Sunday, September 27, 2020

Don't ask if you aren't going to listen

Government-supremacists always want to know what would happen if I got everything I want. Abolish the police, get rid of anti-gun legislation, eliminate all "taxation", complete respect for liberty, etc. "What does that mean? What then?"

But when I tell them, they ignore the answer and keep saying "Why won't you answer?"

Seriously? Are they stupid?

Yes. Yes, they are. Politics makes people stupid.


Writing to promote liberty is my job.
YOU get to decide if I get paid.
I hope I add something you find valuable enough to support.


  1. I have a theory as to why communication is failing: there are unaddressed premises. (Also, some people, for choice or mental infirmity, simply cannot understand things outside the box they were raised in. But I'll focus on the treatable.)

    Do you not already have everything you want? If I'm not mistaken, there is not a single government "solution" that you want that is not implemented - because you don't want any at all.

    They are asking what you want. They mean that in a political context. Likely, they are accustomed to government as a problem solving catchall. Even more likely, they are used to speaking with people who view it that way. So, many are going to be starting from the incorrect, but statistically supported, presumption that what you seek is a government solution to your complaint. Replying with things you'd like removed is not going to jar them from this misconception - they'll stay in the usual approach of throwing government at the problem. So they'll ask what you want, and you'll describe some government you don't want (but none that you do), so they'll ask again and the process will repeat until one of you tires of the futility. You're not going to tell them a kind of government you want. You'll think they are stupid, and they'll think you refused to answer their question.

    You won't have answered the question they intended because they won't have asked it. They want to know your government plan. Responding with specifics of what government you would cut acts as a distraction. They need to be told that their question has a problem: they are presuming that you want a government.

    "What then?"
    The Earth continues to turn. People are born, grown up, make friends, fall in love, have kids, and/or get old, and die. Human nature remains what it has been for all of recorded history. Vegetation continues to be less tasty than animals. But I think in most cases what they're really asking about is what people do in your hypothetical world. Something to address a specific issue they have in mind, something that they figure police, anti-gun legislation, or taxation were addressing and for which they would like a replacement. So they need to voice that. If they're going to be as generic as "what then" then "we have complete respect for liberty" is a responsive answer. Useless it may be to them, but they didn't give you enough to formulate a more informative response. Not without guessing as to their actual query, and I gather those shots in the dark have not been landing. I suggest prompting them for specifics and correcting any misconceptions their question reveals so that you don't waste your time while answering it.

    1. That sounds like a good strategy to try. I'll see how it work "in the wild" next time I find myself in the same situation (which probably won't be too long).