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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 
2 days ago by yolandaenoch
Fascism and the University - The Chronicle of Higher Education
> In January 2017, Missouri State Representative Rick Brattin, a Republican, proposed banning tenure at all of Missouri’s public universities ... "In what area do you have protection of your job for whatever you say, whatever you do, you’re protected? You don’t have that."
fascism  university  education  free-speech  antifa 
17 days ago by tarakc02
Against Signal Boosting as Doxxing
"What particularly bothered me about this situation was that the columnist involved was a libertarian who writes for Reason, and her supporters were mostly other influential libertarians. And they were all using the old argument that the concept of 'free speech' came into existence ex nihilo on December 15, 1791 with the ratification of the First Amendment, and has no meaning or significance outside a purely legal context of delimiting government power."
scott-alexander  slatestarcodex  free-speech  politics  culture 
24 days ago by actualitems

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