Often when I hear someone say in an argument “There has to be some middle ground,” what they’re really saying is “I’m only asking you to compromise your principles a little… this time. Next time I’ll get you to compromise them a little more”.

An awful lot of people on the internet seem to be unwittingly engaging in a Hegelian Dialectic with their peers, presenting an extreme thesis against their peers’ antithesis, then working toward a compromise result which works out slightly in their own favor. This technique can be repeated over a long period of time to change the social consensus however one sees fit- for good or for ill- and the Hegelian Dialectic is most dangerous when used to convince those taking a moral and principled stance to “find some middle ground” with a corrupt or immoral proposal set before them.

So next time someone tells you “There has to be some middle ground,” think very hard about what it is they are proposing and how it meshes with what you know to be good or right. If they’re trying to get you to eat at a different restaurant it might not be such a big deal , but if they are proposing legislation relating to abortion or firearms the stakes are considerably higher.

EDIT: David Seaman has uploaded a video where he provides an example of the Hegelian Dialectic at work in the budget “debate”.

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