Does anybody actually read articles anymore?
I quite enjoyed the reaction to my last article where I explained why Ron Paul was not crazy to say that Bernie Sanders is an authoritarian.
I really do appreciate people I’ve never heard of sharing something I came up with. But what is mildly concerning is that the only people who seemed to read the article were the people that more or less agreed with it.
I am a bit nosy and like to put my article titles in the search bar on Facebook to see who’s shared and commented on them. The last one got quite a reception after it was featured on liberty.me (cheers, guys).
I began to notice that the only people with any objections to it had not read the article, demonstrated by the fact that many brought up pithy counter-arguments as if I had never heard about them, that were in fact addressed in the article.
One guy just responded with “Um, no” and a picture of the political compass with the 2016 Presidential candidates marked on it. I hope that he doesn’t read it, because it would spare him some embarrassment.
The number of these commenters with fear of reading has led me to the conclusion that most people don’t see article headlines as they are intended, that is, a way to explain what an article is about and draw them in. They see it more as a discussion topic suggestion, an invitation for them to add their two cents with no expectation of argument or rebuttal.
It’s frustrating because the reason why I go on the nose for responses to my article is to seek out constructive criticism beyond liberty.me. I want to know what non-libertarians think of my ideas. If only they would actually tell me.
It’s like, man, what do I gotta do to get some statist to refute me? Tell me how I’m wrong, dammit!
All right, here’s my theory: I believe the headline itself touched a nerve that is particularly sensitive for leftists in particular.
The left in general like to believe they represent the compassionate side of politics. They are apparently the only ones that have concern for their fellow man, particularly the downtrodden, minorities, and the poor. They are seen as the party of empathy, and opposed to selfishness, bigotry and exploitation. They quite literally believe they are more conscientious human beings than their conservative and libertarian opponents.
This makes for quite intense cognitive dissonance when presented with the evidence that the policies they support are in fact the opposite of compassionate. They are aggressive. They actively harm the people they are meant to protect. They exploit minorities. It’s something that would require re-thinking not only their entire worldview, but the way they evaluate themselves personally.
I’m not surprised that leftists comment without reading. If they actually read my article, it would stir up something painful. It may actually have to make them think about their ideas rationally, and see beyond their ‘good’ intentions.
So instead they laugh the headline off or dismiss it in a few words. One commenter was called out on the fact that he had not read the article, but he reckoned he did not “need to”, because he just “knew” what libertarians were like. He was apriori certain that I was wrong.
Who knows? He could be clairvoyant. Either way, it doesn’t make for constructive discussion.
Or it could just be standard TL;DR laziness.
I’m not really that upset that we’re not having a meaningful debate. After all, election season is probably the worst time to try to persuade somebody away from statism and towards liberty. But come on, the least one can do is read the article.
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