I have a particularly stubborn Labrador mix who is resistant to the usual forms of canine training. While he is intelligent and fully capable of understanding commands and incentives, he is hyper and flighty, features that work against his training. I’ve been told this is a common trait with Lab puppies, and that it will probably take two or three years for him to fully calm down.
Nonetheless, the incentives for training a dog remain the same. It is a carrot-and-stick approach, wherein desired behavior is rewarded, and undesired behavior is punished. Repetition, of course, is key. Words and gestures are associated with the proper situations, like the ringing bell of Pavlov’s experiment. This is what is called Classical Conditioning, and it has been applied to animals since the dawn of domestication.
What is less commonly understood is how it is applied to fully-grown, adult humans. In essence, most of the Left, and many on the Right, are effectively domesticated humans, with all the horror that thought should entail.
This post by Col. Bunny at Bastion of Liberty contains a hint of the problem:
“I am 68. My Mother is 92. My Father lived til 93. I am very thankful that they were able to live out their lives without fear of poverty. I will not be able to. Though I have been working since seventh grade, I missed out on the pensions. Laid off for the last time at 62, I now look at the end of my life with great fear. The globalization of the economy sent my work to India. I don’t begrudge them a growing middle class but I am no longer in one here. Their gains are my loss and I am very afraid. I am not a Trump supporter but I know the depths of anxiety he is appealing to.“
In short, she doesn’t begrudge them her own job.
This woman is struggling to be reasonable and to appreciate the needs of the foreigners who have replaced her. Of all the presidential candidates out there, Trump is the only one who has articulated a desire to protect people like her from foreign competition. Yet, she cannot bring herself to support him.
The magnitude of this cannot be overstated. When you lose your job due to circumstances beyond your control, the usual response is anger, even a sense of injustice. The generations before you got their pensions and retirements. You got nothing. You were replaced with foreigners. You have slipped from the middle class and into poverty. By any stretch of reason, this should inspire outright rage.
Instead, our intrepid old lady resigns herself to despair. She passively accepts the loss of her livelihood. Why would she do that?
Classical conditioning. Turn on the news, or go to any major news outlet, and you will see racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia and a thousand other discriminatory ills lobbed around like hot potatoes. Go on Facebook, right now, and see how many people are posting links about supposed sexism, or racism, or some other such thing. It’s everywhere, like one giant rolled-up newspaper, looking for some poor sap to smack.
Moral outrage is a stick employed by society to condition people into doing exactly what this old lady has done: give up.
Progressives realized at some point that they weren’t going to get everything they wanted through the legal system. They could pass innumerable bills and laws in the legislature, stack their favored judges in courts around the country, and veto anything they didn’t like through the President’s pen.
But they could not repeal the Bill of Rights.
More than two centuries later, Alexander Hamilton has been proven wrong. For every element of the Constitution has been forgotten, repealed, or subverted except the Bill of Rights. It remains the last remaining roadblock to complete tyranny in America. And it was so strong that it resisted all previous attempts to bulldoze it. The language is too simple, even with the much-maligned Second Amendment. And so where every other Western country (save Switzerland) has given up on gun rights, America has stubbornly maintained them in the face of a perennial assault on the part of Progressives. Even Canada has strict hate speech laws, and in Germany today, they are banning “offensive” Tweets, promising to delete them like some kind of Twitter Gestapo. In America, of course, this would be unthinkable.
So, like any mountain that proves to be too difficult to climb, the Progressives went around it instead. By making certain opinions expensive in terms of social cost, they have slowly steered America the way they desire. It is a Herculean effort, even so, but the outrage machine has punished “offenders” like Brenden Eich and Sir Tim Hunt. It continues to punish or silence people on Social Media. The government even proved willing to utilize the IRS to intimidate Tea Party organizations.
The idea wasn’t to stop free speech, but to bend it ever-so-slightly in favor of Progressives, to tip the 50-50 balance just enough to slide around the edges of the mountain.
Try a little experiment, if you’re willing: go onto Facebook and post something supportive of Donald Trump or even Ted Cruz. See how rapidly the outrage machine attacks you, and how vicious those attacks are. If you have enough Left-wing friends, you can even try this with any garden-variety GOP candidate. Hitler comparisons will abound. You, or at least your preferred candidate, will be tarred as a fascist, a Nazi, a genocidal maniac bent on extermination of all good people in the universe.
Do the same with Hillary Clinton, and you’ll get a few irritated Conservatives. Maybe. One or two might say she has “fascist” tendencies, but they won’t call her a Hitler. And even then, they are usually pretty nice about their disagreement with you. You are socially punished for Conservative views, but not for Liberal views.
But it doesn’t stop here. Remember, Classical Conditioning requires signalling, and a carrot to go along with the stick. Status signalling is a fascinating feature of the Progressive Left, in which they attempt to outdo one another in their support of favored causes.
Generally speaking, the more insane and depraved the cause in question is, the more status you get for supporting it. So a gentleman concerning himself with gay rights is easily outdone by another posting about the oppression of transsexual otherkin Muslims in a Midwestern town full of white Christian conservatives.
Indeed, universities are one of the most visible proponents of this “carrot” approach to Leftist causes, where a woman who was not raped can garner massive fame, money, and media attention for carting a mattress around campus.
John Scalzi can obtain massive sums of cash from Tor, so long as he continues to be a good little Progressive, hating all the Vox Days and Larry Corrieas of the world, and declaring that he’s glad his daughter is stronger and more masculine than he is (again, the more insane the idea, the more you are rewarded for it). John Scalzi, and others of his ilk, are consuming some very large carrots.
So, to get back to the original old lady, you have to wonder if decades of Progressive indoctrination in education and media have created in her an automatic conditioning. She simply cannot think of the notion that there’s something wrong with a country that promotes the interests and jobs of foreigners over its own citizens. The notion is automatically racist, and is thus crimethink. It is considered Nazi-esque to even question what you are told by the organs of the state (including the media and higher education). Consider that irony, for a moment.
Yet she is objectively aware of this at some level, for she understands the “anxiety” Donald Trump is appealing to. In other words, she knows what the problem is, and even knows how the problem might be fixed, but she cannot bring herself to honestly consider the idea. Instead she wishes the foreigners well, and walks off into poverty without a fight. She fears the social stick the Bell-ringers could wield on her if she were to speak up.
Pavlov’s Progressive Bell is ringing. No crimethink for you, old lady. Now, go back to your trailer while we give billions in foreign aid to countries full of terrorists who hate us.
I told a friend of mine once that I made a decision some time back. I could have had a better career, in the sense that I could be making a lot more money today, if I had bowed down to Leftism. I know this to be true, the carrot was dangled in front of me. Being Right-wing comes at a cost in America. You have to deal with the stick of an Establishment that is rooted in Progressive policy. HR departments are intrinsically hostile to you. You run the risk of someone reading your Conservative blog posts, finding out who you are, and getting you fired.
I’ve been threatened multiple times in this respect. Fortunately none have yet carried out their threats, but I know people who have been attacked this way. For me, it is probably only a matter of time. So why did I do it? Why did I deny the bribe? I don’t claim any higher morality; I am not a selfless man. But I do know that if Western civilization goes down the toilet, I’ll probably be flushed out along with it. What good are the golden eggs, if you kill the goose that lays them?
Point is, I probably could have been moderately wealthy if I had switched sides, so to speak. Look at Feminist Frequency, and how much money Jonathan McIntosh and Anita Sarkeesian scammed out of Intel and individual donors. We’re talking millions of dollars, just for making a few videos telling the world that video games were sexist, racist, misogynist, etc…
Pavlov’s Progressive Bell rings. McIntosh and his ilk slobber over themselves in anticipation of their substantial carrot. But like Pavlov’s original experiment, someday there won’t be any carrot, just a ringing bell and your marching orders: obey, obey, obey.
So while the Bill of Rights continues to exist, free speech is fast becoming a de jure right, not a de facto one. The same is true for religion. Christians have felt for a long time that something was off in America, that the perception of them had shifted. Oh, it’s nothing official. You won’t find a law that discriminates against you. There are no official papers to declare a de jure persecution of you.
But, again, the signalling of the Pavlov’s Progressives is against you. Try the experiment yourself. Post something openly and strongly Christian in any place where Progressives congregate in numbers. Choose something innocent like Christ preaching to love thy neighbor or something.
Invariably, someone will come out to ring the bell against you. You’re a homophobe, they will say, because you are Christian. Or maybe you hate brown people, or women, or abortion. Whatever. The message will be negative. Now, perform the same experiment, but post something from the Quran and observe the difference. There will be positive messages in solidarity with you, or perhaps they will ask how you survive in a white-christian-male world full of bigots. Whatever.
The point of all this is simple: Progressives are bending culture around the freedoms presented in the Bill of Rights, because they could not steamroll them. And they are using conditioning, through their control of education, media, and government to do it.
Conservatives need to be more than stubborn Lab puppies if they are to defeat this. A lot more. Pavlov’s bell must be destroyed, and the bell-ringers toppled from their ivory towers.