"All in All, Another Brick in the Motte"


"[The motte-and-bailey fallacy] draws its strength from people's usual failure to debate specific propositions rather than vague clouds of ideas."

This isn't even the main point of the essay but it succinctly captures something I've noticed for a long time, and it's basically why I can't really align myself with any broad sociopolitical (?) movement.


At the same time though I do identify
with non-political groups with fuzzy boundaries, so why not political groups as well?

One obvious difference is that identifying with non-political groups invites far less controversy. But I think the more fundamental difference is the presence/lack of "central"/"typical" instances/characteristics. At least for the sociopolitical groups I can think of, it's hard for me to pick these out because the groups are so broad with many factions.


Depends on what is meant by politics.

General gut leanings reflect the character of the individual.

@amerika I suppose "politics" is itself a bit fuzzy, so here are the specifics I had in mind:

Sociopolitical groups: Left and right wings (US politics), feminism, men's rights movement, Black Lives Matter

Non-political groups: Fan communities, gender identity (broadly, such as male/female), sexual orientation (again, broadly, such as straight/gay/bi)


Richard Spencer had a great riff on this with his elective and essential identities.

Essential identities are intrinsic, biological, and genetic.

Elective are choices like to be a Star Trek fan.

Politics is somewhere in the middle since it has a clear genetic component.

You make a good point in that politics itself is a bit fuzzy. Most have no idea what Right and Left mean.

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