Friday, July 7, 2017

2 + 2 = 5

William Briggs wonders if the liberal elite aren't intentionally coercing the population to recite absurdities as a method of mind control. From his recent post Why Are Elites Making Us Say Men Are Women?:
What most don’t grasp is that the elites, most of whom are not men pretending to be married to one another, want you to lie. They do this to show who is in charge. Once everybody accepts the lie about gmarriage, the elites will push on to new territory, as they are doing with men pretending to be women. And after that fiction is commonplace, some new outrage against Truth will take its place, and so on, until the populace it pliant and cowed.

For Heaven’s sake, did anybody not read 1984? What the purpose of torturing Winston to say 2 + 2 = 5? That the Party really believed that mathematical fiction? No! It was to subjugate and for no other reason.
The deliberate approach to forcing party members to believe blatant falsehoods was personified by O'Brien, whose task was to coerce Winston to believe, not just to recite, but to believe the party dogma. Even though Winston's rebellious actions had more than earned him the death penalty, he was kept alive anyway because it was vital to the state that no party member could successfully resist. [On a side note, wouldn't the novel have been very awkward if Winston had committed suicide? It seems there might be room for some fan fiction there: Winston commits suicide and it triggers the downfall of Big Brother.]

Certainly the left want us to recite a slew of absurdities. Do they require that we believe them as well? Recall from the post Religions, Cults, and the Alt Right that the major difference between a religion and a cult is that the religion requires its members to profess logically improbable beliefs for social acceptance, whereas a cult demands purity of belief. Thus, Big Brother is the epitome of a cult, as its primary mission is that all party members fully believe the government propaganda. (But not the commoners; no one cares what they think.) And yet we have O'Brien, the representative of the inner party, who must understand that the party line is bogus by insisting that Winston first believe 4 + 4 = 5, and obvious falsehood, on his way to believing in the party. But how can that be? If the point of the cult is that all members must believe, is it likely that the core of the group doesn't actually believe?

I wager that it's not likely at all. It's certainly possible that a cabal of sociopaths would engineer such a cult, but not that it would maintain itself for very long. I don't think most of the liberal elites are comparable to O'Brien. They might not purely believe the dogma, but they're at least able to convince themselves that they do. Certainly there are sociopaths in the group that are aware they are playing pretend. Hillary Clinton will pretend to believe anything she needs to believe to be in good standing with the most powerful cabal. But generally the intellectual and elite core of the left probably believe in liberalism. Think of people like Saul Alinksy or George Soros. It doesn't seem likely that they've gone to such extremes just to accumulate petty power. Sure, that's probably the subconcious drive, but it's hard to believe that Soros would be orchestrating an open-borders, global communism movement if he didn't truly believe that it was best for the world. In literature the best villains are the ones who we can empathize with, or at least understand. The only other explanation for his actions, rather than him being a cunning but misguided dreamer, is that Christian dogma is accurate and Soros is literally possessed by the demonic powers of Satan.

Rather timely, this showed up on my Reddit feed today.

The relevant quote is:
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Ultimately it doesn't matter whether or not the promoters of liberal nonsense actually believe it. Do we care whether the drug dealer peddling to kids is hooked on the smack himself? No, we don't. We hold him accountable either way. Do we care if adherents to dangerous religions, like radical Islam, actually believe the dogma? No, we are left to deal with them no matter what their level of personal fervor is. Ultimately this post is kind of worthless. Who cares what they really think? The effect of the lies is the same either way, and is no different than any other malignant religion.

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