03 Sep 2019

Behind “the Emperor’s New Clothes,” There’s a Strategy

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Ron Unz (2015):

[A]nother suspicion I’ve often had is that much of that massively-promoted total nonsense like transexualism and Gay Marriage is meant to flush out and expose potential troublemakers potentially lurking within ranks of the elite before they can rise high enough to become a serious problem. In support of this hypothesis, the leading purge victims are usually found within the fields of popular culture, entertainment, celebrity, and the media, which constitute a crucial chokepoint in controlling our society. It’s obviously much easier and safer to detect and purge a future Mel Gibson while he’s just a rising young actor than after he’s spent a dozen years as Hollywood’s #1 star.

Suppose that Kim III officially declares that the Moon is made of blue cheese. Who would question that? Dimwitted people would believe whatever they heard on TeeVee. Cowardly people would just keep quiet or mouth the propaganda. Dishonest, opportunistic people would shout the slogan and endlessly promote it. Those sorts aren’t much threat to the Regime.

On the other hand, a few people might raise questions about the dogma, revealing themselves to be exactly the sort of individuals who might eventually question other, far more serious matters. And purging them on the blue cheese nonsense tends to avoid bringing unwanted attention to those other issues. Furthermore, if some borderline people grit their teeth and publicly endorse the blue cheese question, their spirits may have been partially broken, making it less psychologically likely they’ll eventually rebel over other matters. Towards the end of the USSR almost nobody believed in the regime ideology, but most people still pretended they did.

I think Orwell made some of these points in 1984.

So the reason the King walks down the street naked in his imaginary suit is to draw out and catch those people unwilling to say they see what isn’t there.

In an actual historical example, the Emperor Caligula appointed his favorite horse to the highest official government position in the Roman State. How better to break the spirit of potentially disloyal Senators and military commanders, and determine which of them might have independent thoughts.

This sort of system tends to be metastable, holding together until sufficient pressure causes a crack to develop, at which point the entire edifice collapses, possibly in very messy ways. Eventually Caligula and almost all of his relatives were butchered in a revolt by the top imperial courtiers and the palace guard.

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Dalrymple, in 2005, similarly observed:

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.

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2 Feedbacks on "Behind “the Emperor’s New Clothes,” There’s a Strategy"

Schill McGuffin

I think the recent “Bioleninism” piece is a better summation of the Left’s motives — These delusions are cultivated because they create a class of foot-soldiers trading fanatic loyalty in exchange for empowerment.

These two observations sum up what I think is the means, rather than the motive — They “gaslight” their way to power with “expert” pronouncements and the impassioned pleas of troubled people. The desire to avoid social confrontation is one of the traits that keeps societies together, and the left has learned that once you’ve gotten people to agree to “reasonable accommodations”, the camel’s nose is under the tent, and you can ratchet up your demands more-or-less indefinitely.

Indeed, they can even make unreasonable demands, which serve to rally their footsoldiers, while simultaneously serving as the “bad cop” approach to make their lesser demands seem more reasonable.



SorenK

The undergraduate federal student loan program allows students to borrow over 4 years a total of $27,000. Loan repayment plans are 10 years to 25 years. On a 10 year amort at 5% that’s a payment of $286 per month. Not fun, but drive a used car, drink Maxwell house, live within your means, have a 3 year old android phone, skip Starbucks and the first run movies and it can be done.



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