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On Unity: A Response to Alison McDowell Part II
Dialectic and Dialogue
Part I of this series, “The Crux of the Issue”, can be found here.
I think I was most disappointed to hear Alison McDowell say that she was not interested in engaging in dialogue about her differences with Derrick Broze, but I can’t say I was too surprised. In my experience over the last decade discussing libertarian political philosophy with the vast majority was tantamount to admitting I am a conspiracy theorist. Most jump to horrible conclusions about my character, and few are willing to have the type of nuanced conversation it takes to really understand the libertarian perspective.
Talking to a Brick Wall
As I began my podcast career over a decade ago, producing the Thursday Morning Report on local radio, I noticed the subtle, yet powerful force of censorship already rearing its ugly head. While not overt, it became clear to me at an early stage that certain topics were not to be discussed. While presenting itself as a community radio station, and despite clear institutional directives, programming decisions had been streamlined through the office of one individual who determined what speech was acceptable, and by default what speech was forbidden. These decisions were made behind closed doors. Cancel culture, justified through political ideology, was already in full effect. Certain ideas simply were not up for discussion, much less debate.
Programmers who criticized the situation publicly were summarily dismissed, never for advocating free speech and community input of course, but the next cuss word or manufactured personality conflict was used as the excuse. Eventually, though knowing the consequences, I did speak out. Interestingly, those who privately expressed concerns over censorship would not speak out publicly. And yes, I eventually lost my program.
Shortly after, I began engaging on the community list serve thinking I may be able to open a few minds to the possibility that the upper classes may, in fact, collude to centralize corporate and government power through a process of social engineering. I thought if I could open one mind, then perhaps I could learn how to open others. We delved deeply into multiple topics, of which the autism-vaccine connection and the Syria war were the biggest issues of the day. We also touched a bit on 9/11 and false flags. For me, I was coming out publically as a “conspiracy theorist” which was a bit stressful, but to my mind necessary for the public good.
Immediately, of course, there were the typical ad hominem attacks and dispersions upon my source material. The terms “confirmation bias”, “cognitive dissonance” and “fake news” were buzzwords of the time, so I took it as an opportunity to engage with community members in order to crowdsource the truth. I believed we could act in concert to practice appropriate due diligence and double-check each other’s work. What amazed me was that nobody would do it. Literally, no one would question the mainstream source material or engage in a conversation about the voracity of primary documentation.
I could go on and on, but if you are reading this, you likely understand the extreme frustration experienced when attempting to describe a worldview that differs from the dominant corporate/government narrative. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Yet conversations, with friends, family, and other community members who refuse to validate your perceptions or even engage in dialogue concerning your alternative perspective becomes emotionally exhausting. It’s like talking to a brick wall.
The reason I am taking the time to explain these experiences is that I did take away one very important lesson. Logic and critical thinking, while extraordinarily useful tools are ultimately unsuccessful unless the interlocutor has the discipline to use them, that’s even assuming dialogue is allowed to take place at all. What I was dealing with was projection and passive aggression triggered by a perceived attack on their worldview. Once triggered into fight or flight, critical thinking flies out the window. No amount of logical reasoning is powerful enough to combat these powerful psychological forces. Ultimately, this realization led to my Psychology of Lockdown Series which details the process of Mystification and the Rules of Dysfunction characterizing the current mass formation event. This mass formation creates a powerful subconscious divide between those victimized by propaganda and those distrustful of the corporate/government-controlled narrative.
Dialectical Thinking and Natural Law
Traditionally, libertarians have often been associated with conspiracy narratives. For this reason, corporate narratives seek to link “conspiracy theorists” with the “far-right”. Since the questionable Democratic primary of 2016, however, many progressives began to question news and information from corporate and government sources. My conversation with Jared Beck, the lawyer who sued the DNC over the debacle, typifies the type of awakening that occurred among this segment of the population. Of course, Progressives are welcome into the technocratic resistance, we can use all the help we can get.
Nonetheless, with their participation comes the inevitable traditional conflicts inherent within the left/right divide. It was, perhaps, inevitable that the type of conflict apparent in Alison’s reaction to Derrick’s political philosophy would present itself eventually. As Alison so aptly pointed out, it’s not about personalities, there is an inherent conflict within the left/right paradigm that I believe requires full investigation as we continue to refine our position against the technocratic state. Can the resistance overcome this philosophical divide in order to present a unified front?
While the examples cited above pertain to my interpretation of current and historical narratives, I have had the exact same response when expressing libertarian-based solutions to the many problems caused by the centralization of power. Such is the pernicious effect of the left/right paradigm that those who disagree with the foundations of this philosophy seemingly cannot engage in reasonable discourse with those who utilize dialectical thinking. Just as those who trust the corporate/government narrative cannot engage with a so-called “conspiracy theorist”, my experience has shown that one who holds a world view based on historical dialectics will not engage with those whose perceptions are based on natural law concepts that predate the writings of Marx and Hegel.
The theory of natural law will be extrapolated in later essays, but for now, suffice to say that its adherents prefer to see the injustices of imperialism and colonization as criminal behavior and the government/corporate complex as a criminal cartel. From this perspective, an organized crime syndicate has been allowed to persist because good people have not felt empowered to organize against it. This view stands in contrast to those who believe that the forces of imperialism developed as a result of some inevitable and unstoppable historical movement beginning with free market principles, and ending in late-stage Capitalism.
Progressives, in my view, due to a dialectical theory of historical progression, conflate free-market economic principles with the clearly abhorrent centralization of the means of production in the hands of a criminal corporate cartel. They seem to hold an unwavering adherence to the belief that the former must inevitably lead to the latter. This belief causes the progressive mind to see those advocating a society free from centralized government control as the enemy of the people. Believing in child sovereignty transforms into advocating for exploitative child labor practices is just one example. Many seem unwilling to even accept the possibility that free-market principles based on non-violent, voluntary association, may be the solution to the many problems plaguing the bulk of humanity in the modern-day, and so, will not even engage in the conversation.
The political paradigm is just too different, and conversations typically devolve into name-calling or even passive-aggressive forms of conflict avoidance reminiscent of my experiences attempting to present “conspiracy” narratives pertaining to current events. Those enamored of the progressive mindset refuse even to engage in dialogue and show no willingness to listen to the libertarian view. Maybe I need to produce a “Psychology of the Resistance Series” to discuss this ultimately psychological phenomenon.
Healing Through Dialogue
Both Alison and Derrick have aptly pointed out that the battle against the forces of technocracy is a spiritual battle. Might part of our collective spiritual experience include healing from the generational trauma causing such dysfunction? If, as I posit, dialectical thinking is a product of colonization and ultimately a tool to divide and conquer, then its continued use will only continue the cycle of violence that defines patriarchal oppression. Through decolonizing out of dialectical thinking, perhaps it is still possible to prevent the assimilation of humanity into the planned Metaverse.
Some progressives may have broken free of the mountain of propaganda regarding current events, yet still cling to a pattern of historical, political, and economic thinking that inadvertently favors elite control. At the same time discounting real solutions based on nonviolence and symbiosis with the natural world.
Making the shift from a political worldview founded on dialectics, rather than the natural law concepts fundamental to libertarianism, seems just as challenging for many as accepting the possibility that their conspiracy theory friend just might have a more accurate perception of current events. Literally, the only in-depth conversation I have had in my adult life with someone I perceive as a self-identified “leftist” is the discussion with Jason Bosch referenced above. Typically, I am blown off as a crazy person for thinking free-market principles are the solution to corporate centralization of power and I am never given a chance to actually explain my perspective. It is a testament to Jason’s open-mindedness and humility that allowed us to at least identify our differences. I hope it was the beginning of a longer conversation.
Just as for my alternative perceptions pertaining to current events, I have been censored from a variety of platforms and even blocked on social media for my libertarian views. Those who believe in dialectics seem unable to engage in dialogue. So fervent is the belief in this particular world view, that even conversation concerning the historicities, epistemologies, and pedagogies of dialecticism that question the foundations of this belief system are simply off-limits for many.
Without dialogue, I see no way to overcome this impasse.
I urge left-leaning skeptics to read Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed for an excellent analysis of the oppressive quality of dialectical thinking, and the need for healthy dialogue to aid in the process of decolonization. His concern at the time of writing was that many Communist revolutionaries were simply continuing the cycle of violence expressed through the imposition of colonial empire by utilizing the same authoritarian pedagogies as those of the oppressor. This interview with Dr. Cynthia McKinney, is a good example of what can happen when those on opposing sides of the political divide agree on dialogue over dialectics.
Healthy dialogue is possible. If you are of the progressive mindset, and you are reading this, I urge you to engage with your libertarian friends. Only through healthy dialogue can we transcend the conflict inherent in the dialectic, and find a unified path forward to combat the oppressive force of technocracy that threatens us all.
Part III will provide a compromise to the current quandary and discuss how libertarianism is not in conflict with any form of social organization so long as those associations are voluntary and free from coercion.
Please consider subscribing if you are interested in learning more about my perspective, and I look forward to engaging in the broader conversation as those of us resistant to the technocratic takeover continue to seek a healthier relationship with life, the planet, and each other as we move forward.
For more information about my work and to find all episodes of my podcasts, go to www.theshiftnow.com. Paid subscribers to The Populist Papers will receive a subscription to “The Shift with Doug McKenty” and have access to all feature-length versions of the podcast.