November 14, 2011

Blue Army: Theory and Doctrine

Global War on Disinformation

John Edgar Hoover (1895 – 1972) [Director of the FBI, 1935-1972]:
Communism, in reality, is not a political party.
It is [an] evil and malignant way of life.
It reveals a condition akin to [a] disease that spreads like an epidemic.
And like an epidemic, a quarantine is necessary to keep it from infecting this nation.

Stanley Nelson (1951):
245 of the 290 COINTELPRO actions [84%] were against the Black Panthers.
One of the mandates was do not make this program public: do not tell anybody that it exists.
(Black Panthers: Vanguard Of Revolution, 2015)

The program was successfully kept secret until 1971, when the Citizens' Commission to Investigate the FBI burgled an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania, took several dossiers, and exposed the program by passing this material to news agencies.
Many news organizations initially refused to publish the information.
(23 March 2017)

(Michael Sandel, Justice: Free To Choose, February 2011)

(Michael Sandel, Justice: What's A Fair Start?, February 2011)

John Rawls (1921 – 2002):
Those who have been favored by nature, whoever they are, may gain from their good fortune, only on terms that improve the situation of those who have lost out.

Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013):
There is no such thing as society.
There are individual men and women, and there are families. …
It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.
[There] is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation.

Ayn Rand (1905 – 1982):
There is no such entity as the tribe or the public.
The tribe, or society, is only a number of individual men.
Nothing can be good for the tribe as such.
Good and value pertain only to … an individual living organism, not to a disembodied aggregate of relationships.

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859):
When all the members of a community are independent of, or indifferent to, each other, the cooperation of each of them can only be obtained by paying for it; this infinitely multiplies the purposes to which wealth may be applied, and increases its value. …
Men are no longer bound together by ideas, but by interests; and it would seem as if human opinions were reduced to a sort of intellectual dust, scattered on every side, unable to collect, unable to cohere.
(Democracy in America, 1835-40, Bantam, 2011, pp 461 & 516)

Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809):
[Government,] even in its best state, is but a necessary evil …
(Common Sense, 1776)

Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004):
Government is not the solution …
Government is the problem. …

I continue to look to the Scriptures … for fulfilment and for guidance.
Indeed, it is an incontrovertible fact, that all the complex and horrendous questions confronting us at home, and worldwide, have their answer in that single Book. …

Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797):
To … love the little platoon we belong to, in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.
It is the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love
  • to our country, and
  • to mankind.

Ralph Emerson (1803 – 1882):
Do not tell me, as a good man did to-day, of my obligation to put all poor men in good situations.
Are they my poor?
I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the dime, the cent, I give to such men as do not belong to me and to whom I do not belong.
(Self-Reliance, Essays: First Series, 1841)

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 1859):
It is both necessary and desirable that the government of a democratic people should be active and powerful.
[Our] object should not be to render it weak or indolent, but solely to prevent it from abusing its aptitude and its strength.
(Democracy in America, 1835, p 867)

Cultural Total War: The Global War on Political Correctness

Ann Coulter (1961):
Christianity fuels everything I write. …
We should invade [Muslim] countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.
We weren't punctilious about … punishing only Hitler and his top officers.
We carpet-bombed German cities …
[We] killed civilians.
That's war.
And this is war. …
[Joe McCarthy] saved America and it was only another 20 years or so before Ronald Reagan came in and saved the world. …

Rosalie Crestani [Deputy President, Rise up Australia Party]:
[We're] about to see a crusade …
Western countries are going to start to rise up.
I mean the true western countries because I think America's too far gone now.
They've got a jihadist in the White House — he's the one that started ISIS, [he] armed and … established them, he's used the CIA to recruit [for them …]
(Sami Shah, Putting the ex in Muslim, Earshot, 1 August 2016)

Bronwyn Bishop [29th Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives] (1942):
[What] we're really seeing in our county is a clash of cultures …
[The] headscarf is being used as [an] iconic item of defiance [by] the sort of people who want to overturn our values …
[Headscarves should be banned in Australian public schools (and veiled women segregated in the public galleries of the Federal Parliament). …]
[Hijab-wearing women are slaves who] can't deal with the choices that freedom offers.
(2005 and 2014)

James Robison (1943) [Televangelist]:
I sick an tired of hearing about all of the radicals, and the perverts, and the liberals, and the leftists, and the communists coming out of the closet.
It's times for God's people to come out of closet, out of the churches, and change America.
We must do it!

Richard Russell [US Senator for Georgia (D), 1933-71] (1897 – 1971):
[The Civil Rights bill] is a perversion of the American way of life and a great blow at the right of dominion over private property that has been the genesis of our greatness.

George Wallace (1919 – 1998) [Governor of Alabama, 1983-87]:
Segregation now!
Segregation tomorrow!
And segregation forever!

During his final years, Wallace publicly recanted his racist views and asked for forgiveness from African Americans.
(6 July 2017)

Niall Ferguson (1964):
[Trump is,] in some measure, a reaction against [political correctness. …]
What was, to many people, deeply exhilarating about Trump's speeches was their completely unfiltered quality: that every single thing that was politically incorrect was there.
And I don't think it would have been as appealing, it would not have been as exciting, if these had not become taboos.
Now I can't condone the xenophobia, the misogyny — it all in there and its malignant — but the reason that it's popular, the reason that it resonates, is that we've created [a] stifling culture of self-censorship:
  • in our academies,
  • in our universities, [and]
  • in the media …
(Sydney Opera House Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, 24 May 2016)

Ludwig von Mises (1881 – 1973):
The emergence of a numerous class of … frivolous intellectuals is one of the least welcome phenomena of the age of modern capitalism.
Their obtrusive stir repels discriminating people.
They are a nuisance.
(p 107)

[A] large number of American research physicists sympathize with socialism and communism …
University teachers of economics [oppose] what they disparagingly call the profit system …
(The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality, Van Nostrand, 1956, p 20)

Milton Friedman (1912 – 2006):
It (is) crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack — not by Communist or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote.
(Foreward to Dr Arthur Shenfield's lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society", Rockford College, 1970)

Waleed Aly (1978)

[In] the mid-1970s … arch neo-conservative Irving Kristol (1920 – 2009) warned of a creeping 'new class' whose members are
not much interested in money but are keenly interested in [cultural power, ie the] power to shape our civilization — a power, which in a capitalist system is supposed to reside in the free market.

(Adam Curtis, Baby Its Cold Outside, The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear, Episode 1, 2004)

The "new class" wants to see much of this power redistributed to government where they will then have a major say in how it is exercised.

The "new class" [consisted of:]
[A] goodly proportion of those college educated people …
  • scientists,
  • teacher and educational administrators,
  • journalists and others in the communications industries,
  • psychologists,
  • social workers,
  • those lawyers and doctors who make their careers in the expanding public sector,
  • city planners,
  • the staffs of the larger foundations, [and]
  • the upper levels of the government bureaucracy.
Kristol, a former Trotskyist, had constructed a new "class war" between the "new class" and what would later be called the nation's "moral majority."
Since the being, then American neo-conservatism has been obsessed with the agenda of "liberal elites" who exploit their privileged position to indoctrinate the nation and take it over with their anti-capitalism.
Particular venom in this connection is saved for the 'liberal media,' …
(p 64)

The discourse of Australian neo-conservatism is essentially the same …
The components of the "new class" are all there:
  • civil-liberties lawyers,
  • (particularly climate) scientists, [and]
  • academics.

The narrative — promulgated by both [John Howard] and his devotees in the commentariat — was that Australian cultural institutions and the telling of Australian history had been captured by a leftist orthodoxy spreading a 'black armband' version of Australian history that emphasized, exaggerated and even distorted the atrocities of colonial violence against the indigenous population.
This in turn precipitated cultural relativism and an obsession with political correctness.
At fault were the proliferation of:
  • special-interest groups,
  • leftist academics and, …
  • a biased media.
On this last point, the ABC was particularly pilloried. …

Accordingly, Howard undertook the very project he so despised in his leftist foes, promoting what we might call, in the prevailing spirit of [ideological] trench warfare: a Right orthodoxy on history and culture.
Australia's history was 'heroic,' its 'blemishes' insufficient to negate its net positive [moral] 'balance sheet.'
Meanwhile he articulated a new Australian mythology centred on military history [—] Anzac Day, once a fading reference point, was reinvigorated to the point of national definition. …
(p 65)

Neo-conservatives … posit a clear, identifiable, [pure and] unproblematic national culture [—] a culture that was comparatively homogenous until the relativism of the Left tore at its fabric.
This is an ossified, nostalgic fiction. …
The history on which this nostalgia is based is … ideologically coloured.
So the diggers in Gallipoli were fighting for freedom (rather than the British Empire), just as those in Iraq were fighting for freedom.
Or similarly, ours is a culture that stems from the Judeo-Christian tradition, in spite of the fact that the Jewish tradition is very different from the Christian one, and very many Christians before World War II would probably have been repulsed at the connection being drawn.
These are new constructions, presented as history for the purpose of creating what masquerades as an old, established culture. …
(p 76)

Multiculturalism — part of the leftist cultural takeover … surrenders society to cultural relativism and the decay of values …
[It] risks raising tolerance to the level of what an editorial in The Australian so cheerfully called 'a cultural suicide pact.' …
The [neo-conservative] response [has been] to produce a counter-ideology of its own: monoculturalism.

[The] Left has destroyed the moral integrity of society in favour of postmodern cultural relativism.
In the words of Melanie Phillips … who, like many [neo-conservatives] describes herself as once left-wing … the result has been
the creation of a debauched and disorderly culture of instant gratification, with disintegrating families, feral children and violence, squalor and vulgarity on the streets. …
(p 66)

This civilisational decay has created a vacuum into which assertive minorities have marched, refusing to alter their behaviour because all cultures must be treated as equally valid. …

For neo-conservatives, people must be assimilated into what it declares to be the mainstream (and note here the neo-conservative tendency to say with utter confidence what the majority thinks). …
(p 68)

The inherent contradictions in this were neatly captured in one passage, often echoed by Howard, during Brendan Nelson's Simpson's donkey harangue:
We don't care where people come from …
[We] don't mind what religion they've got or what their particular view of the world is.
But if you want to be in Australia, if you want to raise your children in Australia, we fully expect those children to be taught and to accept Australian values and beliefs. …
[That is to say believe] anything you want, provided it is what we say defines Australianness. …
(p 71)

In the black and white world of neo-conservative, there are, ultimately, those who belong and those who do not; those who are with us, and those who are against us. …
(p 74)

The trouble [originally] started in … around 1984 when the conservative historian Geoffrey Blainey began a trenchant campaign against Australia's increased levels of Asian immigration, declaring that it was tantamount to surrendering Australia.
Asian immigrants were highly conspicuous in Australian society and this would cause great social hardship for them and for the host society.
Accordingly, the rate of Asian immigration had to be slowed and multiculturalism abandoned in the interests of social cohesion. …
(p 58)

[In 2007, Kevin Andrews, then Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, announced he would cut African immigration because Sudanese migrants were not integrating sufficiently.
Incredibly, [this decision was inspired by] the murder of Liep Gony, an eighteen-year-old Sudanese refugee, by two white kids.
[Of course, the] culture of these assailants and their capacity to integrate … was not questioned: only those of the victim.
(p 80)

(What's Right? The Future of Conservatism in Australia, Quarterly Essay, Issue 37, March 2010)

Laura Tingle (1961)

[When] John Howard came into office in 1996 [he] argued that a "political correctness" was at work in Australia which didn't allow ordinary Australians to express their disquiet over welfare recipients or Asian Immigration or Aboriginal people.
Australia was being run by "elites" whose opinions didn't reflect those of the "mainstream" or "silent majority." …
[His] push back against what he saw as self-censoring Australian political discussion had its own fallout.
It gave room for people like Pauline Hanson to emerge.
There was a new intolerance for those advocating for asylum seekers, or indigenous people, or the marginalised.
Such advocates were characterised as "bleeding hearts," or in more recent years the ultimate insult: "lefties."
It seems there is no one in the middle ground anymore.
You are either a "mainstream Australian" or a "leftie."
(p 13)

… John Howard launched a war on indigenous organisations, starting with [the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC).]
The charge was financial mismanagement.
ATSIC certainly had its problems, but Howard not only brought down ATSIC but also systematically broke the institutional structures of black Australia by cutting funding to bodies such as the land councils and health and legal services.
Since then there have been the "interventions" and the embrace of the policies pursued on Cape York by Noel Pearson.
But the approach and delivery has become erratic and utterly non transparent.
(p 32)

[The] era when executive government and the bureaucracy still worked cooperatively … to get policy outcomes that were both politically and practically successful ended … when John Howard won government and sacked a raft of department heads in what became known as his "Night of the Long Knives."
This sent a shockwave through the public service and, in combination with a series of radical reforms to the public sector, accelerated a decline in its ability to make policy. …

Tony Abbott's sacking in 2013 of more public servants, including the head of Treasury, because of their association with policies on climate change and asylum seekers — to which the Coalition was hostile [— further] cowed much of the public service and helped build a toadying culture.
(p 22)

(Political Amnesia: How we forgot how to govern, Quarterly Essay, Issue 60, December 2015)

November 2, 2011

Green Army: Theory and Doctrine

Global War on Disinformation

Robert Brulle [Sociologist, Drexel University]:
There is no statistical relationship between providing [scientific] information about climate change and levels of public concern. …
[What we really] need to focus on [are the elite cues: opinion leaders] coming to some sort of agreement that climate change is real [and] that we need to address it — before you’re going to see [any change in] public opinion …
(Inside the Climate Change “Countermovement", background interview for Climate of Doubt, PBS Frontline, 30 September, 2012)

George Marshall (1964):
In 2012 … global investment in renewable energy [reached] $244 billion [while] investment into exploration and development of new [oil and gas] reserves broke the $1 trillion barrier.
(Don't Even Think About It, 2014, p 174)

Cone of Silence

George Marshall (1964)

Psychological research finds that people who survive climate disasters, like people who escape car accidents unscathed, are prone to have a false sense of their own future invulnerability.
A large field study in an Iowa town that had been hit by a Force 2 hurricane found that most people had become convinced that they were less likely to be affected by a future hurricane than people in other towns.
The people in the areas that had suffered the most damage were often the most optimistic.
So it is hardly surprising, following the extreme floods in 2012 in Queensland, Australia, that few people made any attempt to reduce their vulnerability to flooding, and many residents chose instead to spend their disaster relief and insurance premiums on general home improvements such as installing new kitchens.
(p 9)

Confirmation bias is the tendency to actively “cherry-pick” the evidence that can support our existing knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.
These create a mental map — what psychologists would call a schema — and when we encounter new information we modify it to squeeze into this existing schema, a process psychologists call biased assimilation.
(p 14)

[Those who are unconvinced about climate change] are almost always strongly conservative in politics … and tend to be from the more affluent and powerful social groups.
They are very likely to be men and may display a low level of risk perception in other areas.
This [has been dubbed] the “white man effect” …
(p 28)

The governments of the European Union, … California, and … British Columbia have all declared a long-term target of reducing emissions by 80 percent within forty years.
So far, they have managed to achieve a meager half a percent reduction per year.
(pp 66-7)

[Two] thirds of people admit that they rarely or never talk about [climate change,] even inside the close circle of their friends and family members.
Women talk about it far less than men do, and as a group, younger women talk about it less than anyone, especially … those with children.
Another survey found that a quarter of people have never discussed climate change with anyone at all.
[It] seems that the most influential climate narrative of all may be the non-narrative of collective silence.
(pp 81-2, emphasis added)

(Don't Even Think About It, Bloomsbury, 2014)

Would you like to know more?

The Expert Consensus on Climate Change

In recent years, two studies have measured the level of agreement of human-caused warming in the scientific community. …

The first analysis of this type was by Naomi Oreskes, who in 2004 analysed publications in the Web of Science between 1993 and 2003 matching the search term 'global climate change'.
She found that out of 928 papers, none rejected the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.
Our paper builds upon this research.

We expanded the search to cover the 21 years from 1991 to 2011.
In addition to 'global climate change' papers, we also included papers matching the term 'global warming'.
This expanded the number of papers to over 12,000. …
Each abstract was [then] classified according to whether it explicitly or implicitly endorsed or rejected human-caused global warming, or whether it took no position on the cause of warming.

Out of the 12,000 papers, we identified just over 4,000 stating a position on human-caused global warming.
Among these 4,000 papers, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.

In the second phase of our study, we asked the scientists who authored the studies to rate their own papers.
1,200 scientists responded to our invitation, so that just over 2,000 papers in total received a self-rating.
Among the papers that were self-rated as stating a position on human-caused warming, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. …

However, there is a significant gap between public perception and the actual 97% consensus.
When a US representative sample was asked how many scientists agree that humans are causing global warming, the average answer was around 50%. …

When people correctly understand that the scientists agree on human-caused global warming, they're more likely to support policy that mitigates climate change.
This consensus gap is directly linked to a lack of public support for climate action.
This underscores the importance of clearly communicating the consensus and closing the consensus gap.

(John Cook, Video Abstract, Environment Research Letters, 2013)