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.

2 thoughts on “Anonymous Responds Before I Can Cogently Reply…

  1. admin Post author

    (*copied from original Blogspot site*)
    Anonymous, September 23, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    Sometimes people use anonymity to be nastier than they otherwise would be. Ah, but the reason anonymity must be protected is because sometimes, people use it to be more clever than they would otherwise dare.

    Any individual who uses anonymity to speak cogently is someone who fears they are taking a risk in doing so.

    Darrell Becker, September 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    I agree, Anonymous. And so far, my conclusion, as with James Corbett, Richard Grove, Brett Veinotte, Ben Stone and many, many others, is that I shallI proudly and openly say my name in connection to writing I do concerning Nonviolent Communication, philosophy and intellectual consistency. And I respect your desire to be Anonymous, and I understand the fear you spoke of, and the risk. Cogent speaking is vital, as is cogent thinking, and I am grateful for your submissions. Please feel free to ask any questions if you need further clarification as to the nature and purposes of this blog.

    Darrell Becker, September 25, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    Hi Anonymous,

    I just wanted to respond to you above post. I wanted to copy and respond to some of what you’ve said.

    “Your friend’s viewpoint appears to be denying the essential
    personhood of “rich people” and “poor people”. I don’t think
    he’s understanding them as people, but as abstract classes.
    Perhaps he should be reminded that everyone lives near the
    center of their own narrative. Most people are the heroes of
    their own story; when this isn’t true, the hero still tends to be
    close by. They acquire resources to improve the world in
    which they live. Rich people and poor people alike do this.
    The desire to live a better life is universal. The fact that the
    modern world is better than the ancient world is testament to
    the fact that progress is real.

    Your friend doesn’t appear to believe that rich people are
    capable of being voluntarists. He is arguing that rich people
    will never seek win/win transactions with those who are
    poorer than they are. “Never” is a strong word, but it fits here.
    He is directly arguing that rich people will buy up the
    necessary elements of life and then use their exclusive
    access to enslave the poor. This can only work if, as your
    friend clearly believes, the poor have no collective resources
    with which to resist, no ability to use the market, and no
    ability to network with each other effectively.”

    I found much wisdom in these two paragraphs, in terms of understanding the lack of specific empathy
    necessary to discuss such social planning ideas with compassion for all concerned. You hit it well.
    This is always the crux of the issue, with speaking or writing to people who hold strong to certain conclusions…
    I understand your bewilderment as to forming a plan for discourse that will hopefully lead
    to a more peaceful, win/win senario.

    One of the intellectual lenses (or epistemological tools and tactics) that I promote is Nonviolent Communication (NVC)
    which is the use of an explicit literacy and tactical practice of knowing, understanding and making practical applications
    using the knowledge of the feelings and motivating factors of the audience and the author of all messages. This includes
    what we feel as well, when we receive messages from other authors, and when we are the authors of messages that go
    outward to our audience. Your participation in this blog helps me with this, and I am grateful for what you have seen through your
    own intellectual lenses that you wield.
    I wish you could use a more catchy or original handle, but I respect your decisions. Wishing you well, wherever you are….

  2. admin Post author

    (*copied from original Blogspot site*)
    Darrell Becker, September 23, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    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.

    Darrell Becker, September 28, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    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


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