Monday, July 25, 2011

A Few Thoughts Regarding Malicious Artistry a.k.a "Terrorists Didn't Kill America, Cowards Did"

After reading the premier posting on the new blog format, I wanted to respond with a few comments. First, I would like to address the utilization of patriotism and threats of terrorism as political tactics. Second, to identify these strategies, define and describe how and why they are used.
Malice illustrates a strategy that Samuel Johnson described as the "last refuge of a scoundrel". Patriotism and nationalistic fervor can be whipped up, stirring the population into a frenzy, and into a situation where the scoundrels must respond with preemptively constructed policies and agendas. Love of one's country itself is not necessarily a bad thing. While personally having grown suspicious of collectivism and witnessed heinous acts resulting from it, a respect and affection for the country where one resides is a type of fabric which founds the current political system, and keeps it and the population held together. No politician could conceivably be elected by a popular vote into office if they did not feign support, fervor and dedication to the system they seek to rule and modify. Where patriotism and nationalism go wrong are in the manner they are utilized by the elite.
Elite businessmen and politicians see patriotism as a means to an end. By catering and pandering to patriotism, people are manipulated into believing that love for ones country and a politicians victory are intertwined. At least this is the case for elections. The far-reaching effects of abusing patriotism and nationalism really become pronounced and malicious when used in the furtherance of predetermined goals. Two classic examples of this, one old, one new, are the experiences of pre-1945 Germany and more recently, the case of the Iraq war. Hitler used scapegoating in the furtherance of his goals, to rise to power, to "lead Germany to prosperity" and to create a racially and ethnically pure society. defines 'scapegoating' as: "a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place". Scapegoating also doubles as a logical fallacy, more on this later. The result of Hitler's fantasy was horrifying, and a perfect case in which nationalistic pleas whipped the populace into a frenzy where their critical thinking was shut down by the mechanics of fear. Malice also touches on this with the focus on terrorism as a second strategy for GOP greatness. This second strategy was enacted perfectly during the W. Bush administration. With 9/11 fresh in the minds of Americans, fear was instilled into the American people, mobile chemical weapons labs come to mind, as well as Yellowcake forgeries. The fear of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons attacks literally just over the horizon were beaten into Americans day after day, U.N. presentation after white house press briefing, ad infinitum. Both of these strategies are a version of appealing to emotions. The point being that when humans become emotional, logical and rational thought processes are interrupted. Fight or flight is by all means a necessary and valuable capability of the human mind. However, in an era where many of early humanity's threats are diminished, television and the polity abuse this ability for their own gain. For Hitler, that gain was power, control, and the institution of wars. For Bush, that gain was power, control, the institution of wars and a whole slew of corporate extortion and exploitation.
In sum, populations must remain vigilant. There are numerous threats abound in the world today, nuclear meltdowns in Japan, environmental destruction worldwide, religious and political struggles and the scourge of terrorism; not the least of which is perpetrated by landless peasants living in caves.

[Thanks goes to and for bringing issues such as these to light and enlightening the masses, FOR FREE. Gnosticmedia has an excellent primer to logical fallacies, and PeaceRevolution provides a fleshed-out context for how rhetoric and fallacious arguments are used by the elite in the furtherance of their goals and exerting mental control on society. Both absolutely worthy sources for learning.]