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Keyword: ‘Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies’

Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies: 4

August 1, 2018 11 comments

In the previous post of this series, I made the point that pathological ideologies and their willing vectors never give up doing what they are doing unless the vast majority of them they are dead. I had made a similar point in a short series written almost five years ago (link 1, link 2). My point was that genocides committed during course of WW2 required a significant minority of people to be enthusiastic followers of whichever ideology they claimed to believe or practise.

With that in mind, let us consider a few thought experiments to understand the necessity of vectors for success or failure of pathological ideologies. On another note, please read the entirety of this post before commenting on it..

Thought Experiment # 1: Consider the artificially caused Irish Famine of 1845-1849. More specifically, let us consider whether the vast majority of deaths during those years were caused by a genuine lack of food or a system of governance which saw and treated most of the Irish as little better than stray animals. There are many villains in this story, some more well-known that others. Nowadays, many people rightly blame the laws passed by the British government in decades prior to that incident as well as their lack of response in response to human suffering. But were they the only villains, and more importantly- who enforced their laws in Ireland?

Well.. the unpleasant part of that famine and many others in the same era was the role played by local landed gentry and law enforcement personal in enforcing laws and regulations which caused the famine. Holding only the British government responsible for that famine gives a pass to all the Irish landlords, merchants, petty bureaucrats and law-enforcement types who made tons of money during the famine while their country men and women were starving around them. The Irish famine would not have been possible without the active and enthusiastic collaboration of many local CONservative-minded rich and petit bourgeois types who worked hard to make it so.

Now comes the ‘thought experiment’ part.. Imagine that the willing collaborators and their families kept on dying of an untreatable disease with extremely high mortality- which for an odd reason affected them almost exclusively. Imagine that the disease in question killed off over 50% of the collaborators and their families within a year. Now ask yourself, how long could the British government of that era keep on replacing all their faithful dead servants, if the new ones kept experiencing the same high rates of mortality? And why would even the most greedy and sociopathic types want to accept a job that came with almost certain death within a year.

Thought Experiment # 2: Consider Late Victorian Holocausts, especially in India. These are a series of famines which killed anywhere between 30-60 million people in the second half of the 19th century- and does not include tens of millions who died in similar artificial famines in the same countries between 1775-1850. These numbers, among many others, provide an interesting counterpoint to claims about death by famine under state communism in the first half (or so) of 20th century. If you believe that state communism caused the Ukrainian famine of 1930s and Chinese famine of early 1960s, one also has to accept that capitalism caused an equivalent of deaths in the 19th century.

But this post is not about whether capitalism caused these famines (it most certainly did) or whether racism played a major role in how events unfolded (shockers.. it did), but about who was responsible for causing the tens of millions of deaths. Once again, we can certainly blame the British government of that era, but doing so tells us only a small part of how things went down. Here is why.. you see, there were never more than 100 k British stationed in any part or the whole of India at any time from 1775-1947. In fact, there were less than 30 k people from the British Isles in India in most years. So, how can you entirely blame such large-scale events on presence of an absolute minority who never accounted for more than 1 in 500 individuals?

And once again, the answer to this apparent ‘mystery’ is that British had a huge number of local collaborators who were willing and enthusiastic about working for a system which was responsible for the death of millions of people who looked like them. Today, we often forget that policies which caused these famines also made many Indian merchant families rich beyond your wildest imaginations. Many Indians still do not want to face the unpleasant fact that the Indian army, police, local administrators etc which carried out the genocidal mandates for British colonial types were almost exclusively local and Indian. In other words, it was basically what happened during the great Irish famine but on a much larger scale and over multiple time periods.

Now let us perform a similar ‘though experiment’. Imagine a situation where willing Indian collaborators and their families kept on dying of untreatable disease with rates of mortality such that entire batches or recruits for various colonial institutions dropped dead within a year. Now ask yourself again, how long could the British government of that era keep on replacing faithful dead servants, if the new ones kept experiencing the same greatly enhanced rates of mortality? Also, would it be possible for them to be able to continue recruitment if the recruits knew they would be dead within a year? And would they be able to govern India without local collaborators?

The point I am trying to make in both thought experiments is that external state sponsored events such the Great Irish famine and large Indian famines were only possible only because a small but significant minority of local people were willing and enthusiastic about working for obviously pathological ideologies. Furthermore, timely removal of this small but significant minority from the realms of living would have effectively terminated those mass tragedies and prevented the untimely deaths of many millions of innocent people. The real question then is, what level of excessive mortality among a behavioral minority who are enthusiastic participants in a genocide is acceptable in order to prevent deaths of many times that number of innocent people.

In the next part of this series, I will use some more thought experiments to explain this concept in more detail.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies: 3

July 25, 2018 12 comments

In the previous post of this series, I pointed out that WW1 (and WW2) led to a marked reduction in the number of mediocre men in Europe who were willing or able to support the ideology of race-based colonialism. FYI- I am not implying that remainder of population in those countries experienced enlightenment and became liberal after 1945. It just so happened that the survivors finally realized they were just disposable tools who did not benefit from sustaining and working for the ideology in question which hen lost it critical mass of followers.

Also said something about discussing the effect of WW2 on continued viability of ideologies such as German Nazism, Japanese Nationalism and associated belief systems such as Eugenics. Well.. I am going to do that now. But before we go there, let us talk about how all or any of this relates to the world we live in right now. So let us start by asking ourselves with a few questions about why things in the world around us are the way they are.

Why did all the non-violent movements which began in response to the global financial crisis of 2008 (Occupy Wallstreet etc) not translate into anything beyond spicy memes and memorable slogans? Why have large public demonstrations against extra-judicial murder of black men by police in USA not reduced their incidence? Why does the debt load of students attending universities in USA keep on climbing every single year to even more ridiculous levels? Why do costs of mediocre healthcare in USA keep on rising every year?

Why do elected officials, bureaucrats and the ‘system’ in general act is if they can get way with anything they want? Why do working conditions for the average person keep on getting worse with each passing year? Why do large corporations feel so confident in their ability to abuse their customers without any real consequences? Why does the militarization of “law enforcement” apparatus in USA continue unabated? Why do petty bureaucrats, alt-right supporters and SJWs think they can harass and abuse others at will?

The very simplistic answer to those questions is that all those people, groups and entities firmly believe that they can get away with whatever they want because they will no repercussions or accountability for their actions. A significantly longer answer starts with acknowledging something that most people are unwilling to, namely that you cannot convert assholes, parasites and viruses into someone who is not noxious. People who build their existence around being an asshole, parasite, virus or an ardent supporter of noxious ideologies are never going to have an epiphany or willing give up being abusers.

Nazism did not decline into insignificance and become disreputable because its supporters saw the light of reason. Nazism became a disreputable and insignificant ideology because most of its ardent supporters were killed on the eastern front in WW2 or died in soviet ‘labor’ camps after WW2. Oh.. and most women in the eastern part of Germany were raped by Russian soldiers after WW2. To put it another way, even marginal supporters of Nazism had to pay a very heavy price for their previous support of that ideology.

Lets just say that it took a lot of effort to make sure that Nazism became a highly disreputable and marginal ideology. And you know something else.. there was realistically no other way to reach that endpoint. Do you really think that ardent believers in Nazism would have changed their ways if they had just been exposed to another viewpoint, received a better education, read more books or witnessed non-violent demonstrations against that ideology? Do you think they would have changed their viewpoints if they had interacted with more Jews or Russians?

The point I am trying to make is that supporters of ideologies which attract members through the promise of a license to inflict pain and death on innocent people cannot be reasoned or bargained with. The ultra-nationalists who flourished in Japan between 1919-1945 did have genuine grievances with international system of that era. They were also correct about Japan being short-changed after WW1. The Nazis too rose to public popularity based on genuine grievances such the highly unfair nature of Versailles treaty and the Great Depression which started in 1929.

But that does not excuse what Nazis did to millions of Eastern Europeans and Jews or Japanese did to millions more in China and Korea. But more importantly, a large part of the mass appeal of both ideologies was that they provided an opportunity and excuse for mediocre CONservative men in both countries to torture and kill millions in other countries. Let us not pretend that the vast majority of ardent supporters of Nazism and Japanese nationalism actually cared about the ideology they allegedly believed in, other than as justification for torture and murder.

Ideology, you see, is simply a self-justification for behavior. You cannot, therefore, destroy a noxious ideology by exposing its internal contradictions, hilarious irrationality and general emptiness. Ardent supporters of noxious ideologies use them as mental crutches to justify what they want to do while still being able to claim to themselves that they are “good”, “moral” and “law-abiding” persons. Noxious ideologies can only be destroyed once most of their ardent supporters are dead and the rest discredited as losers in conflicts.

In the next part, I will write more on how the mental crutch provided by ideologies such as Nazism and Japanese nationalism allowed its supporters to perform truly horrible acts in the 20th century. I will also compare that to how belief in race-based colonialism was used by mediocre CONservative men from European countries to justify equally horrific acts in the 19th century.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies: 2

July 21, 2018 11 comments

In the previous post of this series, I made a point that two of most widespread and noxious ideologies of 20th century (race-based colonialism and nationalism) became functionally extinct in Europe largely because most of their “footsoldiers” died in a series of armed conflicts during first half of that century. To put it more bluntly- tens of millions of mediocre white (and Japanese) men, who would have otherwise been staunch supporters and defenders of both ideologies, got killed or physically and mentally fucked up by wars between 1914 and 1945.

You might also recall that I said something about why the mindset of those killed, maimed or mentally scarred had a large influence on the course of global history after 1945. So what was the mindset and worldview of these mediocre white men who became functionally extinct in Europe after 1945? A good place to start is the world in which they grew up. To make a long story short, the vast majority of these mediocre and reactionary men came from either an agricultural or working class background. This does not mean that they were all retarded.. just that they came from an environment where thinking objectively was not encouraged.

But that, by itself, is not enough to understand the unusually high prevalence of reactionary CONservatism among this group. For that, one has to first appreciate how a series of large socio-economic changes in late 19th century Europe affected an already CONservative rural agricultural class. Large-scale industrialization of Europe, contrary to what some of you might believe, did not start till 1860s. Even more importantly, certain ideas such as standardized compulsory basic schooling and nationalism did not become a big thing till the 1880s. You will see why those two things matter, later in the post.

Those dates are, however, important because the era between 1850 and 1900 was the true peak of European colonialism. After 1900, differences in relative abilities between colonizers and colonized started decreasing to the point where Europeans had to flee from even their last African colonies by mid-1960s. To put it another way, it was possible for a large number of the mediocre white men born between.. say.. 1850 and 1900 to actually believe that they were the “chosen people”. These simpletons also believed that staunchly supporting and serving their hyper-greedy national elite (who were happy to indulge racism of lower classes) was a winning strategy.

And for a few decades, it all seemed to work. But the world around does not stand still, and some now powerful countries which did not have large colonial possessions started resenting others which had entered the colonialism game many decades before them. The older models of governance in many of these countries were also not scaling well to the era of industrialization and resultant socio-economic changes. Development of weapon and logistics-related technology since the last large intra-European wars was, however, the biggest wild card.

While every large European power at that time was arming and rearming itself to the teeth, they all pretended that long drawn out wars were not feasible. Luckily, for the rest of humanity, it was feasible and all major powers experienced millions of ‘untimely’ deaths among men of prime working age and many millions more were made invalid for life. And we have not even started talking about associated civilian deaths and all those millions who died during 1918-1919 because of the great influenza pandemic that followed WW1.

While most belligerent countries lost between 2-5% of their population due to WW1, those losses was heavily concentrated among men of ages between 18-35. I have seen some studies which show that, in some countries like France and Germany, almost 50% of men in that age group were either dead or disabled by early 1919. Entire villages and towns in UK lost most of their young men, and entire cohorts of men who went to public school and oxbridge in UK were no longer alive by end of WW1. And we have not even touched on the massive demographic effects of the Russian civil war between 1917-1922.

Some might see it as a tragedy.. I prefer to see the partial extinction of a whole category of reactionary and CONservative minded men in and immediately after WW1 in a more positive light. Let us face it.. WW1 did remove a ton of mediocre and reactionary men who happened to be big supporters and cheerleaders of race-based colonialism from the reproductive pool. The aftermath of WW1 also exposed how full of shit the elites of those countries were. To make a long story short, the government of most countries involved in WW1 went to considerable lengths to avoid paying proper pensions and compensation to relatives of the dead and disabled.

The point I am trying to make is that WW1 resulted in death of a large percentage of most ardent supporters of race-based colonialism and disillusioned others who escaped with just a permanent disability or poverty. Did I mention that nationalism boosted by then new universal primary education was the ‘opium’ of these masses. While a reduction in support of race-based colonialism is not immediately obvious, the number of men who entered colonial services of European countries (or supported politicians who championed the ‘old ways’) took a terminal dive after WW1. Of course, it would take WW2 to finish the all that good work started by WW1.

In the next post of this series, I will talk about how WW2 put the proverbial headstone on grave of race-based colonialism and destroyed public support for militant nationalism and associated ideologies.

What do you think? Comments?

Some Thoughts on the Best Way to Destroy Pathological Ideologies: 1

July 15, 2018 32 comments

While I considered writing a short click-baity post about the latest misadventures of Elon Musk or something about the silliness of establishment’s latest bout of hyperventilation about Trump, Putin and Russia, I thought it would be better to complete something I have meaning to post for sometime. This post, is the first in a series, of what it actually takes to destroy a pathological ideology so thoroughly that it can never be resurrected. To be clear, I am not suggesting a course of action- just point out the obvious based on a historical analysis.

Some of the ideas put forth in this post, and series, have part of an older series (link 1, link 2). I have also written a few standalone posts (link 3, link 4, link 5) which touch on some concepts I am going to discuss in some detail. In case you are wondering, the gist of all those linked older posts is that willing and enthusiastic followers of a malicious ideology are the true agents of evil perpetrated by that ideology. Let me remind you that there is little to no evidence that most so-called tyrants and ideologues personally killed even a few people. Instead, every single death attributed to them was due to their followers doing the actually dirty work for them.

With that in mind, let us talk about factors responsible for extinction of two major and particularly noxious ideologies that were once widespread in the 20th century. The first ideology is best described as race-based white colonialism of non-white countries (especially in Asia and Africa). The second is militant and race-based nationalism of the type which dominated Germany and Japan during the 1930-1945 time-span. Most people living in countries where these ideologies were once dominant will today, at least in public, take great effort to disavow them. However, their ancestors once were ardent supporters of, and proud foot-soldiers for, these ideologies.

So.. how did we get from a world where people in the west were vocal and open about their “god-given right” to rob, abuse and murder non-whites to one where even an attempt to praise colonialism can get you fired from your job. How did we get from a world where ‘the west’ could occupy any non-white country it chose to one where a small Asian country like Vietnam could beat both France and USA (after WW2) and haunt their national psyches. Why was post-WW2 decolonization of the African continent so rapid? Why are people in Germany and Japan today so unwilling to praise anything or anybody connected to the period between 1930 and 1945?

The very brief, and polite answer, to those questions is that a number of “occurrences” in the first half of 20th century greatly reduced the number of vectors for ideologies such as race-based colonialism and militant nationalism. The long-form answer starts with acknowledging that many common people, in countries where those ideologies were once dominant, were willing and highly enthusiastic supporters of those ideologies. For example.. a lot of people (especially young men of limited means) in countries such as UK and France once were true believers in race-based colonialism. Similarly, many in 1930-1945 era Germany and Japan were enthusiastic believers in the noxious militant nationalistic ideologies which they came to repudiate- after 1945.

To understand what I am talking about, let us compare the noxious ideologies of past to similar ones prevalent in present-day USA. As the more perceptive of you might have noticed, there is no shortage of american idiots of a reactionary mindset and mediocre cognitive capabilities who will support tons of stupid and dangerous things which do not benefit them such as involvement endless wars in foreign countries, support for outrageous levels of military spending, opposition to public spending on healthcare because if might benefit the “coloreds” etc. To be fair- people who think like this are now a minority, but a significant minority nonetheless.

And this brings us to the obvious question- why are European and Japanese equivalents of these CONservative idiots far less numerous? The simple answer is that many of them died in WW1, inter-war conflicts and WW2. The ones who survived those “occurrences” were seen by the rest of their society as losers who should not be emulated. The more complex version of this story is that WW1, inter-war conflicts in Europe and WW2 resulted in disproportional deaths of young white men of reactionary mindset and mediocre cognitive ability regardless of whether the belligerent nations recruited for their armed forces through patriotism or conscription.

The sheer number of deaths and disabilities due to those wars, Influenza pandemic of 1918 and all those Nazis who died in Russian prison camps after WW2 removed tens of millions of useful idiots who would have otherwise helped further causes such as race-based colonialism and militant nationalism. The low number of deaths due to those wars in USA (because it joined both almost 3 years after had started) is, sadly, why reactionary CONservative thinking persists in USA. Large scale excessive deaths among useful reactionary drones is, historically speaking, the only way to effect lasting social change including getting rid of pathological ideologies.

In the next part of this series, I will write in more detail about how demographic changes due to WW1 and WW2 started changing the worldview of people in those countries. More specifically, I will talk about the mindset of those who got killed, maimed or mentally scarred in those wars (and their aftermath) in comparison to those who survived. Will also cast some light on the severity of demographic profile shifts in main belligerent countries after both wars.

What do you think? Comments?

Anti-Abortion Movement is Destined to Lose and Become Irrelevant: 1

May 18, 2019 15 comments

A few months ago, I wrote a post about how the democratic party obsession with ‘gun control’ could cost them during the 2020 election cycle. It now seems that the republican party wants to one-up them by passing a series of hilariously bad anti-abortion laws in a few shithole.. I mean southern.. states. It has long been my belief that real differences between the democratic and republican party are largely restricted to socio-cultural issues such as gun and abortion rights. As many of you know, I have long held the position that trying to restrict or eliminate gun rights is not a winning strategy apart from 2-3 coastal states. We will now go into the many reasons why even attempting to pass laws which restrict the right to abortion is an even more stupid idea.

The temperance movement is an interesting, if peculiar, historical analogue to the modern anti-abortion movement. For those of you who aren’t interested in history, it was a big movement in the late 19th-early 20th century USA centered around banning the sale and consumption of alcohol. Its main promoters were male religious nutcases and proto-feminists (talk about weird alliances). Anyway, their campaign ultimately led to Prohibition in 1919 which led to a whole lot of unintended and highly counterproductive secondary consequences which then led to its subsequent repeal in 1933. So what did the decade (or so) of Prohibition lead to, other than the abject humiliation and almost total destruction of that movement. There is a reason why the only place most people have read about the Temperance movement is in history books.

Much of the night life we take for granted today is the result of the defiant public response to that futile and yes.. racist.. movement. Prior to Prohibition pushing public drinking underground for a decade, supposedly respectable women did not go to bars. The proliferation of speakeasies during prohibition changed drinking culture irreversibly and made it a cool activity which women started participating in rapidly increasing numbers. Also, previously most drinking establishments in USA served little other than a few popular types of beverages and greasy food. This changed after women started frequenting bars. Picking up women who weren’t prostitutes in a bar became possible only after bars became a cool place for women to visit. To make a long story short, it ended up normalizing and glamorizing drinking in ways previously considered impossible.

So let us now talk about why the modern anti-abortion movement is similar to the utterly failed and discredited temperance movement. The most obvious similarities between them are that they never enjoyed majority support and were dominated by loud zealots with racist/ nativist belief systems. But the similarities run far deeper. Both movements were fuelled by people who claimed to be solving some real world problem but were in fact about trying to control the lives of others and ruining their happiness. Have a look at the faces and read about personalities of people who pushed Prohibition. Did you notice a distinctive lack of physically attractive or intellectually gifted people among its ranks? Ever wonder why that was the case? Also, why didn’t most countries with similar levels of alcohol consumption never attempt Prohibition?

Now tell me something. Have you noticed that the anti-abortion types in USA are almost always obese older white men and post-menopausal white women living in ex-slavery southern states, old and fat black and Hispanic women and a small number of losers aka traditional conservative men? Some of you might counter my characterization by telling me about a couple of attractive young women who claim to be anti-abortion.. and you know what, I am sure they exist. However, it is undeniable that the anti-abortion movement derives most of its support from pudgy, sweaty, pre-diabetic, post-fertile men and women living in shithole.. I mean southern.. states. But why is that so? Why don’t you find anybody who looks half-attractive or has more than half a brain support the anti-abortion movement? And why is the anti-abortion movement so weak outside the heart of darkness.. I mean southern states? Also, why is it so weak outside USA?

The first obvious clue that the modern anti-abortion movement is doomed therefore comes from who supports it and who doesn’t. Let me put that in a different way, how many of you want to move to Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri etc? If not, why not? Well.. the simple answer is that flyover states (especially in the south) are dying. There are no well paying jobs with decent future prospects in those places. Also, those parts of the country also have rapidly deteriorating infrastructure and are generally shitty places to live in- at many levels. Historically, movements whose largest support base exists in declining and dying populations/ regions tend to end up as failures. Now compare the anti-abortion movement to the popularity of yoga studios among women- guess which is on an inexorable decline and which one is booming.

The second clue that the modern anti-abortion movement has no future comes from its very limited geographical spread. Let me explain.. how many developed or even developing countries outside USA have an anti-abortion movement of any significance. Why not? Well.. as I mentioned in a post from almost a year ago- the CONservative and reactionary elements within many nations (other than USA) got preferentially culled in WW1 and WW2. Let me rephrase that, only populations with unusually high levels of belief in traditional religions are capable of supporting the anti-abortion movement. Interest and belief in traditional religion has declined sharply over past two decades and this trend is even more marked in the younger generations. Ever met a non- or low-religious person who strongly supports the anti-abortion movement? Me neither..

Since we are at almost a thousand words, I will leave the remainder of my analysis for the next and hopefully last part of this short series. In case you are wondering, it will be about how the losers in anti-abortion movement lack the mental capacity to appreciate the magnitude of the multiple public relations disasters they are walking into. Then again, those idiots deserve it.

What do you think? Comments?

Propaganda Provides an Excuse, Rather than Manufacturing Consent: 2

January 18, 2019 11 comments

In the previous part of this series, I said that the unspoken assumption underlying any belief in propaganda “working”, namely that human beings as a species are basically good, is wrong. Even a moderately objective look at history, or the world around you, easily demonstrates that most human beings have no moral compass, are incapable of reason, are deeply obsessed with their inevitable mortality and have a strong predilection for self-destruction. This assessment remains valid regardless of historical era, ethnicity, race, religion or any other division used by people to define their identity. In other words, the majority of human beings are, and have always been, pathetic and delusional creatures who usually lack the courage to act on their impulses.

And this where propaganda enters the picture. It provides an excuse or official sanction to act on their desires and impulses. But is there any real-life difference between how societies react to odious behavior with or without an “official” excuse or approval? Well.. let me illustrate with an example. A white american guy who enters a room (or two) and kills twenty primary-school aged children in USA is a horrible and despicable mass murderer- but if the same guy performed that particular act in some poor middle-eastern country, he is almost always portrayed as an upright soldier just doing his duty or perhaps suffering from “PTSD”. Events such as the My Lai Massacre or more recent ones in Afghanistan are more common than most believe.

Here is another example. What is the real difference between any top-level Nazi regime officials tried at Nuremberg show trials (after WW2) and people such as Curtis LeMay, Henry Kissinger, William Westmoreland, Bush 41, Bush43, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld- to name a few. In my opinion, the most importance difference between top Nazi era officials and their post-WW2 american equivalents is that the former wore far better looking uniforms. But why stop here? Ever wonder how the world would have reacted if Nazi Germany had won WW2? Here is a clue.. look at how the world has reacted to post-WW2 USA. My point is that we should not pretend that post-WW2 (or even pre-WW2) USA exists on a different “moral plane” than Nazi-era Germany, pre-1945 Japan, pre-WW2 UK and France or other 19th century colonial powers.

Still not convinced? Ask ten random people in USA what they think of China. Chances are most of them will say something about totalitarianism, hyper-capitalism, air pollution, alleged oppression of minorities, internet censorship and other assorted bullshit which they desperately want to believe. Oddly enough, almost none of them allow their minds to think about the history of their “own” country in an objective manner. Because, let us face it, USA was built by stealing land from its original inhabitants who were then conveniently genocided, its initial wealth was built, first using race-based slavery and then exploiting poor immigrants from other countries. But it gets better.. its global position in the 20th century was largely due it being not ravaged by WW1 and WW2. And in spite of claiming great military superiority, it has not won a single war since WW2.

In contrast to that, China was able to reach its current position as the largest global economy (in real terms) of the early 21st century without stealing land from other people, without slavery and in spite of having to start from scratch in aftermath of partial Japanese occupation (pre-1945) which was preceded by the century of humiliation by white colonial powers. Moreover, the bulk of that development occurred within the previous forty years. By any objective criteria, China and its people have achieved in 40-50 years what the USA took overt two centuries- and have done so with far fewer negative externalities. They have also achieved that outcome with far less social and economic inequality when compared to USA for most of its history.

My point is that most people believe whatever they want to believe, and most are incapable of objective thinking and reason. Let me further explain that concept with three more (long-form) examples. They are as follows: 1] Rise and fall of Nazism and personality cult of Hitler in 1933-1945 era Germany. 2] Rise and fall of american public support for the Vietnam War and 3] The rise and ongoing fall of neoliberal worldview in the ‘west’. As some might remember, I have written a few posts about the first issue in past, such as: how high unemployment was linked to rise of Nazi party in Germany and similarities between those who joined the Nazi party and contemporary careerists. I have also written a few post about neoliberalism and will therefore start by focusing on the american misadventure in Vietnam, which ended in a humiliating defeat.

Let me begin this part by asking you a few simple questions. Why did barely 20% of Americans think that sending troops to Vietnam was a mistake as late as mid-1966? Why did approval for that war drop so quickly between 1967 and 1969? But perhaps, most curiously, why did almost 30% of americans think that the war was not a mistake as late as 1972-1973? The first question is probably the easiest to answer. Most people will support incredibly bad and dangerous ideas as long as they don’t have skin in the game and think they can get away with it. As late as 1966, the number of young american men drafted in that war was barely about 200,000 and most did not experience any significant risk during their tour of duty. Furthermore, their adversaries were asian- a group largely seen as subhuman by white americans.

So what caused this shift in public attitudes? While the conventional narrative ‘Tet Offensive’ did a lot of damage to public image of american forces in Vietnam, it was (in retrospective) just one of the many factors which caused that shift. A far bigger reason was the rapid increase in number of young men drafted for that war after 1966. Some of you might wonder as why the Korean war (1950-1953), whose final casualty figures were pretty close to the one on Vietnam, did not result in a similar shift in public attitudes. Well.. there are two reasons. Firstly, it was just five years after WW2 and the numbers looked small in comparison. Secondly, the part of that war which involved heavy fighting was much shorter (if far more intense) than in Vietnam. Short intense wars have always been far easier to justify than long drawn-out conflicts.

Which brings us to the most peculiar of the three questions. Why did upto a third of the american public believe that the Vietnam war was not a mistake, as late as 1973? Wasn’t it pretty obvious that the war had been a costly failure by then? In my opinion, this comes down to their complete unwillingness and inability to think in anything approaching a rational manner. As I wrote in a previous series, WW1 and WW2 got rid of a lot of reactionary and CONservative men in Europe and Japan- but the late entry of USA in both wars as well as fairly low casualties in the theaters they were deployed did not get rid of most idiots. In other words, USA has (and had) far more living reactionary and CONservative idiots than Europe and many other countries.

The point I am trying to make is that propaganda does not really change minds or worldviews. It merely provides “official” external validation and cover for bad, stupid and disastrous ideas. This also means that any ideology which assumes that most human beings are intrinsically good or thoughtful is fundamentally flawed. Similarly, arguing or debating racists and other types of assorted assholes in good faith is a total waste of your time. Only death or the fear of certain death has, historically, demonstrated the ability to change terms of discourse about fundamental differences in opinion. Nazism lost popular appeal only after most of its supporters got killed in, or in the immediate aftermath of, WW2. The same is true for all those other odious pre-1945 ideas about racial superiority and colonialism in the ‘west’.

In the next part, I will write about how the majority of people will often support other amazingly bad and disastrous ideas if they feel they can get away with doing so.

What do you think? Comments?