Reasoning with propaganda?

Why am I so judgmental?
Two tier medicine yet again

2012-05-15 propaganda

I sat down today to write something for this blog with a particular idea in mind. I wanted to talk about how to handle situations where a cause or idea that I strongly believe in is represented very poorly.

I came across this YouTube video a few days ago.
She (Kathryn Marshall) was soooooo bad, that I could not watch it to the end.

Then when I sat down to write about it, I realized that this particular issue, although it is a good example, is not really timely. The interview took place in February and a few weeks ago she left Ethical Oil – fired for incompetence, I hope. The general theme (good ideas represented poorly) is more enduring than her job, so I am sure I will have plenty of opportunity to talk about it in the future.

Then I started checking out some facts and arguments about the Oil Sands and ran into Naomi Klein. So to speak. I ran into her youtube videos on the subject. Once you find Naomi Klein, you know that Noam Chomsky cannot be far, and he wasn’t. I cannot read Noam Chomsky for ten minutes without him making my blood boil. These two have similar ways pushing my buttons. They are both masters of sleazy insinuations and emotional manipulations.

In this ten minutes video, a speech of Naomi on labor day last year I counted ten flat out lies, seven statements of pure bullshit, eight statements of ill-informed stupidity, four instances of gross exaggeration and misrepresentation and six clichés appealing to the crowd and I did not count the statements I just do not agree with and could debate.

I realized at some point that it is impossible to argue with them. Every second statement they make would require a half an hour analysis to demonstrate the sleaze, the manipulation, the innuendos the foundation of the falsehood and the speaker’s nefarious intent. The problem with this is that in civilized conversations you are not afforded the time to perform this analysis.

But let’s suppose that I can do such thing. I can sit down with my webcam and insert my comments into the video tripling its duration. But to what end? Who will I convince? Aren’t the people who eat this up beyond hope already?

Chomsky and Klein are intellectual vampires, sucking the lifeblood out of reasonable debate; but is there any way to make a debate reasonable with people like them? Should we even try? This would be the same with the two radical subjects of my post on 2012 April 26th.

Opinions can be discussed, different interpretations of any subjects can be debated but cliché ridden propaganda appealing to the mentality of mobs cannot be faced with reason.

So the question is: how can we face it?

We live in a polarized world where the mob-like extremes and the sleazy voices whipping them into frenzy are getting louder every day.

How should we deal with them?

4 replies on “Reasoning with propaganda?”

  1. David Strutt says:
    Hello Zork,

    There are three methods to deal with the problems we face and the socialists who want to control our every move more than we want to be free.

    The first is relatively simple but costly … a citizens’ militia marches on Parliament Hill and overthrows the government, tosses every member of the Commons and Senate out onto the lawn and we start over. (I get dibs on the CRA.) It wouldn’t be the first time it happened.

    For true patriots, the second method is effective but it isn’t so easy. This one requires intestinal fortitude, an appreciation for the past, a solid conviction for freedom and what you want to see in the future of this nation. It requires a commitment to generations to come and a resolute determination to stay the course in the face of all odds. It means one has to invest time, elbow grease and some of your hard-earned cash. It also means getting up off your ass to vote and to attend events that need your physical presence to shout down the forces of socialism and anarchy.

    However, we’re talking about Canada here so the third method is probably the only method and it is, by far, the most costly. Run away and hide, hope it goes away and if it persists, throw tons of money at it until it’s quiet … temporarily … stay ready to throw more money at it again and again and again. Then capitulate because, in 2012, that is the Canadian way.

    Then you wake up one morning and to discover everything you cherished is gone and you have become a thrall, just a faceless particle of the proletariat. You have nothing – you own nothing – you mean nothing – your life is worthless. And then you disappear.

    … or …


    Never give up!

    • zorkthehun says:
      Well, David,
      This is indeed the question. How to confront the forces of darkness. Should the demagogues be confronted head on or should they be ignored. Should we put in the effort to explain the sleaze or should we just restate what we believe hoping that the whispers of reason will eventually prevail over the shouts of propaganda?
      It is a galactic quest…. 

      “Never give up, never surrender”

  2. David Strutt says:
    Hello Zork,

    Let me see if I get this right. You began to write about the gross misrepresentation of things pertaining to the free enterprise system by the radical left and, being a reasonable person, initially considered that there must be a presentable, fact-based argument that they would simply have to accept by virtue of pure reason.

    Then you looked at it again and wondered about the success of such an argument presented to an audience that doesn’t care about reason or truth. The motives of these people are masked by the subject matter they misrepresent (I like that phrase, I think I’ll use it again.). They aren’t interested in learning about the validity of the Alberta Oil Sands or even presenting an alternative energy conversion method. The real agenda coveted by radical socialists is the destruction of the Western World.

    When you reached that point, you couldn’t help but think that there must be something enlightening to present that would show them the error of their ways and we rational, free enterprise, law-abiding, capitalist folks would have a new convert.

    After a short muse, you accepted the futility of that whole idea but had to wonder if there was an effective way to counter the influence of these blatant liars and steal their audiences.

    Then you considered their audiences …

    There is no point in trying to reason with this element of the left because reason is their greatest enemy. They preach to their choirs while the socialist media jams it out over the broadcast system, and the uninformed masses listen and believe it must be true otherwise it couldn’t be published as fact.

    The solution, of course, is for those of us who see through the madness to use essentially the same approach and rally the folks who relish freedom, self-esteem and the joy of attaining their own successes; financial or otherwise.

    Rally the forces of Freedom and tell the truth. That’s the solution if we can achieve it.


    • zorkthehun says:
      Hi David,

      Like the others, this comment of yours started a veritable idea storm in my head. You touched on more issues than I can answer in a reply to yours, but I will do whole entries on:
      Mob mentality – is it purely psychological? How set is the mob? I contend, that some part of any mob could be reasoned with.
      I believe that most people do not care about our concerns although I think they should.
      I want to show them (if I can get to them) that everything is touched by politics and its effect on even the smallest things in our lives cannot and should not be ignored.
      I am also an intellectual masochist. I WANT TO UNDERSTAND the twisted evil leftist mind. Saying that it is twisted and evil is not a sufficient answer to me. I want to know how much deliberation is behind the statements of Chomsky & Klein? Gore & Moore? Are they stupid, evil, or just self-serving cynics? How much of their own bullshit do they believe? What makes them impervious to reason and evidence?
      Again, what I want to achieve with this blog is putting questions in the minds of its readers about anything.
      My motto is:
      I am not looking for answers
      We all have those
      I am looking for the right questions

      …..because only the right question can reveal the correct answer
      I had another busy week, but a long weekend is coming……

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