The “far right” (concoction of so many toxic elements it’s unbelievable) is busy tweeting and all, and wearing sheep’s clothing, as there is an insidious creep into … everything really.
One of their tricks is to try and communicate in a way that keeps a normal, healthy listener, viewer or reader slightly inside the line of cocking one’s head and considering, or stitching together strands, that lead to the deduction that you’re seeing an extremist at work.
I find myself reading tweets that seem a little meaningless, but have subtle strands embedded, so that if you actually pursue the content, there’s really only one conclusion of intent. It’s a strange state, and the trick plays on our human frailties.
Sadly, Twitter is the perfect forum for this. Longer text would require incredible language skills to prevent enough information being communicated for the reader to easily identify the extremist.
One trick is this. The mispellings. Call me nuts, but I was never convinced George Bush Junior’s incapacity with words was natural. You’d hear them then have to process them, which took your mind off what he was saying.
Same thing now. But the more I read the silly tweets, the more of a pattern I’m seeing. (I’m a linguist, so trained properly in … er … linguistics).
The same types of mispelling and grammatical errors. The same little tricks to put the mind off course, to drive absent-mindedness and indecision.
Like this: “Bannon is an ecobomic nationalist, anti- globalist. Not a white supremacist, as … is ascerting”
Simple little things. But they’re all doing similar simple little things.
Why am I blithering on?
There’s clearly a playbook, and some kind of training. Here in the UK (hello @GilbertWham!) we’re facing a situation that is straight from the Bannon Dream. We have a political leadership that seems intent on driving the UK over a cliff.
It’s working, too. And British people don’t know how to respond. There’s lots of offence-taken, and tea consumed, and frowns and “… that didn’t happen in my day” etc, but little offence.
A national radio show (BBC Radio 4 - the Today Program) gave Steve Bannon 15 clear minutes this morning to espouse his views unchallenged. The Daily Mail and Telegraph are patently extremist. Industry and Hedge Funds are profiting from a collapsing exchange rate.
My mind is drawn to the last time the British actually did anything in the face of Orwellian activism* - Arresting and interning Oswald Mosley, a charismatic activist Nazi sympathiser, in 1940 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Mosley#Internment). He had that slightly pre head-cocking trick of appealing for peace with Hitler.
But now the great “Forces” are back with an integrated, flooding campaign. It’s working. It strikes me that across every institution and mechanism that supports a liberal environment there have been termites insidiously working to undermine or prevent the functioning of those systems.
We need a proper action plan - and we are way, way up the creek already - the dysfunction of the legal system and non-accountability of the political class are massive flags of danger.
- Where and when btw did the undressing of George Orwell begin? It was early 2010s? I’m talking about the stories that undermine the legitimacy of his anti-authoritarian views. We grew up accepting his writings as important and untainted, a kind of quiet non-admired hero. Whatever his personal life, those texts (1984, Animal Farm) are crucial to developing a safe nation mindset.