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Monday, March 23, 2015

An Open Letter About Criticisms Of What I write

Since I’m venturing into more sensitive and controversial territory, challenges to what I’m writing will naturally come up. Which is good! It should be challenged! If everyone just agreed with what I’m saying, there really wouldn’t be much of a reason for me to write anything, would there?

But, some things can get pretty ridiculous. There comes in fallacies, attacks, and just plain silliness in responding to me. I’m ok with debating, but at least make it worthwhile. So, I want to write this as an open letter to discuss why certain attacks to what I write are ridiculous (As opposed to actual discussion points.) Also, please note that I’ve gotten multiple comments about what I’ve written and I’m pulling this from multiple experiences. So no, I’m not writing to address you (Whoever “you” are) and I’m not writing this to be passive aggressive about one person. (Makes me think of that whole “You’re so vain you probably think this song is about you”)

You’re so young, you don’t know how the world really works
This one really has two problems with it. The first, is using age as a criticism, and the second is stating a lack of knowledge of the world. The first one is easy to point out why it’s not really an argument. Cause… it’s not arguing anything. In fact, it’s avoiding arguing anything. You’re basically saying “Well, I can’t really dispute it, but you’re young, so it must be wrong!” The age of a person doesn’t determine whether an argument is wrong or not. If an 8 year old says a proof of the Pythagorean theorem, they aren’t wrong just because they’re 8 years old.
The second part is problematic because it implies a universal knowledge. That “if you only knew what I knew or experienced, you wouldn’t think that way!” And you might be right. In your circumstance or with your thoughts, I probably wouldn’t… so what? That’s still not arguing anything. It’s really just a more sophisticated equivalent to saying “Well I’m smart and you’re dumb.” Not to mention saying it as though there’s some universal knowledge about how the world “really” works (Whatever that means.) If there were, we’d probably have a lot less arguments about how the government should work.
It really brings to mind two options that usually happen. If someone disagrees with you they’re just young and naïve and don’t know what they’re talking about. But if they agree with you, they must be smart for their age! Totes not a double standard though

I thought like that too once, you’ll grow out of it.
This one is pretty similar to the last one, implying age is a factor. And to a certain degree I get it. Anarchist culture is associated with punks and rebellion and “edgy” teenagers mad at their parents and all that jazz. But again, this fails to really actually address any arguments. It again is just a slightly different way of saying “I’m smart, you’re dumb.” You’re not actually saying anything intellectual. (And all that before even getting into the history of anarchism as a political movement and the people of all ages that follow it.) And this also makes this assumption that everyone will be like you. It’s really similar to before with “You just don’t have the knowledge/experience/etc. that I do.” But that’s not an argument. People have all kinds of different knowledge and experiences and don’t agree with each other. Otherwise I could start saying “Ah, yes, I remember when I went through my libertarian phase.”

You just wanna seem “edgy” and different
Woah, wait, I shouldn’t even need to say anything about this. You can read minds?!?!

You don’t know the solution to all of the world’s problems
And you’re right, I don’t! And I will fully and be the first to admit that! Good job, you got me to admit to the obvious. But pulling away from my sarcasm mode, I legitimately don’t understand why this one comes up. Not even to me, to just about any post (Especially left wing posts) I see. It’s the same thing every time. And yet never do any of those people claim to have all the solutions. It’s like something that dissenters like to just pull out of the air to criticize them. But when you think about it, it can be turned right back.
“You don’t know all the solutions!” Ok, so why do you get to disagree with me? YOU DON’T HAVE ALL THE SOLUTIONS TO THE WORLD’S PROBLEMS EITHER. CHECKMATE. And then I proceed to laugh maniacally while riding into the sunset holding my copy of the Communist Manifesto.
But really the issue comes in that no one wants to admit they (in general) have their answers too. When they disagree with what I write, hey, they already have part of an opinion on how the world should work! Ever read something political and agree with it? Wow, you have another opinion of how the world should work! Ever disagreed with something the president or congress instated? You damn well better believe you have an opinion on how the world should work! So why are only the people vocal about their thoughts being yelled at for it?
Now, I’m not gonna say I’m 100% right about everything. I mean, I believe I’m right but… generally, everyone believes their position is right. It’s not like that’s some new concept. And I accept I can be wrong about things. But some people act like I’m just pulling my thoughts out of my butt.

There really is no way to word this without sounding arrogant, but I’ve read books. I’ve read books and watched movies and listened to speeches and researched and read more writings, and all kinds of things to reach my position. So if we’re going by the things said to me, it’s ok, they’d reach my position if they just knew what I knew. I mean sure, people will disagree, and that’s ok. And I’ll probably be wrong about things, and that’s ok too. But at least I care enough to have the passion to talk about it.

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