Distorted sense of reality and the heavy disadvantages of extremism

This is going to be a quick post with a lot of quotes.

What is this about?

In short

Fuck you, European/American society. You have no right to claim to be civilized.

Your behavioral patterns are primitive, destructive, toxic and incredibly uncivilized. In 2000 years you have not advanced.

Fuck you. Fuck you and fuck you.

A bit more elaborate

Maybe you noticed how things are around you and how your freedom is slowly reduced in places no reduction is needed. How “the need” for “protection” is sold to and fought against by our governments.

We “western” people tend to look at the rest of the world with a bit of disdain and a sense of superiority.

Reading Wikipedia […] Western culture is the set of literary, scientific, political, artistic and philosophical principles that set it apart from other civilizations.

From a crackpot site: the Western civilization of science, reason and democracy is superior to all others.

From a book-description we learn that: we believe in a Western tradition of freedom that has produced a fulfilling existence for many millions of people and a culture of enormous depth and creative power.

“Look how awesome we are”

In short: “look how awesome we are”.

We love to see ourselves as shining beacons of freedom and democracy compared to the rest of the world. All the other places are uncivilized, unfree, exploited, oppressed and plagued by with backwards and abusive religions.

Unfortunately for the poor European/American population, this is very much a description of ourselves.

The big denial

As a population we have to stop our hypocrisy to claim qualities we do not possess and assume “the others” are our rotten counterparts.

We are like heroine-addicts pointing at alcoholics saying: “they are worse”.

This denial is deeply damaging. It leads backwards instead of forwards. It leads to things getting worse instead of things improving.

Distorting reality

Instead of “seeking truth” most popular media just seeks extremes to mine for emotional responses by the audience. Just enough to bind them for the next and the next and the next doctored “scandal”.

What we think we see around us does not reflect reality. What happens in our brains is mostly triggered and trained responses. Reflexes to what other people have told us to be “true”.

We are the diluted and the misguided, not the scientific, nor the free.

Extremism

Extremists have a view on the world that borders the irrational and usually involves people and groups of people they feel hate against. This can be religious groups, people with a specific way of life or a specific sexual preference.

Using social engineering that hate can become contagious. If and when you are able to isolate people and feed them with your specific world-view, that world-view will become “reality” for them too. Tools are: hate speeches, saturation of media-expressions with a very singular polarized image of specific groups and specific people.

Media saturation with one-sided messages

One example of this kind of saturation is the American Fox news:

One month after launching a jaw-dropping campaign of racial discord and warning of a looming, Obama-led “race war,” Fox News and the far-right media have turned the page of the hate hymnal and embraced a new enemy: Muslims.

Yes, the bigotry is off the charts. Yes, the purposeful misinformation is almost too plentiful to catalog. And yes, once the again the mainstream press remains mostly mum about the upsetting spectacle being played out for all to see.

Fox News is not the only one. European media, in milder forms, tends to focus on Euro-centric imaging and a kind of “it might be bad here, but luckily it is not so bad as [elsewhere]”. In that imagery we tend to be the civilized and the rest of the world is crazy.

Right-wing parties use this hackability of the human mind with polarized and simplified world-views and hate-speeches.

Part 1: Recent history

These are just random pickings from recent European history. And a tip of the iceberg of the glorious civilized, sceintific European world.

It includes murder; mass-murder; colonialism; sexual, mental and physical abuse by priests, nuns and other religiously related people; laws to reduce freedom and arrest people when they commit thought-crimes and tools to reconstruct the lives and social connections of citizens from social networds.

Europe

Magdalena Asylums / laundries — until 1996

Magdalene asylums were [Christian] institutions from the 18th to the late-20th centuries ostensibly to house “fallen women”, a term used to imply female sexual promiscuity.

[…]

Initially the mission of the asylums was to rehabilitate women back into society, but by the early twentieth century the homes had become increasingly punitive and prison-like. In most asylums, the inmates were required to undertake hard physical labour, including laundry and needle work. They endured a daily regimen that included long periods of prayer and enforced silence.
In Ireland, such asylums were known as Magdalene laundries where it is estimated that, since their inception, up to 30,000 women had been incarcerated. The last such institution in Ireland closed in 1996.

Magdalena Asylums / Child abuse

Wikipedia

The existence of the Irish asylums was not well known until 1993 when an order of nuns, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, in Dublin sold part of their convent to a real-estate developer. The remains of 155 inmates who had been buried in unmarked graves on the property were exhumed and, except for one, cremated and reburied in a mass grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. […] former inmates of Magdalene Asylums who testified to continued sexual, psychological and physical abuse while being isolated from the outside world for an indefinite amount of time.

Wikipedia

In May 2009, the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse released a 2,000-page report recording claims from hundreds of Irish residents that they were physically, sexually, or emotionally abused as children between the 1930s and the 1990s in a network of state-administered and church-run residential schools meant to care for the poor, the vulnerable and the unwanted. The alleged abuse was by nuns, priests and non-clerical staff and helpers.

British Colonial War Crimes in 1950s Kenya

Aletho news

One of the men was castrated by the British colonial government in Kenya. Handcuffed and pinned to the ground with his legs pulled apart, his genitals were sliced off by the white officers. He was then left for days without medical attention until he was liberated by Kenyan rebels. The one woman claimant was subjected to sexual torture. White soldiers repeatedly inserted bottles of boiling hot water into her vagina. In addition to these cases, thousands of Kenyans were maimed, lynched and brutally murdered by the British during the last century. Thousands of others were subjected to rape, forced labor, and gross abuse and torture in detention camps. It was part of a deliberate policy of the colonial British government to break a civilian population cast as “baboons,” “barbarians,” and “terrorists” and who were seen as a threat to the colonial order in east Africa.

Greece Colden Dawn entering schools, 2013

Independent UK

The vigilante, truculent and anti-establishment features of Golden Dawn offer a seductive alternative to the radical left or anarchist movements that have traditionally appealed to Greece’s teenagers. Over 50 teachers, parents and teenage students from schools across Athens interviewed by The Independent agree that the party is slowly becoming fashionable, when three years ago it was barely known.

It’s the feature of vitality: a need to show they’re strong, young and fresh and are creating something new: be it a new party, a new country,” explains Vassiliki Georgiadou, professor at Panteion University and an expert of far-Right wing radicalism who has studied Golden Dawn for years. “They discard the label of Nazism and instead play up the nationalist card. They use ancient Greek history as a camouflage to hide their true identity: that they’re fans of Hitler, anti-Semitism.”

[…] the party is actively involved in neighbourhood initiatives, especially in areas that saw a rise of crime and strong influx of migrants. […]

[…] Graffiti of Greek flags, nationalist slogans, and signs that bear a resemblance to swastikas have started appearing around schools. Nikiforos, 12, blames Golden Dawn for the recent rise of violence between his Greek and foreign schoolmates.

Dutch Rawagede massacre, 1947 / 2011

Wikipedia

The Rawagede massacre was committed by Dutch armed forces on 9 December 1947 in the village of Rawagede (now Balongsari in West Java), during Operatie Product. Dutch forces were deployed in the East Indies to try and retain them as a Dutch colony. They were fighting Indonesian Republicans seeking independence for Indonesia. Almost all males from the village, amounting to 431 men according to most estimates, were killed by the Dutch military, since the people of the village would not tell where the Indonesian independence fighter Lukas Kustario was hiding.

[…]

On December 9, 2011, the Dutch ambassador for Indonesia stated: “We remember the members of your families and those of your fellow villagers who died 64 years ago through the actions of the Dutch military.” “On behalf of the Dutch government, I apologize for the tragedy that took place.” Only 9 relatives are still alive and will receive Euro 20,000 ($27,000) compensation each, but there is no schedule for these payments.

From NBC News

The soldiers were looking for resistance leader Lukas Kustario, known for ambushing Dutch bases. When villagers said they didn’t know where he was, nearly all the men were rounded up and taken to the fields.

Squatting in rows, with both hands placed on the backs of their heads, they were shot one by one.

The Dutch government has never prosecuted any soldiers for the massacre, despite a United Nations report condemning the attack as “deliberate and ruthless” as early as 1948.

Nazi Germany, 1933 — 1945

(Wikipedia)

On 30 January 1933, President Hindenburg, under pressure from Franz von Papen, appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany. This event is known as the Machtergreifung (“seizure of power”). […]

Within a few months, the new government installed a single party dictatorship in Germany with legal measures establishing a coordinated central government, (see Gleichschaltung). On the night of 27 February 1933, the Reichstag building was set afire; a Dutch communist was found guilty. The Nazis claimed that the arson was a signal for a communist uprising and thousands of communist party members were arrested, the party offices raided and all KPD publications banned. The Nazis imprisoned many in the Dachau concentration camp.

Racial policy

Wikipedia

From the very earliest speeches and writings of Hitler, it was clear that the Jewish community in Germany was an object of hatred. Nazi ideology laid down strict rules about who was or was not of pure “Aryan” blood, and actions were set into motion to purify the Aryan race—which was said to be identical with the Nordic race (followed by lesser sub-races of the Aryan race) to represent an ideal and pure—master race

Persecution/extermination

Wikipedia

During the Nazi regime some six million Jews, and a sizeable number of Romani people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Poles and other Slavs, Soviet POWs, Dwarfs, or little people, people with mental and/or physical disabilities, homosexuals, and members of the political and religious opposition were massacred.[…]

In addition to eliminating the Jews, the Nazis also planned the ethnic cleansing of some 30–45 million Slavs (Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, etc.). This strategy was to make way for 10 million German settlers.

Right-wing political parties

BNP

The British National Party (BNP) is a far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982. It restricted membership to “indigenous British” people until a 2010 legal challenge to its constitution.
The BNP advocates “firm but voluntary incentives for immigrants and their descendants to return home“, as well as the repeal of anti-discrimination legislation.
The BNP finished fifth in the 2008 London mayoral election with 5.2% of the vote

Partij voor de Vrijheid

The Party for Freedom (Dutch: Partij voor de Vrijheid, PVV) is a right-wing political party in the Netherlands. Founded in 2005 as the successor to Geert Wilders’ one-man party in the House of Representatives, it won nine seats in the 2006 general election, making it the fifth largest party in parliament. It came second in the 2009 European Parliament election, winning 4 out of 25 seats.

[…]

The party fielded a controversial motion in the 2007 general deliberations on the immigration budget, calling for a stop to immigration from Muslim countries.

[…]

The party has been regarded by some as anti-Muslim. Wilders however maintains that he is not anti-Muslim, only anti-Islam, summing up his views by stating “I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam“.

The Freedom Party of Austria

The Freedom Party of Austria (German: Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) is a far-right political party in Austria. Ideologically, the party is a direct descendant of the German national liberal camp, which dates back to the 1848 revolutions. […]

After its convention in early 2011 mid-way between general elections, the FPÖ had a support in opinion polls of around 24-29%—at par with the SPÖ and ÖVP, and above the BZÖ. Among people under 30 years of age, the FPÖ had the support of 42%.

The party also maintained that “the protection of cultural identity and social peace in Austria requires a stop to immigration,” maintaining that its concern was not against foreigners, but to safeguard the interests and cultural identity of native Austrians. Although during the late 1990s the party warned against the growing influence of radical Islam, this was later expanded to include concerns about Islamisation and the increasing number of Muslims in general.

National Front (France)

While the party struggled as a marginal force for its first ten years, since 1984 it has been the unrivalled major force of French right-wing nationalism

[…]

Its major current policies include economic protectionism, a zero tolerance approach to law and order issues, and Anti-immigration. Since the 1990s, its stance on the European Union has grown increasingly eurosceptic. The party’s opposition to immigration is particularly focused on non-European immigration, and includes support for deporting illegal, criminal, and unemployed immigrants; its policy is nevertheless more moderate today than it was at its most radical point in the 1990s.

United states

“War on terrorism” 2013

Pre-emptive arrests

The US has pursued “domestic terrorism” by practicing pre-emptive prosecution, that is, going after individuals who have committed no crime but are alleged to possess an ideology that might dispose them to commit acts of “terrorism”. Maintaining that it can -and should – be in the business of divining intent, the government decimates crucial elements of the US justice system.

Observation

Guardian

The sophisticated technology demonstrates how the same social networks that helped propel the Arab Spring revolutions can be transformed into a “Google for spies” and tapped as a means of monitoring and control.

Using Riot it is possible to gain an entire snapshot of a person’s life – their friends, the places they visit charted on a map – in little more than a few clicks of a button.

[…]

“We’re going to track one of our own employees,” Urch says in the video, before bringing up pictures of “Nick,” a Raytheon staff member used as an example target. With information gathered from social networks, Riot quickly reveals Nick frequently visits Washington Nationals Park, where on one occasion he snapped a photograph of himself posing with a blonde haired woman.

Bradley Manning

Solitary watch

As of today, alleged Wikileaker Bradley Manning has been held without trial for 1,000 days. More than nine months of that time was spent in solitary confinement in the Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia.

By July 29, Pfc. Manning was “detained” at Quantico Marine Corps brig on “Prevention of Injury” watch: 23 hours of solitary confinement a day, with a ban on push-ups and sit-ups in the cell, with lying down and leaning against the walls also prohibited. Manning was deprived of all personal items in his cell, but equipped with a “tear-proof security blanket” that gave the prisoner rashes and carpet burns. There was also the unrelenting repetitive stress of having to respond every five waking minutes to the guards’ query, “Are you okay?” And if Manning slept at night—he was not permitted to sleep during the day—in such a position that his guards could not see him, he was awakened and repositioned. Eventually, Manning’s reading glasses were confiscated; so was all of his clothing.

Education

From the Daily banter

In Oklahoma yesterday, Republican legislators advanced a bill, HB 1674, through the state Common Education committee. If passed, the law would make it illegal for a teacher — a public school teacher — from giving a student a poor grade for answering questions about science and evolution with unprovable, untestable biblical mythology. In other words, if a teacher asks a test question about the lives of prehistoric humans, a student could suggest that cave men or maybe even Jesus himself used to ride on the backs on dinosaurs and science teachers would be unable to mark the answer as incorrect.

Part 2: Some terms and terminologies

“How is this all possible?”

In short: there are several ways to influence large groups of people. To create specific tendencies only a few buttons need to be pushed. In general the masses are hardly aware of the world around them. It is easy to feed them with messages of hate and one-sided images.

It is relatively easy to create societies in which people are docile and believe whatever you want them to believe. 1000 years of organized religion is one example.

Below you will find several different aspects and terms.

Extremism

Wikipedia

Extremism is any ideology or political act far outside the perceived political center of a society; or otherwise claimed to violate common moral standards.

Distorted sense of reality

A distorted sense of reality is where the perception of reality is no longer in line with simple facts from that reality. In short: people with a distorted sense of reality see things which are not there.

Another word for this is “delusion“.

A delusion is a belief held with strong conviction despite superior evidence to the contrary. As a pathology, it is distinct from a belief based on false or incomplete information, confabulation, dogma, illusion, or other effects of perception.

Delusions typically occur in the context of neurological or mental illness, although they are not tied to any particular disease and have been found to occur in the context of many pathological states (both physical and mental). However, they are of particular diagnostic importance in psychotic disorders including schizophrenia, paraphrenia, manic episodes of bipolar disorder, and psychotic depression.

Psychological manipulation

Wikipedia

Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other’s expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious, and deceptive.

Crowd manipulation

Wikipedia

Crowd manipulation is the intentional use of techniques based on the principles of crowd psychology to engage, control, or influence the desires of a crowd in order to direct its behavior toward a specific action. This practice is common to politics and business and can facilitate the approval or disapproval or indifference to a person, policy, or product. The ethical use of crowd manipulation is debatable and depends on such factors as the intention of and the means used by the manipulator, as well as the ends achieved.

Social engineering

In hacking

Wikipedia

Social engineering, in the context of security, is understood to mean the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. While it is similar to a confidence trick or simple fraud, it is typically trickery or deception for the purpose of information gathering, fraud, or computer system access; in most cases the attacker never comes face-to-face with the victims.

Techniques (from the same article)

All social engineering techniques are based on specific attributes of human decision-making known as cognitive biases. These biases, sometimes called “bugs in the human hardware,” are exploited in various combinations to create attack techniques

In Political science

Wikipedia

Social engineering is a discipline in social science that refers to efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behaviors on a large scale, whether by governments or private groups. In the political arena, the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering.

A social engineer is one who tries to influence popular attitudes, social behaviors, and resource management on a large scale. Social engineering is the application of the scientific method for social concern. Social engineers use the methods of science to analyze and understand social systems, so as to arrive at appropriate decisions as scientists, and not as politicians. The major difference between politicians and social engineers is that scientists base decisions on careful evaluations and objectivity without differential advantage. In the political arena, the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering.

Gaslighting

Wikipedia

Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making a victim doubt his or her own memory, perception and sanity. Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

Corecive pursuation

Wikipedia

Martyn Carruthers has the following definition: “Coercive persuasion attempts to force people to change beliefs, ideas, attitudes, or behaviors using psychological pressure, undue influence, threats, anxiety, intimidation, and/or stress. (Coercive persuasion has been called mind control and brainwashing.)

[…]

Schein notes that elements of coercive persuasion exist in many areas of human endeavor, such as college fraternities, established religion, social rehabilitation programmes, the armed forces, and other conventional institutions. Schein also suggests that the popular image of brainwashing as entailing “extensive self-delusion and excessive [mental] distortion […] is a false one.”

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