The Argument from Intimidation: Once Again, Ayn Rand Was Right

By now it’s clear that whenever you disagree with a leftist about anything, you will be branded a “racist”. Even if the subject has nothing whatsoever to do with race, you’ll be called a racist whenever you disagree with a leftist about ANYTHING.

What’s going on here, psychologically? Fifty years ago, Ayn Rand had already figured it out. Here’s what she wrote back in the 1960s:

“There is a certain type of argument which, in fact, is not an argument, but a means of forestalling debate and extorting an opponent’s agreement with one’s undiscussed notions. It is a method of bypassing logic by means of psychological pressure . . . [It] consists of threatening to impeach an opponent’s character by means of his argument, thus impeaching the argument without debate. Example: ‘Only the immoral can fail to see that Candidate X’s argument is false.’ . . . The falsehood of his argument is asserted arbitrarily and offered as proof of his immorality.

In today’s epistemological jungle, that second method is used more frequently than any other type of irrational argument. It should be classified as a logical fallacy and may be designated as ‘The Argument from Intimidation.’

The essential characteristic of the Argument from Intimidation is its appeal to moral self-doubt and its reliance on the fear, guilt or ignorance of the victim. It is used in the form of an ultimatum demanding that the victim renounce a given idea without discussion, under threat of being considered morally unworthy. The pattern is always: ‘Only those who are evil (dishonest, heartless, insensitive, ignorant, etc.) can hold such an idea.'” [Source of quote]

All those years ago, Rand nailed the total collapse of rational debate we see around us today, in the form of reducing all dissenting opinions about collectivism, socialism, Communism, anti-Americanism and anti-freedom to a charge of “racism”.

“You’re either with us — or you’re a racist”. That’s literally all they’ve got.

Of course, notice what the “racist” accuser counts on: Your willingness to be intimidated. The argument from intimidation cannot work on people who WILL NOT be intimidated.

I think it’s safe to say that the jig is up, in that department. We have ALL been called “racist” so many times, in so many inappropriate contexts, that it has actually become humorous. It’s certainly absurd in the extreme. Leftists have turned themselves into caricatures.

While any decent, intellectually honest person would be indignant at the charge of “racism”, the sheer fallacy and dishonesty in a charge made so indiscriminately means it no longer matters. And what goes with it? Any hope of intimidating those you hope to intimidate.

Perhaps the leftists hope that the indifference they create to charges of “racism” will offer more evidence that you are, indeed, truly racist.

But that tactic only works with people who are already convinced the advocates of leftist ideas are right. Leftists inhabit a media and psychological-intellectual echo chamber where they don’t have to face dissension. That’s why when dissenting voices make their way to the White House, leftists become literally insane. They are not used to being disagreed with; and, like all emotional abusers, they don’t like it.

Leftists long ago abandoned rational argument. They know they’re right, and they feel no obligation to prove it. They’re morally outraged at the prospect they must make a case for anything. THIS is the mentality of totalitarianism. That’s why I keep insisting today’s Democrats and leftists are up-and-coming dictators. We saw that through the sneering of the Obama years. And we see it now in the all-but-explicit death threats against dissenting voices uttered by the likes of Antifa and now The Squad. Not to mention the more subtle, but just as real, threats against conservatives and other non-leftists every single day by the likes of Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the corporate socialist leftist world.

The jig is up, leftists. We know you’re dishonest, and that your charges of “racism” are irrelevant and absurd. You’ve finally got a real battle on your hands. If it’s an intellectual or even literal dictatorship you want, you’re going to have to fight like hell for it.



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