Saturday, January 16, 2016

Truth, propaganda and political correctness

Now and again two or three articles will come out that serendipitously reinforce and complement one another, each helping the other(s) to make its point more strongly.  I found that this month with a blog post from Sarah Hoyt, preceded by an article at Mises Daily.

Sarah makes the point that truth will out, regardless of attempts to disguise it.  (Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.)

Truth is all the more powerful, when everyone with power and authority has been denying it, and then one person dares tell the truth.  Suddenly, the guy on the street who is tired of being told that they are wrong, and that they should believe what they’re told and not what they see with their lying eyes, has someone tell them that what they see is true.

. . .

We’re seeing this in the United States with Trump.  Maybe Trump will turn out (somehow) to be a pragmatic ruler, but make no mistake, he will be a RULER, not a leader, because he has no concept of limits or of individual rights.  His concept is of socialism, only more national.  But people here are so tired of being told that the United States is the worst thing ever, when they see it isn’t, that they are willing to accept even an outright socialist, if he’ll just assure them they’re not going crazy and they’re not evil for loving their country.

He doesn’t try to get them to believe completely insane and observable lies like that fighting “climate change” is a rebuke to terrorists, or that what we really need to protect ourselves against terrorists is to disarm law abiding citizens.  And so Trump, though a lot of his ideas are completely insane, benefits from using truth.  At least a little bit of truth.  And it’s likely he’ll get elected on the strength of it.

I’ve made my peace with this.  By tamping down on everyone sane who tried to point out they were out of control, the left has created Trump.

. . .

As for Europe... Europe is further down the road of big lies than we are, and though they’re not as active in social media, they’re getting there.  And the lies they’ve been told are so humongous that it amounts to their elites being at war with their people.

If they’re lucky — very very lucky — there will be one big convulsion, and then things will right themselves, more or less.

The chances of this diminish the longer it takes, the greater the outrage builds, and the more the backlash potential grows.

If the backlash is only against their elites, it won’t be so bad.  But I’m afraid when the backlash comes it will be opposite day.  All the things the elites have tried to sell them on will turn on their head.  There will be real sexism and the real racism will swallow up even thoroughly assimilated writers of Turkish origin.

And the rivers of Europe will once more run red with blood.

There's more at the link.

A few weeks earlier, the Mises Institute published an article by Jeff Deist titled 'PC Is About Control, Not Etiquette'.  Here's an excerpt.  Again, bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Political correctness is the conscious, designed manipulation of language intended to change the way people speak, write, think, feel, and act, in furtherance of an agenda.

PC is best understood as propaganda, which is how I suggest we approach it. But unlike propaganda, which historically has been used by governments to win favor for a particular campaign or effort, PC is all-encompassing. It seeks nothing less than to mold us into modern versions of Marx’s un-alienated society man, freed of all his bourgeois pretensions and humdrum social conventions.

Like all propaganda, PC fundamentally is a lie. It is about refusing to deal with the underlying nature of reality, in fact attempting to alter that reality by legislative and social fiat. A is no longer A.

. . .

Understand that the PC enforcers are not asking you, they’re not debating you, and they don’t care about your vote. They don’t care whether they can win at the ballot box, or whether they use extralegal means. There are millions of progressives in the US who absolutely would criminalize speech that does not comport with their sense of social justice.

One poll suggests 51 percent of Democrats and 1/3 of all Americans would do just that.

The other side is fighting deliberately and tactically. So realize you’re in a fight, and fight back. Culturally, this really is a matter of life and death.

. . .

PC enforcers seek to divide and atomize us, by class, race, sex, and sexuality. So let’s take them up on it. Let’s bypass the institutions controlled by them in favor of our own. Who says we can’t create our own schools, our own churches, our own media, our own literature, and our own civic and social organizations? Starting from scratch certainly is less daunting than fighting PC on its own turf.

PC is a virus that puts us — liberty loving people — on our heels. When we allow progressives to frame the debate and control the narrative, we lose power over our lives.

. . .

In fact, head Facebook creep Mark Zuckerberg recently was overheard at a UN summit telling Angela Merkel that he would get to work on suppressing Facebook comments by Germans who have the audacity to object to the government’s handling of migrants.

Here’s the Facebook statement:

We are committed to working closely with the German government on this important issue. We think the best solutions to dealing with people who make racist and xenophobic comments can be found when service providers, government, and civil society all work together to address this common challenge.

Chilling, isn’t it? And coming soon to a server near you, unless we all get busy.

Again, more at the link.

Put both articles together, and you have a pretty clear road map of how we got into this mess, why it's persisting, and what might happen if we don't break the shackles of ideological purity and political correctness that others are seeking to impose upon our societies.  It's not a happy thought.

I highly recommend reading both articles in full, thinking about what they say, and then asking ourselves what we can do about it.  It's important.



Jim said...

There's an old curse that states "May you live in interesting times." I'm afraid that times are getting interesting.

shugyosha said...

This links, some, to something I've been thinking on Mediterranean Europe politics, mostly Spain but also some Greece, Italy...

Those countries are all multi-party, something the Italian system explores to rather confusing degree. While the Spanish system DOES favor the two most voted parties in any single election and it used to work rather well, no two parties united hold majority in the current Spanish parliament.

What I've been saying for a while is that the traditional parties, "right" (bullshit) and "left" (ibid), have lost their touch with the street, have become "courtesans" surrounded by the local equivalent of the "Beltway bandits", DC bureaucracies, unelected senior civil service (*)...

As a result, a rehash of the "right" (mostly former members that dressed some of their rethoric in leftish compassionate memes; I'd be okay with that if they hadn't started in my own city and I happened to know how they work) and a bunch of clueless university lefties (that have had, so far, the common sense to join local grassroots successfully but don't seem to gel up properly at a national level) have been eating their votes for breakfast. The "right" wing party was used to get 9-9.5M votes every single election (the "left" managed to mobilize more or less people and so won or lost elections). This time it lost 2M of those. Somehow, people refuse to see it as significant.

And yet, they keep the same discourse. Centralization, presidentialism, and "all's well; this is not the crisis you're looking for". The "left" has some federalists, but they've been historically laughed out (not quite as much these days, but it might be too little, too late). The current king (not yet a year) got himself put FIRST as Captain-General and only later that same day got his job ratified in Parliament. While it doesn't seem people noticed, it's a symptom, and it reflects the way certain basic forms of democracy are no longer followed.

And, while people have trouble getting a job or keeping their houses (I'd have the whole unions' heads in prison for their mismanagement, there), they keep approving compensations for stopped illegal works (Beltway; the approval itself is legally shaky), blaming Catalans for this and that (while the very same actions are approved some hundred Km SW)... While the Constitution "shall not be touched" it gets a hasty reform in summer at the behest of Citizen Merkel.

I do think that this is going to correct itself. The later, the harsher. Some years ago, I went to the Peace Museum in Gernika. Two bits: right and left (Republicans; really) stopped listening to each other; and the current "right" refused to have their opinions reflected in the museum-memorial (as they did in a documentary about Basque terrorism that had everybody else in, including victims).

Just saying. Things will balance. And, like Sarah, I think the later they do, the harsher they will.

Take care.


Retired Mustang said...

I really, really hope things in Europe get better before the greater mass of Europeans have had enough. Europe's ability to lead the world into madness is well documented in history.

Anonymous said...

Sarah is lying to herself.

Both parties in the US cooperated on making certain topics non issues. Huge Immigration to drive down labor costs is just one of those. Another is race, though, to be fair, there is no point in discussing that because there is no fix.