Article by Colonel Nogov on Feb 12, 2015
I waded into the sewer that is: having debates on facebook. (ooooo cringe, what were you thinking?) I know, I know. I was there to see if it was possible to have rational conversations about anarchy. For the most part, it isn’t.
It was like listening to the C, D, & F students in a government junior high having a debate. It was painful. Logical fallacies. Name calling. Irrationality. Strawman arguments. Even intentionally substituting definitions of words to intentionally change the meaning of anothers argument (a sort of variation of the strawman defense). A lot of childish behavior in general as well. I think some people were even using multiple facebook accounts so they could pretend to have intelligent conversations with themselves, or come to the defense of their other accounts argument.
All of this took place in a closed group dedicated to anarchy. There were of course trolls. They were generally ignored. The main problem was people who think they’re anarchists when they are actually statists. They put words together and think it means something. Everything is Anarcho hyphenated something or other. I didn’t see Anarcho-Dictatorship but I’m sure it’s coming. Really, it was that bad.
They would come up with these terms and then defend them. It’s crazy. It’s like they were saying Monkey-Horse and then arguing that such a thing exists. It was mind boggling. When you try to politely tell them their word mash doesn’t mean anything, they go ballistic. They often post a wikipedia entry as proof. If wikipedia defines Anarcho-[random word] it must be real. Sometimes, I would make jokes thinking that they were joking, but they were serious. I often couldn’t tell the difference if they were clueless or joking.
There were a few thoughtful people who tried to have rational discussions. I enjoyed talking with them the few times it happened, even when we had a difference of opinion.
Having debates on facebook about anarchy is like wading through an open sewer and trying not to get covered in shit. You can destroy their arguments and make them look foolish, but know they’ll use every dirty debating trick they can. If you’re going in be forewarned and prepared. Reason is not there in abundance.
I’ll spend most of my time here trying to educate and entertain, but I’m sure I’ll head back into the pit from time to time. It was actually kind of fun in a sadistic sort of way and occasionally I would laugh hysterically at some of the things that were said. I might be able to change a few minds. Likely, not in the participants, but maybe to some spectators. I definitely crushed more than a few arguments with reason and evidence.