No Violence Necessary. Some Communication Required.Submitted by dwalters on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 23:13
Revolutions are often confused with the violence that many times accompanies them. However, don't be fooled. For better or worse, revolutions only occur when the prevailing ideology is overhauled or replaced. First and foremost, revolutions are intellectual endeavors.
History paints this picture clearly. For instance, there is no question that the United States Military has had significant technological advantages over its adversaries in the last half-century or so. Was Vietnam a win? Is Iraq a win? Is Afghanistan a win? This is no slight on the soldiers. It's not their fault. “Wars” cannot be won by simply killing more of them than they kill of you. For every person killed, five others must be convinced that you are the “good guy” – that is, real success requires “winning the hearts and minds.”
Violence only occurs when communication has been given up on or never attempted. Just like a drunk at a bar might say “I'm done talking,” political leaders sometimes say, “Diplomacy has failed.” Fist meet kisser. Drone meet village. However, it is rarely the case that more skilled communication couldn't have overcome the obstacles that laid in the way of more peaceful resolutions.
In efforts to preserve self-worth, pride is naturally a protected commodity. During intense discussions, people have a tendency to make statements with absolute certainty – leaving themselves little or no room for error. For instance, ultimatums are rarely a good idea since, if one does not follow through, respect may be lost – while the consequences of following through may be even worse. When pride is leading towards an undesirable outcome, it can accurately be categorized as foolish pride.
There is nothing wrong with leaving oneself room for error. Even when a person actually does possess an expert opinion, it can rarely hurt to begin an explanation with something akin to,
“I could be wrong, but I like think about it this way...”
Prefacing the point(s) you are trying to make with such a statement achieves three goals:
- It reduces the pride you have invested in what you're trying to convey in the off chance that you are wrong (Imagine that!).
- It tells the other person that you are likely willing to consider their side of the story.
- By expressing that you are willing to admit error, the other person is more likely to listen with an open mind.
I could be wrong, but I think leaving yourself some room for error will open more doors than it will close. It is a powerful adjustment that can be easily incorporated into one's communication repertoire.
Recalling a point from the book How to Have Power and Confidence in Dealing with People by Les Giblin, other people often have the attitude you expect them to have. For example, if you expect the other person to be unpleasant, your actions and words will tend to bring that out in them. On the other hand, if you appear happy to see them, the treatment you are apt to receive will likely be very different. It's amazing how well this principle works.
As people dedicated to reforming (and/or abolishing) the State, the initiation of violence will not bring us closer to our goals. Per the libertarian philosophy, violence should be reserved for cases of self-defense. Victory will ultimately be the result of convincing enough people about the truth, and that success can be greatly expedited by use of effective communication. Revolutions occur through the exchange of ideas – not bombs and bullets.
So, be jolly and go talk to some folks! And, never forget that a smile is the most important item in your wardrobe! It's a r3VOLution!
Happy Holidays Daily Paulers!