Antagonistic and Non-antagonistic
There is an basic difference between
and non-antagonistic argumentation: The goals of
promoting, increasing, and taking advantage of
disunity among opponents and their allies,
seeking verbal and material dominance, pushing
opponents out of the way,
bringing about psychological, verbal and physical
confusion and demobilization of opponent forces,
causing the disruption, neutralization and
ultimate elimination and disbanding of opponent forces,
creating favorable conditions for ultimate total
material victory for yourself and allies.
Antagonism may start out as rhetorical but
often ends up very material: In antagonistic argumentation, you try
accuse, discredit, indict, convict, impeach, defeat,
or sometimes even kill the opponent.
Antagonistic argumentation is a loaded
weapon. Never point it at someone unless you intend to destroy them!
Non-antagonistic differences are sometimes
material, but are always most appropriately settled by
discursive (rhetorical) means:
- seeking unity,
- practicing respect and mutual support,
- understanding, consciousness-raising and
- seeking peace and reconciliation,
- free and open discussion and
- finding ways of working together toward
Your task as a writer is to correctly determine
when each form of argument is appropriate, and when it is not.
O.W. 10/05 rev 2/10