The Right to “Side Conversations” and Full Freedom of Communication

Often when someone begins to dissent from a popular opinion within the group, they first need to speak about it with a confidant or a small group.  Often people are castigated for having these side-conversations with people they feel comfortable with.  This conversational secession is often done in response to the heavy-handed group culture which jumps down people’s throats before they can even find the words they are looking for, perhaps to express something is actually is true and important but simply yet-unarticulated.  In the same way that we should give separate spaces to oppressed groups if they want them for comfortable dialogue, we should recognize that group dynamics can be psychologically difficult for everyone – and what the hell, we’re all grown-ups, no one should tell any of us how to communicate or use group pressure cult tactics to try to cow us into one homogeneous opinion.  We should have the right to side conversations, to any conversations, to radical transparency, to discussing organizational debates inside or outside the organization as we choose.

The Internet already allows and normalizes this type of free communication.  It is impossible to expect members not to use it, and any group which discourages it will only look like a cult where ideas must be tightly controlled.  The dialogue of the Internet is the flowing of free thought and free communication.  Everyone is forced to either embrace that wave of change, or be pulled under by it (like the British SWP).


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