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Woke World

Down with the cis-axial patriarchy

How to debate an evil right-winger (if you must)

This article is taken from the October 2022 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

Debate is a form of violence. This is why I support the policy of universities “de-platforming” speakers with problematic opinions. After all, impressionable students are hardly likely to be persuaded if there’s no one there to do the persuading. 

Conservatives will often try to blindside their opponents with “facts”

Conservatives will often try to blindside their opponents with “facts” and “logic”, slippery manoeuvres that end up making it look as though social justice activists like me don’t know what we are talking about. But for those of you who insist on engaging with these cretins, here are some foolproof techniques. 

Firstly, one needs to consider carefully one’s choice of words. “Fascist” and “Nazi” are excellent examples of terms which never fail to undermine the confidence of the unenlightened or the working class. I routinely use them to describe anyone who voted for the Tories, or who supports the monarchy, and the fact that people tend to act so defensively when you compare them to Hitler only goes to show that the analogy is sound. 

The other surefire strategy is to convey one’s point of view through the language of intersectional feminist theory. For instance, instead of using the phrase “all straight white men are evil”, you might say “I refuse to redact my positionality in deference to hegemonic cis-axial neopatriarchy normalised through oppressive structural discourses of heteropestilential violence enacted on bodies of colour”. The unreconstructed bigots of the right are rarely well-schooled in such terminology, and at this point will usually just give up. 

But perhaps the best way to win an argument is to simply refuse to talk to your opponent in the first place. Why should those with the wrong opinions be free to express themselves? “Free speech” is an extremist ideology. It was invented by the ancient Greeks, a bunch of dead white males who also invented slavery, pederasty and pornographic pottery. 

So next time you’re confronted with a right-wing reactionary who is keen to bully you with their thoughts, try some of the techniques I’ve outlined here. Brand them a “Nazi”, bludgeon them with intersectional jargon or, better still, pretend they don’t exist. 

Game, set and match. 

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