propagandistic praxis

the lifecycle of lies, through gaslighting, and on to acculturation

tales from the little red cat box:

i was having a conversation with longstanding gatopal™ @elonbachman yesterday about what can be essentially termed as:

propagandistic praxis, the process by which lies about unpopular ideas are used to to make them seem unworrying and lead to their being ignored until they are already so widespread that you can claim they are normal, common, and even beneficial.

it’s the meme equivalent of tricking your immune system into not seeing a virus, not reacting to a virus, and then, once it is overrun, embracing the virus as a form of new normal.

it seems to run in the same 4 stages: (where X is an objectionable idea)

  1. we are not going to do X

  2. we are not doing X

  3. we are doing X but only a little and only for some specific reason

  4. we have always done X because X is good.

once you see this construction as an abstract, you’ll see it everywhere in practice.

  • there is not going to be inflation

  • there is no inflation

  • there is some inflation, but it’s transitory and only in a few goods.

  • this is the good kind of inflation!

or perhaps:

  • no one will tell schools to teach critical race theory

  • schools are not teaching CRT

  • schools are teaching some CRT, but it’s important to see these perspectives

  • CRT is the backbone of vital social justice education and historical context!

it’s not that dissimilar from the classic clinton quagmire defense of “deny, deny, deny, it’s old news” except that this structure can be used more proactively and pre-emptively.

it works in the obverse as well.

  • vaccines will stop the covid pandemic because the vaxxed cannot get or spread covid.

  • vaccines ARE stopping the covid pandemic.

  • there are some breakthrough cases in the vaccinated

  • those with 2 doses are no longer vaxxed, you’re going to need 3, just like we always said you would.

that last part is the orwellian revisionist history play.

control the past, control the future.

control the present, control the past.

this starts to look a bit more like what investment bankers call the “sun, the moon, and the stars pitch.”

to get you to hire them and sign the engagement letter, they promise you the sun, the moon, and the stars.

once you’re locked in, they walk you ways down the road and say “hey, you know what, i think it’s only the sun and the moon. we cannot get you the stars.” and you think “OK, that’s still pretty good!” and you keep walking.

then, it’s “sorry, it’s just the moon, no sun.” but you’ve come a long way by now, the sunk cost fallacy sinks in, and so you accede.

then, it’s yeah, no moon either, here’s whatever we can scrabble together… and by then you’re too tired and demoralized to fight it.

it LOOKS like an accident, but it is, in fact, a type of pitch so deliberate and so contrived that is actually has a name. they teach it.

guess which stage we’re currently reaching?

2020 was “you need to do these painful things until we get a vaccine.”

2021 was “the vaccine is here you can rejoice”

but that didn’t last long, did it? masks came RIGHT back. (then they went to “we should always have used masks. masks are good…) breakthroughs started rapidly. soon it was “you need to get vaxxed AND keep restrictions.”

then it was we’re not going to mandate boosters.

now they are clearly about to. it’s already starting.

it’s “just for some people.”

see the pattern? i mean, it’s already spurting out into 4th boosters.

anyone want to bet that 2022 is not the year they start trying to make endless boosters an annual or even a semi-annual requirement to be “fully vaxxed”?

because they will unless they get stopped.

this propaganda playbook runs like clockwork and it’s as easy to predict as the arrival of swiss trains once you see the structure and the erasure of history (or even its seasonal inversion) is just another part of the structure.

every summer, there is no covid seasonality by region. every winter, there is.

predictable as a lunar eclipse.

understanding the game that’s being played is half the battle in terms of of not being caught up in and fooled by it.

it’s also a great way to shout out the coming moves the propogandists will undertake which, in turn, diminishes their credibility and enhances yours.

lots of us were saying all summer that the seasons would flip and covid would move north and that when it did, this winter would be as bad or worse than last winter despite all the vaccination.

many tried to claim otherwise. now they are out on a limb.

the pivot from “we have this handled” to “you need forever boosters” will leave already torn credulity in tatters.

you can only run this trick so many times before the audience cottons on.

help it along. find pieces and tear. dig out the past pronouncements where people said outlandish and dishonest things then immediately went back on them.

this is the internet age and this medium has a memory like no other.

do not let history be picked apart and re-written.

make the past accurate again.

here, i’ll start: