The No debating Society

What do we want?


When do we want it?


For literally longer than I can be bothered to look-up schools, universities and probably other places as well have had Debating Societies. Within these societies the biggest brains of their generations could go massive-head to massive-head over the pressing issues of the day, each demonstrating their mastery of the facts, their verbal dexterity, their insight into statistics, and their ability to build the edifice of an argument, from their opening statement right up until the pubs open. Magnificent.

The issue with debating societies is, of course, that they’re seriously uncool. No one can speak positively of them without a whiff of owns a selection of bow-ties, or the tangy high-notes of would really like to smoke a pipe, but the one time they tried it made them sick. This is why it’s been so good to see a trendy new alternative arise in our universities – the No Debate society.

A lot of people have questions about how no debating works, which shows that they’ve failed to grasp even the basic meaning of the name, so there’s probably not a  lot of hope for them. There do, however, have to be basic rules, presented here for any of you keen to get into the fashionable world of no debate.

empty debate hall
The Oxford No Debate Society, pictured yesterday

Rule 1 – No debate!

OK, rule 1 seems a little redundant, but it’s important to understand that ‘No debate’ means NO debate. It’s all too easy to get drawn into answering innocuous-sounding questions, like “What rights do you actually want?” or “What is a woman?” and then, suddenly, you’re pressed up against the issue that nobody knows the answers, because rule 1 says the No Debate society can’t get into a discussion of such with other members of the No Debate society, which would make a mockery of the whole thing.

Instead, the message has to be simply We want what we want, and that’s the end of it. No debate. Hopefully it will turn out that everyone was refusing to debate about the same thing.

Rule 2 – No empathy!

In debate, understanding your opponent’s point of view is essential. You must understand the cornerstone of their belief, in order to attack it. If you can understand their arguments then you’re half way to seeing how to destroy them.

Yeah, fuck that for a lark.

It is not for the advocate of No Debate to have even the slightest empathy towards those debased bastards who want a debate. They are wrong. End. Of. Story.

Avoiding empathy is also the only way of never asking yourself, “What if the other side did this to me?” It’s vitally important that you never for a moment consider what would happen if women’s groups said, “No, they’re men. No debate!” or, “OK, the line is that if you’re willing to have your todger whipped off then, yes, you can be a woman. No debate!”

Nobody wants to lie awake at night wondering which they fear more, being misgendered or a guy in scrubs coming at them with the surgical garden shears, so no empathy is a must!

Rule 3 – No truck with democracy!

Historically, most of the people who’ve demanded massive societal change without any debate have had the decency to show up with guns. Modern No Debate societies have nothing more than stumpy pee-shooters, but wave them they will.

Rightly so, they argue, for what could be more demeaning that placing some sort of reliance on other people validating your belief that you’re absolutely right about everything? No Debating societies have found their home in universities, which means that they’re peopled by students, who are the intellectual cream of society. Why, then, should they give time to whether lesser mortals think they’re right or wrong?

No Debate offers the purity of fighting tooth and nail for an ill-defined collection of goals, without sullying that fight with the requirement that a majority validate it. They can make themselves useful validating other stuff instead. There’s a list.

Rule 4 – No foresight!

Debating a proposal, a new law, or a change of any kind forces you to think, What will happen as a result of this? It may be that you want to support the proposition, by painting a picture of the positive changes that will radiate throughout the world as a result, or oppose it, by making it the thin end of the wedge and the beginning of the end. My good man, if we extend suffrage to women then, before you know it, it will be legal for dogs to ride velocipedes!

No Debate cuts through all of that nonsense, and lets you live in an eternal Now, where what you want is everything you want and always will be, and not getting everything you want is simply unthinkable (and absolutely unspeakable).

Best of all, the no foresight rule means that you never have to think what happens once one issue is deemed too important to debate, once the precedence is set that people can be afforded new rights without even entertaining the possibility of opposition. What will be the next issue that’s above debate, transmoot, if you will? Who will decide? How will you stop them?

Rule 5 – No end!

While debates are normally time-limited, no debates can continue forever. Indeed, in 10100 years, when all the stars have burned out, black holes evaporated and every last drop of energy spent, the no debate will be the only thing happening.

Hopefully, before then, there’ll be consensus on what rights they actually want, and what it is that they’re refusing to debate but, for the moment, we won’t talk about that.

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