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suma wrote

I remember on opening week they banned pretty much everyone and then their site just died, lol.

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ziq OP wrote

ML-run projects are too insular, if they really cared about "left unity" they wouldn't ban anyone that breaks from their (CCP) party line.

For a project to actually take off, it needs libertarian principles. Authoritarian management will stifle any potential community before it has a chance to form (like when the lemmy admin banned everyone that spoke ill of gulags or Xi Jinping on the very first day).

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hogposting wrote

For a project to actually take off, it needs libertarian principles.

It's probably more accurate to say that for a leftist project to take off, it needs to be open to leftists of all stripes. This is different from a libertarian approach, which seems more associated with free speech absolutism.

For instance, there are <600 members of this forum. If 1000 neo-Nazis started posting neo-Nazi literature here (exactly what you're rightly criticizing the creator of Lemmy over), they should be banned, because if they're not banned the project dies in its crib. This approach can be abused like anything else, but it seems self-evident that it's better than just letting anything go.

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ziq OP wrote

I'm a little confused. Free speech?

Read w/free_speech

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hogposting wrote (edited )

The core intention behind that is sound, but how do you apply those ideas to real-world situations? For instance:

  1. Say my example above happens. That says we'd have the right to "show them the door," but how does that play out in practice? Bans? A mod banning people, or even some sort of democratic decision to ban people, seems like a use of authority to force someone to do something they won't do on their own. You're (rightly) concerned about authority, so what's the solution to that specific real-world problem?
  2. Now say that we can magically recreate society from the ground up, however we like. How do we handle bigoted rhetoric in this scenario? Does it matter if the bigoted rhetoric happens in public, or in private? In either case, how would we "show someone the door" when they use bigoted rhetoric? I can't think of a way to do that without at least something resembling authority.

I don't understand how this would work where the rubber meets the road. And I'm wary of explanations that effectively rely on authority, but disguise it as something different (your quote on doublespeak was well chosen).

On a side note, the characterization of free speech as a purely governmental concept is misguided. Plenty of people talk about freedom of speech from a philosophical perspective, and the principle is applied in all sorts of contexts that don't involve the government regulating or protecting speech.

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ziq OP wrote

We don't ban fascists, we delete their entire accounts at the server level so it's like they never even existed. Fascists don't get a platform here. It isn't authority, it's force and freedom of association. Now read this wiki:

w/expertise_vs_authority

Not letting fascists into our house isn't a system of authority, we're not asking the state or another structural institutional power to take action to remove the fash, we take direct action ourselves. It's an isolated action that's not backed by any authority. Authority is a structural institution, mandated from above. Direct action is not a form of authority because there is no monopoly on violence involved. The fascist could easily kill me for removing them from my house. I'm not asking a state or its enforcers to protect me when I take direct action.

Now say that we can magically recreate society from the ground up, however we like. How do we handle bigoted rhetoric in this scenario?

Same way we do in any scenario. We take direct action to shut it down and put ourselves at risk in the process. We don't create institutional authority to solve our problems for us.

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hogposting wrote

It isn't authority, it's force

This (and your self-defense examples in that link) is what I meant by being wary of explanations that effectively rely on authority, but disguise it as something different. At bottom, what we're getting at is when it's justifiable to take away someone's autonomy. We can frame this discussion in a lot of ways, but the difference between those framings isn't as vast as you're making it out to be.

Not letting fascists into our house isn't a system of authority, we're not asking the state or another structural institutional power to take action to remove the fash, we take direct action ourselves... Direct action is not a form of authority because there is no monopoly on violence involved.

A problem I see here, that I also see in that link, is the frequent conflation between public (state) authority and private authority. There are vast differences between public and private authority, the most important of which are (a) when it's justifiable to take away someone's autonomy, and (b) how frequently taking away someone's autonomy in the physical sense -- through violence -- is justifiable. For instance, your boss can punish your speech in ways the state can't, but the state can "justifiably" use violence against you in far more situations than your boss can. These structures of authority are very different, but I'm not seeing a clear line drawn between them.

But back to the question of mods banning fascists from an internet forum. Mods have greater power than other users of the forum, can unilaterally impose that power on individual users, are not obligated to treat those users fairly, and the exercise of mod power (at least in the form of bans) takes away individual users' autonomy. I don't see any meaningful definition of "authority" that does not include all of that. It's private authority, and it's a small institution, but it's authority nonetheless. And I think denying that a mod has a position of authority creates a high risk of doublespeak and all the problems it entails.

It seems much more honest to acknowledge that mods do in fact have authority, to state (and I expect we'll disagree here) that authority is sometimes necessary (even if it's only a necessary evil), and to note that necessity is a justification -- i.e., authority is sometimes justifiable. Say you and I sign on as crew members of a 100-person sailing ship that's making an open-ocean journey. Our decision to join the crew is fully voluntary -- it's not a job we're driven to out of economic deprivation, it just sounds like an awesome experience to sail across the ocean. We understand that sailing a ship like that requires a lot of coordination, and (although the captain generally runs the ship by consensus) we understand that when a storm inevitably hits there's no time to discuss the best course of action. Accordingly, we agree to follow the captain's orders during storms, and we agree that if we don't follow them we could get moved to another job on the ship, or taken off duty altogether.

The captain then has authority over us, that authority is necessitated by the circumstances of the voyage, and therefore his authority over us is justified. I don't see any good objection to this arrangement, and I don't see a better way to operate a 100-person sailing ship. This arrangement also isn't just guidance by the captain's expertise -- he has a bona fide position of authority. Finally, this arrangement highlights how a monopoly on violence isn't a necessary element of authority, because (a) this scenario doesn't use any form of violence and (b) even if it did, it's a private form of authority, so it wouldn't have a monopoly on that violence.

Same way we do in any scenario. We take direct action to shut it down and put ourselves at risk in the process. We don't create institutional authority to solve our problems for us.

Say 100 bigots ban together and murder anyone who takes direct action against bigoted rhetoric. What's the solution now, and how does it avoid organizing a similarly large group of people and justifying the response -- actions that seem awfully similar to creating an institutional authority?

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote (edited )

Your boss and the state representative both have authority over you because they wield power over you that they themselves do not have. They are basically the same thing at different scales imo

The captain of the ship doesn't really wield power in this scenario. If someone decides that they will not follow the captain during the storm, the captain doesn't have much of a choice. I would say they are more in a "leadership" position than an "authority" position. If it is chosen before hand that some punishment should be given in case you do not follow the captain's orders, the captain now has authority.

In the case of this website, I agree that admins have some authority, but banning fashies isn't an authoritative action, because everyone on here agrees with it. Choosing moderators for the forums would be a form of authority that the admins have.

Maybe someone more eloquent than me could add a paragraph on leadership vs authority to the wiki.

This video by philosophy tube helped me understand

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hogposting wrote (edited )

If it is chosen before hand that some punishment should be given in case you do not follow the captain's orders, the captain now has authority.

That's exactly the situation I'm describing, yes. If you don't follow orders in a storm, you're removed from your position, and you might be removed from participating in the functions of the ship altogether. You get "fired" from your role on the ship, just the same as you'd get fired from a regular job if you ignore your boss. (Both are a use of power, as defined by the video you linked, too.)

banning fashies isn't an authoritative action, because everyone on here agrees with it

  1. Does everyone agree with it? I'm sure if there was a broad discussion on this you'd see some people argue that no one should be banned and fascist content should just be downvoted, you'd see others argue about the definition of "fascist" and what exact content should be bannable, etc.
  2. If literally everyone agrees on a course of action, sure, it doesn't make sense to describe performing that action as a use of authority. But what if you only have 90% agreement? Or 51% agreement? Or what if, like the example above, you have 600 original, non-fascist members of the forum, but 1000 fascists join and suddenly they're in the majority? It becomes increasingly hard to argue that banning them doesn't involve any authority as the decision to do so gets less and less popular.

Fascists absolutely should be banned (at least until the forum is big enough to not get taken over by them); my point is that mods banning people is a use of authority, and that use of authority (in the case of banning fascists) is justifiable.

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TheLegendaryBirdMonster wrote

I do not believe that this is authority. Authorithy would be if the captain was granted a tool to force people to follow their orders. In the same vein, the lead singer of a rock band doesn't have authority over other members of the band.

Think of raddle as a groupe of friends, the admins would be the friends that tells nazis to fuck off when they try to join. There isn't anything authoritative about that.

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hogposting wrote (edited )

Authorithy would be if the captain was granted a tool to force people to follow their orders.

He has such a tool -- he can move you to a less-desirable role on the ship, or remove you from duty altogether. This isn't much different from your boss demoting or firing you, and your boss certainly is an authority figure.

the admins would be the friends that tells nazis to fuck off

That's not the situation, though:

Mods have greater power than other users of the forum, can unilaterally impose that power on individual users, are not obligated to treat those users fairly, and the exercise of mod power (at least in the form of bans) takes away individual users' autonomy. I don't see any meaningful definition of "authority" that does not include all of that.

One of your friends can't unilaterally shut someone up, for one thing, and removing someone's ability to speak isn't the same as merely telling them to fuck off, for another.

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