Discussing Ideas with Those We Disagree With

The line of thinking on the left that it’s not worthwhile to debate or discuss ideas with people who don’t agree with you (or often ppl will paint it as arguing with conservatives or fash or something when that’s not really what’s happening) I think illustrates really well how cult-like certain sects of the left can be and how weak your intellectual chops get when you’re more focused on avoiding the anxiety of relating to people who are different from you and who think and see the world differently than you do.

Like do people realize how easy it is to get taken in by propaganda? That there are reasonable people who care about their personal integrity will actually be open to having conversations to hash things out? Or that it’s okay to have different opinions about things?

It’s laughable and sad at the same time to think that there are people who believe in things like mutual aid and relationship building as a political strategy but have no idea what it looks like to tolerate anything other than superficial differences in the people you build community with. And speaking from personal experience when I was like that, and most of my peers were like that, it was so defeating to be watching our social circles get perpetually smaller because of our refusal to practice distress tolerance and demands that people agree and see things precisely the way we do to even fuck with each other.

Also like to be real, my experience outside of these sects of the left hasn’t been thaaaaat much better in all honesty. It’s one thing to say you value diversity and are willing to navigate conflict and disagreement. It is something else entirely to practice what you preach.

I’ve found it exceedingly rare that people are down to get comfortable being uncomfortable enough to maintain bonds and basic respect for one another in the face of a rupture of some kind. Not to mention it takes a lot of difficult introspection to begin to define your limits.

That has been one of the hardest things of all for me personally. Most people justify cutting off at very little and instead of thinking of discomfort as something that can be navigated to grow they think of it as something they’re entitled to never experience.