Follow

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

A reminder that all the research and data shows that people who believe in QAnon and other far right conspiracy theories are not stupid or uneducated (in fact it tracks with a higher attainment of educational outcomes), and the liberal narrative that believes it is so is a classist footgun that is going to bite everyone in the ass.

newrepublic.com/article/161266

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg "Weaponized Gnosticism" is a term I heard and liked for it.

Like emerging from the (Robert Anton Wilson, illuminatus triology etc.) chapel perilous: Agnostic to everything yet having a hook into qanon stuff; good persons can be led astray by false mentors quiet easily.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@Mnemonic Motivated reasoning is another explanation mentioned in the article. As is that of people getting hooked into these beliefs while at a vulnerable stage in their life (a common theme self-reported by ex-Qanoners) — very common in cult indoctrination.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg Yes! That's what I tried to word in my 'chapel perilous bit' exactly. The reaching hand that helps you up from the pit is very guiding in that moment.

Cults, gangs, religions, family and even friends do that with VERY varying degrees of nefarious/neutral/good intentions and/or outcomes.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

How does it correlate with religiosity, I wonder? And not just Xianity, I mean any kind of superstitious belief?

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

Because gullibility/suggestibility and/or sloppy logical thinking seems to be a prerequisite and that is more related to childhood indoctrination than formal education and/or actual IQ

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet tbh this is kind of what I meant. Many of the most celebrated thinkers and scientists of the past century were openly religious.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg that's a more complicated topic than you might think. Between social consequences for not proclaiming belief and an unfortunate conflating of "having faith" with "being religious", people often come away with a skewed idea of what thinkers with faith actually believe(d).
@space_cadet

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg In Steven Hassan's work on cults, he finds that cults and cultlike groups don’t desire gullible people because gullible people can be easily swayed against the cult. cults instead use people's critical thinking ability (and their faith in their own critical thinking ability) against them. people who doubt their own critical thinking ability are much less susceptible to cults.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@metapianycist @vortex_egg
So,... does that mean that QAnon isn't a cult? Because (and pleae correct me if I'm wrong) people who believe every consipiracy theory they hear, are definitely gullible people ... right?

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

The point is that it isn't about gullibility or stupidity. Very smart and critical thinkers can and do get drawn into cults despite, and often because of, their critical thinking abilities.

Conversely, belief in things that are not perfectly reducible to sound syllogistic logic does not entail that the believer is either gullible or stupid (or in a cult).

@metapianycist made a branching reply to my post which sums it up nicely:

queer.party/@metapianycist/105

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @metapianycist

Ok but. I see a distinction between QAnon and cults. It seems to me, that QAnon supporters will just believe anything that Q tells them. They can make up a new conspiracy every week and every single one of them will believe every single one of them.

Whereas, cults have a fixed rulebook of "The Truth" that the cult leader made up on day 1, and the cult leader may spout a new "truth" every now and again but it's rare.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg if qanon supporters are as gullible as you posit they are, it would be much easier to sway them away from their belief system. additionally, cult leaders have added new material to what they want followers to believe, sometimes contradicting previous material, more frequently than you posit.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@metapianycist @vortex_egg

I think I'm gonna check out some of this Steven Hassan stuff. Any recommendations for a good summary-type book?

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

I read his book The Cult of Trump.

@metapianycist

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

And this is his website: freedomofmind.com

He was an ex-Moonie indoctrinate who got deprogrammed and then spent the rest of his life learning about how cult indoctrination and cult deprograming works.

@metapianycist

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

Another distinction that comes up with Qanon is that it is what is being referred to as a "participatory" conspiracy theory. It has a lot of the same elements as a traditional hierarchical cult, except members also self-initiate by making up their own elaborate theories which then get traded around with other people in the community.

In a lot of the reporting I've seen, people aren't just believing whatever Q tells them. A lot of times they would go months without hearing a new "Q drop". And there were lots of recorded instances (in the exfiltrated and archived social media data) where Q would get into fights with some of the regular people because they were stealing "his" spotlight with their own theories.

@metapianycist

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @metapianycist But it's worth noting again, some of these people are CEOs, doctors, lawyers, PhD graduates, etc...

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @metapianycist

My wife's friend is married to my friend, they met each other while they were both in the same cult, and they left it together. She was the brightest girl at school and studied music & art after school, he was/is a very, very bright engineer and highly paid executive. Clearly, IQ is irrelevant to being drawn into a cult. It might, however have some bearing on the chances of a person eventually leaving.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

It's possible.

One lens I'm looking at it through is contagious collective make-believe.

Have you ever played "the floor is lava" or another kind of make believe game (maybe sports? sports fandoms?) and found yourself getting really into it emotionally and physiologically even though you also know it isn't "real"?

I think the pertinent point is that everybody can be susceptible to make-believe, and that it can run away from us. And that make-believe can coexist alongside rationality without one crowding the other out.

@metapianycist

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @metapianycist

Yes, this is how I think of scientists being religious. Rational thought can superstitious beliefs can be compartmentalised and so they are not mutually exclusive existing in a brain. However, I am almost certain that political policy and religiosity cannot be kept separate in the brain, because political policy is based on belief, not rational thought.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet

I wonder if there is a kind of modern "rationality-chauvanism", that might be common among the non-religious liberal set, which assumes that all beliefs lie either within a zone of rationality or else outside of it in the hinterlands of irrationality.

People are mapped into this space as either "being" rational or "being" stupid; or else it assumes that the only way someone could hold rational and irrational beliefs at the same time is through compartmentalization or mindkill.

I think the reality is much more complex, and the domain of rationality and "justified true belief" is much much smaller than the fief it lays claim to.

@metapianycist

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @space_cadet @metapianycist

Isn't it part of the zero-sum divide we see on (US-centric) social media? Anybody not agreeing to the party-line is bad.

On the right it's anything that smells like socialism and liberalism.

On the left it's anything that's non-progressive or conservative.

Religion is by definition conservative. If it was new, it would be called a cult. Everybody has to be safely dead to be called a religion.

#philosophy

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@qwxlea @vortex_egg @space_cadet please consider the long history of jewish leftist radicalism before using the word "religion" as you are using it.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@metapianycist @vortex_egg @space_cadet

Hmm, don't know exactly what you mean.

All I noticed is that being religious *and* being left-leaning is not easy, as it (religion) is considered (by many on the left) conservative and non-intellectual.

But maybe you read what I wrote differently. If so, no ill will was intended.

Show more
Show more

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg i read Combating Cult Mind Control a few years ago, around the time i learned the term "business cult" and realized that that's what a former friend got drawn into when he cut me off for not buying from his mlm (and for confronting him for shady business practices)

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist In Qanon the Truth is that "their Truth ain't Truth", and the rest is just improvisations around that theme.

Intelligence or gullibility are unquantifiable, distinct from one another, and from culturedness/knowledgeability. IQ is a flawed construct born out of flawed endeavours.

People fall into these traps because they have the right questions but the wrong answers. There may be many causes for this: 1/

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist e.g. you may have access to limited data, question might regard an area you don't know much about, or subconscious biases that you carry around since childhood may be at play.

Einstein was a smart guy, but even he wasn't totally beyond this: prospect.org/civil-rights/albe

And to these Qanon'ers the lives of the rich, the powerful, the marginalised are enigma. Whether they are smart or not, there's a lot they don't know, 2/

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist and when easy answers coincide with some flaw in reasoning or some missing pieces in a story, you've the perfect conditions for the creation and spreading of these beliefs.

E.g. why the LGBTQ+ has to exist is a valid question, and they are under attack since millennia at all levels of society is the right answer. But if you only saw these people on comedy sketches on TV, regardless of how smart you are, it is pretty 3/

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist easy to construct a World where these people are caricaturistic narcissistic degenerates that want to turn society on its head just for lulz and they're coming after you, or to just wholesale buy into such a narrative when it's mass produced by a horde of people like you.

Imagine the Siddhartha story, but on every stop the driver said to him "this one here suffers because he's a murderer/molester/..." 4/

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist or take the problems with the wealthy. Actual problems are fairly sophisticated concepts that require exposure to arguments from "undesirables" like the leftists and the marginalised, and info on stuff that happens in parts of the world unbeknownst to a privileged middle class person, who knows sth is wrong, but can't pinpoint actual issues. Pizzagate OTOH is a comfortable lie that also doesn't require deconstructing 5/

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist the social structures that support your not-great-but-above-average life style: capitalism and privilege.

When you're in that situation of flawed ignorance, it's just easier to take the path of least resistance, esp if you're in a situation that presses you towards it.

Sorry for the long reply btw, hope that's not unwelcome. 5/5

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg @metapianycist note: I meant "LGBTQ+ movement" there, sorry for the missing word.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @space_cadet @metapianycist Case in point, Aum Shirikyo.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @space_cadet @metapianycist Case in point, Aum Shirikyo.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@metapianycist

I like Steven Hassan's work on cults. It's very informative.

@space_cadet

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet That’s a good question. I’ll keep my eyes open for that.

Related side-note, I have an intuition that there is a parallel anti-religious liberal classism that works with the exact same logic: “Anyone who has religious beliefs must be stupid.”

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

Yeah that type of No True Scotsman pigeonholing is so lazy and elitist for atheists/naturalists to be guilty of

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@space_cadet @vortex_egg ah, but atheists and naturalists have a long, proud tradition of being lazy and elitist!

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@mithrandir @vortex_egg

In addition, the Venn diagram of the perfect group of friends would also include Hedonist. Then I could finally let my hair down and finally let my inner European Aristocrat live his best life

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg @space_cadet Oh, holy shit, yes there is.

re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@drwho @vortex_egg @space_cadet there definitely is at least the new atheist crowd, who broke in a rightward political direction

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg the narrative that people who subscribe to conspiracy theory are just uneducated/unintelligent also reinforces the belief of "Smart™ people are immune to propaganda and undue influence, and I'm Smart™ so it's not possible that I'm in a cult or have been drawn into destructive conspiracy theories" (which is why telling a cult member or qanon supporter that they aren't thinking critically doesn't work)

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg I'd go further and posit that at least for some of the people spouting that bs narrative is so they can blame their own fuckups on "the poors" and thus not have to confront the reality of their own bigotry or actually put any work into making the world better because god forbid they have to put themselves out in any way for others

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg
data shows that .... far right .... are not stupid or uneducated .... and the liberal narrative that believes it is so is a classist footgun.

Been like this for at least the past 20 years. Snobbery is one of the Democrats' most effective methods of losing elections.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

I also think this is ultimately a problematic outgrowth of the idea that "science is facts" on the left.

Science isn't facts, science can't prove anything in a philosophical sense. There is only 1) appealing to authority on one hand and 2) going with the simplest possible explanation that fits the data on the other.

When liberals defend Science they are making self-righteous appeal to authority, which everybody hates.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

Science is the practice of skepticism and I think the best way to deal with these people is "skepticism is good but extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" since that is the real metric that science and rational thought is based on and it is the same metric that everybody ultimately must live their day to day life with.

I dunno this is kind of a side point, but in some ways I think it underpins this all.

uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg

I guess I didn't connect my point that well, I think this connects because liberals/the democratic party establishment sees it as "Qanon believers weren't taught facts in school that were handed down from the authorities of science and academia" which when you zoom out far enough is just "They weren't indoctrinated into my dogma therefore they are stupid".

Which is obviously just going to backfire as a strategy for advancing rational thought lol.

related youtube video re: uspol, qanon, liberal narratives 

@vortex_egg *nods*

This is really important, yeah. I immediately think of Dan Olson's analysis in the Folding Ideas video "In Search of a Flat Earth" - youtu.be/JTfhYyTuT44?t=4283 is the timestamp but the whole 76-minute video is worth watching:
----
Because ultimately it’s not about facts, it’s about power. QAnons are not otherwise empty vessels who believe one whacky thing. They have an agenda. QAnon, what it accepts, what it believes, is driven by the outcomes it justifies.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
hackers.town

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.