Sunday, September 23, 2012

Anonymous Responds Before I Can Cogently Reply...

I'm honored by the repost, although I think the formatting on it is a bit messed up.

I'm fascinated by the idea of maintaining a compassionate way of communicating and I've been pondering it. My own persuasive tactics are less friendly. I am no politician. My first concern socially is a need for security. By pushing people immediately into dissonance without waiting to see whether they're willing to examine themselves like that, I filter out those who will cause problems down the line. (Specifically, people who explode when they're presented with flaws in their own thought are people I don't feel safe conversing with on an intellectual level.) My perspective is of course strictly personal; I percieve this to reduce stress in my life (possibly incorrectly). Even if I'm right about that effect in my own life, when viewed on a broader scale of space or time, I may be failing to persuade people who could be brought around, thus not averting problems so much as shoving them into the future (or onto other people).

However, note that these are statements of personal ignorance on the matter of... what was it, nonviolent communication? I don't understand it. Hence my statement that I have no idea how to correctly interact with your friend. I don't see myself as being in a position to give you advice. Anything I say that's correct is accidental!

Speaking of which, time to push my luck and take a stab at it anyways: It's always nice when people provide a "friend-tionary". Semantic differences are some of the most frustrating disputes, as the involved parties are literally not talking about the same things. Semantic arguments can then be quite productive in turn if the parties to the argument commit to some degree of formal exploration of the subject. You might try asking if you can get your friend to define what 'government' is. 

He said: "A government that approximates 'Anarchy' or 'voluntaryism' is indeed what is needed."

This implies that he is not using the term government in the way that you are using it, and that the two of you are not in agreement as to what the essential features of governance are. If nothing else, it's an avenue for future exploration, and could be intellectually stimulating.

Potentially more interesting though is that he also said: "Property: is ownership protected by governmental sanctioned authority and force of law."

Ownership was not defined... but WAS specified to be a superclass of Property. Your friend is defining property only as that class of ownership that is guaranteed by the government. Does he acknowledge voluntary ownership absent coercion? What protects it? Can those protections be extended to illuminate what a voluntary world would look like? This kind of question is why semantic arguments can be helpful. It may seem like trying to win the lottery, but sometimes there's a hidden agreement concealed by language. 


  1. I agree, I have some work to do to get more comfortable with certain formatting things on this blog. I found much of value in both your posts, and I just need a little more time to respond.

  2. Sorry again about the format of the first repost. I have had a few too many irons in the fire, and have not been able to get around to that
    little problem. About NVC, for you, Anonymous, or anyone reading along, you can get the gist of it in my above post, an interview
    with Alex Leach, an NVC practitioner living in California. Also, you could just go to , or my friend Wes Bertrand's podcast which
    covers this subject in depth and who introduced the topic to me ( and