Wow, thanks a lot Porphyrogenitus!
“HOWEVER, my other way of approaching it is probably thus: such people often have a cognative dissonance, especially if they’re leftists. By which I mean they also tend to believe in “brave progressive dissidents speaking truth to power” and advancing The Movement. You can point out that many (most?) of his heroes were, at the time they were “standing up for social justice,” in the minority on whatever position-of-the-day they held, and by his own theory of absolutist democracy the majority would have had the right to crush them instantly, silence them, and impose their beliefs on them (I wonder if he also thinks he believes “imposing one’s beliefs on others” is wrong, at least when done by people he doesn’t agree with, however numerous they might be). Point out that it is only the protections of liberty – liberty of the minority – however feeble those protections might be, which allowed these “stalwarts” the platform they had.”
This may be the best way of arguing against a collectivist believer in democracy I’ve heard until today. I’ll think of his ideas and heroes and confront him in the days to come. If he’s somewhat consistent with the things he said before, he’d say that these heroes should have obeyed the authority but should have had the right to say their opinion…
I’ll get back to you after my next discussion with him! Thank you again