Debate vs. Rewilding
I have opinions, sure. And yeah, I talk about them. A lot. But mostly with close friends and rarely do I debate them. I’ve never liked debate. The emotional stakes in debate rest way too high for my enjoyment. Debate does not imply a conversation where two sides try to find a middle ground, or where a curious open-minded person learns something new, but rather how each side can continuously argue back and forth trying to prove the other person wrong. If someone concedes to the other, it means they admit to their “wrongness”. The feelings of shame and embarrassment that come with “wrongness” emotionally prevent people from actually coming to terms with another. To debate means to refuse acceptance.
I can tell right away if someone would rather debate with me (not actually listen to what I say) than learn something new. As soon as the conversation trends towards debate, I kill it. Some people have no interest in evaluating their cultural mythology and looking at the world in a different way. Others simple love to argue with people. I don’t think that the action of debating refers to a higher level of comprehension or some intellectual skill. I think it simply works as an ego trip of narcissistic mental masturbation.
How can you tell the difference between a close-minded debate and a pleasant, curious conversation? Because of my distaste for debate, I have learned to talk about rewilding in a more “common sense” style that doesn’t require me to keep records on sources of information. Most of it just makes sense. As soon as someone asks me for “where I got my facts” I know I’ve slipped into debate mode, and I shut it down.
As long as a debate lasts, no one takes action. If we continue to debate about Climate Change, we will not use the time we have to act accordingly. I wonder how many debates happened on the Titanic the night it sunk. My writing has little to do with debating, and while I write persuasive, critical essays, I have no interest in debating them. Debates can, regardless of how ridiculous either side sounds, go on forever.
I will not debate civilization’s inherent unsustainability with anyone anymore. These days, I matter-of-factly articulate how civilization functions, very quickly. Agriculture does this, populations do this, civilization comes forth. In explaining rewilding, I see no need for debate. I see a need for shared observed reality. Once people can observe what this culture does to the planet, rewilding just looks like common sense.