NYT review of: "Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America"

Originally published at: NYT review of: "Trust the Plan: The Rise of QAnon and the Conspiracy That Unhinged America" | Boing Boing


This is maybe the best distillation I’ve seen of the issue, it’s taking a religious idea that millenarian sects use and turning it into a political motivator, and the “scripture” they’re citing is opaque internet “clues” written concurrently, which can be interpreted any way you want to get the outcome you most desire.


I guess I don’t have to read it. I’ve lived it.


And the Times knows about conspiracy cultists. Just look at their coverage of transgender people.


No slight to Frauenfelder’s liberal and humanitarian creds. But if this were a post by Elias Villoro, he would likely be pointing out how at least 50 years of willful neglect by capitalist conservatives throughout western democracies have primed people for this radicalization.

Mainstream conservatives laid this table. And now extremists have stolen the feast.

In the US, Republicans campaign on policies that push down the disadvantaged and actively work to disenfranchise them. Because historically those people tended to vote Democrat. Many have been pushed to such desperate circumstances they’ve been self-radicalizing for quite a while. Q conspiracy is using the internet to exploit at scale this already well fertilized field. And Trump had the inspiration to pluck them for monetary and political advantage.

But I can’t let Democrats and their liberal counterparts in other countries off the hook completely - well intentioned as they may be. Thomas Piketty makes the case in his second work on global economic history, Capital and Ideology, how the liberal parties in western democracies came to ignore a group who traditionally were part of their working class base. These were the less fortunate who missed out on the liberal policy fruits won since the massive global destruction of capital by two world wars forcibly leveled off the upper extremes of the wealth and income gaps. The wars also exposed great numbers of young men and women to far wider experience and opportunity than they ever had before.

Increased access to education, healthcare, and economic mobility allowed a great many of those historically poor and working class constituents of the left to lift themselves into middle and even upper classes. These were great and positive achievements by liberal governments. But those evolving demographics drew the liberal political “people’s parties” to focus ever more on their growing liberal elites, because they were loyal and had resources to finance campaigns. Besides, who doesn’t prefer to focus on successes instead of failures? Failure doesn’t help the brand.

So those who for whatever reasons failed to thrive from the new liberalized benefits gradually became the ignored “left behinds”. And it’s no great surprise this underclass has been growing, simmering, and waiting for a demagogue to seduce them.

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


… and, of course, the whole “The Storm” thing comes from a toy commercial

EDIT: as @hand2mouse points out it’s originally from genghis khan though i bet it passed through this ad on it’s way to trump’s brain


"“Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ The warrior whispers back, ‘I am the storm.'”

I’ve been seeing catalogs selling pillows, bracelets, etc with this quote. Is it related? I don’t know anyone spouting q memes (maybe because I live in Portland).

Irrelevant backstory: I still get mail order catalogs for junk like this, because I enjoy flipping through them when I need a few mindless minutes and I don’t want blue light (i.e. bedtime). I buy something once every 3 to 5 years, and this intermittent reinforcement keeps them coming. I really should go on the “no” list to better help the planet. I manage to avoid buying sequined ball caps (even though I’m a woman of a certain age).

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I am surprised the NYT didn’t say “it’s alright, but wasn’t very balanced”

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