10 More of the Worst Interpretations of Reasonable Opinions

In my last post, I listed 10 examples of reasonable opinions that are commonly misconstrued. For the sake of rescuing dialectics from belligerent and cynical political banter, here are 10 more:

  1. Capitalism =/= Corporatism

Capitalism (specifically free market Capitalism) is an economic nonsystem in which individuals are not barred from owning property or exchanging it freely. Corporatism is an economic system in which the government gives special and preferential treatment to special interests.

Capitalism forces corporations to compete without subsidies or overreaching regulations. Corporatism is a managed economy, the opposite of Capitalism.

While there are plenty of Crony-Capitalists using Capitalism’s name in vain, supporting Capitalism is the antithesis of supporting Corporatism.

  1. Opposition to Wall Street and The Big Banks =/= Anti-Corporatism

If Occupy Wall Street protestors and groups with similar political interests called for the government to remove itself from economic activity, it would be fair to call them Anti-Corporatist. But their true aspiration seems to be increasing the government’s role in the economy.

Demanding that more regulations be enacted to supposedly level the playing field is supporting, not opposing, Corporatism.

And as far as subsidies go, when Planned Parenthood, Solyndra, and General Motors receive taxpayer funding, Corporatism persists.

  1. Condemnation of Belief =/= Hatred of Believers

Richard Henry Pratt, the coiner of the word “racism” and founder of Carlisle Indian Industrial School, undertook a mission to “kill the Indian, and save the man.” His purpose was to educate Native Americans, so that they could assimilate to Western society.

While it’s clear that Pratt did not think highly of Native American culture, he saw Native American people as equals who were capable of achieving anything the White Man could.

Perhaps you think Pratt’s ideas and methods are disgusting. That’s up to you. But saying that Pratt took issue with the actual people he was trying to help as opposed to their way of life is observably untrue.

The same applies when people hate Islam or SJWism. It’s not the people being hated; it’s their beliefs and methods. The same applies when people are trying to show you How to Cure Your Liberalism too.

  1. Discrimination =/= Hate

Until recently, it was commonly accepted that bathrooms, locker rooms, and athletic clubs were to be segregated by biological sex. This was not about hatred, but about organization based on observable differences between males and females.

You may believe that gender segregation is antiquated or that gender is more of a spectrum than a dichotomy. That’s fine. But those who disagree do not generally think that some people’s lives are less valuable than others.

We discriminate against people based on age, ability, and compatibility on a daily basis. None of it is not tied to hate.

And to take this to the extreme, infamous White Nationalist Richard Spencer does not hate non-whites. His goal is not to exterminate other ethnic groups, but to see that all identity groups are allowed to live separately, proudly, and happily.

Thinking that a multiracial society is a better way to achieve collective happiness is fine. But it doesn’t make you more or less hateful than Spencer.

  1. Anti-Immigration =/= Nationalism

There are people out there who want to keep foreigners out of their countries simply because they are foreigners. But that’s not the only reason one may oppose immigration.

There is reason to believe that immigration from poorer nations depresses wages in certain sectors of the economy. There is also reason to believe that unchecked immigration can serve costly, particularly in nations that have large welfare states or are common targets of terrorist groups.

There are also entirely selfless and compassionate reasons to be against immigration, such as believing developed nations are wrong to take doctors and engineers from poor countries in what is sometimes referred to as the brain drain.

  1. Pro-Immigration =/= Compassion

Being pro-immigration does not always make you a loving, kind, or tolerant person. Corporations may seek to gain from cheap labor, and certain political interests may benefit from more migrant voters to appeal to. This is closer to conniving than compassionate.

  1. Anti-Public School/Healthcare =/= Anti-School/Healthcare

Frederic Bastiat has already said it best, so I’ll let him say it again (I’ve swapped “religion” out for “healthcare,” but I don’t think Mr. Bastiat would mind):

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state [healthcare]. Then the socialists say that we want no [healthcare] at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

  1. Environmentalism =/= Science

Environmentalism and science are likely to appeal to the same people, but they are not the same. The first is concerned with conserving the natural world while the second is concerned with discovering the most accurate truths about the physical world.

One can observe the mosquito’s behavior and seek to eradicate it (science without environmentalism). One can see that fracking for natural gas results in fewer CO2 emissions than other fossil fuels, but oppose it because its non-renewable (environmentalism without science).

  1. Risk Acknowledgement =/= Victim Blaming

If women stay at nunneries, they are less likely to be raped than if they go to frat parties and become highly intoxicated.

This does not mean that there are extenuating circumstances which make rape more or less justifiable. Rape is always wrong.

But just because something is unjustifiable under any set of conditions does not mean choices made by potential victims can make it less likely to happen to them.

The same logic applies to the Otto Warmbier situation. It was inexcusable for the North Korean government to imprison and eventually kill Warmbier for the minor crime of attempting to steal a poster. But if you want to minimize the probability that you will experience the savagery of Communism, don’t go to North Korea.

  1. Belief in Climate Change =/= Anticipation of Apocalypse

There is currently an inquisition-like method of questioning right-leaning individuals about their Climate Change views. It goes something like this:

  • Do you believe in Climate Change?
  • Do you believe that man is contributing to Climate Change?
  • Do you think we should do something about it?
  • What should be done about it?

If the answers to these questions deviate from yes, yes, yes, and something extreme, respectively, the individual being scrutinized is liable to be called a Climate Denier.

On the contrary, it is perfectly reasonable to believe that the climate is changing, that man has had an impact, and that the measures needed to deal with it are minor. Free market innovations may help us overcome difficulties, and the ultimate results of Climate Change may not be all that catastrophic. No one really knows.

10 More of the Worst Interpretations of Reasonable Opinions

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