Insults are not acceptable

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Insults are not acceptable
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In his post #26 on the "alcohol industry" thread, Lbird used insulting language against another comrade (jk1921): indeed the insult was the entire content of the post. When taken up on this by LoneLondoner, Lbird merely claimed that others on the forum "don't take the trouble" to answer his questions with arguments.
As LoneLondoner says, this forum is not a gentleman's debating club. We welcome comrades putting their viewpoints forcefully and as directly as possible, and indeed with a degree of polemical bite where necessary.
This, however, can never excuse merely insulting behaviour which not only damages the argument in progress, but is more generally damaging to the reputation of communists - given that there is nothing more public than a discussion in an Internet forum. The rules of the forum are perfectly clear in this respect:
  • "No flaming": sarcasm is to be avoided and gratuitous insults still more so.
  • "No trolling": more generally, avoid deliberate provocation. The aim of discussion should be not to "provoke" one's "antagonist", but to develop a better understanding of different ideas, even if one is opposed to them.
In our view, an apology from Lbird would be in order.
The incident, and our reaction to it (late though it is), raises the broader issue of what this forum is. We have already stated that we do not consider it to be a closed forum, limited only to ICC members and sympathisers. Members of the ICC will intervene to defend our positions in the discussions, when we feel this to be necessary, but we do not aim to intervene systematically in every discussion. Most important in our view is to create a climate in which mutual trust encourages thoughtful debate, committed to advancing the understanding of a communist (therefore necessarily internationalist) view of the world in the broadest possible sense. This demands a sense of responsibility from all who take part.
An attitude of provocation and insult is directly inimical to developing such a climate. In this it not only attacks those it is directed against, it attacks the whole communist project as we see it, by discrediting the very notion of open and committed political discussion.
LBird
Apology

webmaster wrote:
In his post #26 on the "alcohol industry" thread, Lbird used insulting language against another comrade (jk1921): indeed the insult was the entire content of the post.

That post of mine has to be seen in the context of jk1921's ongoing campaign of insults against me, to which I have regrettably returned in the same coin. jk1921 seems to think it acceptable to question the psychological status of a comrade with whom he disagrees, rather than build a defence of his position. From that point of view, I'm not sure why webmaster hasn't chided jk1921 to the same extent as me.

On a general note, I'm aware that many of the argument that I make are not to the taste of many here, and I always ask that comrades attack my ideas, but keep personal jibes or sarcastic asides to themselves. Otherwise, I can do 'personal jibes' and 'sarcastic asides' with the best of them.

webmaster wrote:
When taken up on this by LoneLondoner, Lbird merely claimed that others on the forum "don't take the trouble" to answer his questions with arguments.

Of course, this is the real root of the problem. Those who 'don't take the trouble' are being faced with difficult philosophical questions, to which they apparently have no answer, or which grossly disturb their existing worldview. So, rather than admit this, and ask further questions, they initially resort to silence, and then 'jump in' later in the discussion to defend jk1921's right to abuse me, because they don't like my 'style' (allegedly).

webmaster wrote:
This, however, can never excuse merely insulting behaviour which not only damages the argument in progress, but is more generally damaging to the reputation of communists - given that there is nothing more public than a discussion in an Internet forum. The rules of the forum are perfectly clear in this respect:
  • "No flaming": sarcasm is to be avoided and gratuitous insults still more so.
  • "No trolling": more generally, avoid deliberate provocation. The aim of discussion should be not to "provoke" one's "antagonist", but to develop a better understanding of different ideas, even if one is opposed to them.

In our view, an apology from Lbird would be in order.

Right, I agree. In the future, I'll merely point out 'sarcasm', 'gratuitous insults' and 'provocation' to the webmaster. Be warned, jk1921 and their ilk.Those who aim to 'develop a better understanding of different ideas' have nothing to fear, other than an intellectual challenge to their current ideology. So, to sum up, I apologise to all those comrades who use this site, and have become concerned at the level of childish debate to which I have descended.
webmaster wrote:
An attitude of provocation and insult is directly inimical to developing such a climate. In this it not only attacks those it is directed against, it attacks the whole communist project as we see it, by discrediting the very notion of open and committed political discussion.
Hear, hear. Let's all remember these wise words, the next time we discuss, for example, epistemology. It is 'open and committed political discussion' to question Engels' 19th century positivism. If any comrade wishes to defend Engels, then do so. But attacking me personally is not an option, anymore.The webmaster has spoken!
radicalchains
Good to see

I for one accept your apology LBird and it's nice to see the webmaster reiterate the kind of behavior that should be acceptable and condusive.

A while ago I brought up the language of a certain comrade named Lenin and asked some questions pertaining to the use of certain words and the nature of comradely discussion.

It can be read here:

https://en.internationalism.org/forum/1056/radicalchains/4351/naive-childish-spineless-preachers-talking-nonsense

LBird
Ouch!

radicalchains wrote:

I for one accept your apology LBird and it's nice to see the webmaster reiterate the kind of behavior that should be acceptable and condusive.

A while ago I brought up the language of a certain comrade named Lenin and asked some questions pertaining to the use of certain words and the nature of comradely discussion.

It can be read here:

https://en.internationalism.org/forum/1056/radicalchains/4351/naive-childish-spineless-preachers-talking-nonsense

Thanks for your comradely acceptance, radicalchains.

And, having followed the link you kindly provided, and read of the terms Lenin used (and of whom I'm very critical), I felt an immediate 'Ouch!' of recognition. Your point is taken!

A.Simpleton
Co-munimus

*****

It's not a typo :@} It's the latin for 'we build together': (munio/munire/munivi/munitum) and I too appreciate the webmasters restatement and your apology. Just in general I'll make a few points. 

Last night I wrote this 'offline' and stored it until a right place/time might or might not arise: it has:

This forum is a meeting place built and maintained by an organisation which for 3 decades has mentally/physically worked in/for communism . It is freely and openly offered as a resource to those who similarly work for, wish to contribute what they can to, or at least identify with communism: 'the real movement that abolishes the present state of affairs' as Marx defined it ('not a state of affairs to be brought about and put in place, an ideal to which reality will have to adjust itself).Marx's italics: AS

It is not sheepish idolatry to respect that fact: nor does such respect mean meek deference to this or that part of the platform or position that by definition develop in the movement onwards and nor indeed is any such 'deference' expected.

But I think it behoves one to bring to mind from time to time and acknowledge who designed 'furnished' and does the cleaning - as it were - of the rooms and corridor: who tries to make sure that the lights don't keep going out thus enabling - nay encouraging  -  those who bear none of those responsibilities  to both express and freely use the 'virtual building'.

The internet is a new addition and environment which throws up great benefits but is still 'teething' with difficulty - or better challenges. Communist posted a thread some time ago about 'uses of the internet for discussion' which didn't require long 'development'. I thought it was an important 'first reference point' defining /acknowledging that it was 'new space'.

I remember posting that it was obviously an addition to in person meetings (not in some false opposition to them) but also that it was yet to be discovered in practice, whether some of the remarkable aspects of the 'after focussed meeting chats' would eventually find a 'virtual equivalent.'

Ten misunderstandings can disappear like smoke through a keyhole in less than ten minutes face to face. All the extras we use to communicate as humans - inflection, tone, timing , hand gestures, frowns, smiles - {not to mention the call of 'last orders' which grounds us :@} -all these are missing.

'Oh I thought you meant all that spurious Bogemov stuff... 'no no far from it I meant ..'It takes 12 seconds to say in person : maybe 4 exchanges that took 20 minutes to construct when one is here.

I think extra care and extra patience is the baseline in presenting online : precisely because the written is the written.

In real human interaction :'oops did I say Liebknecht? I meant Pannekoek ...sorry ' bang it's gone and forward motion is resumed with little interruption.

AS 

radicalchains
Yes!

I really hadn't thought about it all from those angles AS, very insighful! Not such A Simpleton after all. 

LBird
So true

A.Simpleton wrote:
Ten misunderstandings can disappear like smoke through a keyhole in less than ten minutes face to face. All the extras we use to communicate as humans - inflection, tone, timing , hand gestures, frowns, smiles - {not to mention the call of 'last orders' which grounds us :@} -all these are missing.

'Oh I thought you meant all that spurious Bogemov stuff... 'no no far from it I meant ..'It takes 12 seconds to say in person : maybe 4 exchanges that took 20 minutes to construct when one is here.

I think extra care and extra patience is the baseline in presenting online : precisely because the written is the written.

In real human interaction :'oops did I say Liebknecht? I meant Pannekoek ...sorry ' bang it's gone and forward motion is resumed with little interruption.

This is so true, AS. And it's further complicated by one's 'sense of humour', which far too often doesn't translate well without 'face-to-face inflection, tone, timing, gestures, frowns, smiles' and, most importantly, as you observe, the pint offered in sorrow to address one's regret at offence taken by a comrade.