Monday, February 27, 2023

Mechanisms of Manipulation

Thanks to masterful coordinated messaging (led of course by Carlson), the Right is gradually coming around to a unified pro-Putin, anti-Ukraine stance, even though it's traditionally conservative to be against Russian aggression and tyranny and for freedom.

I see Republican friends gradually swept up by this obviously horrible thinking (not just immoral, but geopolitically disastrous and stupidly counter to American interest). From their individual perspectives, they're experiencing the same dawning sense of savvy they felt when they were instilled with the view of Joe Biden (a nice, moderate, boring old guy as hate-able as Tang) as a corrupt and tyrannical antichrist shortly - mere days, or even hours! - after the election. There's a sense of being clued in. Awakened, if you will.

It's identical to the process by which the Left rolls out its ever-evolving doctrine, e.g. the expanding litany of taboo thought and expression. It's all pliable. It's all "in play". Listen for the signals to stay synchronized to the Movement. Don't be caught out. Don't lose your place in the flock. We're awakening together! It's exciting and dynamic!

Conservatives would insist - and truly believe - they ALWAYS looked up to Putin (who they hated not long ago) in precisely the way liberals would insist they were always for gay marriage (in 2008 Obama deemed it impolitic to support, and in 1998 I didn't hear a single straight liberal take that side). Having shifted, it was ever thus.

Oh, and greetings from sunny Portugal.

I'm equating the highly refined mechanisms coordinating opinions on both Left and Right. I'm not equating the messages currently being instilled by these machines.

The Right is on a disastrous trajectory toward a nihilist, populist, authoritarian death cult, and the Left is not...yet. But we need to recognize and fight the mechanisms themselves (a dose of healthy and intransigent skepticism would be a good start to making ourselves less susceptible to manipulation), and not just the messaging they spew.

Since one of the lingering PTSD tendrils from my Chowhound experience is a compulsion to preempt snark (which sometimes overrides my aversion to litmus testing), for the record: I'm pro gay marriage. Once again, I was drawing a parallel on process and psychology, not on the platforms themselves.

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