19

Is it ever a good idea to engage in dialog with a fascist?

Submitted by Splinglebot in Anarchism

I'm making this thread after someone who turned out to be a fascist replied to a comment of mine on reddit. A lot of the time it seems they're people who are heavily misinformed, having been sold repeated lies to the sad point where they're blaming all their problems on the vulnerable. Knowing that they'll rarely if ever respond in good faith, is it ever a good idea to try and engage at all?

Is it ever possible to get through to them? Or is it a waste of time? Are they a lost cause? I'd imagine it'd depend a lot on the fascist in question, and on how ingrained they are in their bullshit. How can you tell if it's at all possible or if you're just wasting your time? Or are you always wasting your time?

Comments

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19

NeoliberalismKills wrote

I've been increasingly convinced debate is absolutely worthless. People's minds are changed by participating in new communities or witnessing direct action (not mutually exclusive). Debate is worthless with a fash. Flame them so marginalized people in the same spaces know you've got their back and move on.

9

RedEmmaSpeaks wrote

To an extent you should speak out, it should be more or less to proclaim to marginalized people that you have their backs.

There's no point in debating someone who isn't the least bit interested in a debate. Just GTFO as soon as possible. Maybe you would be the stone that shatters their protective ignorance dome, but it is very unlikely. Focus your efforts on stopping the SOBs instead.

11

PerfectSociety wrote

It's doubtful that you could ever get through to them by debating their political views. What often determines people's political values is their experiences and feelings about themselves. Reactionaries are often insecure about their own self-worth and they project the disappointment and worthlessness that they feel about themselves onto the nature of humanity and the world around them. The only way to really get through to them is to try to mend that fundamental feeling of worthlessness and disappointment. As you can imagine, that's a much harder task to accomplish than defeating them in a debate by citing facts, figures, and logic.

8

TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

NeoliberlaismKills and PerfectSociety are right.

Arguing with fascists is useless. Dialog may not be useless.

You can try asking them genuine questions, help them "rubber duck debug" their shitty world view. It'll probably take a whole lot of time and eloquence, which I don't have. Or talk about yourself and show how awesome and wholesome and smart and cool leftists are.

Most fascists are selfish evil people and don't even believe in their augments.

I wouldn't talk to that dude on reddit.

8

BigGeorge wrote

Sure, if you're trying to lure him to a quiet spot so you can bash his head in.

6

ravengrace wrote

No because it legitimizes what they are saying as a valid opinion / argument.

5

Xylanthius wrote

It depends on what your intention is.

It also depends on how you go about it. If your intention is to "get through to them" psychologically your chances are only likely if you present them with an idea that is very similar and only slightly different than their own. It will help your chances to get through to them tremendously if others around them also subscribe to the idea that you are trying to sell.

If you are trying to convince them of an idea that is radically different than the ones they believe in already then there probably is not a good idea unless you are trying to make an example for others who might witness the conversation who have ideas and theories and thoughts that are similar to yours.

People can only change so much at a time especially when they already identify strongly with something.

4

Splinglebot wrote

your chances are only likely if you present them with an idea that is very similar and only slightly different than their own.

I guess this is what I was thinking, the fascist mentioned in the OP made some complaint about the "corporate media" - which had an element of truth to it in that the media is run by large corporations - but they seem to think it's all "leftists" and that they have an "agenda of diversity". This seems to be quite common among the far right on the internet actually. I wondered if it would be possible to use that idea to steer them in the right direction.

I guess the problem is, you simply can't tell if they actually believe in what they're saying about the corporate media, or if it's nothing but an attempt to appeal to a certain type of person to drag them in.

5

selver wrote

You might have no chance of getting through to them, but it helps to sway other people who are reading the conversation & may be undecided.

There are a few good faith fascists on Reddit that I debate sometimes.

Whether it's a waste of time or not depends on if you enjoy it, and on what else you'd be doing with that time.

5

armadilloPancake wrote

If you are going to argue to try and move them to anarachism, then don't bother, otherwise try to find common ground to find the point where they figure out "hey they're not so bad."

lead the horse to water, make it thirsty.

4

Pop wrote (edited )

f/Care_Tactics

There's a whole forum about this; it has four posts so far...

3

ziq wrote

four posts so far

that isn't very encouraging for this approach

4

Zzzxxxyyy wrote

Fascists are fully aware of their opposition’s viewpoints. Mostly it’s useless to engage anyone who’s reasonably convinced one way or the other.

2

armadilloPancake wrote

If you are going to argue to try and move them to anarachism, then don't bother, otherwise try to find common ground to find the point where they figure out "hey they're not so bad."

lead the horse to water, make it thirsty.

2

mustard wrote

my mom might be fash but her basement feels like the least bad option for me, atm

1

Throwdown321 wrote

On social media, people will troll for the sake of stirring up trouble, or debate, i just either report them, block them or ignore them.

-8

closed wrote

You're asking this question on a site that bends over backwards to avoid dialog with outsiders and advocates violence against fascists.

5

ziq wrote

It's weird thst all you do on raddle is whine that we're mean to fash.

1

closed wrote

Well, I do very little here. Perhaps you can handle the burden of someone occasionally expressing an non-hivemind opinion.

3

Splinglebot wrote

I mean I feel like the rest of the comments kinda disprove this idea

1

closed wrote

Perhaps we're reading different comments... they're just what I'd expect.