No, I Will Not Debate You

Great points here


Laurie Penny | Longreads | September 2018 | 15 minutes (3,795 words)

“The media here is the opposition party.
They don’t understand this country.”
— Steve Bannon, to the New York Times

“A point of view can be a dangerous luxury
when substituted for insight and understanding.”
— Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy

* * *

There are some stupid mistakes that only very smart people make, and one of them is the notion that a sensible argument seriously presented can compete with a really good piece of theatre.

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…

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