After great many years, I watched Gaslight again. I watched it because my wife has not seen it before, but I watched it also as a refresher to the concept. I am hearing the word ‘gaslighting’ with increasing frequency and with a mostly correct understanding of what it could mean but I’m still wondering how many of the millennials using it ever saw the movie that created the notion. The idea that you can be controlled if you start doubting your sanity, your perception of reality, your actions and your public image.
The left today is using this as an all-out strategy. If you are conservative, you are stupid, if you question their policies, you aren’t simply wrong you must be evil or crazy. In either case, not to be taken seriously.
It is applied to everything. Climate change, gender identity, racism, immigration, vaccination, monetary and fiscal policy, Marxism, globalization, the great reset, electoral fraud, Covid-19 and the response to it, the understanding of history and biology – you name it.
The left is elevating Orwellian doublethink to new heights by externalizing cognitive dissonance. They are making certain subjects real and fictional, true and false, good and bad at the same time.
When Naomi Klein says “This changes everything”, she is referring to the climate change ‘crisis’ as the best excuse to radically change society, to bring about a socialist dream-world. If you say that the climate change agenda is just an excuse to bring about political change, then you are labeled a conspiracy theorist.
When Klaus Schwab says that “The pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine and reset our world”; that you will own nothing and you will be happy, it is a positive vision of our future. If you say that Klaus Schwab and his associates want to control your future, you are, again, just delusional. The great reset is an amazing plan for our future with a very detailed and very public program on the one hand, and a figment of your conspiracy theorist imagination on the other.
George Soros is a benefactor to some, a megalomaniac evil manipulator to others. Questioning his motives, morals and integrity will be met not with answers, but with the questioning of your motives, morals and integrity.
The globalization of power is a wonderful thing, but the globalization of the free market is evil.
The centralization of power in the hands of supranational organizations is a good thing, but if you think that this may result in the loss of freedom and democracy then you are delusional.
The European Union is deeply, fundamentally undemocratic – in fact – but not in the minds of its supporters. They see it as the very expression of democracy. If you oppose the loss of democracy, you will be accused of opposing democracy itself. The same goes for the federalization of power in both the US and Canada
The left is advancing its radical agenda while gaslighting their opponents about the fact that they are advancing a radical agenda. Radical is the new normal. Everybody knows that. You must be crazy, if you don’t understand that.
The psychology of it
The point of gaslighting is to put its subject into a defensive position to the point of questioning themselves and their sanity. How do I know it? Because it is happening even to me, as I am sure it is to you. It is not possible to avoid at least a momentary self reflection when you are accused of something contemptible.
Am I a conspiracy theorist? A racist, homophobe climate change denier? A Covid-denier, antiwaxer nut-job? For asking questions? For pointing out alternative explanations, arguments or evidence pointing in a different direction? Wanting to see scientists discuss different or even opposing views on some important subject? Trying to understand why can’t we talk about certain things? (whatever they are)
We are simply overwhelmed with the leftist/statist narrative to such an extent, that we start questioning our sense of reality.
The other day I listened to a ‘debate’ about vaccine passports. Not immunity passports. Not the benefits of vaccination. The title was: Be it resolved: vaccine passports are essential to stopping the spread of Covid-19 and safely reopen our economies.
But it was not about that. The ‘debate’ was about the most equitable way of implementing it. There was no debate at all. It was a pretense. An excuse to advance the official narrative. To send the message that the unconditional acceptance of the vaccine narrative is the baseline of any conversation. There is no cure but the vaccine. If there was, they would talk about it, wouldn’t they?
But the subliminal message is this:
We are the Borg. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.
The strategy is not new. At some point, the Soviets started putting their opponents into mental asylums with the simple reasoning that if you cannot understand and accept the logic and inevitability of communism, you must be crazy. What we see today, is the same old communist strategy and we seem to be defenseless, still desperately trying to prove that we are not crazy and definitely not immoral.
You cannot argue with any of it, as it is not designed to create a dialog, but to prevent it. The point is to end debate. To shut down discussions, to suppress ANY deviation from the official narrative. Just think about any of the subjects the left refuses to talk about. Trying to reason with them, presenting them with evidence will just get them angry. By all means, try, but don’t expect any positive result.
As Mark Twain said:
How can we deal with it?
- By not doubting yourself
- By understanding that a failure of polite engagement means that you won
By understanding that:
- …when you are called names, you won
- …when all you hear is propaganda as a response to your arguments, you won.
- …when you get clichés and logical fallacies, you won
- …when they get angry, you won
- …when they try to shut you up, censor you, cancel you, ban you – YOU WON
Because if they had the answers, they would not have to do any of it.
A reasonable, honest discussion would not need the gaslighting.