22 November 2020

everyone’s feelings are valid - not

If half of us believe the earth is flat, we do not make peace by settling on it being halfway between round and flat. Those of us who know it’s round will not recruit them through compromise. We all know that you do better bringing people out of delusion by being kind and inviting than by mocking them, but that’s inviting them to come over, which is not the same thing as heading in their direction.

Some of us don’t know how to win. Others can’t believe they ever lost or will lose or should, and their intransigence constitutes a kind of threat. That’s why the victors of the recent election are being told in countless ways to go grovel before the losers. This unilateral surrender is how misogyny and racism are baked into a lot of liberal and centrist as well as right-wing positions, this idea that some people need to be flattered and buffered even when they are harming the people who are supposed to do the flattering and buffering, even when they are the minority, even when they’re breaking the law or lost the election.

 from one of the best essays I have read in recent times, more here: Rebecca Solnit


12 comments:

  1. Interesting. I'll go read it. It's so frustrating to me that people cannot distinguish between facts and opinions. I have a Trump-loving acquaintance who posted something on Facebook about all the reasons he would never vote Democrat, and of course 90 percent of them were based on outright falsehoods and misconceptions. I wrote him a detailed response, debunking those falsehoods and citing sources. He wrote me back: "Agree to disagree."

    I was like, "These are FACTS! You can't disagree with a fact! It just is!"

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  2. It's sad that this is allowed to happen and continue. Shame on the republican party for allowing it.

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  3. The Solnit article is an excellent read. It absolutely captures this crazy perspective we are dealing with. Sometimes there really is no halfway. Thank you for this, Sabine.

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  4. Absolutely spot-on. I have no time for trying to reach across the table to people who have proclaimed their willful ignorance or hate or bigotry or xenophobia or homophobia...
    The list goes on.
    I want to move on, without them if necessary. And it surely would seem that it is.

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  5. Thank you, Sabine. Whatever Rebecca Solnit writes, I read. After reading this essay, I was moved to read an interview with her on the same website and to subscribe to Lit Hub:

    "Rebecca Solnit on the Intersection of Activism and Writing"

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  6. There is a huge difference between delusion and opinions. Everyone has got a right to have an opinion, but when those opinions cross over into full blown delusional thinking, I have a problem with it. We cannot, we should not compromise facts.

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  7. The best I can do is just listen to someone who rejects facts when they're introduced along with confirming documentation presented. Then it becomes better to change the topic. As for our current U.S. leader, I think he has known all along he lost and all the denials are simply part of a deliberate delaying act for several reasons I won't go into.

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  8. how did we get here? is it really the result of defunding education and the disastrous 'no child left behind'? or the last gasp of religion trying to maintain its hold? entitlement parenting where the child is never wrong? did my parents' generation believe in conspiracy theories and flat earth? what the fuck happened that so many people deny science and truth and fact?

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    1. I think it's a mix of it all plus social media addiction. Here, we have rallies against mask wearing and vaccination - small in numbers but well supported and funded by the extreme right - incl. 11 year old children on stage comparing themselves with Anne Frank because they had to keep quiet and hide during their (against the corona rules) large birthday party.

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  9. But is the author suggesting we should dance on right-wingers' graves? In fact the logical solution - given that much of the behaviour was criminal - is to prosecute them. But where would this reaction end? Half the US population supported the law-breaking, some by commission, some by omission. Apart from the fact that the jails simply aren't big enough liberals would be at risk if the right won a future election; simply a matter of passing a few draconian laws.

    A possibly relevant solution was summarised by Tony Blair during his UK campaign in 1997. "There are three priorities: education, education, education." True, but alas long-term, very long-term and neither the politicians nor the voters are gifted with that kind of patience. The irony is that certain aspects of the US election were influenced by Christian beliefs but not to the extent of "turning the other cheek". Which, in any case, Rebecca Solnit appears to disapprove of.

    "Bringing people out of their delusion" sounds euphemistic, hinting at something that is deliberately left undefined. I seem to recall that a rather similar argument was mobilised on behalf of lobotomy in the twenties and thirties: good for society in general but the eventual plight of the lobotomees remained less discussed.

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    1. If you read the essay I provided the link to (just click on the name of the author) you can read yourself that she is suggesting no such thing.

      People like her (and I may add: women) have long understood that blaming the victim for the perpetrator's deed (if you wear a short skirt, you've been asking for it etc.) is an old tactic and one that needs to be called out.

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    2. I'm appalled that you seem to infer my comment was in any way anti-feminist. You didn't imagine I was recommending turning the other cheek, did you?

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