“I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” -Voltaire (correction, apparently this is from Evelyn Beatrice Hall, only attributed to Voltaire but not said by Voltaire, thanks to the Justicar for pointing that out)
That quote is the foundation of one of the cornerstones of democracy and a free society, said by one of the thinkers of The Enlightenment period. To me, it rings so true.
Why? Well first let’s start off with a bit of personal history: Back in the day (lol), I was a radical leftist involved in popular movements and far-left activism, nothing violent, of course, but pretty extreme and radical stuff. I was a young idealist who wanted to change the world fundamentally, to make it a better place. The more I got involved with the radical echo chambers of like-minded people (anarchists, socialists, communists, feminists, unionists, environmentalists, etc.), the more I became subject to confirmation bias and groupthink. I could rationalize away just about anything.
Some things I came to notice over time:
1) Despite all the grand talks of principles and rights and liberty, the group always had a way to, let’s say, stamp out different viewpoints. Nothing really overt, just small things, interrupting people, shutting them out of discussions (all hail the mighty “peaking order”), dirty looks, requests to “tone it down”, to “not take too much space and let others speak”, etc.
2) The decisions for the course of action to take always ended up as: protest/rally, march/sit-in, teach-in.
That was it! Genius really, and nothing ever changed. Nothing ever really got discussed. Nothing got solved.
And I was a part of that, a willing, self-rationalizing part of that. Many times I thought “well, I’m not really comfortable with doing that/I don’t really agree with that silencing tactic, but I’ll go along with it because ultimately it means more bodies in our camp and we can then use that to accomplish our goals of a fairer and better society”. How naive! Compromising core values is what ensured that we never achieved our goals because our goals were what those core values represented.
So yes, now that I am out of that circle, I try my best not to compromise my integrity and values, even if it is for a short-term gain. If the foundation is not solid, then whatever you build will fall.
Why am I bringing this up? Well I’ve seen it happen even within the MRM, particularly when it came to the doxxing (doc dropping) of a particular unsavory femitheist.
It’s not a matter of “white-knighting” or defending a pure, gentle, feminine flower (I don’t care much about Krista as a person, or as a woman, I’m not attracted to her at all, and I find her rather annoying tbh), but rather a greater matter of principles and tactics.
First, the principles: If we start persecuting people for their opinions, even if they are stupid, hateful, or wrong, we destroy the very foundation we have for our debates and arguments. Do you really think it helps anyone when someone is silenced? Does anything progress? Or is it rather that our own goals of a free society and equal rights for men get undermined because the very foundation of democracy gets undermined?
Don’t believe me? Ask those Toronto firefighters who lost their jobs for some tweets they made on their personal accounts.
Isn’t that just fucked up? And even if you believe their tweets were sexist (which I would disagree with), does firing them help anyone? Does it change their views? Does it help society or make it a better place? Well does it?
(I don’t think it does, particularly not with less firemen, or less of an ability to freely express oneself)
Second, the tactics: When feminists pull that kind to crap trick on one of us, don’t we complain? Why? Because it’s wrong and against fundamental human rights.
But next time some feminazi does that, she’ll just point to this incident and say “it’s ok because you mra scum do it too, and someone had to warn the population of how dangerous you are to wymyn and you are a hate group and you look scary and you smell and I’ve been scared once before therefore you promote rape culture”.
See how that goes?
Think about it and let me know what you think. I’ll post more on the subject at a later date.