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By Sivad
#15012132
One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda. Another is that they're the commissars. They have jobs as agents of propaganda, and they believe it. By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share their interests and perceptions. — Noam Chomsky

"Very Serious People" is a mocking title given to "inside the Beltway"[2] pundits whose views remain "respectable" among centrist politicians despite either:

a)being dishonest and self-serving,
b)presenting facile "common sense" analyses as Great Wisdom, and
c)consistently getting political predictions or policy recommendations wrong.



They identify with Northeastern, upper middle class, respectable person values and culture to a man, regardless of original background. Public policy discussions are filtered via a parochial, gated community lens.


They are reluctant to identify their exact politics, but if they do, they usually identify themselves as something uncontroversial such as being "moderately liberal", "moderately conservative,", "center-left", "center-right", a "traditionalist," or as being a "responsible conservative" or being a "grown up".

They consistently take the moderate positions of their time. Very rarely will an individual Very Serious Person have an opinion that is too far out of the mainstream. This also leads to VSPs being reflexively dismissive of alternate political perspectives, such as libertarianism and socialism, regardless of the truth value of individual claims.

They overemphasize civility and niceness in public discourse. The Tea Party movement and Donald Trump on the right, and the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements on the left, are looked down upon not because of their aims, but because their tactics are too "disruptive" and "mean".

As long as the previous caveat is satisfied, they have a fondness for the style over substance fallacy when evaluating political positions. Bullshit wrapped in a folksy anecdote and a G-rated zinger is more worthy of praise than the sober counter-point.


They get bored examining proxy causes or causal chains with more than two links. They love the abuse of Occam's razor.

They are hegemonic. The government, regardless of ideology, is given the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true of the U.S. military. At the same time, a VSP discounts the competence of a private citizen and the reliability of the private sector.[7]



But most importantly:

They face no punishment, ridicule, or loss of status for incorrect predictions or mistaken opinions, as long as the predictions and opinions were mainstream when they were made.



Typical policies
On economics, they are neoliberals to a man. They are staunch and reflexive supporters of free trade, supporting all trade deals while often not going into detail about why they actually support them beyond "just because". This includes hardline support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and dismissal of anybody (even actual economists) who disagrees. The European Union and NAFTA are sacrosanct and must never be questioned, and as such, they are very hostile to Euroskepticism and the Brexit, which they blame on ignorance and consider blasphemy of the worst order. This is coupled with deficit hawkery, placing an emphasis on budget deficits and "fiscal responsibility" over and beyond what both left-wing and right-wing economists do. They led the call for austerity in the face of the Great Recession, arguing that countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal should be forced to impose large budget cuts or else face sanctions. They love the International Monetary Fund keeping the world on the hook with insupportable debt, and call it democracy.

On foreign policy, they are neoconservatives to a man. They enthusiastically support wars, (especially, preventive wars) along with peacekeeping operations and nation building as long as these military operations aren't too bloody. American VSPs are big into American exceptionalism, while their British counterparts are fans of "whig history", both viewpoints that, in the 1990s and 2000s, led to support for a neoconservative policy of "spreading democracy".

While Very Serious People are mostly harmless insofar that they allow the country they reside in to bumble along inefficiently, the insistence on respectability and consensus over the more important concern of being correct can have disastrous consequences.


That said, the existence and historical failures of Very Serious People should not be evidence of useful idiots propping up some sinister government agenda. Rather, it's a result of insular groupthink and the need to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. Very Serious People have existed throughout history. The truth hurts and confrontation is offensive, but pablum is a warm puppy. Paul Krugman also refers to this as "Serious Person Syndrome," which states "it’s better to have been conventionally wrong than unconventionally right."
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By Drlee
#15012144
Now Sivad. You will see it is me and immediately go full out hair on fire. Try not to do that if you really want to debate these points. I agree with some things you posted but find others either and oversimplification or an attempt to explain the lack of support for more outlandish ideas on the part of what you decided not to call the mainstream.

One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda. Another is that they're the commissars. They have jobs as agents of propaganda, and they believe it. By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share their interests and perceptions. — Noam Chomsky


I do not agree with Chomsky here. I do not believe that propaganda works better on the educated than the uneducated. One only needs offer Trump and we can see it does not hold water. Chomsky seems to be in defense of his position and labeling all who disagree as propagandists. For example. If a doctor does not believe that a fetus is a person is he is a propagandist for the prevailing medical communities opinion or is he simply stating what he believes to be a fact? Chomsky (who I have met and admire by the way) often does this. I believe it comes from his frustration with others disagreeing with what seems so obvious to him. And if they rise in opposition to his ideas, he labels them propagandists. This is not entirely untrue when we are discussion countervailing opinions on complex subjects but it applies both ways. I like what Buckley said:

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”


"Very Serious People" is a mocking title given to "inside the Beltway"[2] pundits whose views remain "respectable" among centrist politicians despite either:

a)being dishonest and self-serving,
b)presenting facile "common sense" analyses as Great Wisdom, and
c)consistently getting political predictions or policy recommendations wrong.


I fault Paul Krugman for giving this meme legs. It is, in itself, an attempt to fence traditional conservatives and write off their position as all of the above. Why? because they are traditional conservatives and the only conservatives who offer cogent arguments against some of his opinions. He is disdainful of the traditional conservative's embracing (again Buckley) their role of "standing athwart history and shouting stop". (More about this later.)

They identify with Northeastern, upper middle class, respectable person values and culture to a man, regardless of original background. Public policy discussions are filtered via a parochial, gated community lens.


I was tempted to just post "nonsense". Better to assert that this is just another divide and conquer tool. Sam Walton (born to a farmer) and the founder of Walmart was far the from eastern upper-class but that was the playing field onto which he was to play. And he succeeded. So do myriad others. But look at what is in that sentence above. What are "upper middle class values and how do they differ from lower class values? I would tell you not much. What is "upper middle class culture" and how does it differ from that of the rest of society? Does he really mean a different "culture" or is he making a distinction without a difference? I would assert the later. Are there differences between upper class and lower class behaviors? Sure. But they are not major ones. They are behaviors, not an entire "culture" in need of such a sweeping term. He uses the term "parochial". That would certainly not apply to the movers and shakers of today. They are almost to the man the opposite of that.

They are reluctant to identify their exact politics, but if they do, they usually identify themselves as something uncontroversial such as being "moderately liberal", "moderately conservative,", "center-left", "center-right", a "traditionalist," or as being a "responsible conservative" or being a "grown up".


And here is another mistake but it is an easy one to foist on others. The truth of this statement only applies in a world of stark differences and enforced parochialism. The terms "liberal" and "conservative" today, rather than having lost their meaning have come to mean rigid orthodoxy to a set of rules defining each club. Indeed the author of this statement relies on the rules to condemn others who attempt to be something else. And that something else was what just about everyone was as recently as 30 years ago. Indeed it is what the majority of people are today. They simply do not have a unified voice.

So I would maintain that the folks described above represent the truly unrepresented in the country. Ironically they are the people who moderate republicans (the one or two who remain) and most democrats look to for votes. And then run away from as quickly as possible.

But look at the terms used. What does "traditionalist" actually mean? The devil is in the details.

They overemphasize civility and niceness in public discourse. The Tea Party movement and Donald Trump on the right, and the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements on the left, are looked down upon not because of their aims, but because their tactics are too "disruptive" and "mean".


False equivalence much? The Tea Party and Donald Trump are not counterbalanced by either of the others. They are not the same thing. The Tea Party Movement is an arm of the republican party and Trump the party's standard bearer. The Occupy Wall Street folks would blanch at the very notion that they are democrats and the party would reject them out of hand. Black Lives Matter is something quite "else" and it even defies the label "left". It is not "left of center" to believe that the cops should not shoot innocent people and to proclaim it such is a typical tactic of the far right.

They love the abuse of Occam's razor.


Abuse of Occom's razor? :lol: Really?

They face no punishment, ridicule, or loss of status for incorrect predictions or mistaken opinions, as long as the predictions and opinions were mainstream when they were made.


And who else does? Besides. What does this mean anyway? Is there some imperative for the center to "get it right all of the time" while the fringes are absolved of this responsibility? Or is this just frustration with people deciding that "it" is not so bad for me the way "it" is so lets not risk breaking "it" until we are certain of the correctness of our course.

We see a great example of this in health care. Everyone knows that our (US) system is broke. It under serves and over charges. But the majority of people have "enough health care for now" and are wary of sweeping changes even when they can see the advantages of those changes for others. (And are in denial that they may ever be one of the others.)

On economics, they are neoliberals to a man. They are staunch and reflexive supporters of free trade, supporting all trade deals while often not going into detail about why they actually support them beyond "just because".


No. This is not true. There was Robust debate about NAFTA. What they are doing is acting from observation. It goes like this: "The US is the largest economy in the world, has a very sizable middle class and fairly well controlled poverty, and the status quo is how we did it. It has served us well for a very long time." Again. This is a completely reasonable position to take.

They are hegemonic. The government, regardless of ideology, is given the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true of the U.S. military. At the same time, a VSP discounts the competence of a private citizen and the reliability of the private sector.


What is true of "the military". The military does not play in US politics save the requirement by pretty much everyone that it remain the most powerful in the world. What is controversial about this?

I would assert that this is the author making inconsistent arguments. On one hand he says that this VSP is "neoliberal to a man" and then says they discount the "reliability of the private sector". Which is it?

The European Union and NAFTA are sacrosanct and must never be questioned, and as such, they are very hostile to Euroskepticism and the Brexit, which they blame on ignorance and consider blasphemy of the worst order.


Nonsense. They simply look at the history of both and conclude that they both work pretty well. Interesting you use Brexit. Recent polls in the UK show that another vote to leave the EU would go down to resounding failure. Why? Because the people have stared over the abyss as one might say? Does this mean the moderates were right from the start and that the UK ought not leave? I think it does but then I understand that Brexit was not born in economics but certainly dies there.

On foreign policy, they are neoconservatives to a man. They enthusiastically support wars, (especially, preventive wars) along with peacekeeping operations and nation building as long as these military operations aren't too bloody.


Nope. Both Trump and Clinton ran on getting us out of wars. There is deep skepticism about the current kerfuffle with Iran. (Though I will admit that in the case of Iran there is little support, right, left or center for too much restraint. Iran is pretty much an "asshole" to beliefs on all sides.)

Paul Krugman also refers to this as "Serious Person Syndrome," which states "it’s better to have been conventionally wrong than unconventionally right."


So is Paul Krugman just frustrated that his ideas are not universally embraced and that the most common argument against some of his untried ideas is simply that they are solutions in search of problems?

I like Krugman but this piece seems a bit frantic. He is little short of a genius if not actually one. But he is looking for some reason that reasonable people do not down hammers and join him on the barricades. Krugman's work has profoundly impressed me and he has defined my opinions on economics for many years. But he is frustrated and not so good at accepting that, for most people, the old adage "if it ain't broke don't break it" is a controlling factor in their world view.
Last edited by Drlee on 15 Jun 2019 18:01, edited 2 times in total.
#15012146
But one problem, what if someone is a product of this upper middle class culture but has completely different politics?

I've never understood the notion that a person must justify their political beliefs along the lines of their background. Just how working class do you have to be in order to be regarded as a true communist, for example?
By Sivad
#15012151
@Drlee is a very serious person.
User avatar
By Hong Wu
#15012152
Sivad wrote:One reason that propaganda often works better on the educated than on the uneducated is that educated people read more, so they receive more propaganda. Another is that they're the commissars. They have jobs as agents of propaganda, and they believe it. By and large, they're part of the privileged elite, and share their interests and perceptions. — Noam Chomsky

"Very Serious People" is a mocking title given to "inside the Beltway"[2] pundits whose views remain "respectable" among centrist politicians despite either:

a)being dishonest and self-serving,
b)presenting facile "common sense" analyses as Great Wisdom, and
c)consistently getting political predictions or policy recommendations wrong.



They identify with Northeastern, upper middle class, respectable person values and culture to a man, regardless of original background. Public policy discussions are filtered via a parochial, gated community lens.


They are reluctant to identify their exact politics, but if they do, they usually identify themselves as something uncontroversial such as being "moderately liberal", "moderately conservative,", "center-left", "center-right", a "traditionalist," or as being a "responsible conservative" or being a "grown up".

They consistently take the moderate positions of their time. Very rarely will an individual Very Serious Person have an opinion that is too far out of the mainstream. This also leads to VSPs being reflexively dismissive of alternate political perspectives, such as libertarianism and socialism, regardless of the truth value of individual claims.

They overemphasize civility and niceness in public discourse. The Tea Party movement and Donald Trump on the right, and the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements on the left, are looked down upon not because of their aims, but because their tactics are too "disruptive" and "mean".

As long as the previous caveat is satisfied, they have a fondness for the style over substance fallacy when evaluating political positions. Bullshit wrapped in a folksy anecdote and a G-rated zinger is more worthy of praise than the sober counter-point.


They get bored examining proxy causes or causal chains with more than two links. They love the abuse of Occam's razor.

They are hegemonic. The government, regardless of ideology, is given the benefit of the doubt. This is especially true of the U.S. military. At the same time, a VSP discounts the competence of a private citizen and the reliability of the private sector.[7]



But most importantly:

They face no punishment, ridicule, or loss of status for incorrect predictions or mistaken opinions, as long as the predictions and opinions were mainstream when they were made.



Typical policies
On economics, they are neoliberals to a man. They are staunch and reflexive supporters of free trade, supporting all trade deals while often not going into detail about why they actually support them beyond "just because". This includes hardline support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and dismissal of anybody (even actual economists) who disagrees. The European Union and NAFTA are sacrosanct and must never be questioned, and as such, they are very hostile to Euroskepticism and the Brexit, which they blame on ignorance and consider blasphemy of the worst order. This is coupled with deficit hawkery, placing an emphasis on budget deficits and "fiscal responsibility" over and beyond what both left-wing and right-wing economists do. They led the call for austerity in the face of the Great Recession, arguing that countries like Greece, Spain, and Portugal should be forced to impose large budget cuts or else face sanctions. They love the International Monetary Fund keeping the world on the hook with insupportable debt, and call it democracy.

On foreign policy, they are neoconservatives to a man. They enthusiastically support wars, (especially, preventive wars) along with peacekeeping operations and nation building as long as these military operations aren't too bloody. American VSPs are big into American exceptionalism, while their British counterparts are fans of "whig history", both viewpoints that, in the 1990s and 2000s, led to support for a neoconservative policy of "spreading democracy".

While Very Serious People are mostly harmless insofar that they allow the country they reside in to bumble along inefficiently, the insistence on respectability and consensus over the more important concern of being correct can have disastrous consequences.


That said, the existence and historical failures of Very Serious People should not be evidence of useful idiots propping up some sinister government agenda. Rather, it's a result of insular groupthink and the need to appeal to as broad of an audience as possible. Very Serious People have existed throughout history. The truth hurts and confrontation is offensive, but pablum is a warm puppy. Paul Krugman also refers to this as "Serious Person Syndrome," which states "it’s better to have been conventionally wrong than unconventionally right."

Chomsky is writing a lot of true things but he has mixed in there the idea that far leftists are the only real people, an idea that can't be taken seriously at this point in history. He is a relic at this point.

Political Interest wrote:But one problem, what if someone is a product of this upper middle class culture but has completely different politics?

I've never understood the notion that a person must justify their political beliefs along the lines of their background. Just how working class do you have to be in order to be regarded as a true communist, for example?

The issue IMHO is that people define others in delusional ways. Can you be an upper middle class communist? Sure. Does it make sense to hate the actual working class and call them the bourgeoisie, while also calling the upper middle class the real proletariat? No.
By Sivad
#15012154
Political Interest wrote:Just how working class do you have to be in order to be regarded as a true communist, for example?


Working class people aren't Marxists, the only people I've known who were into Marx were spoiled little twats from the suburbs.
User avatar
By Drlee
#15012155
But one problem, what if someone is a product of this upper middle class culture but has completely different politics?


True. I offer the Kennedy's as an example in their time. Also the "limousine liberal" the right is so quick to condemn. The author of Social Security was as upper crust as an be.

I've never understood the notion that a person must justify their political beliefs along the lines of their background. Just how working class do you have to be in order to be regarded as a true communist, for example?


Certainly Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov would not qualify today. I doubt he could even get a voice in what little movement there is these days being from a prosperous and educated background.

We live in a country that has a constitution based upon the idea that people will vote in their own enlightened self interest. We are shocked and appalled when they do not do this. What puzzles me is that we are equally shocked and appalled when they do.

@Drlee is a very serious person.


So that is your best shot? Ok.

I think we can see in your response all we need to know about the depth of Krugman's (among others) argument. Let me quote Buckley again because you are the poster child for this comment:

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”


@Hong Wu


The issue IMHO is that people define others in delusional ways.
Normally I would object to the use of the term "delusional" in this context but I think you are about right. Our political definitions have become little less than delusions. The right has completely distorted and unrealistic ideas about what the center and center left believes and the left (to the extent we actually have one in the US) has no clue what the person on the right is thinking. None save some vague horror off its manifestations.)

Working class people aren't Marxists, the only people I've known who were into Marx were spoiled little twats from the suburbs.


What is "working class" and where do they live if not in the suburbs? You are aware that our suburbs are filled with mechanics, retail workers, factory workers and clerks. You are... right?
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By Beren
#15012156
It's a nice gesture by Noam Chomsky, but is it really supposed to be true that I receive more propaganda if I read a lot than those who rather watch TV or YouTube and spend their time on social media do? His self-criticism could have been true in the classic Gutenberg Galaxy perhaps, when being literate was a privilege and propaganda was shared in written form by the written press mostly. However, he may be right that I could be a great commissar/propagandist too. :lol:
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By Drlee
#15012160
@Beren
It's a nice gesture by Noam Chomsky, but is it really supposed to be true that I receive more propaganda if I read a lot than those who rather watch TV or YouTube and spend their time on social media do? His self-criticism could have been true in the classic Gutenberg Galaxy perhaps, when being literate was a privilege and propaganda was shared in written form by the written press mostly.


This is a great point. People today are bombarded by information. Chomsky has constructed some mythical group of people who limit their consumption to scholarly works. Social media, youtube and television ARE the world of ideas today. In some sense the rest is just anachronism. Chomsky may do well to understand that the overwhelming number of people who have ever heard of him or internalized any of his ideas did so though this very media. If he is not assigned in class or introduced on modern media he is certainly unlikely to be found on the back shelf of some dusty book store.
By Sivad
#15012168
Drlee wrote:What is "working class"


The people below the middle class who spend their lives getting systematically fucked over.

and where do they live if not in the suburbs?


Inner cities, trailer parks, and poor rural communities.

You are aware that our suburbs are filled with mechanics, retail workers, factory workers and clerks. You are... right?


:knife: The point I'm making is that Marxism has nothing to do with liberating the working class, it was cooked up by the educated upper middle classes as a way of leveraging the working class against the ruling class so that upper middle could get a bigger piece of the action. Marxism is a fake ideology invented by liberals to break the institutional elitism of 19th century Europe by menacing the ruling class with the threat of an organized insurrection of the working class.

Marx destroyed socialism and was the best friend capitalism could have ever hoped for. If it wasn't for stupid Marxism capitalism would probably have been long dead by now.
#15012169
Drlee wrote:One only needs offer Trump and we can see it does not hold water.

People who have been told that free trade agreements and mass immigration would be good for them have 30 years of experience to tell them otherwise. Inferring that they are stupid or uneducated would in no way change their quite valid experience.

Drlee wrote:For example. If a doctor does not believe that a fetus is a person is he is a propagandist for the prevailing medical communities opinion or is he simply stating what he believes to be a fact?

A "person" is a legal construct. Life is a scientific construct. So he would be conflating two different disciplines here.

Drlee wrote:Are there differences between upper class and lower class behaviors? Sure. But they are not major ones.

Read Charles Murray's "Coming Apart." You could say that staying married isn't a major difference, but statistics show otherwise. You could say that obtaining an advanced skill or an advanced degree is not a major difference, but the difference in lifestyles between the upper and lower class are significant. That they both use toilets, brush their teeth and so forth isn't the defining difference.

Drlee wrote:No. This is not true. There was Robust debate about NAFTA. What they are doing is acting from observation. It goes like this: "The US is the largest economy in the world, has a very sizable middle class and fairly well controlled poverty, and the status quo is how we did it. It has served us well for a very long time." Again. This is a completely reasonable position to take.

In 1994, perhaps. In 2016, not so much. In 1994, even throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, the US experienced pretty ruthless competition from Japan. The term "rust belt" was coined in those times. That's when Billy Joel wrote "Allentown," or when Springsteen wrote "Born in the USA" and "Born to Run."

Drlee wrote:On one hand he says that this VSP is "neoliberal to a man" and then says they discount the "reliability of the private sector". Which is it?

Neoliberal isn't libertarian.

Drlee wrote:Both Trump and Clinton ran on getting us out of wars.

Yes, but Clinton's husband implemented the "regime change" policy for Iraq, and she voted for the war; and later, started campaigning against it, which Robert Gates noted was for purely political reasons. With her ties to the neoliberal/neoconservative cabal, and Clinton's record in places like Libya ("We came, we saw, he died! hahhahaha!"), nobody was fooled.

Hong Wu wrote:Can you be an upper middle class communist? Sure.

Yeah. Vladimir Lenin, for example.

Sivad wrote:Working class people aren't Marxists, the only people I've known who were into Marx were spoiled little twats from the suburbs.

That's largely true in the US.

Limbaugh makes fun of the "concerned," the Union of Concerned Scientists for example. They are very concerned, it seems.
User avatar
By Drlee
#15012172
The point I'm making is that Marxism has nothing to do with liberating the working class, it was cooked up by the educated upper middle classes as a way of leveraging the working class against the ruling class so that upper middle could get a bigger piece of the action.


I will let Potemkin handle this should he come along and feel inclined. Suffice it to say I disagree with your conclusion.
User avatar
By Beren
#15012174
Drlee wrote:Chomsky may do well to understand that the overwhelming number of people who have ever heard of him or internalized any of his ideas did so though this very media. If he is not assigned in class or introduced on modern media he is certainly unlikely to be found on the back shelf of some dusty book store.

I consider this a political statement by Chomsky he made to reach out to the working class, however, instead of praising them for being uneducated like Trump did, he rather criticised the educated like himself. That's why I called it self-criticism and it would have been absolutely normal in the USSR, maybe that's why he mentioned the commissars with a negative spin to distance himself from the Soviet while being so sympathetic to the working class.
#15012177
Beren wrote:I consider this a political statement by Chomsky he made to reach out to the working class, however, instead of praising them for being uneducated like Trump did, he rather criticised the educated like himself. That's why I called it self-criticism and it would have been absolutely normal in the USSR, maybe that's why he mentioned the commissars with a negative spin to distance himself from the Soviet while being so sympathetic to the working class.


Could a man like Chomsky survive under Soviet style socialism?
By Sivad
#15012181
Drlee wrote:I will let Potemkin handle this should he come along and feel inclined. Suffice it to say I disagree with your conclusion.


From what I've seen Potemkin can't even handle freshman philosophy. :knife:

All the anarchists predicted exactly what Marxism was gonna turn into so it's not like it wasn't completely obvious from the beginning. And Marx definitely understood dialectics and class conflict so manipulating a class conflict by forwarding his own opposition would have definitely occurred to him. Lenin flat out said "the best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves."

It's alright though, drlee, I understand that you're a very serious person and the idea that some people understand how social forces work and use that knowledge to game history is just ridiculous to a very serious person such as yourself.




Controlled Opposition: a strategy in which an individual, organization, or movement is covertly controlled or influenced by a 3rd party and the controlled entity’s true purpose is something other than its publicly stated purpose. The controlled entity serves a role of mass deception, surveillance or political/social manipulation. The controlled party is portrayed as being in opposition to the interests of the controlling party.

The purposes of controlled opposition include:
• Coopting or preempting a resistance movement to neutralize the threat that a grassroots movement would pose to an established power structure
• Preempt or neutralize true but negative information by having it be championed in a skewed or stigmatized fashion by a person or group. The truth can be peppered with misinformation or the truth of the message can be neutralized by association due to the extreme, radical, or unpalatable positions held by the controlled entity (person or group) who is disclosing the information or “championing” a position. The stigmatize truth or adulterated truth in turn steers people away from truthful information which would normally cause criticism or a serious backlash against the controlling party
• Hijack the goals and actions of an organization or movement for purposes other than those that were the original intentions of the grassroots movement
• Give the public the false illusion of choice by presenting a political party or organization that superficially speaks to the desires or frustrations of the people but whose actions do not further the stated goals of the organization
• Disinformation or deception of the masses. Steering the masses in the wrong direction or misdirect their energies, beliefs and actions
• Unmask and monitor the true opposition
• Create a chaotic and divisive environment in which the opposition cannot band together and there is general mistrust thereby ensuring that an organized opposition with clear goals and priorities never manifests
• Act in such a way that superficially appears to benefit the opposition, but in truth furthers the ends of the controlling party

The strategy of controlled opposition works best under circumstances in which the masses are gullible, credulous, lack critical thinking and are unable to connect the dots and see how the actions/inaction or manipulation of information from the controlled entity benefit the controlling entity.
#15012194
Beren wrote:I don't think he could survive Stalinism.


Why not? I'm intrigued by this notion, actually.

Please elaborate.
User avatar
By Beren
#15012195
Political Interest wrote:Why not? I'm intrigued by this notion, actually.

Please elaborate.

In my opinion a more adequate question would be whether how he could survive it. He'd be totally unfit for Stalinism as a character, so it would be totally hopeless for him to ever accustom to it. He couldn't even make a good Bolshevik while he also couldn't stop being critical, he would just end up like many others did. Like Bukharin or Trotsky, for example, it wouldn't be anything special.
User avatar
By Drlee
#15012242
It's alright though, drlee, I understand that you're a very serious person and the idea that some people understand how social forces work and use that knowledge to game history is just ridiculous to a very serious person such as yourself.


OK. So we are done here. I have stated my opinion and you have resorted to insult (Potemkin) and myself (VSP). I don't feel any need to explain more. As is usual with your threads you have no intent to discuss or debate. You wish to lecture. Have at it guy.
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By Hong Wu
#15012249
Drlee wrote:Normally I would object to the use of the term "delusional" in this context but I think you are about right. Our political definitions have become little less than delusions. The right has completely distorted and unrealistic ideas about what the center and center left believes and the left (to the extent we actually have one in the US) has no clue what the person on the right is thinking. None save some vague horror off its manifestations.)

Actually, some high profile studies have shown that conservatives can predict how liberals will react to things but that liberals cannot predict how conservatives will react. This is because when a Conservative tries to "think like a Liberal" they just follow their immediate emotional responses, when a Liberal tries to "think like a Conservative" they act out irrational delusions such as a desire to hurt animals or supporting a big corporation for no reason.
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