Checking Correia’s List: Intro

It was written some time back, but I’ve just stumbled on this incredible dissection of lefty arguing techniques by Larry Correia.  Although it ostensibly describes nonsense rhetorical techniques for the internet, each of these have their “real life” equivalents.

Online, it can be virtually impossible to “defeat” an opponent, for the moment you corner them, they’ve the option to vanish into thin air much more easily than they ever could in person.  Nevertheless, it’s important to learn how manage the morons you’ll encounter on various sites for two reasons.  Correia describes the first:

I often get people who agree with me posting stuff like “well, you wasted your time on that doofus!” Ah, but you miss the point. You don’t defend your beliefs in the hopes of convincing the willfully ignorant. That’s a lost cause. The willfully ignorant aren’t to be convinced, they are to be mocked. Their flaws are to be pointed out until everyone around them realizes how full of crap they are. Remember that argument is theater, and your performance isn’t aimed at your opponent, but rather at the audience. If you choose to follow the Fisker’s Path, your goal is three fold.

Give ammo to the people already on your side.

Convince the undecided .

Allow your opponent’s to display their petty ignorance to the world.

Your opponent may be a hopeless windbag and your own site’s commenters may already agree with you, but there are lurkers.  In person, I call the person with whom you’re having a discussion your Opponent, but your Target is the person you’re hoping to persuade.  If your Opponent is among the Benighted he could simultaneously be your Target, but if he’s Anointed your Targets will invariably be those quietly listening in on your conversation.  Therefore, there may well be a point to engaging the idiots.

Second, online rhetoric mirrors the rhetoric you’ll encounter in person, on television, and in other media.  Handling internet trolls and obnoxious co-workers aren’t equivalent skills, but they are related.

Correia does a phenomenal job of describing how lefties like to argue.  However, in this post he only obliquely describes how to respond to them.  I’ve no doubt he’s great at it (I just found his site but I’m assuming based on his writing ability), and it wasn’t the point of the article.  Nevertheless, he didn’t do it in detail.

That’s where I come in.

Lefty beliefs match lefty rhetoric, and fortunately there’s a pattern to it.  The items on Correia’s list all derive from their flawed premises and their desire to frame any discussion away from addressing them.  These flaws can be summed up in one word:  subjectivism.

Subjecivism stems from the failure to adhere to the principles of GIA, and it manifests itself somewhat differently according to the specific principle being violated:

G-subjectivism (or moral subjectivism or relativism):  There are no objective moral standards.  Whatever floats your boat.  You feel that way just because you’re white.  Our supposed moral codes stem merely from attempts by the powerful to legitimize their privilege.  It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about who controls the narrative.  It’s not about whether or not a specific action is moral, it’s about who’s doing what to whom.  Your morality stems entirely from your desire to either gain or maintain power.  Philosophical forebear:  Nietzsche.

A-subjectivism:  What matters isn’t reality, it’s perspective.  The words in the Constitution, works of literature, or whatever legislation don’t mean what whoever wrote them intended them to mean, they mean what the reader wants them to mean, how it makes them feel.  Rape or sexual harassment aren’t objective crimes to be defined based on what the accuser does but instead on how the victim feels about them.  If the oil companies pay for a study we can dismiss it out of hand for bias, but the Sierra Club’s facts are objectively true.  Of course you’re going to support lower taxes:  you’re rich.  Try living in poverty for a while and your perspective would change and you’d understand the value of social programs.  Massaging statistics or facts to prove a point is perfectly fine, for facts don’t necessarily supports Higher Truths, and the Higher Truth is Leftism.  Therefore, just like “little white lies” in support of Truth are actually truthful, facts that cast doubt on Truth are actually lies.  Philosophical forebear:  Kant.

I-subjectivism:  Despite our rhetoric of equalism, we believe most profoundly in a hierarchy within humanity.  We believe not merely in a hierarchy of ability, achievement, luck, or stature, but a hierarchy that goes to the very depths of what it means to be human.  The Anointed can be trusted with determining how much we drive, what we eat, and the extent of our health coverage, but the Benighted can’t be expected to know that letting their children live on Doritos or stay up until 2 A.M. on a schoolnight is a bad idea.  Bush bears unlimited responsibility for all the horrible things that happened during his presidency, but you can’t really blame that single mom for getting knocked up the fourth time, the armed robber for not knowing that holding up a store is wrong, or Obama for anything.  White rednecks should be mocked and shunned for their bitter-clinging racism, but black culture bears no relation whatsoever to the poverty in our inner cities.  Corporate barons, Republican politicians, and rednecks both living and dead should be held accountable for everything, impoverished minorities and single moms for absolutely nothing, and the Anointed determine who should be bear what responsibility and how.  The very worth of a human being, whether he should be held accountable for his mistakes, whether he should have to pay more for health insurance or get kicked off his land, it all depends on how the Anointed have determined that society should be orchestrated.  ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.  Philosophical forebear:  Rousseau.

When arguing with a lefty, your enemy is subjectivism damn near every time.  Yes, there are honest lefties, still blind but not willfully so.  Nevertheless, even if subjectivism doesn’t infuse their rhetoric, it does infuse their belief system.  On virtually every issue, you’re calling attention to an error in at least one of the principles of G, I, or A, often two of them, and sometimes all three.

To use Larry’s rhetorical examples:

  1. Skim until Offended:  A & I (only the facts that support my indignation count)
  2. Disqualify that Opinion:  I (the opinions of the privileged don’t matter)
  3. Attack, Attack, Attack:  G & I (your inferior worth means it’s okay to say anything)
  4. Disregard Inconvenient facts: (objective truths aren’t true if not “Truth”)
  5. Make Shit Up: (lies aren’t false if they support “Truth”)
  6. Resort to Moral Equivalency: G (there are no moral standards, everybody does it)
  7. Concern Trolling:  G, I, and/or (depends on the motivation of the troll, complicated)
  8. When all else fails, Racism!:  G, I, & A (often requires using all three, but it depends)

Fortunately, just like there are patterns to the errors they make, there are patterns to how to correct them.

The goal of rhetorical sparring should always be to steer the discussion towards one of rational dialectic.  Even if you’re trying to get the troll to run away and hide, you want your readers to know that although you’re able to match him blow for blow with rhetorical bullshit, your goal is to seek Truth.  You insult not because you’re an asshole, you’re just great at self-defense.  You make the effort to be reasonable and extend an invitation to your opponent to do the same.  You won’t take any crap but make every effort to be fair.

You’re never just selling your ideas, you’re selling yourself.  Frame yourself as the benevolent ruler, the man who can admit he’s wrong but almost never has to.  You consider it “personal” only if you’re opponent insists on making it personal, but call attention to your opponent’s lack of maturity as you insult him.

Rhetoric is the sparkly pretty stuff we sprinkle on our own beliefs to make them look a bit more appealing to others.  It’s also the ugly brown paste we smother on the beliefs of our opponents to make them seem less appealing.

But rhetoric is merely ornamental; it’s not Truth itself.  This is both its strength and weakness:  strength because it can easily sway weak minds without needing any actual facts, weakness because it can be swept away if it’s either matched by superior rhetoric or even just exposed for what it is.

For the most effective way to neutralize your opponent’s rhetoric is to simply call it out.  Blow past the nonsensical frame of white men’s opinions mean nothing and call attention to how that frame bears no relation to Truth whatsoever, how not even they really believe it.

At least not the rhetorical crap they use, for they’ll gladly call you on it any time you try to pull it yourself (assuming they’re intelligent enough to recognize it).  To cite Correia’s example of how only women’s opinions on abortion count:  Do they really believe that Sarah Palin’s opinion on abortion counts for more than Joe Biden’s?  That Herman Cain’s views on race matter more than Harry Reid’s?

Bring this up, and just like Correia says, they’ll dodge, they’ll weave, they’ll vanish as soon as you’ve got them cornered.

But if it’s online people read it, in person people listen in.  Dedicate yourself to Truth, make sure your audience knows this about you, de-frame their nonsense, attack and establish your superiority, offer to let up on them if they change.  If they don’t, be ruthless.  If they do, engage in honest discussion to the best of your ability.

Over time I’ll describe how I recommend handling each item on Correia’s list.  No single attack or re-frame will change a mind, but by repeatedly pointing out the difference between rhetoric and dialectic, between their nonsensical insults and your good sense, you can start planting some seeds.

Truth is discerned through the dialectic, but the minds of the average idiot rely almost entirely on rhetoric.  Through recognizing and accepting the latter, you can help bring people to the former.

This entry was posted in Feminism, Politics, Race, Rhetoric, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Checking Correia’s List: Intro

  1. Stingray says:

    Our supposed moral codes stem merely from attempts by the powerful to legitimize their privilege.

    And to a great extent, this is just projection. People who don’t have the “privilege” want it, but do not want to do what it truly take to get it. If there are not moral standards, then they can just bring everybody down to one level rather than working hard to lift themselves up to the higher one.

    • Martel says:

      Correct. In addition to bringing others down, they also change the rules of the game entirely in such as way as to work to their own advantage. They assume that rich people got that way only because of “privilege” (hard work? what’s that?), so they construct their own system of “privilege” based on degrees of victimhood. There are no objective standards of achievement. Success depends entirely on who gets to rig the game.

  2. peregrinejohn says:

    Stingray having handily covered more or less what I was about to say (though as usual with much less blatheration than I’d have needed), I’ll simply +1 her observation and thank our host for the excellent start on finding and organizing a lot of important information that I’ve thought for some time needed collating and making generally known.

    • Martel says:

      Thanks. These posts don’t get as much attention, but I think they’re important (and fun to write).

      I’ve found patterns to both Truth and lies. There’s little glory in pointing out these patterns, but it’s got to be done.

      I just wish I had the time to do a bunch of these types of posts AND more normal manosphere stuff. If I could cut something out of my life like work or sleep, I might be able to actually get out a fraction of the message I’d like.

      • peregrinejohn says:

        Work really cuts into the day, and no mistake.

        I’m not sure if they get little attention or just fewer comments. What I’m sure of is the importance of such things as an underlying structure for approaching problems – from minor shit tests to societal brainwashing patterns to evilly-motivated legislation. As these posts make clear, it’s no accident that groups of sociopolitical views tend to happen together. Banning vapor cigarettes, favoring Marxism, agitating about “rape culture”, cognitive dissonance regarding objectifying people, and not even noticing racism when it comes from Hispanics – these are thought patterns that on the surface seem like they wouldn’t have much in common. And yet one will reliably be accompanied by at least a couple of the others. As certain as maturity and independence of lifestyle lead away from statism.

        We need these things made clear, made well-known (there’s little fear of lefties using them against us, as they are almost entirely unusable on us), refined to a scalpel’s edge, and used relentlessly.

      • peregrinejohn says:

        Oh – and we need them for a startling variety of issues! So I’m behind this all the way.

      • Mina says:

        Right, peregrinejohn. I am using these strategies, combined with game and r/k Selection theory to fight gun control. That’s a major front in the war as I see it due to the fact that is an assault on masculinity and closely related to topics I understand well from participating (reading/commenting) in the manosphere. There is a lot of stupidity out there with the fat acceptance and the various “priviledges” but that all seems sort of esoteric and actually dependent on whether the feminists are successful at stamping masculinity out of the society (or at least forcing it deeply into hiding.) So to attack the cancer at its core I think the key focus needs to be on pushing back feminism (i.e. getting men’s rights back to a place of legitimacy) and ensuring no further infringement on 2A rights. Of course that is just my opinion and my take; everyone involved will prioritized and see things a little different. I think the important thing is that we are all using techniques and strategies in a consistent way that gives us the upper hand more and more as time goes on. Along those lines, sharing information and winning ideas is critical.

  3. Mina says:

    Larry’s list is almost a complete overlap to the Ben Shapiro’s list in the YouTube video “How to Debate Liberals”.

    • Martel says:

      The link to which Yahoo mail has somehow swallowed. Feel free to either send me another mail or post it here in the comments so that others can also see it.

      • Mina says:

        Ben Shapiro: How to Debate Liberals
        (Also available as a PDF download on

      • Mina says:

        At risk of being labelled a “weirdo” I have watched this video I think no less than 35 times in the past 6 months or so. Really, it’s gold. At 22mins, he talks about Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” and recommends everyone read it. I couldn’t agree more. Sun Tsu says that in order to defeat your enemy you should know him so well that you could yourself lead him in battle and execute his battle plan as well or better than he. Reading and understanding the “Rules for Radicals” will give you that deep level of familiarity with the enemy and provide you with their entire battle plan. Learn it, know it and beat them.

        I have been practicing Ben’s techniques for about 6 months now online (various forums) and they work. The only time I “lose” is when I (act like a woman) and neglect to recognize when it is time to shut up 😉 I can safely say that these days, I am impossible to beat in online debate if your amygdala is even a smidgen smaller than mine; large amygdala give you the abilty to unemotionally “walk into the fire” and instead of losing control of your emotions during the debate, stand back, analyze, use the data that you have learned from the video and the Rules for Radicals and calmly respond. This hijacks your debate partner’s brain very effectively at which point they will go off on an emotional charged tirade, demonstrating to everyone watching what a shallow, cowardly, racist, sexist, intolerant twat they are. Gold.

      • peregrinejohn says:

        This really is brilliant stuff. Time for me to pick up a little Alinsky.

      • Martel says:

        @ peregrinejohn: Yes, Alinsky’s an evil genius, but a genius nonetheless.

        @ Mina: Thanks a ton. I can’t watch the video here, but others can now see it for themselves.

        It’s starting to seem like you actually really know what you’re talking about. 🙂 I’ll definitely be in touch once certain things slow down.

      • Mina says:

        “It’s starting to seem like you actually really know what you’re talking about” – Dude, did you really just say that “out loud”? 😀

      • Martel says:

        Mina, all that means is that you’re starting to win me over. How could that be bad?

        Seriously, you know what’s up. (Just don’t expect me to directly say that very often.)

      • Mina says:

        I am laughing “with” you. I love it. Good stuff, man.

  4. Eric says:

    I agree it’s fundamental to have at least an intro-philosophy, working understanding of the social theorists -slash- philosophers whose works underlie modern Western society.

    I find it useful to identify and draw distinctions early on between your opponent’s and your premises (which may include parties and principles) and frames. Sometimes, the issue entails balancing legitimate interests. Sometimes, the opponent relies on asserting a false premise.

    I know you know this and the point falls outside the scope of this post, but I’ll remind that rhetoric, both sophist and dialectic, is insufficient by itself to make a social difference. The rhetoric is an essential piece, but it is only one piece of activism. If a tree falls in the woods, right? Creating content is one step. Learning to pitch it in person is another step. Selling the content to the degree of cornering the social cultural/political market requires more steps.

    • Martel says:

      Correct, correct, corret.

      Yet although rhetoric may be but one piece of the puzzle, it’s the piece I’m best at bringing to the puzzle table. I’m fully cognizant of the need for other pieces, but my own specific area of expertise will consistently be what I expound on most.

      I’ll therefore need to work with others. I’m not the guy to come up with the Grand Strategy, but I’ll probably be one of the best guys you’ll find to help make that strategy as effective as possible.

      I’m investigating your suggestions and also seriously considering piggybacking on what Mina’s doing regarding gun rights. But in any case, I know that for my skills to come to the fore effectively, I’ll probably need to supplement them with some skills from others.

      And although I’m not all that great at coming up with strategies myself, I’m great at analyzing, tweaking, and improving what other people come up with.

      In short, you’re right, but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong (not that you said it did).

      • Eric says:

        You’re not wrong. As I said, the rhetoric is an essential piece. I’m warning against 3 related things I see a lot. 1st, people mistakenly believe rightness and skill in rhetoric are enough to make a difference when compelling rhetoric is necessary but not sufficient. 2nd, they become frustrated when their rhetorical efforts aren’t enough to make a difference while not understanding that rhetoric alone is insufficient. 3rd, they blame their failure on an immutable state of society rather than correctable shortcomings in their activist techniques, tactics, and procedures. They adopt a helpless outlook when actually they could compete and make a social difference if they fixed their game as activists.

  5. thecivilizationalist says:

    One disagreement – I don’t agree that Kant can be called the forebear of subjectivism. His theory of ethics is pretty objective. Can you clarify this?

    • Martel says:

      Kant proposed that the subjective nature of our senses effects our perception of reality to such a point that we can’t be certain that what we observe objectively is. He didn’t believe that reality itself was subjective per se, but he did open the door to beliefs in reality’s unknowability. If we can’t be certain that what we perceive is real, then how can we be certain that anything is even real at all?

      Kant would probably be horrified at how his ideas have been used to attack what he hoped to defend (Christian faith), but unfortunately intent matters less than results. He believed in reason but gave its opponents the tools to attack it.

      If you’re interested in a fascinating (if overly secular) description of how Kant led to the horrors of postmodernism, I can’t recommend this book more strongly:

  6. peregrinejohn says:

    It seems I may have reason to prepare for this sort of thing more immediately than I had thought. There may soon(ish) be a discussion including myself, most likely by phone with observer commentary in text, regarding the Older Woman phenomenon, spurred by this article. The discussion (which I unfortunately prompted more of by pointing out the astounding double-standards involved, which were of course diametrically opposed to the ones the girls imagined) centers around middle-aged women getting that sudden onset of libido I’ve heard about but not seen, and responding to attention from 20-something men who see someone fit and DTF and not interested in anything more.

    Allow me to quote:
    It’s about authenticity. Authenticity of sexual attraction, for one thing. But much older men and younger women… we all know what that’s usually about. It’s gross because it’s 2 people using each other, and that’s not what I see in the cougar phenomena. It’s just based on attraction..may not last long, but it’s beneficial for both parties. Just in my own observations…

    The funny thing is that I really don’t mind double-standards if they actually apply to different things – which in this case they do. It’s the holding double standards in the name of equality (or similar) that makes my eyes cross.

    My problem is 3-fold: First, I genuinely like the other people in the discussion and would rather encourage their burgeoning grasp of truth than piss them off. Second, even though I was chuckling throughout the exchange and was as light-hearted as the facts allowed, the predictable “You seem angry/sad” thing reared its foul head: I’d very much prefer to avoid that nonsense if at all possible. Last, my own point of view is strongly logical, which as you know is a detriment on its own.

    This particular combination of things, I am not really prepared for, at least on this topic. Seducing people to truth has always been the way I thought of my preferred method of dealing with incongruous views. I show, I hint, I present things obliquely, and people come around on their own. Done it most of my life on instinct. Now, as I step into a more formalized and enormously more educated and effective version of it, I’ve accidentally wandered into the deep end.

    • Martel says:

      I read the link. It’s amazing how judgemental the tolerant can be when attacking judgementalism.

      Anyhow, your issues, by number.

      1. This is a good way to be, especially if they like you back. However, too much of emphasis on being liked by them can be counterproductive. It’s much more important to be respected.

      Such situations require a gentler tone but one that’s nonetheless firm. Instead of blasting your way to a target, you’ll finesse your way to it. If they already recognize you as a human being capable of having feelings, use this to your advantage.

      2. “…even though I was chuckling throughout the exchange and was as light-hearted as the facts allowed, the predictable ‘You seem angry/sad’ thing reared its foul head: I’d very much prefer to avoid that nonsense if at all possible.”

      Impossible, you can’t avoid it, for it’s one of the easiest ways to divert a discussion away from facts and reason.

      However, what you can do is overcome it and use it to your advantage. In this case, it seems like the softer variation of the theme you’ll need to repeat. Something like:

      “I can’t claim I don’t have any issues, because I do. However, I also have eyes and a brain, and I’ve observed [whatever]. I’ve been respectful of your views, so instead of trying to turn the discussion into one that’s about me, I’d really appreciate it if somebody could actually address the points I’m making.

      “Even if I were twice as messed up/angry/sad as you claim I am, it wouldn’t have any bearing whatsoever on the veracity of what I’ve said. I’m trying to learn the truth here. It’s seems like you do, too. So please, stop making this about my mental state. Instead, can somebody PLEASE address [whatever point they’re evading].”

      They’ll try to avoid it again some other way, but hone in like a laser on whatever it is they don’t want to address. Be nice (at first), but firm. Turn up the directness gradually with their level of evasiveness. If they get insulting:

      “I’ve tried, seriously, but y’all REFUSE to address [x]. To you, this may mean I’m [angry/sad/etc.], but to me it just means you’re just really good at talking around the obvious.

      “I’ve address your points to the best of my ability, but the more you call me [x], the more it demonstrates to me that you’re not arguing in good faith. Furthermore, I suspect that if you actually could address my point, you would. You can’t, so you don’t.

      ‘I enjoy discussing this with you, but if you can’t even address [x], I’d much rather spend my time elsewhere.”

      (There are much more insulting variations of this for forums in which you don’t care what they think of you. They’re far less wordy, but far more fun.)

      3. Reason is why you’re correct, and why they don’t see why you’re correct.

      With the emotional, you’ve got to wrap up your reason in emotion, empathy, feelings, manipulation, humor, insults, and whatever else it takes to get them to listen. Once they’re listening, you can sneak in the reason.

      You’ve got to come across as HUMAN, for as silly as it sounds, such folks see logical people as cold. I’ll say stuff like “I really wish it wasn’t true that…but unfortunately it is. Because that’s true, I’ve got to admit…” “I don’t LIKE IT any more than you do, but believing something else would be lying to myself. I may seem cold to you, but I put a lot of thought into this stuff. I want to be on your side, but I can’t do that without violating my own sense of integrity.”

      There are other options, but I’ve got to run for now. If you’ve got any specific exchanges or anything you find problematic, let me know. As always, these are generalities, you’ve got to use your own style, etc.

      I hope I helped at least a little.

  7. Paladin Justice says:

    Reblogged this on saboteur365 and commented:
    Every opportunity to argue with a leftist is an opportunity to sabotage the System. This excellent article explains why we should argue with lefties and how we should go about doing it for maximum effectiveness.

    Great stuff, saboteurs.

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