What should I reply with

Submitted by helpme554 in Anarchism (edited )

When I see people post stupid shit I dont know how to respond someone said this

"Bill Gates has donated $40million to charity and is working on creating clean water from sewage water for third world countries, in 10 years will be estimated worth $6 billion. Jeff Bezos last year donated $98.5billion to 32 different organizations in 23 states that help homeless families. So they are definitely helping the improve the world. It is not like they have all the money tossed in a vault like scrooge mcduck."

This is obviously really wrong but what do I say to this person to convince them they are wrong?



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mofongo wrote

Why would you want to reply?


bloodrose wrote

$40 million is 0.67% of $6 billion. Ask them to calculate 0.67% of their savings. Then ask how hard it would be to part with that money. That demonstrates that it is not generous.


lastfutures wrote

But also that you would get all kinds of shit back in return for that investment - like the ability to influence global politics or change school curriculums.


rot wrote

hey, watch the ableism


mofongo admin wrote

I approve of this message, please use another word besides the r one.


helpme554 OP wrote

i changed it but do you make people change it? if someone wants to they should be able to use that word and others can criticize them for that but taking away free speech is bad.


ziq wrote (edited )

Anarchist principles include freedom of association and being anti-authority.

Freedom to scapegoat people that lack the abilities you have isn't an anarchist principle, in fact it's the opposite. Discriminating against people based on ability creates authority. It makes you an authoritarian. Anarchists can choose to not associate with someone who is being authoritarian.


celebratedrecluse wrote

Uh, what? You're being criticized right now, lol. Nobody banned you or deleted your post, they explained the social norm here and politely requested you to respect that norm.

I don't think you understand what "free speech" means.


subrosa wrote

This may be worth a read:

Free speech


lastfutures wrote (edited )

All that link tells them is that anarchists are the same as the state lol

There's free speech as a legal right and then free speech as a principle.


subrosa wrote

Fair enough. I'll spell it out, just in case:

Free speech (as usually understood) is a flawed concept. This 'freedom' granted by the government is more or less the negative print of the freedom they took from you. You don't gain anything from it. Your government-issued 'free speech' license is pretty meaningless to anarchists.

Free speech as a general principle is similarly flawed, especially in context to defending the use of the r-word. Highly recommend this thread, it goes into detail.


lastfutures wrote

I'm not defending the principle. Just saying that when a user like that invokes it, they usually mean a general principle. A more specific critique of ableism + language is more helpful, like why anarchists would disallow it on their site. That hamjam post is much better as a reference I think.


subrosa wrote

You're right. In my attempts to reframe the discussion in a useful way I tend to make things more complicated than necessary :P


ziq wrote (edited )

[I updated the wiki so it will work in this situation too.]

Unfortunately, some people insist on using bigoted or otherwise harmful language in anarchist spaces, claiming that "free speech" allows them to do so. Since we've established that "free speech" is nothing more than a lie rulers tells us in order to control us, it's important that we reject the dishonest language of the state when talking about anarchy, and take a long hard look at the reasons someone would have for clinging to the state's coercive promises of "rights" and "freedoms" that simply don't exist.

"Free speech" is not an anarchist principle in any way. Actual anarchist principles of course include taking a strong stance against authority in all its guises, as well as freedom of association. This means we are free to associate with whoever we want and free to avoid associating with people that would build authoritarian structures to oppress us.

So people who enter anarchist spaces, drop slurs and hateful bigoted rhetoric, while insisting we accept it because they have the (state-given) right to free speech have very little understanding of anarchy. If someone comes into your home and calls you a racial slur, no one should have the power to stop you from showing that person the door.

It takes an incredibly sheltered person to believe there should be no consequences for abuse. When someone is abusing you or people you care about, you should be free to take a stand and remove them from your space, no matter how many times the person cries "free speech" as they're telling you you're a worthless (slur).

The "freedom" to scapegoat and demean people who are different from you, is in fact in direct contradiction with anarchy. Discriminating against people based on ability, race, gender or sexuality creates authority. It makes you an authoritarian. Your rhetoric directly alienates the people who belong to the groups you're choosing to demean and present as less-than human.

Anarchists can and will choose to not associate with people that claim they have a right to oppress others. Anarchists are anti-authoritarian to our core, and this means we don't have to put up with hateful bigots in our spaces.