One of the best parts of Vox Day’s Social Justice Warriors Always Lie book was the explanation of utilizing rhetoric vs. dialectic arguments. This is a small point, but something that flies over a lot of heads, and actually is the difference between success and failure in internet marketing and getting your point across in general.
I used to spend a lot of time arguing back and forth on facebook walls or here or whatnot trying to “prove” my point. If you just present the correct evidence, people will reason what happened and come to a logical conclusion, right?
Wrong. Every time.
People will come to whatever conclusion fits their movie in their minds. The BayCon debacle was my first real experience with this on a level where thousands of people were both cheering for me and criticizing me at the same time. My haters made several posts about how I was “lying” and all pointed back to a single post on a science fiction fake news hate website that stated I was lying. Did they have direct, tangible evidence of anything? Absolutely not. I actually in response posted screen captures of the event organizers literally saying they were blackballing “over behavior from politics” on their social media because I thought the best course would be to prove it. It was irrefutable evidence that would hold up in court for sure.
Scroll through my comments page. I’ve got the same 4-5 people here, months after the fact, STILL calling me a liar despite that, and still evidencing the same hate website which offered no evidence.
It’s because dialectic or logical reasoning doesn’t matter to a large portion of the population. This is a group that’s called many people “literal Nazis!” for a couple of years now, trying to ramp up hate so far over the line, that they can’t ever admit they’re wrong, despite the notable logical evidence of lack of any concentration camps or people being rounded up and killed, because it would be so embarrassing to be wrong on that scale, they can’t. Once you’re branded the Nazi by them, no amount of evidence on anything you say will ever matter.
So don’t bother with it.
I have a policy that I don’t get into policy discussions on social media. It’s super effective.
Now that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for dialectic reasoning. In my capacity as a journalist I definitely do put in the legwork because it’s a different format and for a different audience — my readers who DO care about logical reasoning. My expose on Marvel Comics took a lot of research. My whistleblowing on science fiction publishing did as well. I coupled very powerful rhetoric in those pieces, of course, but I laid out the evidence not for the haters in an attempt to argue — even to this day they just call me names back and never cite the “real figures” they claim I falsified, but for my audience of more intelligent rational readers. I don’t really engage the hate comments other than to post more rhetoric.
My haters will come back and say “ha! this proves he’s wrong!” but it doesn’t at all. It just proves I know how to rally my side and trigger yours. That I base my rhetoric on truth makes it all the more powerful, as a matter of fact. That’s part of the reason SJWs really can’t meme — because memes have to have reality to them in order to be effective, make someone laugh and/or make someone outraged. If it weren’t true, they wouldn’t care so much.
Most of the time it’s very clear to see who’s actually reaching out for understanding and truth, and who’s arguing for the sake of arguing. Most of the former will be done in private to talk to you one on one. The act of social media questioning in public is typically for the sake of grandstanding and nothing else. I can’t even count the number of posts I see scrolling through feeds on social media where it’s arguing relentlessly back and forth, usually a SJW pushing and pushing with pseudo-dialectic from talking points despite very obvious evidence. No minds are ever changed. It just gets people angry at each other — and depending on who’s feed/wall you’re on, you’ll get a pile on effect of either your friends bashing them or their friends bashing you. It does no good. You’ll only lose friendships (if they’re real friendships) over the arguing element, and the person you’re arguing against is probably incapable of real logical reasoning anyway.
And if you really want to trigger, not arguing dialectic in those environments frustrates them even more. 🙂
If you like the way I communicate highly emotional rhetoric, my characters in my fiction come across that much more inspiring because of it: Check out my book For Steam And Country today!