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Mon Aug 28, 2017, 03:38 PM

As VX and sarin are to individuals, the "alt-right" and Putin propaganda are to nations

This is the chemical-esque political warfare we face today...

* Convince people that their best days are already behind them. We see people celebrating the zenith of their collective history as being the time when their ancestors owned other human beings over a century and a half ago. "Make America great again", what? Was it not great already? What happened? What period of time do we need to return to? And Putinist botnets seem to like stories that describe a decline of the US while contrasting it with casting Russia as having fantasy qualities. When people are convinced to glorify the past over the present which is seen as bad and see the future as being an imitation of that past at best, then nothing can really be created, people can not adapt to changes, nothing new happens, there is no change and there is no escape from degradation. Because you might have high hopes for the present and future or you might have a realistic view of it, but you can't have either if you erroneously think the past was a golden age, then this really is a crafty attack on both idealism and realism, so what are we left with? Pessimism. How long can a nation really run on that?

* Create a system of recreational paranoia. Make people afraid of the 'other'. Fear the Muslim. Fear the Jew. Fear the immigrant. Fear the transgender. Fear the 'globalist'. Everyone who is not-you is not your friend is how these forces want you to see the world. This is special to us. We are a nation of 'others'. Different skin colors, different ancestries, different religions, different sexual identities, etc. We are really attacking ourselves when we are convinced that the other people are out to get us, that we can't trust anybody who is not-us. We're also giving up our agency here, we are being told who these 'others' are, they are being set in stone for us, and they are driving us apart. When you give into recreational paranoia, you are also letting someone else ultimately make decisions regarding your freedom of association for you.

* Normalize a lifestyle of omission. There's something called omission bias that is going on here. This is where an inaction that results in the same amount of harm is seen as better or more moral than actually going out and doing an action on somebody that results in that same level of harm. The common reply to the plight of people worried about healthcare, their place in the economy, the rhetoric of radical Trump supporters, or refugees is "Not my problem." Human beings are ultimately, though, a social animal. And if any social animal behaved in the way we see this being normalized with NOT doing something being the way to live, they would be seen as abnormal, maybe their death would be seen as inevitable. Another thing to remember here is that saying, "First they came for...", Niemoller wasn't the one coming for people and he wasn't the one speaking up, so no harm, right? How wrong he was in the end.

* Turn EVERYTHING into a fight. Debate is good, discussion is good. This isn't that. This is turning everything into a pseudo-debate that never ends and where historical facts are up for debate and the qualities of those debating are also seen as fair game too. Everything becomes a bullet point that can have a counteracting bullet point. "Black lives matter" is met with "No, all lives matter." "Nazis are bad" is met with "Well, there are good Nazis too." "But both sides", "fake news" to something you don't like, and blaming the victim. All of the sudden, there becomes no real truth, no objectivity, no shared history, no shared constructing of narratives. Nothing really matters if you can convince a populace of this.

* Turn the social hierarchy into a hyper-reality and then weaponize it against the people. There's a concept called vertical collectivism, emphasize the hierarchy, groups of people are always fighting against each other for a higher spot in society and to make other groups lower than your group. This is turning social dominance orientation and anti-social personality disorder into lifestyles and careers really. Convince the populace that people poorer than them, a different skin color than them, someone with less privilege than them is coming to take their privilege, their jobs, and their lives even and you turn it into an industry, turn it into a media and political force, then national unity becomes a pipe dream as everybody scatters to protect their spot in the social ladder from those they believe are coming to get those spots.

Realize this and spread the word. There is no timeline for this to end, this chemical-esque political warfare will only stop when we cease to exist as a nation or if we destroy these components. Exposing it is the first step to a cure.

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