An Honorable Beginning
I love the Anarcho-Capitalists; a respectful and group of persons who I've learned very much from. Everyone was treated with respect, no matter how strongly their point of view contrasted, and even the worst of enemies was treated as an honored guest. We were a friendly crowd, and even our strongest internal disagreements were of practically no consequence. Whether it was abortion or I.P., our general conclusion was that AnCap philosophy doesn't adequately answer those questions conclusively.
A Shift of Tone
A few months ago, I saw another I.P. debate. suspecting nothing, joined the discussion as usual; pointing out the fallacies on both sides, as well as ways in which they can cooperate. This time something was different; it was intense, it was angry, passionate, even hateful. Any comment I made which was even remotely supportive of I.P. was harshly attacked, even attracting personal attacks, insults, and large numbers of downvotes. Seeing as I don't enjoy these discussions, I retreated, confused, and bewildered. For the next two weeks, there were dozens and dozens of threads harshly attacking I.P. from every conceivable angle. As a person familiar with I.P. and I.P. law, I debunked a few of the most bold and blatant fallacies, only to be swarmed as if had attacked a beehive.
Soon after the abortion topic arose again, and I left a few neutral comments as usual, walking away and mostly forgetting about it. A few days later I noticed a comment in another thread, talking about what went down in the Abortion discussion, so I decided to take a look. Sometime after I had left, it dissolved into an intense, harsh, hateful, polarizing debate, where absolutely no ambiguity went unpunished.
If you've read this far, my question is "what happened?" Not abortion, not I.P, what happened to our community? A state-socialist may enter our community, and insults capitalism, individualism, anarchism, and everything we believe in… and they are treated as honored guests. Why are those who take up the minority positions on I.P. and abortion treated like dirt? What happened to the time where we could discuss these topics in detail, exploring the good, bad, and ugly of both sides of the debate while treating each-other with respect?
Those who shout the loudest may have won the war, but in the end, we all lost.