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The Power of Nightmares (Transcript & Bittorrent)

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Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 114
Location: Berlin

Post Post subject: The Power of Nightmares (Transcript & Bittorrent) Reply with quote

Complete transcripts and Bittorrents of Parts 1 & 2 available here:

(Part 3 will presumably follow soon.)
Wed Nov 03, 2004 10:49 pm
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Joined: 30 Jan 2004
Posts: 27

Post Post subject: not understanding Reply with quote

the line on them protecting us from dangers we don't understand,
is the most sinister bit where the people's own bigoted sand closed minded nature could work in the political class's favour. As indeed it already does, concerning the will to believe in racism and disbelieve in poverty, that has been current in public opinion throughout modern history.

There is 1 particular silencing trick that plays such a big role in keeping the thoughtless majority oblivious to social injustices, that I see no civil liberty objection to wanting it banned. It's the "I don't understand" trick. This is when you say a thing whose meaning is clear enough, but because it's at odds with the range of ideas the hearers are already familiar with, they say "I don't understand". Being up against this like a brick wall unless you only say what they want to hear, you are silenced. There's no honesty in folk saying they don't understand. You get to notice that, after you see a few examples where as soon as 1 character starts it, 6 more rush to join in like apes and say they don't understand either. You can see they are doing it to keep in with the group, shut out your point of view. Of course a person can have genuine failings at following language and must be entitled to ask for explanations, but that's the point: they would ask you to explain it, point by point, willing to understand. Players of the "I don't understand" trick never do that. They won't listen any more, the "I don't understand" posture is always impatient and rejecting of any further explanation you have. That's above all what proves it is a trick. Do they itemise what they haven't followed and ask you to explain? That's how you tell the no one ever actually needs to say "I don't understand".

The "I don't understand" trick is the greatest weapon of bigots and unfair obstacle to getting anything heard that's not what popular culture already wants to believe. This is clearly out of order if the mob refuse to want to understand things to do with personal safety or schools endangering children. It's not real life, think about it, that the public will gladly recognise the truth of a fact outside the group consensus as soon as 1 voice speaks out, like the boy in The Emperor's New Clothes. In that fable as Hans Christian Andersen wrote it, the crowd's minds were open to the discovery that their emperor was a nudist: they were disaffected with politicians, like today. The other side of the equation is the will to believe. If the crowd had been emotionally committed to believe in the emperor's clothes, they would have ignored the boy, wouldn't they? Silly sods still take comfort in being racist even though they know racism has no scientific basis. The real reason for saying "I don't understand" is that you don't want to believe a fact. Whether you get called articulate or hard to understand is determined by whether the reader wants to believe what you say.
Thu Nov 04, 2004 12:17 pm
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