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Discussion > My thoughts on why they behave as they do

Introduction

A common theme between the various 'leftish' social justice movements is a religious-like
adherence to a set of doctrines which are handed down and never proven. Indeed, like
religion, merely asking for them to be proven, or asking the priests for their proof is
akin to a sort of blashphemy which immediately enrages the faithful.

Pursuasion

During the age of reason, people with a point of view they wished other people to share
and promulgate fell back onto the standard means - namely, conversion by persuasion.

Firstly, you put your thesis out there in some form. Secondly, you invited people to
consume it and try to pick holes in it - you welcomed this interaction, because not only
did it strengthen the thesis when people were unable to disprove it, it was by far the
best way to convince others of its merit. If the thesis survives attack, then you
and the ones you have convinced could rinse and repeat until eventually the thesis
becomes an accepted 'fact'. If the thesis does not survive inspection, or fell apart
under pressure, then it was obviously not as universal as you hoped, and you might slink
back to the drawing board, or become a crank.

Forced Conversion

At some point since the fall of the age of reason, the 'left' have forgotten how to use
the mechanism of persuasion, or abandoned it. Instead they increasingly fall back on
another form of conversion, namely, the forced conversion. It's difficult and lengthy
to convince people to think a certain way, far easier to force them.

The mechanism of duress is 'labelling', which has only become really effective since the
dawn of so-called social media and the rise of identity politics. If you live part, or
all of your life online, then your online environment becomes important to you. This,
unfortunately, leaves you vulnerable to the vagaries of mass interference from the mob.

Non-conformity

In the olden days, if you held a non-conventional view, perhaps your small circle of
friends would laugh at you, but they would otherwise tolerate you. In the mass internet
age, perfect strangers can stumble across your nonsense, and with no attachment to you
or your sensibilities, nor appreciation of you as a rounded character, can draw down
baying mobs of out-of-control hounds to completely destroy your online life, and by
extension, a greater part of your actual life, with zero risk to themselves.

Remember, one of the major evolutionary advantages of being part of a braying mob is
protection from the mob itself. For the weak and stupid, this is an understandable
tactic for survival, and can soon become a form of entertainment for them. The weak
minded make the best type of people to police the new orthodoxy, because they bully
for free and with great vigour.

Generational split

For people who became adult before the internet age, this is perhaps less of a danger.
Whilst we do dabble online, we tend not to make our social or professional lives there.
For a millennial who works, rests and plays within their online footprint, the risk
of nonconformity is great, and even if they secretly hold non-conforming views, they
will neither express nor defend them within their public spaces. Unfortunately, this
makes the voice of the orthodoxy appear even greater when unopposed, so is something
of a vicious circle.

Bundling

Another mechanism common to the new social movement is the idea of 'bundling'. Sets of
beliefs are bundled up for consumption, and are portrayed as more powerful when taken
as a set. An example is the bundling of "veganism/health/green/cycling" - try finding
a typical bearded millennial who only does one of those things, and doesn't do - or
aspire to do - all of them.

It no longer seems possible, for instance, to be right-leaning in politics but be
interested in environmentalism. You cannot be interested in gender equality, without
also becoming a champion for LGBTQX.

Blueprint for humanity

What has developed is almost a blueprint for the perfect millennial human being:

1. Slim to the point of emaciation
2. Vegan or vegetarian
3. Tee-total
4. Health freak
5. Gender-fluid
6. Eco-activist
7. Left-wing
8. Globalist or supra-national

I can't help but feel that this strange confection of hitherto oddball lifestyle choices
is deliberate, or at least a natural destination for the current orthodoxy. Perhaps
it's my age, but they also appear to produce a very dull sort of clone. Intelligence,
a fierce questioning of orthodxy, rebellion in the old punk sense, single-mindedness
for a personal destiny - these all seem to be absent.

Instead what we have is the perfect global consumer - constructed to have not too much of
a resource footprint, not too much brain matter, not too many progeny, faux political
persuasions and no desires other than to trust the overlords have their best interests
at heart.

All the world's a stage

My personal theory (with which I will attempt to persuade you!) is the rise of immersive
media entertainment has been changing the way people think for the last couple of
decades. Movies, games and television shows have perfected the playing of our emotions
and desires, and in doing so have led us to believe that real life is just like the
movies.

In a movie, or any dramatic piece, writers spend a lot of time setting up the players.
Firstly, they make you care about the 'good guys' - usually the main character. Now and
again the writers will show you the main character doing something selfless or noble,
so you know they are the good guys. It's a well know trope. It's fun and dramatic to
show the good guy as somehow weaker or put-upon, because we all like an underdog.

Then they will show you the 'bad guys', you know they are the bad guys because they
are usually white rich old men. This is because it's very difficult to convince a
reader or viewer than someone can be bad for no reason at all - the very best in
literature can do it with a great deal of effort, but for pulpy movies or television,
the shortcut is to presume they are evil because they have a lot of stuff they don't
want to share with anybody. This makes them mean, evil and the bad guys.

And being bad guys, they are monsters. Once someone is a monster, this frees the good
guys to use any and all techniques to defeat them. Good guys don't murder people,
unless they are murdering bad guys. This lets the good guys off the hook. Heroes
are just good guys doing bad things for good reasons, after all.

The narrative

Humans are hard-wired to like narratives. We use them to link together facts in our
ape-brains into memorable stories. In this way we can remember them, and recall them
at a later to extract other salient facts which may have escaped us at the time.
This is a great evolutionary trait to maximise our memories and learning.

Unfortunately, like the man in the moon, this also leads to us seeing narratives where
none exist. For the weak-minded, they see narratives everywhere, thus the rise of
conspiracy theories. It can't just be a set of unrelated or coincidental facts, it
must all join up into a narrative, because that's the way it's meant to be - in the
movies. You don't understand it all at first, but if you wait and carefully join
up all these little beads, you can discover - the truth!

It's tempting, but life is amazingly random. It happens in every movie that all thiose
little unrelated facts you see in the opening hour all tie up nicely in a coherent
whole by the end, but that's because some sweating writer has made it so. In real life,
narratives which explain everything are few and far between. But people want them, for
that sense of brilliant closure that real life lacks.

Infantilisation

So, people think they're living in a movie? Yes, I think they do. We have infantislised
our kids, protected them against harsh realities. We have done this out of love, and
we, for the first generation, have had the resources to do so. We have kept our kids
as children - now we have one or two generations of men-children, who are living in a
fantasy created by movie makers and global companies.

Target acquisition

Firstly, they are the good guys, because they just know it. Nobody actually thinks
they are bad.

The next phase of the movie is target acquisition - you must identify the bad guys. If
you don't have any bad guys in your life (such as middle-class trustafarians with too
much time on their hands) then go for the easy movie targets - rich white old men.
They are everywhere, and are obviously a thoroughly bad lot of fellows.

Next you monsterise them. That allows you to call down the mob on them, to other them.
This is all justifiable, sometimes the hero has to be bad to do good, after all. And
they deserve it, because... well, they are the bad guys. Never do you stop to ask why
they are the bad guys, why do they think that way. That's all too hard, just point me
at the nearest bad guys and I'll get my placard. I trust you.

And then you lose

Unfortunately, life isn't a movie. All these narratives might appeal to the weak-minded
man-child, but they are fantasies, and the parent generation cannot - and more importantly
will not - sustain the cocoon any longer.

What they are laughably describing as the rise of the far-right, is actually a whole
generation of people who do not live in the bubble, coming in to tell them to turn the
TV off. Of course there is a lot of howling and screaming - that's what spoilt kids do.
It's our fault, we pampered and indulged them. But at the end of the day, we are also
saving them from themselves.

Like the screaming child, they don't realise we're doing it out of love. For them.

Jul 19, 2019 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

TBYJ - an interesting read; thank you.

The idea that this is like a religion is one many of us here have made before. It's still apposite, nevertheless, probably more so than ever, in the light of the behaviour of the XR zealots. I'm currently reading Bernard Cornwell's "Fools and Mortals", a novel set around Shakespeare's London in the 1590s, and have just read this, which struck a chord, in view of recent XR-related events:

"The Percies [pursuivants] are the most dangerous of all sinners.....They believe they are doing good...When men do evil and claim that they are doing God's work, then they are at their most dangerous. They are more than dangerous! They are the vilest of sinners."

"The city fathers and the Pursuivants both are Puritans! We can mock them...but they have power now. Their numbers increase.....now the Puritans revile us, they call us the devil's creatures, and they hate us. They hate even their own kind, other Protestants. And they would close your playhouses...they would strip the churches of what small beauty is left in them, and they would make the world drab."

Plus ca change. We have new Puritans now. They hate us, and they would make the world drab.

Jul 19, 2019 at 7:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

It would be good if you could identify "they" in your title, or are you really talking about an assortment or the many? Also your introduction does not really explain what you want to achieve from your post. Nevertheless, I understand the gist of what you are saying.

I have often tried to understand people with whom I disagree. Topical examples are climate change, Brexit and political correctness. As an aside, it seems to me that activists on climate change, remaining in the EU and political correctness tend to be Left leaning and on the other side of the argument from me. Why is that? I find this interesting and want to understand why it is like that.

Taking Brexit as an example, I cannot understand why any Brit would want the UK to take its regulation and laws from an unelected outfit in Brussels and give up control of trade, borders and much else. I do realise that the liberal left see this as sharing sovereignty for the greater good. The balance of common sense seems to be the crux of the matter here.
In my view we are net contributors with little say in anything and the political entity that is in charge is hell bent on creating a federal state using our money. When you add up the democracy arguments alone, the EU is a bad idea.

Again, I understand the Project Fear campaign's impact on business but longer term do we want to be locked inside a federal structure for ever or do we want to be an independent nation making our own laws, controlling our own borders and making our own trade deals? I feel frustrated that perceived personal, short term financial threats perhaps based on propaganda will determine the future sovereignty or vassal status of our country for evermore.

Contrast that with the unselfish sacrifices made by an earlier generation of our ancestors when they gave up their lives for our sovereignty.

There is a summary of a current issue that splits our society deeply. I try but cannot see a basis for reconciling the different views.

Climate change based on flawed models that cannot simulate reality is a similar problem. We could probably agree on a climate sensitivity based on current observational data (leaving aside the manipulation and inadequacies of that). Curry and Lewis (2018) have done just that but instead society prefers an "18 months to save the planet" alarmist nonsense. Where are the climate scientists? Why do they not stand up and condemn this crap? They are clearly not scientists but advocates, activists, beneficiaries and worse.

Let's face it James, we are grumpy old men. But we do have a point.

Just don't get me started on political correctness.

Jul 19, 2019 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Thanks for posting this TBYJ, it was an enjoyable read. I tend to agree with Mark though, plus ca change.

This part brought one of my favourite scenes from "The Young Ones" to mind:


... You don't understand it all at first, but if you wait and carefully join
up all these little beads, you can discover - the truth!

It's tempting, but life is amazingly random.

The scene is where Neil is digging his own grave, longing for something interesting to happen. Underneath him is some king of the underworld equally wishing to meet someone truly boring. Then Neil drops the spade and goes inside.

I've had some amazing coincidences happen in my life, and do wonder at times how many "didn't quite happen" coincidences like Neil's have occurred.

However, James, I would characterise the current mania differently from you. It's not that people think the world should work like the movies, it's that people want the world to be simple enough to understand. That wish drives some people to religion and others to science. In both cases they will be disappointed.

Jul 20, 2019 at 12:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobert Swan

The next phase of the movie is target acquisition - you must identify the bad guys. If you don't have any bad guys in your life then go for the easy targets - minorities, such as immigrants and Moslems. (They don't have to be actual immigrants, second-generation is fine, so long as they are not white.).

They are everywhere, and are obviously a thoroughly bad lot of fellows.
Next you monsterise them. That allows you to call down the mob on them, to 'other' them. Invent myths such as they hate their country, are anti-semitic, or arrived illegally by marrying a family member, no evidence is required, the conservative media echo chamber will ensure the lies circulate.

This is all justifiable, sometimes the hero has to be bad to do good, after all. And they deserve it, because... well, they are the bad guys. Never do you stop to ask why they are the bad guys, why do they think that way. That's all too hard, just point me at the nearest 'progressive' and I'll start my 'Send her back' chant. I trust you.

Jul 20, 2019 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil, not an unreasonable post, IMO.

You demonstrate that people can be brainwashed into all sorts of views (or that they can get there all by themselves, then not accept any alternative views).

Where it gets interesting is when people don't ignore evidence, or form views without evidence, but when instead they disagree about what the evidence means and/or where it takes us.

Jul 20, 2019 at 7:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke, you must keep all your appointments and take your medicines as directed.

Jul 20, 2019 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

Ah, the ad hominems have started.

Jul 20, 2019 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Ah, let’s be the victim shall we?

Invent myths…
Sorry, dude, but you lose your argument there. These are not myths – there are many who despise the country they live in; there are many who are blatantly anti-semitic; there are many who arrive illegally. At least one of the self-acclaimed “victims” of Trump’s tweet fills at least two of those points. Other than that, quite what your argument is really about is not exactly obvious… you’re not trolling are you?

Jul 20, 2019 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

"myths" ? Been to Minnesota recently?

"That allows you to call down the mob on them, to 'other' them."

Tell that to the people of Peterborough. Got themselves a good antisemite.

Omar could easily prove that the allegations against her are false, but she always resorts to "you are racist".

You are consistent in ignoring evidence on this blog.

Not ad hominem. Just good advice.

Jul 20, 2019 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

In the end, "it's all about the Benjamins".

Corbyn would agree.

Ad hominem?

Jul 20, 2019 at 9:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

Phil Clarke -

"The weak
minded make the best type of people to police the new orthodoxy, because they bully
for free and with great vigour."

Phil Clarke??

Jul 20, 2019 at 9:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharly

Here’s someone else talking about the “myths”.

Jul 20, 2019 at 10:44 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Wow, Omar really has you thoroughly triggered.

I've tried following the 'evidence', turned out to be dead links, different people citing the same anonymous and deleted social media posts, unattributed quotes and people drawing ridiculous conclusions from mist. Did I miss anything?

Jul 21, 2019 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

there are many who despise the country they live in; there are many who are blatantly anti-semitic; there are many who arrive illegally. At least one of the self-acclaimed “victims” of Trump’s tweet fills at least two of those points. 

You'll have no trouble in providing some valid examples then.

Jul 21, 2019 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Charming man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Benjamin

Jul 21, 2019 at 10:51 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

There's a story about Lyndon Johnson wanting to start a rumour that a political opponent in a campaign enjoyed carnal relations with farm animals. When his aides objected that this was totally untrue, he said 'Of course, but I just want to hear him deny it'.

The best thing to do with this type of gutter politics is to ignore it.

Jul 21, 2019 at 10:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Phil, why don't you follow your own good advice? Those that inhabit this place have successfully swerved the focus away from Trump's blatant racism and his lies about it, to the locus of his hate - the four coloured Democrat congresswomen. The dripfeed of racist bile is given further impetus.

Jul 21, 2019 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

BigYin. My apologies, I misplaced where I was. I mistakenly thought I was in the Trump thread due largely to Phil Clark's inappropriate intervention here, converting it into a facsimile of that long-running "discussion". I apologize again.

Jul 21, 2019 at 12:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAK

Mr Clarke, it is difficult finding sources that are sufficiently independent for you not to dismiss as “far right” (whatever that might mean) or for others to dismiss as apologists. You only need to read and hear a few news stories that are broadcast to realise that your claim of them being myths is quite blatantly false.

The best I can find that is NOT mainstream media is one that contains a lot of references for you to feast upon. However, I have little doubt you will dismiss it, much as you dismiss Carl Benjamin, despite your earlier whine about ad hominems…. Ho-hum.

There is another, which does reference a few of the mainstream media, though.

Jul 21, 2019 at 1:56 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Oooh, look – rational discussion!

ad hom away!

Jul 21, 2019 at 2:12 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Well, I had in mind an actual example of Omar recently doing or saying something unambiguously Anti-Semitic or that demonstrates her hatred of the USA. Not an opinion piece from American Thinker article that alleges she has done so, but provides no valid examples, instead talking in vague terms about 'tropes, memes, and rhetoric'.

There's a fallacy that runs: because Israel is a (the) Jewish state, any criticism of Israel and its actions is automatically Anti-Semitic. This ain't necessarily so.

You've linked again to video featuring Carl Benjamin. This is the UKIP MEP candidate who was investigated by police after he tweeted to MP Jess Philips I wouldn't even rape you, followed up by There’s been an awful lot of talk about whether I would or wouldn’t rape Jess Phillips. I suppose with enough pressure I might cave, but let’s be honest nobody’s got that much beer.

He gets income from these videos; call it 'dismissal' if you like, but please note I am not going add to the clicks of such a vile misogynistic hater.

Jul 21, 2019 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Ho-hum, indeed....

I don't suppose you have actually watched and/or listened to any of Mr Benjamin's videos, have you? No – you prefer to rely upon the opinions of others, if they are opinions that you agree with, as getting facts might soil your thinking with... well... facts. Ho-hum...

(By the way, I doubt I am the only one to notice your body swerve around the third link provided. Ho-hum…)

Jul 21, 2019 at 4:17 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

You are right, I have not and will not view Benjamin's content for the reason stated. Life is too short to give oxygen to misogynists.

(By the way, I doubt I am the only one to notice your body swerve around the third link provided. Ho-hum…)

Um, your 1:56 post only contained two?. Did you mean the opinion article from USA Today that interpreted Omar's tweets as anti-semitic? I can furnish several similar articles (see some extracts below) that give the opposite opinion.

That's why I used the word 'unambiguous'.

BTW There's more than a hint of a double standard here. Imagine the response if Omar had told a Jewish group that 'You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money', or she had tweeted an opponent's face superimposed on a Star of David and a pile of dollars, or said 'Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day,

But she did not say or do those things, the current American President did.

==============================================================

To be sure, Omar’s comments were not perfect – few people are flawless during unscripted panels or debates. And given the unfair and disproportionate amount of scrutiny she faces, perhaps it would have been wiser to have avoided some of the terms she used – in particular, “allegiance to a foreign country”. But what she said was not antisemitic: on the contrary, the full text of Omar’s remarks shows that she was careful not to conflate the pro-Israel lobby (which is also comprised of non-Jewish evangelical Zionists) or the state of Israel with all Jews, nor did she employ the dual loyalty canard, which asserts that Jews are more loyal to each other (or Israel) than to the countries they live in.

In fact, Omar did not say anything that other critics have not said before: that the pro-Israel lobby enforces rigid support for the increasingly rightwing Israeli government’s policies, and that questioning US support for a government that commits human rights abuses – some of which, the UN recently warned, may be war crimes – should be acceptable if not encouraged. If she were not a black, hijab-wearing Muslim woman, the reaction to her words surely would have been different.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/06/ilhan-omar-weaponisation-of-anti-semitism

I find Omar’s rhetoric tone-deaf, but haven’t seen compelling evidence that she has any real animus toward Jews. The more likely explanation for these statements is that she’s an inexperienced politician who arrived at the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia at age 12 and probably came of age in left-wing circles where vocal opposition to Israel was the norm, and there wasn’t a lot of thought given to words that Jews consider anti-Semitic dog whistles. Once the outrage crested last week, she could have shown a little sensitivity to people’s concerns and backed down. But I have trouble blaming her for not doing so.

From <https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/03/ilhan-omar-israel-jews-anti-semitism-allegiance-dual-loyalty.html>

Jul 21, 2019 at 5:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Mr Clarke: I gave 3 links in 2 posts – do keep up.

As I said, it is difficult to get links to sites that could be described as unbiased; I tried two that seemed reasonable, one because of the many references contained within it, the other for its many quotations from the mainstream media. Obviously, you are not content with that, though you do happily admit that you will not look at evidence if you can get your prejudices confirmed by other people’s opinions. Now we know, and will treat your comments accordingly.

Imagine the response if Omar had told a Jewish group that 'You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money', or she had tweeted an opponent's face superimposed on a Star of David and a pile of dollars, or said 'Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day,

But she did not say or do those things, the current American President did.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, Mr Clarke – where is your evidence?

Oh, and another by-the-way – thank you for confirming TBYJ’s hypothesis!

Jul 21, 2019 at 7:57 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent