Friday, October 17, 2014

Whatever logical reasoning is brought froward to justify social policies, the underlying divide is always the pre-conscious choice of "the deserving vs. the undeserving". It rests upon denying humanity to other humans, stereotyped as an arbitrarily chosen group.  To do that, an easily recognisable attribute (race, gender, disability, religion, sexuality, employment status) is picked to turn into catchy replicable soundbites and headlines. Although superficially "rational", such catchy slogans appeal directly to pre-rational, non-verbal affects, usually something very powerful and negative like envy, fear of the Other, anger, neurotic frustration, etc. That way, such slogans provide a channel for pent-up, unprocessed affects to surface on the verbal level accessible to the "rational" mind (aka, the secondary thinking process). The link between the slogan and the affect stays very powerful, strengthened further by media exposure and confirmation bias.

In the parlance of Russian spin doctors, such couplings are called "schizo-blocks", false dilemmas cooked up with the help of focus groups and brain-storming sessions.

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