Civil discourse is a great tool for democratic approaches and conflict resolution. It is often a tool administered and applied in societies amongst individuals or groups as conflict resolution or problem solution. People use civil discourse as a way to bridge the divide that has marred and scarred their society, oftentimes to the extents of chaos and war. History is rich with examples of fallen countries or societies, because of their failure to come together to form a solid societal foundation on which people of all beliefs and backgrounds can live together in harmony and co-existence.
However, seldom is that the case. In fact, civil discourse is the final resolution, preceded by a long, and destructive, period of war. The two sort of go in tandem, with war being the first choice, and civil discourse -unfortunately- being the last choice, after all, other choices have been exhausted. Again, you need not look past history to find examples of countries and societies who waged chaotic, brutal wars, as a means to bulldoze an opinion, ideology, or extremist debate. And extremist debate is what often replaces civil discourse whenever the latter fails to satisfy, or simply doesn’t appeal to the constituents involved.
Extremist debate is when an individual, or a group of individuals, refuses to let go of their belief, opinion, or ideology for the purposes of building a prosperous nation. Instead, they cling to their beliefs and fight anyone who tries to oppose them and rid them of it. Extremist debate is popular in nature because of the sense of power and perseverance that comes along with it. The fact that you will take “no” from anyone provides a sense of machismo and arrogance that appeals to certain groups of people. However, all this is just false allure. It’s blowing air into the balloon. In the end, you can’t establish everything through brute force. You need a consensus. And a consensus is reached through civil discourse. More specifically, through gathering all parties, and gathering all opinions, and reach a common ground on how you want to be governed, and what you want the norms of the society to be. If the goal is to build a prosperous, and harmonious society, then this is the only way. However, if the goal is to simply reach absolute forms of power and tyranny, extremist debate provides an attractive substitute.
In the end, the decision lies within the people themselves. They are the ones who will dictate what terms to pursue, and which society they want to live in. it is worth noting the keywords in both approaches. One keyword is ‘Extremist’, and the idea of being hardened and aggressive with your ideologies. The other keyword that you should take into consideration is civil, and the notion that in order to have proper discourse or dialogue, it’s imperative that one must be civil. In order to be civil, you must be considering. Considering other people’s thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.