It's a very complicated and fundamental debate right now we should all have : How do we speak out about what's wrong? What are the rules of the debate? What defines a healthy debate from two people shouting at each other with no chance whatsoever that one will listen to the other and change his mind?
There are so many other questions and I think (but then again that's just my point of view), we should adress them all before even starting to argue about politics, economy, and all other topic. We should first define as best we can our own personal constitution about the way we want to interact and communicate our ideas. I see a trend in the last five years that tends to feel like this : Upper class progressive people (and upper class doesn't always mean financially wealthy, it can also be a cultural or social distinction), making long speach on facebook/twitter/instagram you name it, trying to educate people who, for some reason, are not as progressive as they are, talking to them as if they were child needing very simple words, funny comics, or infographics with statistics. I think this is not debating, it's antagonizing and insulting people, making them feel stupid and it's sad because it's often to defend very valid notions, but all it does in the end is it creates some sort of politic communautarism, every community fighting for its own cause.
The other trend I notice is : Always answer to your opponent's stupidest arguments, and leave the complex ones behind. That's something I see everywhere on the internet. Pick your subject, and make a long argument assuming your opponent thinks all the stupidest things about it, and then answer to all those stupid things. All I see in the comments are either people who were already thinking the same thing feeling good about themselves because they saw someone thinking like them, or people antagonizing the crap out of everyone because they feel like they're being insulted.
So, we'd need a space where we've got time to do terrible things, such as: consider our opponent's good arguments, take them into account, see where they're wrong, talk about it. But not talk about it to try and convince them, because the odds are we won't, actually talk about it to define more accurately why it is what we think is the right course of action, the right political stance, actually might be right.
It's a frustrating post to make because I feel like this is way more complicated than what I just said but I don't want to speak for hours. But I'd just like to point out one thing: To me, in the light of what I just said, the lines forum is a little online miracle. It's litterally the only place I've seen on the internet, where people of different horizons adress these issues by communicating instead of shoving their opinions in eachother's throat. It's the only place where I've seen people disagreeing with intelligence, pointing out the holes in eachother's arguments, trying to figure out where to go from there.
I think we need more places like lines, and it doesn't matter if they're not where the majority goes to, I don't think Facebook offers a sane environnement to see these kind of discussion emerge, and I'm in favor of quality over quantity. It doesn't matter if you speak to 10 people instead of 300, if you come out of the discussion reinforced, not in the strength of your opinion, but in how intelligently you can present it and see it in all its complexity. That's what I value here, I almost always come out of lines with more knowledge (and incidently, more questions) than when I opened the tab, and that makes me a more interesting person to talk to whenever I meet people who want to actually share some of their own knowledge with me, because I doubt more, because I question myself more knowing all those things I didn't know a few days before.
I think "How do we build more lines?" is a fundamental question (both litteraly and figuratively), I hope we find answers to it, and I hope we find them sooner than later, because right now, we're running in a wall at full speed.
This was a bit long, and I apologize for that, but not long enough to really make a point, so I apologize for that too, but I'm a bit tired.
Thank you all for this(these) thread(s) anyway (is what I'm saying in the end.)