Ricochet Member Recommended FeedRecommended by R> Members

Mediated Negotiations: The Unreasonable Party Always Wins

 

When I was a kid, my father told me to never shoplift — small items. “If you are going to commit the crime, it makes sense to Go Big. Don’t steal a candy bar — rob a bank.” Or when the Israelis allow people to build homes on land they have bought and paid for, it is going to be a condemnatory front page story on the New York Times anyway. You can’t avoid it — but there is not much more fallout from building a neighborhood than from annexing a region. So go big.

Say you have 10 toy cars, and are told to share them with someone else. You, being reasonable, suggest a five-and-five split. The other person, claiming poverty or special circumstance or simple greed, says they should get nine, and leave you one.

So there is a disagreement, and you go to a mediator/arbitrator to work it out. He, of course, being of Solomonic disposition, splits the difference: you keep three, and the other guy gets seven. The unreasonable party just won.

It astonishes me how obvious this is, and how, time after time, “experts” demonstrate their complete ignorance of this fundamental feature of any arbitrated settlement. And it applies throughout life.

It applies to today’s delicate SJW snowflakes. Since their position is entirely unreasonable, any discussion that tries to find common ground ends up with a laughably stupid result.

The same principle applies to North Korea. Their positions are as extreme as any could be. Any attempt to negotiate means that they win before we even start, since by negotiating, we have conceded that there is something valid and acceptable about the demands of a madman.

In divorce, the person with the unreasonable and unyielding position wins because the other person tries to be reasonable. Sucker.

Even in sports, it is axiomatic that the team called for the most fouls is usually the less aggressive team caught for acting out of character.

In international politics the Israelis are sucked down this rabbit hole time and again. Two thousand live terrorists in exchange for the body of one dead soldier who hitchhiked at the wrong time and place? That sounds fair.

In all of our conflicts with the Left, we concede the ground before negotiations even begin. And it is simple: they, with the help of the media and our own rank stupidity, pick the battlefield. We, being reasonable suckers, accept the field, and the arrows start flying: Why is the Right so intolerant? Will we condemn Nazis? How can we not understand that not using the right pronoun is violence? How could we possibly be against healthcare for the poor?

If we actually want to win, we have two choices, thanks to Sun-Tzu: either refuse combat on unfavorable ground, or accept combat on our ground. Shouldn’t people have as much freedom with their wallets as they have with their genitals? Why do you think the government is better to run a hospital, when they cannot efficiently run the DMV? Why do Democrats hate freedom? Why can’t people make their own choices?

To this end, we need to stake out very strong positions, and make the liberals attack us on defended ground: The purpose of guns, after all is to protect us from politicians. Not hunting. Not self defense. But protecting us from politicians. Own it. Make liberals argue that politicians are wonderful people and never endanger us.

Say it as we see it, and own that position. Force the other side to come to us, or refuse to engage. Don’t be reasonable. Go big.

There are 23 comments.

  1. Member

    I think, love him or hate him. DJT gets this. Some of us on the right know this. More of us are learning it. May this concept metastasize on the right. If it does, we will kick their tail.

    • #1
    • September 4, 2017 at 7:41 am
    • 12 likes
  2. Member

    It’s also the iron law of personal relationships: The person who cares less has the power.

    • #2
    • September 4, 2017 at 8:09 am
    • 6 likes
  3. Thatcher

    iWe: It applies to today’s delicate SJW snowflakes. Since their position is entirely unreasonable, any discussion that tries to find common ground ends up with a laughably stupid result.

    SJW snowflakes need to provide past examples on what they are proposing. Various utopia groups (New Harmony IN, Shakers, etc.) are now gone due to human nature. Along with Amish and kibbutzim, these groups lasted for significant time ( > 25 years) but many members decide to leave for the outside world.

    We should demand that SJW snowflakes set up their own utopia group and prove that their ideas work before we do any compromise.

    • #3
    • September 4, 2017 at 8:10 am
    • 3 likes
  4. Member

    This is good especially since it happens to be true. Asking for everything imaginable and offering nothing for free is always the place to begin but you must have a great story to wrap around it so it looks like you seriously believe you’re demands are reasonable. The story isn’t that they’re threatening us, but selling technology to terrorist states, and threatening all their neighbors and keep getting more dangerous while killing and dehumanizing their population. Moreover, since they could wreak havoc on South Korea if we preemptively hit them, we’d have no choice but to obliterate them with conventional weapons. That is a credible story and China does not want them obliterated. They are not a credible threat to us, acting as if they were is not a good story, it just says we have no faith in our anti missile technology and don’t care that much about their neighbors. They know we’d totally destroy them if they hit us so they’d hope that we’d not do that if they hit Japan or South Korea. Moreover the Chinese and other neighbors do not want the Japanese to go nuclear or continue to militarize. We don’t need or want to talk about it. They all see whats happening. The only thing we need to do is be positioned to obliterate NK. The Chinese will do the rest and if they don’t? I don’t think time is on their side; It’s a failed state, the people are starving and we can continue to make it difficult for them to buy and sell. If they keep developing and testing and they probably will we’ll need to move forward. If the Chinese still don’t do something, we get South Korea ready, help them evacuate Seul. Something will give before we have to act. And if not, then the guy really is insane and we have to get rid of him and his regime.

    • #4
    • September 4, 2017 at 8:22 am
    • 3 likes
  5. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    I’ll quibble. North Korea is not a party we can negotiate with. And we also know from Sun-Tzu that the goal is not to defeat the enemy – but his strategy.

    Confronting nuclear weapons directly may or may not be a winner – I suspect that if we were sure it was a winner, then we would already be in a hot war.

    But Kim is very, very weak if we flank him. We do that by driving him and his security apparatus bananas. As I posted before, all we have to do is offer prize money for every “care package” dropped somewhere in North Korea. Each care package could have food/magazines/guns/ammo/windup radios/bibles or any range of arrays. We could translate (if needed) and drop pamphlets on how civilians can operate a guerrilla campaign against a repressive government.

    Kim would go nuts. All we would be doing is feeding and arming his people, but he would be outflanked. The regime simply cannot handle an armed citizenry that comes to realize there are such things as Snickers Bars in the world, and their government is the only thing standing between them and a happy bourgeois lifestyle.

    If we paid $500 per delivered care package, and dropped a few million of them… it would all be over, and at much less cost and bloodshed than any hot war.

    • #5
    • September 4, 2017 at 8:34 am
    • 9 likes
  6. Member

    iWe:If we actually want to win, we have two choices, thanks to Sun-Tzu: either refuse combat on unfavorable ground, or accept combat on our ground. Shouldn’t people have as much freedom with their wallets as they have with their genitals? Why do you think the government is better to run a hospital, when they cannot efficiently run the DMV? Why do Democrats hate freedom? Why can’t people make their own choices?

    Can’t tell you how much I love that paragraph. Oh, that the GOP leadership in DC would make posters of that paragraph and hang them on the walls one every GOP Congressperson.

    • #6
    • September 4, 2017 at 10:00 am
    • 9 likes
  7. Moderator

    iWe: The same principle applies to North Korea. Their positions are as extreme as any could be. Any attempt to negotiate means that they win before we even start, since by negotiating, we have conceded that there is something valid and acceptable about the demands of a madman.

    Kevin Schulte (View Comment):
    I think, love him or hate him. DJT gets this. Some of us on the right know this. More of us are learning it. May this concept metastasize on the right. If it does, we will kick their tail.

    I don’t like DJT as a person, and I don’t really like him as president either. But as I was noting to Chef Sly, the benefit of having a president who appears crazy enough to go to nuclear war with North Korea is that even a crazy guy like Kim Jung Un is scared to mess with him.

    I mean, I’d rather have a president who doesn’t project “Don’t mess with me or I’ll bash your head in” like an overweight Hell’s Angel in a biker bar, but I can’t deny that there are advantages to it.

    • #7
    • September 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm
    • 3 likes
  8. Member

    Around here we say the crazy person in the room always wins. Now I understand why. And this is going to change future negotiations. From now on it’s go big or go home.

    I used to be friends with a pretty famous defense attorney. I know her very, very well. She’s completely unreasonable. Which explains her success at getting so many disgustingly guilty people either lesser charges or off completely, and her lack of success at maintaining friendships.

    • #8
    • September 4, 2017 at 3:29 pm
    • 7 likes
  9. Thatcher

    Please. We have a party full elites who are against the very thing you argue for. It will not happen.

    • #9
    • September 4, 2017 at 3:46 pm
    • 1 like
  10. Member

    iWe: So there is a disagreement, and you go to a mediator/arbitrator to work it out. He, of course, being of Solomonic disposition, splits the difference: you keep three, and the other guy gets seven. The unreasonable party just won.

    Just a quibble. A mediator can recommend a disposition. An arbitrator can impose one.

    • #10
    • September 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm
    • 1 like
  11. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I used to be friends with a pretty famous defense attorney. I know her very, very well. She’s completely unreasonable. Which explains her success at getting so many disgustingly guilty people either lesser charges or off completely, and her lack of success at maintaining friendships.

    Quite.

    My suggestions in this case are on how to win, not how to build relationships. If one does not compartmentalize (I like to think that I do), one is quite likely to be lousy at one or the other.

    • #11
    • September 4, 2017 at 4:55 pm
    • 4 likes
  12. Member

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Please. We have a party full elites who are against the very thing you argue for. It will not happen.

    I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” for about the3 or 4th time, and most of Ayn Rand’s pronouncements since 1943 some 74 years ago are currently in effect. Maybe no GOP in congress has read the book, but I’ll bet President Trump has. A lot of his attitude seems to be very much Howard Roark. Except Roark was mostly silent and Trump likes to twitter.

    • #12
    • September 4, 2017 at 5:10 pm
    • 5 likes
  13. Member

    I’ve had friendships with people like this. The wailing and gnashing of teeth is absolutely epic when one finally has to put one’s foot down on an issue.

    They can never make me loose it, nor give in to the tantrums.

    But I was trained by the best; a father who was a politician with seven children yet never raised his voice nor lost his temper, and a kid way too smart for his own good.

    Compared to them Ghengis Khan was a piker.

    • #13
    • September 4, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    • 2 likes
  14. Thatcher

    Go big or go home.

    • #14
    • September 4, 2017 at 7:01 pm
    • 4 likes
  15. Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    If we paid $500 per delivered care package, and dropped a few million of them… it would all be over, and at much less cost and bloodshed than any hot war.

    He would respond by shelling Seoul.

    • #15
    • September 4, 2017 at 7:11 pm
    • Like
  16. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    Israel P. (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):
    If we paid $500 per delivered care package, and dropped a few million of them… it would all be over, and at much less cost and bloodshed than any hot war.

    He would respond by shelling Seoul.

    Quite possibly.

    The US Army has the Nork artillery “dialed in”. After the first salvo or two, the shelling will end. And then the US can end the nuclear threat. If a shooting war does not happen sooner, then it will be much worse later.

    But if the US can soften up the Norks by first making them doubt their own regime…. the care packages could really help.

    • #16
    • September 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm
    • 3 likes
  17. Reagan
    iWe Post author

    Basil Fawlty (View Comment):

    iWe: So there is a disagreement, and you go to a mediator/arbitrator to work it out. He, of course, being of Solomonic disposition, splits the difference: you keep three, and the other guy gets seven. The unreasonable party just won.

    Just a quibble. A mediator can recommend a disposition. An arbitrator can impose one.

    In many cases, the recommendations of a mediator can be hard to resist. In Israel’s case, for example, “suggestions” by the United States often have some bite.

    • #17
    • September 4, 2017 at 7:55 pm
    • 2 likes
  18. Coolidge

    Kay of MT (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    Please. We have a party full elites who are against the very thing you argue for. It will not happen.

    I just finished reading “The Fountainhead” for about the3 or 4th time, and most of Ayn Rand’s pronouncements since 1943 some 74 years ago are currently in effect. Maybe no GOP in congress has read the book, but I’ll bet President Trump has. A lot of his attitude seems to be very much Howard Roark. Except Roark was mostly silent and Trump likes to twitter.

    Sometimes I have the feeling that not only do they NOT read Ricochet, American Thinker and the other sites on our side of the aisle , they never even heard of them , they watch the alphabet networks and read The NY Times and Washington Post exclusively. That accounts for their tin ears for our concerns and their puzzlement over Trump’s victory.

    • #18
    • September 4, 2017 at 9:03 pm
    • 5 likes
  19. Member

    iWe (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I used to be friends with a pretty famous defense attorney. I know her very, very well. She’s completely unreasonable. Which explains her success at getting so many disgustingly guilty people either lesser charges or off completely, and her lack of success at maintaining friendships.

    Quite.

    My suggestions in this case are on how to win, not how to build relationships. If one does not compartmentalize (I like to think that I do), one is quite likely to be lousy at one or the other.

    It’s funny. I’ve known a lot of lawyers. I think as time goes by it becomes harder to stop being a jerk just because the clock says 5:00.

    • #19
    • September 4, 2017 at 9:42 pm
    • 4 likes
  20. Thatcher

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    iWe:If we actually want to win, we have two choices, thanks to Sun-Tzu: either refuse combat on unfavorable ground, or accept combat on our ground. Shouldn’t people have as much freedom with their wallets as they have with their genitals? Why do you think the government is better to run a hospital, when they cannot efficiently run the DMV? Why do Democrats hate freedom? Why can’t people make their own choices?

    Can’t tell you how much I love that paragraph. Oh, that the GOP leadership in DC would make posters of that paragraph and hang them on the walls one every GOP Congressperson.

    Every Member of Congress, every federal employee at any level, every Cabinet Secretary – except Mattis – the V-POTUS and, of course, the POTUS…FIFY, @songwriter…You’re welcome!

    • #20
    • September 4, 2017 at 10:04 pm
    • 3 likes
  21. Thatcher

    [Duplicate comment, sorry.]

    • #21
    • September 5, 2017 at 8:48 am
    • 1 like
  22. Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I used to be friends with a pretty famous defense attorney. I know her very, very well. She’s completely unreasonable. Which explains her success at getting so many disgustingly guilty people either lesser charges or off completely, and her lack of success at maintaining friendships.

    Quite.

    My suggestions in this case are on how to win, not how to build relationships. If one does not compartmentalize (I like to think that I do), one is quite likely to be lousy at one or the other.

    It’s funny. I’ve known a lot of lawyers. I think as time goes by it becomes harder to stop being a jerk just because the clock says 5:00.

    The best lawyers I know aren’t jerks before 5:00 either. Two stories:

    1.  We got a set of deal papers that were obnoxiously one-sided. Drafted by a major NY law firm for a hard nosed company that did a lot of deals, I advised my client that if we didn’t push back hard they would take us to the cleaners. We sent back a draft that was equally obnoxious in our favor. The next draft we got was in their favor, even more obnoxious than their first draft had been. My client decided a reasonable deal wasn’t doable and decided to walk.

    2)We got a set of loan documents from a bank, drafted by a major LA law firm. These documents were surprisingly reasonable, close to where I would want to get to as a final position. I advised my client of that and recommended that we respond with a light mark-up reflecting the few business and legal issues we had. Opposing counsel later told me that his prior experience with our firm had been so favorable he asked his client for permission to prepare a draft close to where he thought it should end up after a typical negotiation. He said if we had responded with a heavy mark-up it would have been scorched earth the rest of the way.

    • #22
    • September 5, 2017 at 11:07 am
    • 4 likes
  23. Member

    Isaac Smith (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    iWe (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I used to be friends with a pretty famous defense attorney. I know her very, very well. She’s completely unreasonable. Which explains her success at getting so many disgustingly guilty people either lesser charges or off completely, and her lack of success at maintaining friendships.

    Quite.

    My suggestions in this case are on how to win, not how to build relationships. If one does not compartmentalize (I like to think that I do), one is quite likely to be lousy at one or the other.

    It’s funny. I’ve known a lot of lawyers. I think as time goes by it becomes harder to stop being a jerk just because the clock says 5:00.

    The best lawyers I know aren’t jerks before 5:00 either. Two stories:

    1. We got a set of deal papers that were obnoxiously one-sided. Drafted by a major NY law firm for a hard nosed company that did a lot of deals, I advised my client that if we didn’t push back hard they would take us to the cleaners. We sent back a draft that was equally obnoxious in our favor. The next draft we got was in their favor, even more obnoxious than their first draft had been. My client decided a reasonable deal wasn’t doable and decided to walk.

    2)We got a set of loan documents from a bank, drafted by a major LA law firm. These documents were surprisingly reasonable, close to where I would want to get to as a final position. I advised my client of that and recommended that we respond with a light mark-up reflecting the few business and legal issues we had. Opposing counsel later told me that his prior experience with our firm had been so favorable he asked his client for permission to prepare a draft close to where he thought it should end up after a typical negotiation. He said if we had responded with a heavy mark-up it would have been scorched earth the rest of the way.

    I meant to add to this the tag line: Sometimes jerks get shut out. Sometimes nice guys get what they need without a lot of stress and pain. But those are exceptions. Sadly.

    • #23
    • September 5, 2017 at 12:43 pm
    • 2 likes