You Should Be Offended

in anarchism •  3 years ago

It may seem a tad ironic that, as someone who advocates a society based upon voluntary peaceful coexistence, I think it’s a good thing that some people are capable of being confrontational, argumentative bastards who don’t mind insulting and offending others. No, I’m not talking about obnoxious trolls who try to shock and offend just to get attention, or because they get some demented pleasure out of bothering others. I’m talking about people willing to tell the truth even when the truth is not popular, and even when telling the truth can earn one the scorn and hatred of the general public.

It is neither brave nor useful to go around loudly telling a truth that everyone already knows. What matters—what changes the world—is people telling the truth when the rest of the world doesn’t know it, and doesn’t want to hear it. Going around today and proclaiming, “Slavery is wrong!” doesn’t require any courage or fortitude. The time to proclaim that was back when much of the world still thought that slavery was proper and legitimate, even righteous. What needs saying today is whatever truths still make people uncomfortable.

And that brings up a sort of "conflict of interests" I notice when I write for Steemit—a conflict I resolve by choosing to be a stubborn, opinionated, argumentative bastard. Allow me to explain.

How much writers get paid for what they post on Steemit depends largely upon how much other people like and appreciate their work. In that sense, it’s a sort of “popularity contest.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. People who write books, make movies, record albums, etc., are rewarded, not based on how much they value their OWN stuff, or upon any objective worth of their material (if there is such a thing), but upon how much OTHER people like it. However, when it comes to philosophical opinions, that can tend to create an “echo chamber” effect, where people just say whatever their audience wants to hear.

In contrast, when I write articles or give talks, I intentionally set out to make people uncomfortable, not just for the sake of being a butthead, but because if I don’t challenge someone’s pre-existing assumptions and beliefs, then they are a lot less likely to get anything out of it. Sure, they might like me more and might feel better if I say whatever they already think, but what good does that do anyone? This is why I often go out of my way to remain a pugnacious ass (intellectually speaking), skipping over all the things we might agree on, and heading right for whatever disagreements might exist between myself and my audience.

(Incidentally, even if I’m wrong about something, it can still be better to try to find areas of disagreement. If nothing else, it gives the other person practice at explaining and arguing their position. I know that my own understanding of things has greatly benefited from having to articulate them, and logically support them, when arguing against others who had conflicting beliefs.)

Even in a free society, there will still be ways in which people are rewarded for speaking about “safe” topics that the majority will approve of, and punished for undermining people’s paradigms and going beyond their comfort zones. But if you want to see the nauseating results of what happens when someone tailors and waters down his message in the hopes of pleasing everyone—or as many people as possible—you need look no further than politics: a huge substance-free parade of empty suit puppets spewing whatever vague, meaningless, feel-good tripe might dupe the moronic majority into supporting them.

Many people have rightly pointed out that, despite having accumulated a somewhat significant audience that listens to what I say, I have been remarkably bad at monetizing my efforts and achieving financial success. I don’t pretend that this is the result of altruism or generosity on my part. Instead, it’s at least partly because I would rather tell the truth and be hated than tell a lie and be loved. (It's also because I'm just a crappy businessman.)

Having been an anarchist for twenty years now, I’ve had quite a bit of practice at saying things that make a lot of people despise me. (I still want a tee-shirt that says, “I was an anarchist before it was cool!”) Yes, I very much appreciate being appreciated. But if I have to change my message even one inch away from what I see as the truth in order to get that appreciation, then it’s not worth it.

Obviously I am not the only one who feels that way. There are a hell of a lot of people who have paid a higher price than I have for sticking by their principles, in both word and deed. I am extremely grateful such people exist. And if you, as a Steemit reader, are one of them, I would issue this invitation/challenge: think of something that you strongly believe in, but which you think most people will not want to hear… and then post an article about it—the best one you can write.

In the long run, there is an advantage to having such an outlook. Yeah, you may be broke, and possibly despised by everyone you know, but at least people will know that you are genuine, that you say what you think, and that your soul is not for sale. Now pardon me while I go try to compose a new article to make people existentially uncomfortable.

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Larken, I've been following your work for some years now (under different pseudonyms that you may recognize) and while I've yet to totally disagree with, nor be offended by, anything you've said, all is not lost! Lol. I can say that you have taught, and continue to teach, me how to challenge my own thoughts, perceptions, and even habits. I understand your assholeishness and its purpose and I thank you for it all. Peace.

I used to live a lie. At some point I woke up. I forgave myself for living it, and decided not to do it anymore. I had to make that promise to myself. Once truth comes to rest inside of you, a love like no other is born. It's not always easy see, but once seen it cannot be unseen. Thank you, Larken, for discovering real objective truth, and loving her. Especially so for encouraging others to care for her as well. Now with this post I see that how you can be a mentor.

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You are right, you just have to make yourself used to it and things will turn all right then.

When younger, and not yet having strong opinions or knowledge on issues yet, I used to take the more benign approach to arguing a topic by listening to radio talk shows. Id dial in a host I didn't particularly like, on a subject I sucked at. I would just listen to callers rants, the host response's, and attempted to figure out in my head what I would have said. Now, with the web, one can really go to town this way.

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Same here, I am not expose to a great stream of knowledge and I dont have ideas on lots of things but with continuous reading and involvement I learn and understand few things.

I totally agree, l like banter even if it goes against my own views. Its healthy and sometimes as wrong as it may be i say things i know people just can't cope with just to get a response. It think its productive to talk, share and argue. I dont get emotional about it i just enjoy it and the older i get the more i speak my mind without caring about the repercussions. The key to it all i think is just to make sure you dont sell yourself out, especially for monetary/popularity gains. Respect and reputation is everything but self respect is more important. I dont get hung up on it too much though because it might take a life time to gain a reputation, but it can all be destroyed in a day.

I'm so glad Steemit has made it easy for principled content creators like Larken to make money. There's a lot of pent up good karma to be heaped on you, Larken.

However, I firmly believe that "being broke" or "being a bad businessman" are choices. Monetizing your platform is about serving your audience, not about compromising principles.

Besides, some believe that succeeding in the free market is a principle unto its own (See Atlas Shrugged).

Top 3 Protips for content creators: Build your email list. Build your email list. Build your email list.

Love your work, Larken! You deserve all your Steemit success and then some. I look forward to your Mirror project.

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Incidentally, I totally agree. The fact that I'm still poor at this point is due more to a fault in my psyche than a virtue. I'm working on it. Steemit is helping.

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I'll be happy to help you set up some of the tactical stuff if you want. Email me at contact@activistpost .com.

The problem for me is I think I understood your message awhile ago (long before steemit). So while I cannot articulate these thoughts as well as you do I am kind of an "echo" chamber. You didn't say anything on steemit that made me uncomfortable or shocked me. I suspect that is because I am already there, and I get it. Yet you are saying it the way you do also I suspect out of a sincere desire to make the world a better place. To do that you need to reach people other than those like me.

People like me will continue to support you due to your skill at delivering the message. If you want to make me uncomfortable with the message though you'll need to come up with some new material. If you suddenly became a Statist, that would make me uncomfortable.

Yeah, I've seen so many anarchists on steemit I've been increasingly compelled to write a long post called in defense of the state and knowing this is the wrong room for it only makes me want to do it more. I've been putting it off because it feels to me like arguing for the vertues of hydration.

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I'd actually enjoy that very much, even if it's just in the comments. Don' t forget that voluntarists like diversity and dissent, unlike the collectivists one-size-fits-all-mindset ;-)

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Well follow me then because I'm certain its coming, I just got all the maps I'll need! When I write it try and rip it apart in the comments, I'd enjoy that!

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Oh come, ye friend of The State, and defend Her Greatness with me!

"Yeah, you may be broke, and possibly despised by everyone you know, but at least people will know that you are genuine, that you say what you think, and that your soul is not for sale."

I know the feeling about being despised. I can't tell you how many "friends" I've had over the years who believed I was the reincarnation of Jeffrey Dahmer simply because I didn't agree with their religious/political mythologies. No matter how civil any conversation could be, I was always the bad guy with the "crazy opinions." Even with my own family, if I come close to expressing my thoughts on the topics, I can see the cranks begin to turn, their eyelids peel back and their faces redden. So, naturally...I just don't talk to them much about anything important.

As I try to get my own business off the ground, I usually find myself with very little support from anyone that I know. Complete strangers are the ones who have offered me the most help in the past couple of years. It's sad, because I know where I could be if the people that I actually do know were willing to look past their own vile moral principles and just be a friend, or a brother, or a parent, and be proud of what I can do. It bothered me at first, but now I just think: "Well, less people to share my fortunes with when I make it big." I'll reward the strangers and those who will actually appreciate me and my morality. I won't let anyone drag me down because of their flawed outlook on life.

In any case - I appreciate what you do, even if you have a large opposition to the truths that you speak. I found you a few years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed your writing and videos. Most of the time, you espouse my own feelings on government and humanity - even down to the "profanity." So, thank you for being that voice and for taking some of the heat off of me in my own circles. (Now, I just refer people to you if they have any questions. Since doing that, my personal relations have improved very slightly over the last couple of years.)

I thank you for what you do. Great post. I'm glad to see you finally earning like this. In my opinion, it is certainly deserved.

Indeed!

Hence why I've debunked your Anarchist posts under the abuse of your fans.

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And by "debunked," you mean, "Faithfully repeated the nonsensical authoritarian mythology I was taught without actually refuting or addressing any of the ways in which that mythology is provably false and insane." If you ever say anything of actual substance, I might take you seriously. So far, nope.

You forgot "transparencey"--the newly-coined word of the current administration. I love the idea of transparency--too bad we didn't get much. Or maybe......just maybe we got way TOO much?

You are very correct. @larkenrose
and I love how you talk to a firm and sturdy.

I hate work and the status quo this is perfect if i can figure it out

C'est le ton qui fait la musique.
it's the tone that makes the music.
Unfortunately my shortsighted method is blunt directness.

It is quite chilling when you realize that by accepting Larken's challenge you could get yourself in serious troubles in your homecountry.

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If you can't say what you think, you are already in serious trouble.

No one has the right to not be offended. I think our society has become wussified to the extreme. I will not use the word Clint Eastwood used for it, but I think he was right.

Excelent voice to stand and choose to be a diferent , i agree most of the things you sayd

Amazing how far you've come from 861. Keep it up!

Is it better to say what people want to hear, or say what they need to hear?
It depends on whether you're trying to wake people up or get elected President.

There's a further advantage to such an outlook, which you touch upon throughout much of this article.

By holding consistently to principle, you initiate a challenge to anyone who encounters your work. Most may well close themselves off and begin shouting you down; but there may be a few, or even just one, who for whatever reason are ready to open up and explore new ideas and begin or continue a process of growth and self discovery which can be very painful. Those with the fortitude to embrace this process, if they find value in your arguments, may well change profoundly and irrevocably.

While the majority scuttle off in the direction of the newest virtue signalling shiny. These few will remain. No watered down message could ever produce conviction of the kind that a principled stand can reveal within those who are ready.

You say that you're grateful for the existence of principled people.
I submit that by taking a principled stand you're helping to create more of them in a manner that emphasises quality over quantity.
It's people like that who'll change this world for the better.

As someone who's personally benefitted greatly from your work. I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you. So thanks.

Interesting topic. Just the other day I was insulted by @barrycooper a popular so called Anarchist. He was overly serious and aggressive and insulted me a few times, once by telling be to F off. I find it funny, because some people who want to live in a peaceful free society cant even conduct themselves to a proper standard when interacting with others, so how do they expect to change society. It is shere insanity to think such people can do anything of the sort. To see the absurd reactions of barry and also the dollarvigilante please see my comment here: https://steemit.com/barry/@barrycooper/mexican-cartels-have-the-moral-high-ground-over-the-u-s-and-i-am-safe-living-around-them-your-are-too

Let me know what you think.

Integrity is everything, if you can't stay true to yourself how can you be true to others?

You know what is inspiring me to get more involved in steemit? All my "HEROS" like you, James Corbett, Jeff Berwick, Trace Mayer, Roger Ver... are getting involved. How truly A W E S O M E is that? If it only had a way to find that content easily. I'll muddle through that somehow, but just wanted to reply and say welcome Larken, so very glad you're here. Now, where is that Dragon lady friend of yours - off to find her steemit content!

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Your feed should work fairly well now. If you follow them, they should show up there now. If you are having trouble finding them in the first place, I would suggest checking the #anarchy and #anarchism tags or I found @kennyskitchen 's article on the forty anarchist to follow helpful.

I was forty before I got married. During my single years, my girlfriends had one thing in common. They all told me: "You can't say that." Not because I was racist or being abusive, some would have said nothing about that, but because I was saying extremely controversial things, like "taxation is protection money cowards pay while pretending it's voluntary. Most people who claim they want to pay for govt. are lying to themselves. They would stop paying if they didn't have a gun to their head."
Taxation especially pissed me off. Even when I found an ally, like Larken who agreed with me, I lectured him on the fine points we disagreed on, e.g., his study of how the tax code/law was not being followed. I tried to tell him the law was a smoke screen. It didn't matter if you found a way to use it to protect your rights against violation by officials. They would violate you anyway, and get away with it.
I seldom remain silent and that trait I have had since my earliest memories. As a small child my favorite cartoon characters were 1. Daffy Duck. 2. Popeye. ("I am what I am, and that's all that I am.")

To tell the truth can be a bitch. For a while I thought I had to "take it easy". I was wrong.

You are right. Most people should be "offended" upon, to wake up and think for them selfs.

Keep going Budy!

Great article. I wholeheartedly believe that this is generally a very good principle to have in life. Saying what you think is the truth without constantly having to worry about offending or challenging someone's current beliefs seems to be an effective way at changing people's philosophies so they are more open about the possibility of them being wrong.

I'm sorry...at what point during reading that was I supposed to get offended?

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During that one, you weren't.

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OK, better follow you then.

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Try my two prior posts, titled "Love It Or Leave It!" and "Murican ’Cepshunulizm." I'm not sure what your view is on things, but those would offend most people.

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In Murican ’Cepshunulizm, I totally agree about the pledge of allegiance part. Always thought it was totally twisted to force us to stand up, place a hand over our heart and recite an allegiance tribute to a flag.

Interesting article. I have opened a steemit account and trying to learn my way around.

I find it intriguing how different each person reacts to having their belief system or thoughts being opposed. It also tells you who's closed-minded and who's open to perceiving things from a different perspective or capable of critical thinking even when it defies their known world or their logical analysis of something.

Great article. It definitely pays to challenge things around you, whether it be ideas, limits or something entirely different. If we are not willing to look outside of the scope of ourselves, we do not grow as intellectuals.

I actually recently posted an article on my beliefs about God, that is extremely controversial.. but it is what I believe and think, nothing more, nothing less. Despite how others feel.

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Nice post @larkenrose. I would say it is quite 'emotional' rather than 'extreme', but still, I like it. I like it a lot.

Agreed! Push those buttons, more fun than money can be anytime, and money is pretty fun!

Right on. I myself didn't get to be a Thorny Bastard by being "nice" to people. And now's especially when we need larkenroses and thornybastards.

As Moe Howard says, "Spread out!"

Speaking your own truth is always a good idea in my experience.

It gives your surroudings an accurate and honest impression of who you truly are and what you stand for. Being honest and sharing your truths and wisdom is the fastest way to grow, and sure it might put a knife in your current relationships but if those were build on you being dishonest or not daring to speak your truth, truly that is good riddance.

I have found that the more I speak my truth the more people I meet that fit me truly. I attract the kind of people I really enjoy being around. And this seems to go both ways. In my experience these are both the most relevant and the most enjoyable relationships to me. The ones I learn from and in which others learn from me, where there is a kind of win-win sense where both parties grow from interacting.

Know yourself, speak your truth and follow your curiosity, interests and passions with integrity and without expactations. :D

"...I would issue this invitation/challenge: think of something that you strongly believe in, but which you think most people will not want to hear… and then post an article about it—the best one you can write." I shall sleep on that particular challenge, larkenrose - you have planted a seed (again!) :o)

Can you please point to your works that are actually against the flow and are not politically correct? Because this one is kind of saying that slavery is bad. I promise I will up-vote your every article.

Cheers

Thank you

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  1. No, THIS article isn't likely to offend anyone.

  2. Why would you promise to upvote all my other articles before knowing what they say?

  3. Most of what I've posted on Steemit before will offend a lot of people:
    https://steemit.com/@larkenrose

  4. Here are a couple older videos that I know offended a lot of people:


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  1. Cool
  2. Why not?
  3. That's what I wanted to see. I am tired of political correctness.
  4. Your position is funny. The World is owned by a small feudal group. That’s how it was, is and will be. Any attempt to change it will only change the content of the group. It is so because how people are.
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Regarding #4, no, that is not how it will always be. The power of rulers depends entirely on their SUBJECTS imagining "authority" to be real. It doesn't matter that some sociopaths want to rule the world; it matters that most decent people think political power is legitimate and necessary. When they stop believing that--and they will--that is the end of tyranny. Sociopaths will then be muggers and small time swindlers, easy enough to stop with a bullet.

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It happened many times when anarchy overthrow the current political systems. However, every time it ended up with the same system of ruling again and again. People who rule the world are not sociopaths. They are very sober and drink milk that does a body good. But dream on my friend, dream on.

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You somehow think that you’ll be the one with the gun on a tall white horse defending yourself and your family from the horrors of police. But try to imagine it the other way around.

When the Washington Parrots will print more and more paper it will come the moment when it will be more expensive to print the dollar then what it will worth. Then the government won’t be paying police for performing their functions, and there would be no police. The borders will open and all the hoodlum of the World will flood here. All those poor, hungry, uneducated horny young men, who live on one dollar a day. They will come from all those poor countries of South America, Africa, and Asia. They will come with guns into your neighborhood, break your window and come into your door, take your food and break your laptop where you were making your cartoons. You’ll be laying down in a pool of your blood and try to cover your ears not to hear how twenty or thirty of them are raping your ten-year-old sister. And if you move, one of those anarchists will stick a bayonet in your balls. That’s what will happen with all the nice people who were working all their life.

Then there is going to be gang wars when eventually one main gang will win and having won will put their warlord as a main guy in the country. This is how you will get your sociopath dictator.

This has already happened many times in history. It’s easy to scream and break things down. It’s is much harder to come up with a new order that would make most of the people happy, give them jobs, distribute production proportionally over the continents, make money to be represented by real goods and services. You make a video about that order. That’s what will be not politically correct.

Despite having accumulated a somewhat significant audience that listens to what I say, I have been remarkably bad at monetizing my efforts and achieving financial success

It looks to me like you are beginning to change that with Steemit. Good read! I look forward to more.

To tell the truth, it is necessary to be the strong person

Hi. I'm that guy. Nice to meet you.

Well put. Vocal contrarianism is valuable.

Relevant to the invite/challenge: I just published this article on the non-existence of human needs, its previous incarnations have done a good deal of offending.

Stubborn loyalty to the truth for the win, lol.
I'm lucky, I"m hardwired to be defiant in regard to percieved authority, so, in this day and age when 'authority' is almost universally wrong and fucked, it's easy for me to be right. ;)

Hi Larken, great post as usual and I agree with both thumbs up, as usual! I have followed you on facebook and love what you write! I have been told I am to honest for my own good and that I can sure pack a punch with my mouth. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?? I am following you on steemit now, so I can support your very valid honesty on here. Plenty of fish in this sea! Its promising!

Its better than hiding ourselves in the dark. Raising issues and concerns for the benefit of all is not an insult but a manifestion of concern.

I've been facing the same kind of problem. It's not easy to write/speak to people in which you're not siding with.. anyway -

The only area I have ever disagreed with you @larkenrose is when we were using differing definitions of Ownership.... In regards to rightful property ownership..... LOL

"I would rather tell the truth and be hated than tell a lie and be loved" ... says it all

I forgot who am I and started to be who I wanna be.

Well, it's groupthink, right? People like to stick with people who have similar opinions and ideas because it makes them feel safe, it makes them feel like they belong. People survived by being in groups, and outsiders are violently pushed away for the survival of the tribe.

When you bring over ideas with a label that is so strong - ANARCHY! - the "group" feels threatened.

That being said, you approach is almost "scientific" in nature. In theory, the scientific method allows for disagreement and the testing of conflicting hypotheses until the one that's most accurate rises to the top. It doesn't always happen - scientists being human, they argue and bicker like the rest of us and ideologies occur just as much as in the rest of society. But in theory that approach is so worthwhile! How can you grow without conflicting input? Even if when arguing, 90% of people will not change their original opinion, but how else can you reinforce your position other than being exposed to it's blind spots?

Thumbs up for your post!

This is an outstanding article. Very well written.

I love this article. One remark, just to make sure people don't get the wrong idea, is that slavery is still present everywhere around the world. WE ARE ALL STILL SLAVES in Statism. And I've found that telling people this simple truth can be very offending to them. So please do go around and tell everyone they're a slave. They need to hear it, so they can start to look into why and how.

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article in french because I was tired of hearing people use the word homophobia in a certain context of ''hatred toward gay people'' when I think they should in fact use a (new) word, closer to what they are trying to describe, like ''misohomonia''. And I went along saying people should be left alone with their personal fears, but I kept the article to myself loosing myself into complications with hate crime laws not being crimes all by themselves. Now, I'm thinking about rehashing this as a blog here because I believe language is important when someone tries to understand the world in which we live in (1984 - Ministry of Truth, anyone?). To hell with those who won't understand and still think the writing piece is ''homophobic''.

I agree with you 100% @larkenrose. If you begin to try and appease others for any sort of gain, you can very quickly lose yourself and no longer be genuine (exactly as you said in this post). This is when being selfish (not appeasing others) is a very good thing.

i couldn't have said it better myself. no, really, i couldn't.

I think you and I should compete for asshole of the year awards. I will slap people with the ugly truth rather than kiss them with a pretty lie. As a result, I am not very popular at parties. And I don't care. Our difference is you go to better parties lol. I have wanted to abolish the government since I got my first paycheck and found out that I got taxes taken out by the feds. I was only 16. Where were the 16 year old congressmen? Why could I not vote? Damn them for taking my hard earned cash and not letting me even bear arms! That was 29 years ago and it still pisses me off! I knew then as I am even more certain now that taxation is theft and the government is abusive and needs to go. Why do we not have a no confidence choice at every election? State,local and federal? Because they know it would be thier doom. Love this post and love your attitude. Its like looking in a mirror.