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No, I Will Not Debate You
Every day, people on the internet ask why I won’t “debate” some self-actualizing gig-economy fascist or other, as if formal, public debate were the only way to steer public conversation. If you won’t debate, the argument goes, you’re an enemy of free speech. You’re basically no better than a Nazi, and certainly far worse than any of the actual Nazis muttering about not being allowed to preach racism from prestigious pulpits. Well-meaning liberals insist that “sunlight is the best disinfectant,” anti-fascists disagree, the far right orders more popcorn, and round and round we go on the haunted carousel of western liberal thought until we’re all queasy.
politics  fascism  communication  via:popular 
yesterday by archangel
What is fascism? A Yale philosopher explains how it works - Vox
I think that’s right. Part of what fascist politics does is get people to disassociate from reality. You get them to sign on to this fantasy version of reality, usually a nationalist narrative about the decline of the country and the need for a strong leader to return it to greatness, and from then on their anchor isn’t the world around them — it’s the leader.
4 days ago by dpb
No, I Will Not Debate You
I’ve spent much of the past five years hearing out and attempting to debate people like Bannon, and in my experience it only emboldens and legitimizes them. As far as I am concerned, I am not interested in hearing those arguments again.

Bates: It is my belief that Steve Bannon meets this high standard, that his deeply racist, misogynistic, white nationalist views pose real threat and harm to a large number of people, and that it is therefore irresponsible and damaging to provide him with the legitimacy of such a highly respected mainstream platform as The Economist.

justification-suppression model. The theory is that bigots refrain from directly defending their own bigotry but get hugely riled up justifying the abstract right to express bigotry.

Focusing the conversation on the ethics of disseminating speech rather than the actual content of that speech is hugely useful for the far right for three reasons.

People rarely change their minds in the course of formal public debate. Not the people on stage, and very few of those in the audience. Years of robust debate in my capacity as a commentator and journalist have taught me that you don’t change minds simply by pointing out where someone is wrong. As a dear friend once told me, trying to bring someone over to your side by publicly demonstrating that their ideas are bad and that they should feel bad is like trying to teach a goat how to dance: the goat will not learn to dance, and you will make him angry. The ways people actually change their minds is by reading the mood of those around them and then going away and thinking about it, by being given permission to think what they were already thinking, or by being shamed into realizing how ignoble their assumptions always were.

Sunlight is neither literally nor figuratively the best disinfectant. Nor is sunlight what the ritual of formal debate offers. What it offers is a chance to build one’s brand.

the idea that politeness and civility is owed to anyone in a position of power is one of the great gotchas of liberal thought.

The far right doesn’t have a profound philosophy, it has a media strategy.

If we deny racists a platform, they feed off the appearance of censorship, but if we give them a platform, they’ve won by being respectfully invited into the mainstream. Either way, what matters to them is not debate, but attention. There is no perfect choice.
longreads.com  debate  fascism  politics  steve-bannon  new-yorker  the-economist  laurie-penny  laura-bates  ally-fogg  white-nationalist  justification-suppression-model  bigotry  free-speech 
5 days ago by yolandaenoch
No, I Will Not Debate You
"Civility will never defeat fascism, no matter what The Economist thinks." - a reasonable overview of why civil debate is not always a good answer.
debate  politics  fascism  ethics  society 
6 days ago by mindways
Super Position – The New Inquiry
Why, in the process, have familiar superheroes suddenly been given complex interiority: family backgrounds, ambivalence, moral crises and self-doubt? And why does the very fact of their receiving a soul seem to force them to also choose some kind of explicit political orientation?
movies  politics  superheroes  fascism  graeber 
6 days ago by markhgn
A Time for Treason – The New Inquiry
A reading list created by a group of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Muslim, and Jewish people who are writers, organizers, teachers, anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, and radicals.
fascism  reading  history  resistance  list  books  politics  liberation  media 
6 days ago by markhgn

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