Bolsonaro

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
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
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
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
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
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
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
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
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
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
 

vimothy

yurp
I agree that the appeal of RW populism is somehow more direct, but Im suspicious of these sorts of "liberals are at a disadvantage vs populists bc they are too principled to play dirty" answers - its a bit of a humble brag, and seems at odds with a reality in which liberals (broad definition) are the establishment and RW populists are the insurgents. if liberals are such saints, how is it that they came to power in the first place?
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
too principled
well - idk about anyone else but's that not what I'm saying at all

I just said they've historically been less good at it

partially because their message is usually less conducive, which is not the same as saying they're too principled to try

as to how they came to power - the usual ways, how anyone democratically comes to power - electorate fatigue with the party in power, mistakes by the other side, and so on, as well the as particular conditions of the moment beyond any side's control. the last being what you're asking about, and our analyses are in the answers to your original question.
 

Leo

Active member
I was the one who originally said "too principled", but vim took it in a different context. I said

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.
 

pattycakes_

Active member
imo the internet has exposed what lies under the surface of humanity much clearer than anything before it. a true black mirror. the dark that exists within us all has been given carte blanche to express itself, free of consequences. the dark is seductive. it gives people a sense of empowerment & community. misery loves company. in this morally bankrupt world, where we are basically forced to go along with a narrative we all know is fucked, it makes sense that people would eventually turn on the narrative and want to bring chaos, destruction etc. our sense of entitlement to security in the west has been trampled on over and over by the very people we were trained to believe are supposed to be looking after us. most of us know this.

in the first round of the Brazil election 40mil people handed in blank ballots. Bolsonaro received 49 million votes, Haddad 31.

I remember reading an article about young people voting in Trump as some kind of mega-troll due to their sense of dissilusionment. Obama didnt bring the goods. hopelessness is rife.
 

thirdform

Active member
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?
because the left has eradicated the historical memory of the class. it only exists in the historical class party. a party which may never become formalised again.

This started right from the post-war Nitti government, was extended by Giolitti who placed demobilised officers at the deck and call of the fasci, and the rest, as they say, is history.
 
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thirdform

Active member
the left won, they didn't lose.

that is why, to the civilised gentleman, our terroristic barbarian mongol hordes, when they are sufficiently organised, with the weapons given to us from the anticipated contradictions of the society, will say smash the left, smash democracy! it will be the democrats who will call us reactionaries, it will be the democrats who try to contain the irreconcilable antagonisms. if we accept democracy we have already conceded to defeat, like the spanish CNT did in 1937.
 
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DannyL

Wild Horses
If you're looking for a specific set of causes re, the growth of RW populism, don't neglect the influence of malign state actors.

Aleksandr Dvornikov, commander of Russian operations in Syria 2015-16 said "The information war was on both sides. Its results were directly reflected in world public opinion. I will say this: without carrying out information operations, we would not have had success in Aleppo, Deir al-Zour and Ghouta." - by information operations, he means active disinformation - lying, smearing, fabrication. I think that part of the importance of the conflict there is that it's been a testing ground for these strategies in their newest information age iteration. And it worked - the propoganda war has kinda been won. Who has a clear view on Syria? Who really calls out the Russian forces for the war criminals that they are - compare it to how Western forces are viewed after any major conflict - the difference is remarkable.

And similar strategies are employed against The West - continually, in a myriad different forms. To take an innocuous seeming example (that took place in Russia), I'm assuming you all say the fake video of the women spraying bleach on the Moscow tube? What purpose does this serve other than to discredit feminism and by extension the whole body of liberal/leftist/progressive thought. And that's just one very small example. For operations directly affecting the West, one might look at the fake accounts associated with Black Lives Matters and similar causes. If you look at the budgets for this stuff - the kinda information now emerging via sources like Bellingcat - they're absolutely huge.

I'm not saying we don't have huge inequality, massive social fissures, already in place. And I'm certainly not saying our politicans have been working hard to fix these divisions - 'cos they haven't. But I do think they are exacerbated and made much worse by outside forces. It's probably too early to make a totally clear call but I suspect evidence is going to emerge showing both Brexit and Trump's elections as the most striking examples of this.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Just saw this on twitter as a for instance:

Encouraging division over Islam has been the primary tactic of Russian trolls targeting Britain on Twitter, according to research.

Tweets about Islam far outnumbered those about Brexit and were also more widely shared, an analysis of nine million posted by a troll factory in St Petersburg found. Last month Twitter released the dataset of the tweets, which had been posted by 3,841 blocked accounts affiliated to the notorious Internet Research Agency.

Initial investigations highlighted the prevalence of pro-Leave messages, including a co-ordinated push on the day of the 2016 vote. However, Demos, a cross-party British think tank, has since found that the messages most widely shared related primarily to Islam and stirring up Islamophobia...
 

firefinga

New member
I agree that the appeal of RW populism is somehow more direct, but Im suspicious of these sorts of "liberals are at a disadvantage vs populists bc they are too principled to play dirty" answers - its a bit of a humble brag, and seems at odds with a reality in which liberals (broad definition) are the establishment and RW populists are the insurgents. if liberals are such saints, how is it that they came to power in the first place?
Liberals/Social democrats in the past came into power bc of the failures of conservatives or reaching a bit further back by the catastophy that was WW2, also, there was still the threat of the eastern block/USSR that left the right wing/conservative parties no other choice than to let the social democrats build the welfware state. After the fall of the eastern block that threat (whatever realistic it was) was gone and you had the conservative parties (as the political arm of the plutocrats) gradually getting off their gloves. Liberals/Social democrats totally fell into two traps: one: they tired to keep into power by doing "Thatcherims light" - and the second: emphasize on "identity politics" and totally neglect "hard" ecomonic issues like the distribution of wealth - it was the social democrats who introduced a "workfare" system in Germnay ffs.

Sure you could go left wing populist - but then you'd have to go for the "globalists" as well, bc it's definitely them profiting from the world market and (labour) migration that in turns is harming the local workers/employer/unemplyed. Its' just such a populism wouldn't be much different from what's Trump is claiming to do.
 
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firefinga

New member
Bolsonaro is of course a textbook case of a fascist win - the lower middle class and the establishmet voting for him and supporting him - as it usually is with the fascist supporters. It's almost as if Brazil just came back to what it always was - a brutalized class/and race state. Democratic Brazil isn't that old, the junta was abolished only roughly 30 years ago.

Oh and there was of ocurse Mr. zuckerberg's company again very helpful to the right wing cause, this time via whatsapp. Well done, once again!
 

firefinga

New member
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
fear is THE key factor for motivating middle (and upper) class to vote for right wingers or full fledged fascists. It's usually stressing the threat of losing either money and/or status and/or identity (whatever fabricated that identity is). It's fascinating how the right wingers even play the identity politics card better than the left.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
thanks Padraig
pretty sure I nicked it off thirdform or craner, via presumably Roger Griffin

it's a good one tho ain't it - a rare case where application of an esoteric term in theory cuts right to the quick of the matter

it immediately makes me think of this quite, from one of Franco's intellectual apologists

"Twenty centuries of Christian civilization are at our back - we fight for love and honor, for the paintings of Velazquez, for the comedies of Lope de Vega, for Don Quixote, and for the Escorial"
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
people said a couple interesting things also, don't have time for thoughtful responses rn but will try to put together over the weekend
 
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