The deeply unscientific idea that all people are potentially ‘good’ undermines and distorts modern societies. While many conflicts between humans are learned, some are genetic and can not be unlearned. At best they can often (not always) be restrained with continual effort.
With the shelter of the inaccurate pure ‘nurture’ or pure nature, intractable differences in behavior beget intractable differences in opinion. Including in matters of life and death. Like any systemic lie an opportunity for the unscrupulous (and a trap for the unskilled) is presented.
Hegelian dialectic can be used to manipulate voters. Here is how.
1. THE LONG CON (perform infrequently): Two groups of voters who oppose each other on life or death issues are needed. Create a 2 way false dilemma with life and death stakes. The stakes should be real, their opposition to each other (or exclusivity) need not be. You can’t keep a group together on the premise of opposition alone, they must also have their own equally grave identity. One group is for A and against B and the other is for B and against A. Use guilt based on their own culture against them to manage defection rates.
2. REINFORCE CONFLICT: Since most politicians will support either A or B to win the entire voting block, the only group in play are independents. It doesn’t matter who the independents are or how many there are, just that roughly equal parts consider A and B ‘their one issue.’ Ideally A and B should not reflect your meaningful goals.
3. ATTRACT ATTENTION: Independents inherently reject A and B as a valid dilemma, since that’s what makes them independent. Poll independents to find out what their current common desires are. Big events may be needed to quell their typical skepticism of authority.
4. CREATE/ALLOW A STRAWMAN: that wants to take away independent desires. Keep a bullpen of strawmen are always ready. This may take a while as independents are more savoy and will reject a cartoonishly evil strawman. Their motives and their threat must look real. A real but manageable threat is just as effective with less risk of discovery, so if one does arise, allow it.
5. PRESENT THE RINGER: Present the actual target politician or law as a solution to the strawman.
6. PERFORM MAGIC: All magic is distraction or misdirection. The politician(s) will openly advocate for more power in the sectors LEAST important to independents at the time. This needs to be presented as winner take all or a prisoners dilemma. The core idea is if you don’t support the the Ringer, you support the strawman.
7. CONSOLIDATE POWER, REASSESS: ‘Vanquish’ the Strawman. Verify the long con is still viable. Work to preserve it as long as you can, as a new long con may take an entire generation to become stable. If the long con is viable return to #2. If not build a new long con. Return to #1.
8. CONQUEST: Eventually independents will have cycled through the all the powers that matter to you, the would be dictator/oligarch, and the system, their power, and rights will be yours. The entire system will now be pegged at authoritarianism, and left/right swings will be at your discretion.
Voters can beat this slow march to tyranny.
A. NEVER BECOME A SINGLE ISSUE VOTER: (A not B, or B not A). The A/B group (often single issue voters) have NO influence unless extraneous events end the effective dilemma. If you can’t manage this, don’t vote. A vote for externality is a vote for fantasy. Deny the temptation at simplification. Always be an independent. Always have AT LEAST 3 key issues define who and what you will vote for. There are hundreds with life or death stakes, you can find three.
B. REJECT BINARY CHOICES: Always demand a third way. A third bill. A third party. Alternatively, not now, later, is also a third way. Procrastination has power. Deadlock can stall the machine on step #7 IF the strawman is not a real threat. Demand more information. Democracy dies in darkness, sometimes from stalled strawmen who turned out to be a legitimate threat after all. Approval voting can greatly reduce winner take all, gerrymandering, and negative character (potentially strawman) politicking.
C. REJECT CALLS TO AUTHORITY AS VALID ARGUMENT: The purveyor of an argument should have NO bearing on it’s qualities. This is the significance of truths being self evident. This is how power structures are used retain the power stolen from independents.
D. LIMIT TERMS: Maintaining A/B dilemmas and managing the bullpen of strawmen is complex and expensive. The longer the consecutive term, the easier it is to influence and front run social change. An illicit funding channel is most likely to be discovered at it’s onset. Further, the black market to nurture that funding may be complex and fragile. Both short terms and and approval voting create opportunities to add externalalities to defectors hence protecting democracy.
Why this matters now, and hopefully never again.
When number one, or the long con has been damaged or dismantled there is an opportunity to reject the next long con. In my opinion this has happened in 2020. For three generations Americans have fought over two life or death issues in pro-choice/pro-life and right to bear arms/gun control debates. A false dilemma, used for the long con.
Time to form a new debate. A debate to end strawmen. How best to avoid corruption, and how to protect us from economic collapse while reducing it. If we don’t people will react the same way they always have during massive corruption. Folding their arms and sacrificing economy of scale in order to starve the corruption out. Except this time, it all ends in meltdowns of the hundreds of nuclear power plants and the death of the planet.
All people are not good. And you can’t detect who is not with your five senses at a distance.
Time to recognize currency as a human right.