(ReadWith) RightWingPopulism

An extreme right-wing political phenomenon we thought was safely in the dustbin of history.

Quora Answer : I'm a left-leaning libertarian. How would you convince me to be a fascist?

Dec 13, 2017

Here's how I'd do it.

First, I'll put you in a crap job in a run-down economy and leave you there long enough that you start feeling that things are never going to get any better.

Second, I'll identify some "scapegoat" categories of people. There are three important properties that make for a suitable scapegoat category :

  • they have to be a minority small enough / disempowered that they can't actually win elections or gain significant political power.
  • they have to have some very visible distinction from you. Otherwise it will be harder to convince you that you are of a different, superior type to them.
  • there has to be some story I can tell that plausibly shows they are doing better than you. This might be that I can find some examples of the scapegoat category that have made a lot of money. Or it could be that scapegoats have been running a vociferous campaign for rights, which has garnered a lot of publicity. Etc. Something that makes them look like they have had some success.

Third, I'll bombard you with low level, subtle propaganda that communicates the messages that the scapegoat categories are a) different from you, and b) not as good as you.

Fourth, once you're marinaded in those twin feelings of pessimism about the future, and difference and superiority towards the scapegoat categories, I'll start the second phase of propaganda : telling you that it's the unfair success of the scapegoat categories which is responsible for your own miserable state. It's unfair, I'll say, that these people who are less worthy than you, are taking advantage of people like you through dubious behaviour.

Fifth, I'll now start my political campaign in earnest. I'll say that the scapegoat categories are actively dangerous to society. Their rapaciousness is what has destroyed your welfare. And they must be stopped if we are to save our world. Support me. Vote for me. And I will prioritise solving your problems and push the scapegoat category back down again. So you won't need to fear them any more and you will be getting your just piece of the pie.

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