So, this week I was looking through the Ravencon draft program for things I’d like to do and ran into some lovely examples of how the “Big Lie” affects people. Seriously, if you get a near-unison chorus that says something for long enough and says it loud enough it bypasses the ability to reason and becomes common knowledge – which unlike common sense is distressingly common, but involves precious little actual knowledge.
Sarah has called it drinking one’s own ink. I’ve also seen/heard it called drinking the koolaid (a phrase I tend not to use quite so often as a friend of mine lost a good friend of his to Jonestown and that phrase is something of a trigger point with him). It’s a bit like sniffing your own gas and thinking it smells nice (and trust me, you do not want me giving you any of the Australian versions of the concept).
The number of otherwise intelligent, more-or-less politically neutral (damn you, Freud, I really did not need to undo typing “neuter” there) people I’ve seen mindlessly spouting Social Justice Whiner talking points (“the left is all about tolerance and inclusiveness and and and and” – yeah, right. Unless you don’t think like them) and completely incapable of moving past them is astonishing.
Worse, despite the preponderance of evidence, said people refuse to even consider that those of us who speak against the propaganda channels might have a point. The polite ones can’t seem to see that what they’re saying is self-contradictory at best, and the others, well… I generally just ignore the not-polite ones. I can spew four-letter profanities with the best of them: I don’t need lessons in how to use the word “fuck” as noun, verb, adjective, adverb, conjunction, and punctuation (as well as miscellaneous other grammatical constructions). They’re boring.
Anyway. The point here is that those of you who haven’t started to question everything especially what comes from those in power should do so. You should look to who stands to gain from what. And then when writing, you can construct marvelously twisted chains of disinformation in what you write. After all, when every official source of information is telling you it’s never been better than this, and you can clearly remember it being much better but nobody will agree with you, maybe your memory isn’t right.
Soon enough, most people will follow the group and remember that yes, it used to be much worse – and they’ll never realize that the history they’re so invested in is completely false.
One day I’ll point out to some of those who’ve been so thoroughly hoodwinked that they’ve fallen to techniques that aren’t even as sophisticated as the ones the Nazis used to keep most of the German population in line. That’s right. By comparison, Communist propaganda is crude stuff, and Social Justice Whining even cruder. The best examples (in terms of skill – and you have to be damn careful watching/reading because they work so well) include all the accusations and questions that the oddlings like me and my fellow Mad Geniuses are posing, and make sure that whoever gives the answers to them is a sympathetic person – who they have even characterized as being troubled by either the accusations/questions or the truths behind them.
Someone has to do this, because if you don’t know how propaganda works, you will fall for the Big Lie. Even if you do know, enough repetition can slip it past your conscious defenses and embed it in your subconscious – which if anyone is ever writing about cult action or deprogramming is a useful little bit of knowledge.
So, go forth and question everything. Even me. I might eventually get back to you on it.
p.s. Apologies for the lack of responses to last week – I’ve had a pile of domestic issues, my mother in hospital, and of course the usual work is eating my soul deal. I’m convinced any non-trivial piece of software is in reality a portal to the Great Old Ones.