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Thread: Bolsonaro

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    keep people relatively comfortable...relatively stable society
    undoubtedly the ruling class (assuming "liberal" in the sense of global neoliberal consensus) deserves a large share of the blame

    asleep at the wheel, dreaming sweet dreams of an end of history Pax Davos

    but there are forces here beyond even their hubris

    it already wasn't possible - from a resources/policy standpoint, globally speaking - to keep most people "relatively comfortable"

    and now the true bill for the last 250+ years of progress is only starting to come due, which is far beyond the scope of any policymaker

    add to that total ongoing installments of the bill for the sins of the Cold War, and more broadly the age of colonialism as it shaped the modern world

    not to reduce everything to climate-change exacerbated competition for resources but that fact and the resultant anxiety underlies everything

    further narrowing capitalism's already narrow disaster margins, laying bare implicit social discontent, etc

    in general - and this is also a response to vimothy's question - nearly all the bullshit that has been papering over the cracks in global order is unraveling

    upheaval was inevitable at some point - from the system's inherent instabilities, and the simple fact that no global order lasts forever - and given underlying conditions I'd guess RW blut und boden populism was always a reasonably likely response, but the specific iteration of those conditions - financial crisis, refugee-migration crisis, ongoing mass shift to greater labor precarity - has ensured/intensified it. for the West/Global North (and outside allied entities, as Bolsonaro represents) it's comparable to the collective psychic trauma and disillusionment of the inter-war period, and we're getting a similar result. that's my basic .02 anyway.

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  3. #32
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    not an original take I'm sure

    nonetheless

  4. #33
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    not to just handwave fake news, social media, etc

    can't overstate their tactical, procedural, etc importance

    but I do think the thing itself ultimately opportunism - symptom rather than cause - just as it was for Mussolini, Hitler, and so on

    conditions need to pre-exist for this bullshit to flourish

  5. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    i.e., you can explain the global nature of what's going on with a common cause, but why does it give rise to a common response? why this explosion of RW populism specifically?
    Just like the nazis, the current wave of rw are using the fear and desperation as fertile ground.

    Edit: didn't see padraigs 2nd post saying the same thing
    Last edited by pattycakes_; 31-10-2018 at 03:35 PM.

  6. #35
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    social media is certainly an accelerant for this fire. but it's curious how social media seems to get used much more effectively by far-right sources than liberal/far-left sources. it's a technology tool to which both sides have equal access, it's not like the far-right is the only group that can create and share inflammatory YouTube vids, Facebook posts and fake news.

    I can't believe the far-left is somehow too principled to delve into generating/sharing fake news. They just don't seem to do it, or do it as effectively anyway.

  7. #36
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    it's much easier to make propaganda that taps into fear

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  9. #37
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    than appeals to solidarity or compassion or etc

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  11. #38
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    true, but I'd imagine far-left groups can also play the fear card to promote their beliefs. fear of climate change, fear of deportation, fear of lost of pensions and health care, fear of losing freedom of speech, etc.

  12. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by vimothy View Post
    i.e., you can explain the global nature of what's going on with a common cause, but why does it give rise to a common response? why this explosion of RW populism specifically?
    My guess would be that people feel increasingly adrift in a world dominated by liberalism and RW populism offers very clear and simple answers to complex problems. Nobody wants to hear that things take time, that an issue is complicated and difficult or that they've played a part in anything negative that may be happening, they want to hear that it's someone else's fault, they want someone to step in sort it out on their behalf and they want someone to be punished for it. RW populism offers that.

    It's also backed by some of the rich who see yet another opportunity to increase their share of the wealth, if the current order is dying then it's RW populism that will cement their position and give them more influence and control as LW populism would involve tearing them down so it follows that they'd throw their support behind the former as they did in Brazil rather than people like Corbyn and Sanders.

    I also think that RW populism is well-suited to online distribution, it's aggressive, direct and immediate and speaks to fairly negative emotions which are easy to play to. It's also given a boost by the algorithms dictating what is and isn't seen on social media because anything that gets people fired up and arguing tends to generate the most engagement and the machine recognises that and prioritises similar content to drive clicks.

  13. #40
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    @leo - of course

    but they're usually appealing to the fears of people without much power - immigrants, low-income, etc

    and their appeals while emotional are to material fears

  14. #41
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    the simple brilliances of blut und boden populism are multiple

    but for one, emotional appeal on a primal level - identity

    it's not just about material loss (tho very much about that) - they're taking away who you are - i.e. the "we will not be replaced" motif in Charlottesville

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  16. #42
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    most left fears - climate change is a good example - aren't simple/immediate enough to easily translate into propaganda

    and some of the ones that are, aren't universal, like deportation - part of the cost of greater heterogeneity - requiring that appeal to solidarity/compassion

    Dems best midterms issue by far has been health care - as universal/immediate as it gets, literally life and death

    RW argument is just usually easier to boil down into soundbites that tap directly into lizard brain responses

    obv there's a very long history going back at least to Goebbels on thru to Bannon etc

  17. #43
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    so I think the real answer to what you're saying leo is

    1) social media is an unprecedented tool for propaganda

    2) RW has historically usually been much better at propaganda, and increasingly so the further it tilts toward fascism

    hence

    3) RW is generally much better at using social media for propaganda, increasingly so as it tilts toward fascism

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  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by version View Post
    I also think that RW populism is well-suited to online distribution, it's aggressive, direct and immediate and speaks to fairly negative emotions which are easy to play to. It's also given a boost by the algorithms dictating what is and isn't seen on social media because anything that gets people fired up and arguing tends to generate the most engagement and the machine recognises that and prioritises similar content to drive clicks.
    well nvm version said it better than I did

    the point about algorithms dictating discourse/encouraging conflict is an important one - that part is a true departure from the past

    reminds me of that time Microsoft had to kill a machine learning Twitter chatbot in less than 24 hours after it immediately became ultra racist

    talk about uncanny valley

  20. #45
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    but again - these are tapping into fears that already exist

    propaganda is very good at fanning flames but it generally can't kindle them out of nothing

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