Sunday, June 16, 2019

This Way

There is a conviction, widely held among activists, that if you show everyone the One True Path that will lead to a better life for everyone involved, and they tell you to get lost, that this may be taken as incontrovertible evidence of the stupidity, thoughtlessness and or "brainwashing" of the audience.

In the ranks of pragmatists, however, it's just as likely that if the One True Path is so roundly rejected by the very people who are supposed to benefit from it, it was improperly presented, and/or it really isn't as great an idea as the activist thinks it is.

This is, of course, simply a variation on the idea that people rarely simply reject out of hand schemes that they genuinely understand will advance their interests. Although it is true that as partisans become more and more distrustful of one another, people more readily fall into the fallacy of rejecting a plan due to its source, rather than its substance. Still, suspicion is not the same as being unintelligent, thoughtless or brainwashed, and treating it as if it were doesn't really help heal the suspicion.

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