The 10 tactics of fascism - Truth

Mendel

Senior Member.
Trust me i am not taking a "political action" if i debunk something a conservative puts out.
Yes, and when I do it, you generally assume I'm doing it because of my own political opinions. You perceive it as political, even if that's not the intent, since it has a political effect.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
This is why debunking is, at times, political.
Political action according to Merriam-Webster:
“An action designed to attain a purpose by the use of political power or by activity in political channels.”
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/political action

For it to be political it has to be “designed” to be so.
...I don't see how a semantic turn helps us with the concept in the OP.
Especially when the one source cited does not seem to be well established.
Are you saying that Mendel is now talking about something different (in substance) in comment #30,
than in the OP...or is it just a semantic thing with the wording?
yes i think the two statements are completely different.
Well, easy enough to get to the horse's mouth:
Mendel, did you do a 180 in the middle of this thread...?
 

econ41

Senior Member
I used to advise folks--before ever using a dictionary to make their point--to find at least five other
dictionary definitions, that establish that to be the prevailing view...and not an outlier, or,
in the fallacy world: a "converse accident."
Reliance on selected "Dictionary Definitions" is a well established and often practised debating trick.
The Merriam-Webster blurb you posted struck me as inaccurate, and a quick google search on
"political action" found virtually zero (never mind five) dictionary definitions that implied "design."

Not that it necessarily matters: The OP claims "debunking is, at times, political,"
(it isn't a definition of "political action") and I took this to mean that sometimes unearthing facts
or correcting the record can significantly affect a political situation. Which seems obvious.
Of course it is obvious. Anything that moves understanding closer to truth MAY have political impacts. Whether or not the person explaining the more truthful version intends political impact or not. Vice versa for the person pushing the untruthful version. Who is more likely to have a dishonest political agenda. (Or maybe "untruthful" is more accurate given the level of commitment to party politics that may be involved.)
If prominent scientist Jane Smith
(who, for the purposes of this example, practically lives in her lab & knows/cares almost nothing of politics)
publishes solid research that demolishes some old misconceptions about transmissibility of disease...
that could decimate the chances of a politician who has made fear of disease from immigrants
the very cornerstone of his candidacy. Her debunking has indisputably "political" ramifications
of which she is not even aware, never mind "designing."
Also obvious truth. Even if she was totally politically naive. Honest accurate promulgation of scientific truth in a political climate where scientific dishonesty has been manipulated for political goals >> must have a "political" dimension.
In other words, I don't see how a semantic turn helps us with the concept in the OP.
Or later discussion which follows topic drifts without making the changed topic explicit.
Especially when the one source cited does not seem to be well established.
...and that raises a much broader set of "meta-process" issues.... let's not go there.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
Reliance on selected "Dictionary Definitions" is a well established and often practised debating trick.

Of course it is obvious. Anything that moves understanding closer to truth MAY have political impacts. Whether or not the person explaining the more truthful version intends political impact or not. Vice versa for the person pushing the untruthful version. Who is more likely to have a dishonest political agenda. (Or maybe "untruthful" is more accurate given the level of commitment to party politics that may be involved.)

Also obvious truth. Even if she was totally politically naive. Honest accurate promulgation of scientific truth in a political climate where scientific dishonesty has been manipulated for political goals >> must have a "political" dimension.

Or later discussion which follows topic drifts without making the changed topic explicit.

...and that raises a much broader set of "meta-process" issues.... let's not go there.
One of my most hated phrases, for decades, has been: "The dictionary says..." which can be
ignorant or devious, depending on the speaker. And even if one cites, say,
the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, even within that brand, there are likely to be
differences from one edition to another.
And I agree on the rhetoric team comment...and I'm generally comfortable that we don't see
a lot of these "tricks" on MB. :)
 

econ41

Senior Member
We "crossed in posting" with our two previous comments
One of my most hated phrases, for decades, has been: "The dictionary says..." which can be
ignorant or devious, depending on the speaker.
It is up near the top of my frustrations also. And intent is the key parameter in several of the recent posts. A comment/explanation/hypothesis may have a political effect whether or not the person "intended" it. (Or "designed" it.)
And even if one cites, say,
the Oxford English Dictionary, for example, even within that brand, there are likely to be
differences from one edition to another.
My own preference, when confronted by persons playing semantic games, is to simply define how I am using the terms - and if necessary avoid using them to break out of "debating trickery" and get the focus back onto the topic. A common example - tho' not relevant here - is the term "conspiracy theory". In general, common use, by definition it means a "theory" ( i.e. an "hypothesis") which is false. But, from time to time some debating trickster raises the question about "what about the CTs that are later shown to be true. By my usage of the term, they are not conspiracy theories. But if the other person is stubborn I simply stop using the CT term. The same issue is evident in some comments here but more subtly expressed.
And I agree on the rhetoric team comment...and I'm generally comfortable that we don't see
a lot of these "tricks" on MB. :)
That is generally true. It does arise de-facto when one or more of the parties to discussion deny the ambiguity of meaning. Simple example but - when discussing the difference between apples and bananas - one party insists that "they are both fruit". I've seen that problem in technical discussion of WTC collapse physics when the truther claim was correct and the debunker response was wrong...a long and frustratingly amusing story --- for another more appropriate time and place. ;)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Well, easy enough to get to the horse's mouth:
Mendel, did you do a 180 in the middle of this thread...?
I've been trying to explain my OP...
This is why debunking is, at times, political
So if you're gonna rip the heart out of democracy, you get people used to lies.
Content from External Source
... in #30...
Well, calling out a UFO hoax or debunking Flat Earth evidence is mostly non-political.
But there are some lies that serve political ends, and debunking them is in itself a political action.
... and in #33:
If your "natural curiosity" leads you to debunk a political lie (that was made purposely), posting that debunk is a political action, whether you want it or not, because it has a political effect.
I am using "political action" here in the sense of "action that has a political effect".

Debunking always has a political effect when the lie you are debunking served a political end. The people promoting the lie are going to see you as their opposition, and if they are attacking democracy, the debunkers are defending it (whether they intend to or not).

Political action according to Merriam-Webster:
“An action designed to attain a purpose by the use of political power or by activity in political channels.”
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/political action

For it to be political it has to be “designed” to be so.

SmartSelect_20220102-081214_Samsung Internet.jpg
Content from External Source
Clearly, debunking is not "participating in party organization, in elections, or lobbying".

If @Woolery objects to the words I have chosen to express myself, I'd be thankful for some constructive criticism that suggests a better way to express my meaning.

Edit: "political act", maybe?

no. the alleged "effect" is not why i perceive it as political.
Why do you perceive it as political, then?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
If you were to poll across the political spectrum on whether it is right to correct a lie in general I think you’d find overwhelming support for a correction regardless of ideology.
I don't think that support is as widespread as you may think. Truth has become optional in some circles.
Article:
"Alternative facts" was a phrase used by U.S. Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's false statement about the attendance numbers of Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States. When pressed during the interview with Chuck Todd to explain why Spicer would "utter a provable falsehood", Conway stated that Spicer was giving "alternative facts".


The lie you describe is a baldly political act—the correction is a depoliticizing act when done without political design.
To depoliticize means "to remove the political character of : take out of the realm of politics" (Merriam-Webster). What exactly is the debunk taking out of the realm of politics? Can you provide an example of something that is in the realm of politics, and then a debunk happens, and then it no longer is in that realm?

Edit: it occurs to me that I'd also call it a political act for someone to depolitize something.
 
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FatPhil

Senior Member.

Back to #30's
"But there are some lies that serve political ends, and debunking them is in itself a political action."
with an appropriate blur filter applied:
"blah blah blah political stuff, blah blah blah political whatever"
The parallelism is clear: that's just two uses of the same adjective on two different nouns - no set phrase was being used.

That one of the noun phrases so constructed can have a more specific meaning in certain contexts (in this case, as the abstract concept of the class of all such actions, and as such typically unpluralisable), does not mean that every instance of such a coincidence refers to that specific meaning, and I'd even say asserting so can be a logical fallacy. For example, consider the following sentences:
- The photograph of the freeing of the prisoners from Bergen-Belsen was a moving picture.
- On my ring finger, I'm wearing a heavy metal band.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
If @Woolery objects to the words I have chosen to express myself, I'd be thankful for some constructive criticism that suggests a better way to express my meaning.
maybe by saying this:
"action that has a political effect".

note: i don't care if you want to announce that you are engaging in political action, but when you say "debunking" or "debunkers" you include all of us. and as you can see from this thread alone, at least 3 of us dont want to be included in your generalizations.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
does not mean that every instance of such a coincidence refers to that specific meaning, and I'd even say asserting so can be a logical fallacy. For example, consider the following sentences:
- The photograph of the freeing of the prisoners from Bergen-Belsen was a moving picture.
- On my ring finger, I'm wearing a heavy metal band.
i honestly have no idea what you are talking about. sorry.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
Why do you perceive it as political, then?

Think of Politifact. They are a debunking/fact checking site that focuses on political topics.

yes, SOME of their 'debunks' sound like a political action, but most of their debunks sound neutral.

To me, political action is the same meaning as political activism (and dont quote the dictionary to me or No Party will yell at you!).

the neutrality (ie NOT political action) of Politifact is demonstrated by the fact that they
1. post debunks against ALL political parties and ALL politician equally
2. They admit uncomfortable truths (even if it makes their personal party look bad)
3. They don't cherry pick (for the most part)
4. They don't constantly "move the goalposts"
5. They don't constantly misrepresent what the bunker MEANS and then debunks that false meaning.


I, personally, do not believe Politifact (for the most part) engages in political action when they fact check/debunk.
 

Woolery

Banned
Banned
I don’t agree. I don’t think you understand what a political act is.

I'm using your own words here, in lightness...to make a point...not to be insulting.

I used to advise folks--before ever using a dictionary to make their point--to find at least five other
dictionary definitions, that establish that to be the prevailing view...and not an outlier, or,
in the fallacy world: a "converse accident."

The Merriam-Webster blurb you posted struck me as inaccurate, and a quick google search on
"political action" found virtually zero (never mind five) dictionary definitions that implied "design."

Not that it necessarily matters: The OP claims "debunking is, at times, political,"
(it isn't a definition of "political action") and I took this to mean that sometimes unearthing facts
or correcting the record can significantly affect a political situation. Which seems obvious.

If prominent scientist Jane Smith
(who, for the purposes of this example, practically lives in her lab & knows/cares almost nothing of politics)
publishes solid research that demolishes some old misconceptions about transmissibility of disease...
that could decimate the chances of a politician who has made fear of disease from immigrants
the very cornerstone of his candidacy. Her debunking has indisputably "political" ramifications
of which she is not even aware, never mind "designing."

In other words, I don't see how a semantic turn helps us with the concept in the OP.
Especially when the one source cited does not seem to be well established.
If I stumble and accidentally fall into a protester as I’m walking to work, you say it’s useful and accurate to say I’ve committed a political act? If I was black and the protester was Asian is it then useful and accurate to call it a racist act because other protesters perceived it so, regardless of intent?

I think calling an act that might have unintended political consequences a “political act” is a particularly poor choice of words.
 
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Woolery

Banned
Banned
I don't think that support is as widespread as you may think. Truth has become optional in some circles.
Article:
"Alternative facts" was a phrase used by U.S. Counselor to the President, Kellyanne Conway, during a Meet the Press interview on January 22, 2017, in which she defended White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's false statement about the attendance numbers of Donald Trump's inauguration as President of the United States. When pressed during the interview with Chuck Todd to explain why Spicer would "utter a provable falsehood", Conway stated that Spicer was giving "alternative facts".



To depoliticize means "to remove the political character of : take out of the realm of politics" (Merriam-Webster). What exactly is the debunk taking out of the realm of politics? Can you provide an example of something that is in the realm of politics, and then a debunk happens, and then it no longer is in that realm?

Edit: it occurs to me that I'd also call it a political act for someone to depolitize something.
One man does not shop at a particular store because it is too expensive for him. Another because he’s never heard of that store. Yet another man does not shop there because he believes the store’s owner is discriminatory in his hiring practices.

By your definition every man described above committed a political act. I disagree with that. I think that’s a manipulative use of common language. I’m saying you’ve stretched the meaning of the phrase to suit a particular argument, much like Kellyanne Conway did.

EDIT: Upon further reading, I found you subsequently clarified your meaning when you said: ‘I am using "political action" here in the sense of "action that has a political effect".’ Though I don’t think that’s typically what’s meant by a political action, I now understand what you’re trying to say.
 
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