One of the most impressive coups the elites have pulled over the last few decades is making people think they’re intelligent simply for submitting to authority. This can be seen in the realms of politics and society but more notably (especially recently), in the realm of science.
The formula itself is quite simple though the methods are much more sophisticated. On any issue, you choose the most extreme position that stands in opposition to what you want and always bring this up in debate or when compelled to mention opposition. In logic, this is quite similar to the “straw man” which is exaggerating your opponents position. So the set-up in basically that you either agree with your reasonable position or you are on the same side as all those crazy guys.
Following this, you ignore all moderate or reasonable people holding a similar position; or failing that, shamelessly lump them in the extreme position without allowing any right of reply. In doing this, enough of the general public believes that by opposing this extreme position that they are being, sensible and intelligent and as a result are also inclined to dismiss the more reasonable voices as well. Many people in opposition are also disinclined to offer more than a lukewarm dissent on the matter.
With media limited to very few powerful corporations and organisations, this has been the practice for a long time though the Internet had started to put an end to this until relatively recently. This was until the same organisations began clamping down and deliberately limiting information available to others as I have documented before.
What follows are multiple examples of this in practice.
Homosexual “Rights” and the Westboro Baptist Church
This is one of the earliest that I recall and I believe this goes all the way back to the 1990s. I first recall seeing them on Michael Moore’s short-lived The Awful Truth television show. This church was notorious for a website called “God Hates F*gs” and for protest signs saying much the same thing. There is good reason to suspect that the existence of the church and their website was a false-flag or some type of psy-op. But even assuming they were legitimate, why was this church so often brought up in debates?
This was one tiny church in a small part of America and its beliefs and methods were far outside of mainstream Protestant churches — let alone Catholicism. These churches do (or at least did), teach that sodomy is sinful — as are all sexual relations outside of marriage. This position that twenty years ago could be agreed on by almost every Christian church, was very rarely heard in mainstream media. Claims of bigotry and intolerance were not uncommon and the majority of the public in most Western nations was brought about with astonishing rapidity. There are virtually no mainstream journalists or commentators that still oppose any of this, even as the activists have rushed down the slippery slope and are now aggressively attempting to normalise pedophilia.
UPDATE (09/06/21): I have to link to this interview that Milo did with a member of the Westboro Baptist Church that had me re-thinking what I wrote here. I have to say, the woman did not strike me as a crank in any way. It seems even I’ve been unfair to them. My point about focusing on the most outrageous example stands, but I’d sooner side with this church than any of their detractors.
Nationalism and Neo-Nazis/Ku Klux Klan
The right of a country to police its borders and control immigration has not been controversial for most of human history. That a nation should seek also to maintain its ethnic make-up and culture was similarly uncontroversial. For most of my life though, this has been unthinkable and certainly seldom heard in the mainstream except in preface to strong condemnation. Hitler was a nationalist so if you are a nationalist, you must be a Nazi like Hitler. The mirage that is the KKK is also not far behind, especially if you want to criticise any aspect of the civil rights movement. The actual members of the KKK still around today would probably have similar numbers to the congregation of the Westboro Church but that has never stopped the media. I am sure there are literal (in the proper sense of the word), Neo-Nazis about the place but most seemed to be confined to the Internet and many of them are probably just LARPers. Regardless, both groups are tiny and politically impotent.
This hasn’t stopped them being endlessly brought up should anyone question the mass migration that has continued to accelerate in Western countries since the 1960s. It doesn’t matter how presentable you are, how clear and specific your arguments: if you aren’t on board with migration, you are probably one of the two virtually non-existent boogie-men listed above. Holding even what could once be termed moderate positions on immigration will keep you out of all mainstream right-wing circles and it should go without saying you are an anathema to the left.
Almost every white person in the western world is now terrified of being called a racist and are often reluctant to say anything bad about immigration. A large part of Trump’s success in 2016 came from him directly addressing the previously unspeakable publicly which showed that there was still strong feeling on the issue.
Anti-Zionism = Antisemitism
This will be a short one because it is similar to the last. The only interesting aspect of this is the way this is something tightly controlled by both left-wing and right-wing media organisations. If you publicly question the state of Israel, the occupation of Palestinian land you are likely to be called an antisemite at some point. If you notice that there are a demographically disproportionate number of people of Jewish descent in Hollywood, media and finance you will be called an antisemitic. Sometimes, even if you don’t specifically mention Jews at all but attack something they value, you will be called antisemitic. And unless you are going to stick to talking about how awful the Holocaust was, it is best not mentioning that at all. As with what has already been mentioned, it is getting increasingly easy to be accused of antisemitism.
The result is the same and that is that very reasonable questions on the subject are seldom heard publicly. When they rarely are, there is usually a barrage of criticism followed by a pathetic apology by the malefactor. With this particular issue, the risk is so career-threatening to public figures that I am certain the official story is far from the truth though I can’t claim to know for sure where the truth actually lies.
Evolution and Creationism
This is also an older one but it is still common. The dichotomy in this case is between people who fully accept the theory of evolution and young-Earth Creationists who only accept the Biblical tale. Once again we have two choices and only one won’t result in ridicule. I have recently become a Darwinian skeptic but I would not now describe myself as a “Creationist” unless that is taken to mean that God created the world without the baggage. I do believe that. Actually, I also take seriously every single book at the Bible while departing on matters of exegesis from the Christians people like Richard Dawkins have chosen as their straw men.
It wouldn’t really matter if I wasn’t Christian at all though as I can still see plenty of reasons why someone might question the theory of Evolution. Yet, more often than not, I see sincere questions mocked or dismissed. Sometimes they’re answered but there often seems to be a bothered tone in those that take the time to do it — like they’d finished sweeping but forgotten the corners and felt compelled to be thorough.
Evolution is called scientific but in many ways it isn’t. For some examples, I can accept the laws of gravity because I can test them and perhaps more importantly, am very reluctant to test them with my life. I trust the plane I’m getting on will fly. I can see how I have inherited and passed on my genes. I can see chemical reactions. But I’ve never seen and can’t see one organism evolve into a completely different one. I also have never seen anything come from nothing. Those two facts alone give’s me enough reason to at least allow that the theory of evolution is open to question.
Ant-Vaxxers/Big Pharma Critics
This is really the issue that gave me inspiration to write this. Vaccination skeptics have been around for a good while and I used to be firmly pro-vaccination but I have had cause — especially recently, to question this. The problem is the same in that everyone who asks questions about vaccines in any way is considered an anti-vaxxer. The problem with this of course is that if you have lived in different parts of the world as I have, you would know that vaccination schedules differ. The Japanese for example, are not required to get Hepatitis B vaccines and I have never had it adequately explained why Australians should need it either. The US schedules look larger than both so one has to ask, why there is a problem with questioning any of this?
I don’t see any reason to believe that all of the vaccines currently prescribed in many countries can’t be questioned. I also find it odd that those normally skeptical of corporate greed have nothing to say when it comes to pharmaceutical companies. It is hard not to believe that for profit alone they’re not finding problems to solve or even solving problems not there. And that is without getting into more nefarious possibilities.
As I write there is a lot of talk about vaccinations and there is no evidence at all that any vaccination is necessary for the average, healthy person. The longer this nonsense goes on in fact, the more inclined I am to believe the more outlandish conspiracy theories.
With all of these examples you have the other side on an issue portrayed in its most extreme form with little room for nuance. What all of these have in common is the average person is pushed into taking the side that the authority wants without having to do much thinking about it. Despite the total lack of intellectual work needed to arrive a the conclusion, they are made to feel smart about it. This is particularly true of science where someone is able to say “I f*cking love science!” or call someone anti-science without themselves knowing anything about it. In the socio-political arena, the same people are able to dismiss people as bigots or racists for asking real questions that weren’t controversial less than a lifetime ago.
I might disagree or agree with someone on aspects of all of the above examples but I won’t be inclined to think they’re stupid if I think they’re wrong unless they are actually stupid. Stupid people can be completely right and intelligent people are notorious for the stupid things they believe. What is dangerous is making people prideful for simply believing what an authority has said.