, rather than a clear indicator of cognitive weakness.

I've been putting myself in the firing line for several years by expressing my opinions in public, so I rarely ever get upset by the hateful insults that get lobbed at me on a daily basis by people who detest the information I present because it conflicts so harshly with the mainstream media propaganda they source most of their political opinions from.

I understand that what I say causes people like this
 disorientating bouts of cognitive dissonance and that their instinct is to argue back in the only way they know how, by using the same kinds of insult and smear tactics they're familiar with in the mainstream media (eeek, eeek, eeek, he doesn't grovel pitifully before the wealthy establishment minority so he's obviously evil incarnate).

These days personal insults and smears from people who are incapable of offering anything remotely resembling a coherent counter argument to what I've said are like water off a duck's back.
"If they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left." - Margaret Thatcher
As someone who is utterly appalled by Margaret Thatcher's toxic political legacy, I don't often turn to her for quotes, but this one is particularly good. Anyone who follows the Another Angry Voice Facebook page will be able to appreciate the irony that the kind of right-wing tabloid rote-learner who adores Margaret Thatcher is also highly likely to be the kind of person to lob a load of crude personal insults at anyone they deem to be a "leftie".

I don't delete insult laden comments from right-wing blowhards off the AAV Facebook page because in my view they actually do a really great job of illustrating the paucity of the arguments against what I'm saying.

Another reason I don't delete insults and smears hurled by right-wing critics of my work is that I'm strongly opposed to censorship. If I behaved like Britain First and dealt with any kind of criticism with the delete and ban treatment, I'd end up creating just another closed ideology echo chamber where dissenting comments are simply eradicated, rather than being subjected to critical analysis as they should be.

Of course every now and then a reasonably polite right-winger who can actually string a coherent argument together shows up on Another Angry Voice for some real debate, but right-wingers like that are always massively outnumbered by blowhard tabloid rote-learner types who are utterly incapable of arguing coherently or in good faith. 

I know that it is often irritating to have to read insult laden diatribes from furious cognitively illiterate droolers because standards of political debate would be so much higher without these (often completely tangential) interjections. However comments like these are very useful at illustrating the mentality of people who counter facts and analysis with insults and smears.

Insult laden comments from right-wingers help us understand the very serious problem that there are an awful lot of people out there who are so unfamiliar with the parameters of reasoned debate that they consider personal insults and smears to be debate winning arguments (rather than the lowest possible form of debating tactic). A mindset like that is entirely necessary in order to view David Cameron as statesmanlike and sincere (rather than the snide elitist liar he actually is).

It's vitally important that we recognise this problem and actively confront it with facts, evidence, coherent explanations and cogent analysis, rather than just deleting the evidence that it exists and hoping that it somehow just goes away.

 Another Angry Voice  is a "Pay As You Feel" website. You can have access to all of my work for free, or you can choose to make a small donation to help me keep writing. The choice is entirely yours.

The pre-election "contract" the Tories want you to forget
The lamentable decline in the standard of political debate
The utter Tory contempt for British values

Dog whistles and dead cats
How the mainstream media frame the political debate
How depraved is David Cameron?

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