The Hierarchy of Disagreement


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1. Refuting the Central Point
This is the zenith most shrewd gambit. By choosing to explicitly refute the central point, the person is hitting at a point way deeper than a man’s ego; this move will mostly lead to concession by the party to whom the point is getting driven at. It is a prudent move of attacking the point rather than the person. And so long as a man’s ego is intact, all is well and the refuter wins.

And do you know what the sad truth is, most of these thought defectors are wrong. My sense is that to be wrong about a point, one has to be right. They are one and the same thing. Take a minute and refute this.

2. Refutation
This is an instance whereby a person finds the mistake and explains why its mistaken using quotes.
An extreme Islamist opposed to Democracy will quote Surahs, Hadiths and the Qur’an to heavily support his claims & radical thoughts.
An anarchist will peruse through history and quote Chairman Mao Tse Tung/  Malcolm X/ Ernesto Che Guevara/ Karl Marx in order to quench his/her integral revolutionary mind.

In other words Refutation is akin to “If The Shoe Fits”. You feel me.

3. Counterargument
The Bolsheviks- a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labor Party led by Vladimir Lenin & Alexander Bogdanov split due to tensions between the two founders. Lenin had a penchant of steadfast opinions and an unwillingness to bear opinions contrary to his own. If you did not follow his self envisioned utopia you were regarded as an enemy contrived to sever or subjugation.
One way or another, however narrow minded you are, you must create room/ or have an ability to accept criticism, Unless you are God; so Alexander Bogdanov with his reputation as a philosopher to book, contradicted Lenin’s views and backed his own up with reasoning and/ or supporting evidence. Their differences became irreconcilable and after propositions, scathing & machismo wars, Bagdanov was expelled from the party.

4. Contradiction
This is an instance where one states the opposing case with little or no supporting evidence. This is the epitome of defeat & what comes next after these kicks of a dying horse are ugly happenings. When all the 3 above have failed, a being gets caught up in protecting its own egos with no pertinent opinions rather than being different.

A credible electoral system, enjoying the confidence of every Kenyan will save this beautiful country the unwanted bloodshed after a brother raises a hand against a brother due to contested results.
Whether the elections were credible or not, the word confidence is the key word. So I don’t see how a sycophantic bigot affiliate to the people in power will choose to oppose a quest for confidence and peace. Spearheading your political egos and loving a political party more than your family and its future wellbeing, If that is not foolery, I don’t know what is.
The drafters of the current constitution enshrined upon the civil society & opposition party freedoms and relevance so vast that the opposition are now misusing it by always contradicting with little or no evidence. If you look closely and block your partisanship, you will see that both sides are right while they are also wrong. There is too much pride involved and still the situation is a contradiction of contradictions. Ill contrived contradictions if you get the twist.

5. Responding to tone.
As I walked through the dark twitter corridors, I saw screams, yes I saw screams from Ghosts. Tweets so shouty from a keyboard battalion of the Kenyan twitterati reacting to David Ndii’s article about “Kenya is a cruel marriage, its time we talk divorce.” That is one of the best articles covering our deepest core ugly issues as Kenyans that I ever read. David Ndii succeeded in bringing out the truth as it was without sugarcoating the plunder and ineptitude in the government, the myopic political selfishness and how it would be Kenya’s undoing.
But the hard truth only antagonized a mob who were clouded by Ndii’s choice of words, choosing to criticize the tone of writing without addressing the substance of the argument. The truth sounds like hate to those who hate truth.

5. ad hominem
This is a scenario whereby a reader/ opposite party attacks the characteristics or authority of the writer without addressing the substance of argument.
To escape and be free of bias as a writer, put your bigotry, sycophancy, partisanship, religiosity, judge mentalism, reputation, integrity grounds and incorrigibility away.
The consummate Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina came out as gay in a very conservative Kenyan Society. A writer with such fecundity of mind could see his work not reaching and benefitting a targeted audience just because his sexuality bothers some self-righteous librarians/ book stores/ policy makers/ parent/ teacher or school head.

6. Name calling
This is the nadir in the hierarchy of disagreements, the zenith of empty mindedness and blatant signs of an intellectual battle completely lost.
Commonsense calls and argues that you walk away from a losing match, but we know commonsense is a flower that does not doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden. The Poet Laureate Chinua Achebe said that, If you don’t like someone’s story, write your own.
An attitude of passivity, of mute indifference and sometimes cold complicity could beat a fool in his own game. As George Carlin once said, “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. No comment is a comment too.

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