There is a technique in writing that, possibly because I had to do everything wrong before I learned to do it right, took me a long time to understand.
I only understood it when reading it in a mystery. The detective points out that she believed the murderer’s excuse because the murderer had said something about having a bad headache that exactly mimicked the detective’s own bad headaches.
Suddenly I understood. If you want people to believe the most outrageous things, you have to tell them something that is true and that they know is true. This is why the crazier philosophies that sell themselves to humans sell themselves by telling them something that the people know is true.
Communists used to be really good at this. They told people what everyone knew to be true. The Noblemen had it better. And they’d (by and large) had done nothing to deserve it. Or they told them what people wanted to be true: your failure is not your fault, the rich are holding you down. Or a million other such things. And then on top of that they slid the nutcakes: because you can’t trust any other human you can trust the government (which is, of course, composed of angels.) Or if you make the state big enough, it will eventually disappear. (Wait, what?) Or even if you just take other people’s things, you’ll be happy (because no one can take them from you, right?) And of course, a lot of other crazy cakes stuff, including but not limited to that value is created by labor and that things are worth the labor put into them.
No one would believe any of those things undiluted. But they believe them when they’re packaged among homey truths that everyone knows to be true.
In the same way, those people who have puzzled about the rise of Hitler and thought it was all because of that evil patriotism thing can stop puzzling. Yeah, Hitler had a lot of fricking crazy ideas the most normal of which might have been the hollow earth. HOWEVER he packaged it under “Germany was handed a raw deal in WWI” which was true. Whether it was the aggressor or not (it was, but what led there might have happened a million of other ways) it got a raw deal when it came to war’s end and reparations. World War I has been called the war where both sides lost, and to an extent that is right. But only Germany got an outsize punishment. And the German people knew this, so it was easy to slide all the crazy ideas behind the one thing none of the sane people were saying “We were done wrong by.” Note, btw the sane people weren’t saying this because they were afraid of inflaming the German’s people desire for vengeance, and therefore starting the war anew.
Keep that in mind.
There are any number of crazy ideas you can pack behind a sufficiently powerful true one. Truth is good that way. It is so blinding in matching what people see with their own eyes, that it’s impossible not to respond and not to believe all the crazy stuff that goes along with it.
Truth is all the more powerful, when everyone with power and authority has been denying it, and then one person dares tell the truth. Suddenly, the guy on the street who is tired of being told that they are wrong, and that they should believe what they’re told and not what they see with their lying eyes, has someone tell them that what they see is true. And that means that the guy (or gal) on the street anywhere.
The problem is that the age of mass communications, as long as you coordinated the lie between news, entertainment and art/literature, you could convince people of the most outrageous things. Or at least convince all the “educated” and better off people. Mind you, some of those people might still believe their lying eyes, but they won’t/wouldn’t say anything. Because to say anything meant the loss of a social circle and the loss of respectability.
That Heinlein said and I can say as well that anything I ever participated in/was involved in/witnessed that was also reported in Time was misreported to the point that there was no resemblance between it and reality might only be anedacta but when you consider the breadth of experience comprised, it’s also pretty telling.
Enter the internet. Enter social media. Enter blogs. Enter disintermediated news.
Would we ever have known about the events on New Years in Cologne without the new media? I doubt it. Even now, that the same events happened in other cities of Northern Europe is only SLOWLY trickling out.
But it is trickling out. It’s coming out before the eyes of the world. And it can’t be stopped. People were there, and people are talking.
The reactions of not only those in power, but the opinion makers, meanwhile, are completely insane.
One of Germany’s bureaucrats admitted that yes, this was caused by a bunch of unassimilated Arab males, that it was obviously coordinated, but then went on to sneer that it was all somehow the fault of “right wingers.”
What he’s doing makes sense in his world, just like the roll left of magazines and newspapers used to make sense. You do what you have to do to attain the next level of the ladder. And if he came out in public and said there seemed to be a coordinated “rape Jihad” going on without also saying that “racism” or the “right wing” were worse he’d not have a career left. Or at least, not in the short term.
It is rather telling that Germany turned the water cannons and gas on their own nationals protesting rape that they couldn’t be bothered to turn on the people actually doing the rape.
And there is no way to keep the news quiet. There is no way to allow for that uniformity of narrative that — in that past — made the craziest stuff stick.
And the problem is that the German minister was right on both counts. First of all, yep, this obviously was organized across several countries. (The alternative is to assume that whenever sufficient Muslim males are together, at any given time, on a city street, massive rape ensues. And yes, I’ve heard stories, but sorry, not on this scale.) And yes, this obviously will create an opening for the right wing. Here’s the problem, the establishment is misidentifying the right wing or at least the right wing that will cause trouble.
The right wing that will be trouble are not those saying that this is a rape Jihad, that some of the Muslims admitted are trouble, that more effort needs to be made to stop the criminal elements (and send them back, if needed) and to make people who came in understand if they want to stay in Germany they have to assimilate. Despite the cries of the establishment, one of the greatest proponents of assimilation in Germany is Turkish in origin and is one of the people that the sane persons listen to.
No, the problem is THE OTHER right wing, who aren’t actually often “right” in anything but nationalism.
These are the people who, like Hitler, will come in when the sane opposition has been silenced with water cannons and tear gas and tell you a little bit of truth and use that to build their absolutely crazy cakes, outlandish theories on.
We’re seeing this in the United States with Trump. Maybe Trump will turn out (somehow) to be a pragmatic ruler, but make no mistake, he will be a RULER, not a leader, because he has no concept of limits or of individual rights. His concept is of socialism, only more national. But people here are so tired of being told that the United States is the worst thing ever, when they see it isn’t, that they are willing to accept even an outright socialist, if he’ll just assure them they’re not going crazy and they’re not evil for loving their country.
He doesn’t try to get them to believe completely insane and observable lies like that fighting “climate change” is a rebuke to terrorists, or that what we really need to protect ourselves against terrorists is to disarm law abiding citizens. And so Trump, though a lot of his ideas are completely insane, benefits from using truth. At least a little bit of truth. And it’s likely he’ll get elected on the strength of it.
I’ve made my peace with this. By tamping down on everyone sane who tried to point out they were out of control, the left has created Trump. And if they think he’ll deal fairly with them, they haven’t taken the measure of the man. They will not only lose control, but their favorite weapons of control, of calling someone “racist and sexist” and all the other stuff that silenced the reasonable people? That’s done away with. And Trump really only cares about one thing, and that’s Trump, so if being racist or sexist suits him, he’ll do just that. Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, it’s going to be a wild ride.
As for Europe… Europe is further down the road of big lies than we are, and though they’re not as active in social media, they’re getting there. And the lies they’ve been told are so humongous that it amounts to their elites being at war with their people.
If they’re lucky — very very lucky — there will be one big convulsion, and then things will right themselves, more or less.
The chances of this diminish the longer it takes, the greater the outrage builds, and the more the backlash potential grows.
If the backlash is only against their elites, it won’t be so bad. But I’m afraid when the backlash comes it will be opposite day. All the things the elites have tried to sell them on will turn on their head. There will be real sexism and the real racism will swallow up even thoroughly assimilated writers of Turkish origin.
And the rivers of Europe will once more run red with blood.
All for lack of understanding the power of truth, or even what truth is. It is said Queen Marie Antoinette played the farmer in her little Triannon. She would pretend to look after animals, only there was never any of the icky aspects of farm life. Just growing flowers, and petting cute little animals.
At least in Marie Antoinette’s defense, looking after a little farm wasn’t her job. Her job was to look good, smile, and make people adore her, things she did pretty well until the pamphleteers and propagandists decided to create a horrible image of her.
But our elites, alas, those misguided would be aristos, are bad at their actual job. They are fourth generation progressives, you see, and were taught to see everything in terms of Hegelian dialectic, a system that works perfectly well inside itself, but always fails in terms of the real world.
Our aristos couldn’t find the truth with two hands and a seeing eye dog. They are playing at being “leaders of men” and “opinion makers’ without realizing that their own little Trianons are increasingly more divorced from reality.
Truth and reality can’t be kept at bay forever.
And what can’t go on won’t.