nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Authoritarians update

Here's the follow-up on how to talk to authoritarians, from the very specific pont of view of convincing them to be liberals/progressives.

I don't have time to do the subject justice (must pack for worldcon), but I'll just note that when I was talking previously about treating conservatives, Republicans, and Bush supporters as human beings, I meant it might be nice to have a religious recognition of the light within them, but it's pragmatically important to just realize that they have their own minds and their own self-regard, and as much as you might want to hammer on them, *they* don't think they're in the world for you to feel better about how wrong they are.

The version I have for my own life is "People generally aren't at their best when they're being hated", with a corollary that while sometimes you have to give up on trying to get a particular person to be at their best, most people give up hope for each other much too easily.

Two interesting bits from the comments: the idea that a lot of authoritarians ignore other people's interests because they've been convinced to ignore their own interests and the related idea that authoritarians don't have a grasp of pragmatism--they need to be convinced to be concerned with what works and what doesn't.

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