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There is a really interesting tension in the world of propaganda - I see it in the modern Hong Kong situation. The better job the propagandists do of minimising Tienanmen for example the more likely China is to get Tienanmen-like protests again.

From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework. That probably leaves a vulnerability to being toppled in the same way.






>From that perspective, Western democracies have really struggled to assimilate their long history of toppling other nations and benefiting from their resources into the cultural framework

I think that's a post internet thing. Pre-internet most of us got all of our historical information from school, and there weren't places like Twitter or Facebook to spread what were previously dismissed as fairy tales.

I certainly wouldnt have been aware of much of the shitty "world building" that the US goes around doing without having visited some of the internet's scummiest corners in the last decade or so. It's actually amazing to see how much of this has trickled into the mainstream as it became acceptable discourse on more mainstream places like Reddit and eventually FB and such.

I mean sure, you had things like Vietnam which were polarizing along this very dividing line, but the average person was fed a different set of spin on much of what they ultimately grew up learning, and I think that may have played a role in American Exceptionalism. Nowadays people, especially young people, tend to be far less patriotic and I would attribute this apathy or even disdain for at least part of the current breakdown in political discourse and ostensible early decline stage of the American Empire. Of course it's worth saying that much of this divide falls neatly along left/right as critics/apologists of/for American realpolitik.


This is 100% a function of your age and has nothing to do with the availability of reddit(?!).

Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.


>Every teenager thinks "I know the real truth unlike the rest of the sheeple!" Usually they grow out of it.

And the ones who don’t are the ones who actually move the needle. ;)


I'm talking young adults. 20 somethings. They won't grow out of it if they have nothing cohesive to grow into, and I think many see a broken history as a huge smear on the country. There were fewer of these people pre internet because most then learned a somewhat biased account in school and then went off to join society with little chance of encountering revisionist history, outside of certain relatively small social circles.

Now it's all over the internet, a sort of radicalization-lite that starts in tighter circles where kids swap conspiracy theories and alternative perspectives, and more of this stuff quickly starts leaking mainstream.

I think any dominant culture de facto produces and consumes its own propaganda, to some extent. That's good and bad. The information age has made the system more chaotic because of the speed and convenience of data exchange, and that leads to more frequent clashing and fracturing in society, as common indoctrination does lead to greater social cohesion, across cultures. Propaganda has less of an effect and people have less reason to rally together because of different views on, say, in America's case, history and even some of our modern world building.

What, you think radicalization is unique to the chans? You'll see it's all around us if you're not unfairly exclusive in your definition of radical.


Very refreshing to read what I hold to be both a simple and material conception of present political currents. The internet is a complicated blessing.

Separate and beyond your point, which I very much agree with, I predict this will ultimately re-center a focus onto publicly ratified power. As it stands, corporations are effectively state institutions with no public ties. There are some striking congruencies with feudalism in modern capitalism, but technology makes it all virtually incomparable in the big picture. The internet transcends beyond physical empire not only for worse but ultimately for better in this case. If only the road to democracy from here were not so bloody nonetheless.




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