The art of the reframe

Heartist discusses the political reframe:

“A commenter at Larry Auster’s accurately imagines what a typical anti-white leftoid (in this case, John Podhoretz) would say to a realist schooled in the facts of intransigent human nature and the evolved preference for tribalism: 

“But humanity does not consist of universal individuals. It consists of various cultures, ethnicities, and races all of which have particular identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas which are different from those of the host society. As a result, the mass presence of those different groups in the host society, far from advancing right-liberal equal freedom, empowers their unassimilable identities, characteristics, ability levels, values, and agendas, and thus changes the host country from a right-liberal society into a multicultural, left-liberal, racial-socialist society whose ruling principle is equality of outcome for all groups.”

To which Podhoretz pere et fils would surely reply, “Why do you hate freedom?”

How does a weak-willed, supplicating, betaboy “””conservative””” like, oh, say, Jim Geraghty, respond to this all-too-realistic, imagined Podhoretz coercive frame? Probably something like this: “I don’t hate freedom! Really, I don’t! Look, some of my best friends are freedom lovers. And I promise never again to use the word slut, no matter how applicable it is. Be kind to me?”

Lame. Podhoretz owns the frame, and Geraghty is just playing within its bounds.”

While I agree with the need for a reframe in this sort of situation, the problem with Heartiste’s recommended riposte is that while it avoids acquiescence to the  theoretical frame, it fails to destroy it and permits the hypothetical Podhoretz to claim the high ground.  Yes, it is true that the question concerning Podoretz’s overt intimacy with Capra aegagrus hircus is as intellectually fair as Podhoretz’s question concerning his interlocutor’s imaginary hatred for freedom.  But it sounds less reasonable and will cause said interlocutor to come off looking weak and reactionary by comparison.

A better tactic is a refined version of agree and amplify.  In this case, Podhoretz’s interlocutor would do well to simply respond to him: “For the same reason you do.”  This immediately turns the frame around and forces him onto the defensive, and has the benefit of being absolutely true.  While Podhoretz and his fellow neoconservatives may favor freedom in the form of permitting mass invasion from the Third World, they oppose it in a vast panoply of more important forms.  The right-liberal is far more opposed to freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of exchange, and seeks to control the population in a much more coercive manner than the traditionalist right that seeks to protect Constitutional America and the only group with any significant collective regard for it, the descendants of its Christian European colonists.

In the same way that tax revenues are not maximized by maximizing tax rates, as per the Laffer curve, freedom of action and opportunity is not maximized by maximizing legal freedom for everyone on the planet.  Podhoretz, for example, would not be more free if Hamas were legally permitted to set up Jew-baking ovens in New York City, just as Americans would not be more free if 50 million Mexicans were legally permitted to enter the country and begin voting for the sort of policies they are accustomed to voting for when choosing between the Partido Revolucionario Institucional and the Party of the Democratic Revolution, both of which are members of the Socialist International.

Since freedom is not easily mathematically quantified, it is not as simple to construct a Liberty curve as a Laffer curve, but the logic is the same.

This is just an example; the point is that reframe is best done in the direct context of the attempted frame.  Due to psychological projection, in most cases, those who attempt to frame an attack in an unfair and intellectually dubious manner will reliably choose to attack you on their own point of vulnerability.  By way of example, note how yesterday the Neo-Keynesian SK repeatedly insisted that I was a) ignorant, b) didn’t understand anything, and c) needed to read a certain book while simultaneously a) getting most of his basic facts wrong, b) failing to grasp the difference between debt/GDP and federal debt/GDP and trying to discredit the data I’d provided by citing the very source I’d quoted, and, c) believing that I was some sort of monetarist inflationista because he knew nothing about RGD.