How does one go about dealing with criticisms when other people make them of you? The problem lies in two diametric tendencies in human beings - one which simply wishes to impose their will, and one which seeks answers through reason and is not convinced by dogmatic group think and persuasion. I don’t always agree with the criticisms other people make of me, and I feel like when they come up, debating them often makes the situation turn poor - people who simply wish to -make- you agree with them, which is why it makes me anxious. But also if you simply agree with someone when you don’t actually agree simply to end the discussion, then it turns out bad later because they see you were just lying. So there’s a dilemma.
The issue I have with identity politics is I don’t think what qualifies as problematic to one is necessarily true or an accurate analysis of the other people. Regardless of if it is, the mode of dogmatic “callout” where one person simply wishes to impose their view on another is not conducive to understanding. This is difficult with any political circle, and in particular the left wing circles I have visited. It’s just my personality to argue if I disagree because I am convinced through rationality, not dogmatism and peer pressure; but when it comes to identity politics, often arguing will make the situation worse. I am totally opposed to making things worse. Because of my personality, I love calm, detached, logical discussions about stuff. Sometimes I feel like an alien observer looking down on human beings. I think the opposite of this personality would be one which seeks order through group agreement.
The problem with these two diametrical personalities is the philosophical approach conflicts with the orderly one. I have noticed in these sorts of situations when I try to explore the reasons why someone might think I am being problematic, I tend to find that people get more intense and more righteous the more I disagree. They may say that it’s not their job to educate you, or they will “educate you” without allowing themselves to be questioned. I’ve had experiences with people in the past where minor things led to them getting really upset at me. I dread those sorts of encounters. There’s been times where someone points something out to me and I realize I’m wrong before, but there’s also times that I simply don’t agree.
When identity politics is synthesized with the orderly personality, it becomes Orwellian; there is no longer room for freedom of opinion and open ended discussions. The goal is simply to tell you you’re wrong, without question. As someone who very much values the conclusions which I’ve arrived on my own, when people start telling me I need to “get with the program”, that conflicts with my personality. I don’t believe that if one changes their opinion not on rationality, but on fear, then they don’t truly believe what they think. Dogmatism and fear of retribution is no different from a dog who does not pee on the floor because they are afraid that they will get their face rubbed into it.
I think that philosophical subjectivity is really something which should be covered here, although I will condense the subject because I have covered it at length elsewhere, and so have many philosophers such as Hume. Basically, things are divided by is and ought. Ought statements cannot be made into -is- statements, because they are two separate categories. This means, basically, that there is no objective morality. Because there is no ultimate moral code, all human beings are competing with their own emotional inclinations. Whatever is a person’s inclination is what they will prefer, which is why I think a lot of politics is actually a competition between not opposing ideologies, but opposing emotional tendencies.
I think that it’s been said that conservatives actually have a higher amount of fear and disgust, and certain personality types which make them adverse to change. This may seem stupid to people who disagree. But what if an alien without the emotions that human beings evolved came down to earth which simply saw all human beings as ants, whatever political position you take would be irrelevant. The alien without the same desires as human beings would simply look at the two human beings fighting and see ants, it wouldn’t attach any sort of “ought” statement, or inherent moral right or wrong to it, it wouldn’t make any value judgment of it either way.
This is actually a pretty good way of looking at things in my experience. I think that when you detach yourself from any cultural bias, it becomes easy to see what is really important and what isn’t. It becomes easy to critique things that you wouldn’t otherwise critique because you have some sort of emotional attachment to it. It’s led me to deeply criticize capitalism, and ways that capital hurts people through the way it’s been implemented, the concept of gender being to me a totally false dichotomy perpetuated through 1000 years of binary box thinking which is inherent to human beings pattern seeking tendencies, religion being essentially mystical thinking and group think, along with many other things. However I think that because my personality leaves me pretty much impartial on a lot of issues, I end up not falling in line well with people when they simply want people to fall in line. I need rigorous logical reasons why I should “fall in line”, which does often make it difficult for me to interact with others besides a very specific few, very often. Not falling in line is preferable to the alternative, but it’s still unfortunate that the dichotomy of detachment and order seeking exists.
I guess another thing which is important is to be extra cautious of online as a whole, because I’ve noticed that it’s easy for things online to go south and for people to take stuff the wrong way. For me that’s a big problem with using the internet, is I think that the totally impersonal medium has been bad for my mental emotional health. Seeing people face to face takes away a lot of the dehumanizing factor of online interaction. Online is very difficult for me to communicate on, it always has been. I usually try to limit my interactions with others line for this reason, but I do also prefer socializing.