That Doesn't Sound So Bad
November 26, 2020 2:42 PM   Subscribe

“His handlers, who are basically all old Obama staffers, believe in something called the Great Reset of capitalism,” Ingraham said in a November episode of her show. “It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources.” from The Biden Presidency Already Has Its First Conspiracy Theory: The Great Reset [Daily Beast]

The Great Reset [World Economic Forum]
posted by chavenet (101 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
This has been percolating in Canadian politics as well.. articles and headlines referencing this 'reset ideology', either insinuating or explicitly blaring some sort of agenda on the part of the (Trudeau) Liberal gov't. I'd say x part concerted campaign, x part jumping on a media trend.. What is the Venn diagram between Agenda21 and this "reset" stuff?
posted by elkevelvet at 2:53 PM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]


Justin Trudeau and the 'Great Reset'

When asked about conspiracy theories at the end of the week, Mr Trudeau said: "I think we're in a time of anxiety, where people are looking for reasons for things that are happening to them... we're seeing a lot of people fall prey to disinformation."
posted by philip-random at 2:55 PM on November 26, 2020 [9 favorites]


They must have think tanks and do focus groups to already have this cued up and ready to go. Actually I’m certain that they do, in some form. That so many mouthpieces have apparently already gotten the memo is pretty telling. Bush era republicanism was so baldly cynical it seems amateurish next to this, whatever this is. William S Burroughs psychic warfare. Pre-gaslighting.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 2:57 PM on November 26, 2020 [36 favorites]


Surely the first conspiracy theory is the one that he's not legitimate!

The more theories like this that I hear, the nastier it makes me. A few years ago, my response to this would be "welp, life is a rich tapestry"; now it's "you know what? FINE. I'll take the New World Order over your bullshit any day."
posted by Countess Elena at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2020 [46 favorites]


It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources

I know "they" will say that this statement equates to communism, but fuck me if that doesn't sound like something I could get behind...
posted by jontyjago at 3:04 PM on November 26, 2020 [68 favorites]


I'll add to my earlier comment.. In the year 2020, well into a pandemic that has contributed to existing trends that are resulting in massive changes to societies, with wealth disparity reaching levels and exceeding levels we have not seen since pre-WW I.. what elected government *wouldn't* be looking at a reset? It speaks to the culmination of insanity that is producing Trump.. COVID-19 and climate change deniers.. etc.. that the notion of 'reset' is being weaponized as some sort of sinister thing. Fack off already. I suppose we could 'reset' to something worse but honestly that is hard to imagine at the moment.
posted by elkevelvet at 3:05 PM on November 26, 2020 [18 favorites]


Garbage like this is what makes me think there's no fucking point engaging the right wing. They are full of completely crazy beliefs rooted in fiction. The worst of them like QAnon are effectively religions. There's no arguing or compromising with them. And cynics like McConnell may not be true believers but are sure happy to draft off of the right wing lunacy to achieve their own unpleasant goals. We should execute pure power politics to just work around them instead of even attempting to engage.
The conspiracy theorists have even claimed that Sesame Street puppets are in on the scheme.
OTOH maybe they're on to something. Children's Television Workshop is an agent of Agenda 21.
posted by Nelson at 3:14 PM on November 26, 2020 [18 favorites]


Even when they rumormonger, they sound weak. Oh, you can’t handle a “reset”? Afraid that if not handed great privilege, you might not be able to succeed again?
posted by explosion at 3:14 PM on November 26, 2020 [37 favorites]


Say what you want about the tenets of the Great Reset, dude, at least it's an ethos.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 3:16 PM on November 26, 2020 [41 favorites]


I, for one, would love a great reset
posted by eustatic at 3:22 PM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


Code named “Big Red Switch
posted by Edward L at 3:23 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


I feel like the "ending objective" of many of these conspiracies is intentionally open-ended, as to let the reader imagine their own irrational conclusions which work better than being specific.

Instead of saying "they can track everybody's location!" or "thought control!", they just yell "microchips!" or "international id!" and people fill in the rest.
posted by meowzilla at 3:25 PM on November 26, 2020 [15 favorites]


It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources

Man, this Biden guy sounds like a fuckin' champ actually.

is really a cover for nefarious plotting of a global cabal from Davos, Switzerland, intent on abolishing private property

Yeah... that doesn't sound like the Davos we know and love.
posted by atrazine at 3:26 PM on November 26, 2020 [48 favorites]


Biden is such a throwback they're even bringing back 90s conspiracy theories. The New World Order is back! HOGAN IS GOING HEEL AGAIN!
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:29 PM on November 26, 2020 [23 favorites]


NONONONONO!!!! Please don't force a great reset on me Mr. Capitalist, sir, I'll be a good wage slave I swear!
posted by evilDoug at 3:34 PM on November 26, 2020 [7 favorites]


I have another one:

Mulder: *tosses folder on desk* Ever heard of the New World Order?
Scully: The wrestlers or the conspiracy?
Mulder: The wrestl...
Scully: I had an older brother. *flipping through folder* Mulder, this conspiracy is just a retread of the 90s.
Mulder: So's Joe Biden. Now he's back. Like they are. Were?
Scully: You're saying the global economic elite stopped controlling things for a few years?
Mulder: Yeah, turns out President Trump and 4chan...
Scully: Stop
Mulder: *beat* Aliens.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 3:34 PM on November 26, 2020 [71 favorites]


I reread The Paranoid Style in American Politics recently.

"...This glimpse across a long span of time emboldens me to make the conjecture—it is no more than that—that a mentality disposed to see the world in this way may be a persistent psychic phenomenon, more or less constantly affecting a modest minority of the population."

Honestly I find "The Great Reset" to be quite reassuring compared to QAnon. It is a narrative that is at least mostly internally consistent, that makes coherent claims about reality. A quaint, old-fashioned conspiracy theory.
posted by vogon_poet at 3:35 PM on November 26, 2020 [13 favorites]


OK, what about this is supposed to bad? I seemed to have missed that part. Is there a cummin fer muh gunnss!!! section to the great reset? We're gonna force money, healthcare and shelter on poor people, even the white ones?! Horrors.
posted by evilDoug at 3:40 PM on November 26, 2020 [23 favorites]


Oh, microchips. Again. Is there any future that these tinfoil sartorialists can imagine that doesn't include them? I thought they'd be more creative.
posted by evilDoug at 3:45 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


I am investing in tin foil futures as we speak...
posted by jim in austin at 3:49 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Watching people tweet about microchips from their iPhones is a wonder to behold.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:53 PM on November 26, 2020 [87 favorites]


I don’t see any mention of the bit where the original Great Reset proposal was basically something put together for one Charles, Prince of Wales so he could pretend to be smart and interested in the betterment of the world.
posted by atoxyl at 3:56 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Oh, microchips. Again. Is there any future that these tinfoil sartorialists can imagine that doesn't include them? I thought they'd be more creative.

By now, we should have moved on to nanochips, at least.

Maybe my favorite kettle of insanity of the 2000s was a screed by a D-list evangelist back in the day... actually, more like K- or M-list, as he was that far down the line. His sermons went out over shortwave radio, as I recall. Anti-Semitism (the real fourteen-words deal, not name-calling) and anti-Catholicism were two of his primary trademarks.

Anyway... his magnum opus was something called The World Cup Conspiracy, in which he alleged that all of the new stadiums being built for World Cup football play had secret antennae built into them that would transmit signals to activate tiny nanorobots, injected into all sheeple under the guise of vaccines promoted by Bill Gates. When it was your turn because you'd drawn the wrong kind of attention, the tiny robots would activate miniature pincers and chainsaws and whatnot and rip holes in your aorta, then self-destruct without a trace. The perfect crime!

And _that_ was more coherent than what's being peddled today.
posted by delfin at 3:58 PM on November 26, 2020 [13 favorites]


Oh, microchips. Again. Is there any future that these tinfoil sartorialists can imagine that doesn't include them? I thought they'd be more creative.

To be fair “let’s put microchips in everything just for the hell of it and as a bonus we get to spy on people” is basically the premise of the Internet of Things.
posted by atoxyl at 4:05 PM on November 26, 2020 [49 favorites]


To be fair “let’s put microchips in everything just for the hell of it and as a bonus we get to spy on people” is basically the premise of the Internet of Things.

Seeing the Right talk about this kind of stuff while decrying intervention in the free market is a classic example of “the problems are bad, but the causes are very good.”
posted by atoxyl at 4:11 PM on November 26, 2020 [32 favorites]


I had an adult student in class, today, mention this.
The main point that he mentioned was (paraphrasing) "they're going to bring the world population below 1/2 billion".

I made a quick segue into a discussion of how and why increased education opportunities and medical care (including contraceptives) for women in developing countries might reduce the current RATE of population growth, and... (into a long-enough derail about how to read graphs that everybody hopefully forgot his question).

Today is the first I've heard of this phrase, and "let's murder billions of people" is maybe... some local variant? conflating another conspiracy theory? i don't know.

I'm tired of all of this.
posted by Acari at 4:13 PM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


let's murder billions of people

i mean, covid is a great dry run for totally ignoring the next big influenza pandemic. so...
posted by j_curiouser at 4:27 PM on November 26, 2020 [11 favorites]


Per Knowledge Fight, the Great Reset has been on Alex Jones' list of Random Scary Words for years now. The Georgia Guidestones usually show up shortly afterward. Since right wing discourse has degenerated to the point that Fox is communist and InfoWars is mainstream and weak compared to the really powerful pills being distributed on 8chan, Facebook, and OANN, it's not surprising that this particular bit of nonsense is taking off more.
posted by Scattercat at 4:32 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


So where do I sign up for this well needed reset?
posted by Beholder at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


See, there is something being missed here about the "abolition of private property" thing, because like always with right-wingers, they like 50% get it, but then the rest is nonsense.

They're aware of the world we currently live in, where the things we buy are slowly no longer actually owned by us, but instead owned by corporations that can take those things back from us at any time, because of all the digital controls they have over our lives.

These people legit think that the idea of the "great reset" is to actually make the entire world poor with no hope of property ownership, effectively a permanent pulling up the ladder behind them by the "global elite."

I mean, honestly, I'm worried about a similar future, but I just don't jump on bandwagons like this thinking that major governments have an actual plan to this end, and not that it is an issue that arises from the systems we are experiencing. In other words, it's less that governments are planning on a world that nobody owns anything as much as it is corporations, and corporations have far from a unified view on how they want to achieve such goals (beyond this, despite their goals being similar, they actually often have wildly different goals.).

And in pure Trumpian fashion, they scream bloody murder about how much control corporations have while also praising corporations and treating them like saviors.

I continue to be convinced that most major conspiracies are the result of there being a seed of truth to the ideas, taken to an extreme. Anti-vaxxers think medical corporations don't have their best interest at heart because they exist primarily to make profit, which is a reasonable concern turned into unreasonable political ideology. People who claim mainstream media is "fake news" have seen the litany of times the media has lied to us to make money, sees the same profit motive behind the news, but they are unable to have a nuanced thoughtful take on the media, instead decrying it all as fake news.

The Great Reset is the same, it's rooted in reasonable fears about current issues that are accumulating daily and nothing is being done about (lack of real ownership of technological items, your new Tesla self-driving itself back to the dealership when you miss a payment, software "licenses" etc.) , but because they're so damn uneducated, they're making connections between things that have no connections.
posted by deadaluspark at 4:38 PM on November 26, 2020 [35 favorites]


Not everyone who promotes these ideas sincerely believes them. Tying progressive policies to extremist conspiracy theories is a way of generating an ideological immune reaction in the paranoid and stupid.

If you convince people that the government wants to seize all guns and create a dictatorship, it becomes politically impossible to institute any gun control measures, no matter how mild. If you convince people the government wants to create death panels, it becomes politically impossible to nationalize healthcare. If you convince people the government wants to abolish private property and redistribute all wealth equally, it becomes politically impossible to institute more progressive taxation.

I doubt people like Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon believe any of this stuff (Glenn Beck might though). All they care about is keeping the base plugged in, scared, and angry.
posted by dephlogisticated at 4:40 PM on November 26, 2020 [42 favorites]


Mineshafts for Everyone!
posted by allium cepa at 5:08 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


Per Knowledge Fight, the Great Reset has been on Alex Jones' list of Random Scary Words for years now.

Huh, really? It is also genuinely the name of the WEF proposal presented by Prince Charles, as I described above. Apparently it was the title of a Richard Florida book back in 2010. I’m not sure any of these Great Resets are actually about exactly the same thing.
posted by atoxyl at 5:14 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


My reaction to the scares of creeping socialism is always, I fucking wish! What's next, more good things that rule?
posted by panhopticon at 5:19 PM on November 26, 2020 [15 favorites]


My reaction to the scares of creeping socialism is always, I fucking wish! What's next, more good things that rule?

Having been in a bunch of conspiracy forums lately just to see what they're talking about, I think the Daily Beast is massively misrepresenting what their fears are in relation to this. Their fear isn't that other people will be helped, their fear is that all working people, themselves included, will be turned into a permanent renter-class, who will always be beholden to the only property owners left, which would be massive corporations. It's not so internally consistent in their heads.

What it comes down to is they aren't actually scared of the socialism aspects of it, it's more that they don't believe those parts are even true. They think it's a final power grab to take all the money, wealth, and power for a few small groups. I mean, that's the thing with their belief in a bogeyman of socialism anyway, it's always that deep down they think socialists do exactly what capitalists actually do.

So I personally take big issue with how the Daily Beast has presented this, having jumped into a lot of these conversations to see what the nutters are saying. Their beliefs may not be internally consistent, but saying they fear helping other people misunderstands that they don't believe "The Great Reset" is intended to help anyone, they believe it's a ruse intended to steal more wealth away from them and others. Which isn't actually a rejection of socialism as much as it is a rejection of the idea that governments have our best interests in mind in general.
posted by deadaluspark at 5:27 PM on November 26, 2020 [34 favorites]


They must have think tanks and do focus groups to already have this cued up and ready to go. Actually I’m certain that they do, in some form.

That’s what Parler is for.

To be quite clear, I am not being sarcastic about this. Parler is funded by Robert Mercer, of Cambridge Analytica fame. This is where all the hot new conspiracy theories are getting focus-grouped and polished before they’re ready for Facebook.
posted by mhoye at 5:36 PM on November 26, 2020 [17 favorites]


To be fair “let’s put microchips in everything just for the hell of it and as a bonus we get to spy on people” is basically the premise of the Internet of Things.

Jesus H Christ we can't even keep us-east-1 up long enough to keep the vacuum cleaners running. You wanna talk about global surveillance?
posted by JoeZydeco at 5:38 PM on November 26, 2020 [9 favorites]


Well yes but the problem with all these right wing ideas is they're very much "I'm against solutions, but the problems are very good."

Like yeah they are terrified giant corporations are watching their every move and would happily sell them for parts if they could. Which is correct! But their solution is to deregulate capitalism because something something competition means they wouldn't actually do that.

I mean the Boomer Right loves Facebook which is one of the most ruthlessly amoral/evil corporations going and their entire business model is literally selling your personal information for better advertising.

I was trolling/leading a winger down the primrose path today because they were complaining they work really hard delivering food and groceries to middle class and above people hunkering down for the pandemic. And I agreed to the effect of "Man, I agree, actually, you should have a much higher wage and safety equipment and a full benefits package. But who do you think is keeping you from getting all that? I mean you always say the government wants to give everyone handouts so you'd think they'd be dying to do it, right? It's weird they haven't. Maybe the company you work for just doesn't want to? I dunno man it's rough." And I got to watch his brain blue screen in real time as he flailed around in his ideology for an answer and couldn't come up with one for a moment."

I mean he veered back into thinly disguised racism but there was a little spark for a moment.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:44 PM on November 26, 2020 [56 favorites]


William S Burroughs psychic warfare. Pre-gaslighting.

I spent a lot of time studying Burroughs in college in the early 90s, and his word virus, cutting up reality, dystopian ideas seemed like amazing theoretical frameworks and metaphorical ways of looking at communication and power. Sadly, no one predicted today’s reality better than he did.
posted by snofoam at 5:56 PM on November 26, 2020 [19 favorites]


I just can’t anymore with these people.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:38 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


Here's my conspiracy-minded hot-take: The Great Reset is putting the Communism into Luxury Space Gay Communism. You know what's putting the Space into Luxury Space Gay Communism? Two words. Space. Force.
posted by Sparx at 6:42 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


"...is really a cover for nefarious plotting of a global cabal from Davos, Switzerland, intent on abolishing private property"
Yeah... that doesn't sound like the Davos we know and love.

- posted by atrazine at 5:26 PM
But it DOES tie in with a Fascism that sees "Global Capital" and "Communism" as both being part of a single anti-Semitic conspiracy which they position their Nationalist ideology against.
posted by symbioid at 7:03 PM on November 26, 2020 [14 favorites]


I heard the Canadian variant a while ago, which did combine Covid camps with a reset plan.

She called it just "reset" no "Great" but did focus on the idea of losing your house. But yeah, no clear idea of the impact on stuff like controlling interests in multi-million dollar companies or stocks or all sort of other things that are "private property."

I found some dude's take on this, writing under the name Tyler Durden. Which is odd, I thought Tyler Durden was in favour of resetting the economy? Wasn't that the plan at the end?

Anyway, Fake Tyler's take seems to be that they'll pretend nobody owns everything but they'll really own everything. And a "billionaire elite" is pushing this, for some reason, because the current economy where they get to be billionaires isn't working out great for them already.


Really, if being massively rich isn't enough and you need a slave or near-slave underclass, buy a bunch of for-profit prisons, start arresting and convicting people on trumped-up charges, now you have literal slave labour. Maybe take away their right to vote after being convicted of a crime, and have some sort of group of government employees who can literally shoot people dead on the street.
posted by RobotHero at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2020 [19 favorites]


"My country isn't working. It elected a fascist gameshow host for 4 years."

"Have you tried turning it off and on again?"
posted by brundlefly at 7:31 PM on November 26, 2020 [48 favorites]


Hey, you know who else favored a regular "great reset"? God.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Yeah; well so did Hillary, ia an event I somehow missed at the time, but hearing about it now, seems like such a dumb, naïve move that the notion oughta be retired IMO.
posted by Rash at 8:42 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


all working people, themselves included, will be turned into a permanent renter-class, who will always be beholden to the only property owners left, which would be massive corporations

So basically, they are afraid of the thing that has happened already?
posted by eustatic at 8:48 PM on November 26, 2020 [25 favorites]


So basically, they are afraid of the thing that has happened already?

Just like they're worried about being tracked everywhere by microchips, something that already happens with smartphones. So yes, 100%.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:51 PM on November 26, 2020 [18 favorites]


Russia probably has quants working around the clock on what conspiracy theory to funnel through the American media outlets it funds directly or indirectly, through ad revenue (FOX, OANN, Breitbart, Facebook, etc.).
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:07 PM on November 26, 2020 [4 favorites]


Why would they need quants when you can make up any old shit?
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:15 PM on November 26, 2020 [10 favorites]


Some things spread better than others. There's a reason A/B testing is a thing rather than just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks. It's a lot more efficient and avoids the risk of looking like a total clown to the mushy middle.

Granted, in this age of easy false personas things are a bit different since if one alt loses credibility you can always just manufacture another, but that takes work to reach a critical mass, so it's best not to waste time and effort if you don't have to.
posted by wierdo at 9:29 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much this speaks to the utter co-opting of the poor by the conservatives? I mean, you have people whose policies are based in disenfranchisement and eliminating social safety nets, and yet somehow, they've convinced people in dire need of those things like health care, welfare, unemployment, free education, etc, are bad, and should be eliminated/privatized.

In any situation where there's some sort of great leveling to be done, most of the people whispering about any such conspiracy, having heard it from someone truly wealthy, have literally nothing to fear. Like, if suddenly the wealth of the 1%, or even the top 10% was fairly redistributed, most people posting conspiracies on facebook would be more likely to benefit from that reset than not. Sure, it's in Tucker Carlson's interest to spread fear about such a thing, as heir to Tyson, he'd stand to lose much of his wealth. The person making $30k a year while trying to raise a family, barely getting by, watching fox, complaining about a great reset? Not so much.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:32 PM on November 26, 2020 [3 favorites]


The book Great Reset that seems to be behind the latest version of the term "The Great Reset" was published in July. By Oct the book was being mentioned by people like James Corbett and James Evan Pilato.

But what gets you clicks and gets people polarized?

Call the discussion of real and imagined outcomes "The 1st conspiracy theory of the Joe Biden administration!" VS noting the book seems to be more riding off theh economic failures of the COVID handling and leaning into 'welp as long as there is gonna be change, here is a change plan.'.

But use 2 words like Binden and conspiracy well that'll prompt engagement when choosing to react to the use of the term in trying to get people upset over a new admistration, especially if you opt to weave the term 'great reset' into your already existing talking points. Go take parts of the christie book where he tells you to take a term, define it to simplify or direct the attack, and then attack it as a way to sway people and now you are off to the races!

As mentioned upthread by deadaluspark there are what I'd assume many dedicated users of The Blue would also find very distasteful (based on passages from the book and comments on them) but by putting forth a framing of 'political party X is a victim' the supporters of X are then gonna look right past the distasteful parts.

Now I'm gonna put my hand up and ask the rest of you - hold up your hand if you have NOT read "The Great Reset" by the world economic forum and your reaction is based on what you have taken in from others who are expressing outrage in some form about it?
posted by rough ashlar at 9:33 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


I will admit to something similar: suspecting that 401k's are all screwed as a conspiracy theory. It's trillions of dollars, there's just no way to me that financiers aren't cooking something up to drain as much as they can.

Though I think a fear of unregulated financial giants may be a learned behavior now.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:47 PM on November 26, 2020 [5 favorites]


Have not read, nor have never heard this one before. So, don't have much of a reaction other than, "uh-huh, sure"...
posted by Windopaene at 10:54 PM on November 26, 2020 [1 favorite]


I want saw this old 1940s comic of the perfect crime. I guy goes to work for a bank as a teller. Years later he's a loan officer. Much later he's a vice president. Finally, as an old man, he's the president of the bank. Then he goes into the bank vault and puts all the money in a big sack and leaves.

That's really where we are: a bunch of old men are now in charge, and they've changed the rules to make what should be crimes, perfectly legal. I mean I'm as much a law abiding citizen as anyone, but what if a whole bunch of rich people have written laws that make it legal to steal from you?

Maybe it is just my limited experience, but it seems like it really started accelerating under Reagan: get a President who can emotionally connect to the public, then pass a bunch of laws that make it so the very rich pay very little in taxes. The GOP held their noses and supported Trump because he has continued this charade, going to great lengths to cement it all in place by packing the courts.

The richest and happiest Democracies have the most equitably distributed wealth (Taiwan, South Korea, Nordic countries, as a few examples). The US used to be there after WWII, when, under Eisenhower, wealth over a certain amount was taxed at up to 90% (no, not 90% of all income--only 90% of only the top sliver of insanely high income). And there were a lot fewer loopholes you could drive through. People who make a lot of money want to keep all that money, so you'll hear a million arguments about how this is all wrong and it never happened, etc, etc.

The US is far from there now and there is much unhappiness, unemployment, and crime and it is getting worse and will continue to get worse because debt is up to unimaginable levels and people who pay a much larger percentage of their basic income in taxes are going to get hit the worse.

So there has been this insane redistribution of wealth over the last 40 years from the middle class to the extremely wealthy, tearing this country apart.

So I'll take that word 'reset'. We need to 'reset' this country back to sanity. We need to make this country livable again.
posted by eye of newt at 11:16 PM on November 26, 2020 [30 favorites]


One thing I find really difficult to understand, and not often explained to me, is this: Why do the people prone to conspiracy-style thinking often hyperfocus on a very boring, mundane, insignificant, or otherwise useless thing, and make a whole lot of meaning around it? In this instance it's the boring, content-free pamphlet "Great Reset" by a boring think tank.

The whole conspiracy-theory could have done without it. It's not even necessary or integral to their own logic. Their ideas could have seemed a tiny bit more coherent without referring to the book.
posted by runcifex at 12:20 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


Because it's a real thing that has an independent existence (unlike, say, the Protocol of the Elders of Zion). This whole wave of madness tends to latch on to extreme and absurd interpretations of essentially innocuous things, assuming (rightly) that no one will bother to verify anything. See also painting an organisation to streamline European trade and cultural interactions as some kind of evil empire. Or something as simple as saying that a pizza restaurant that you can find on Google street view is actually the hub of some bizarre paedophile sex ring. The existence of the thing is taken to be proof of the interpretation, despite the fact that the interpretation is wholly detached from reality.
posted by Grangousier at 12:48 AM on November 27, 2020 [23 favorites]


(For example, if you said that every night ghosts poured out of your coffee machine and marauded around the apartment, you wouldn't need photos of the ghosts - a photo of the coffee machine would be proof enough.)
posted by Grangousier at 12:49 AM on November 27, 2020 [17 favorites]


> The existence of the thing is taken to be proof of the interpretation, despite the fact that the interpretation is wholly detached from reality.
See, this is the thing around which I can't wrap my head. I tend to see this kind of narrative as less convincing, not more. But my problem is perhaps to see the conspiracy-theory indulgence as "criticism of the society" (no matter how invalid and misguided), and implicitly believe that criticisms should try to convince, but in reality that's perhaps not the "thing" with conspiracy theories.

Maybe there's satisfaction derived from actively performing certain kinds of incoherency in front of like-minders, but I guess I just have a high satisfaction bar for that kind of performance too. Most conspiracy theories are not even good or interesting enough as conspiracy theories.

(Also Metafilter: Ghost in the coffee machine.)
posted by runcifex at 1:05 AM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


I know there's a sale and a special on rice
and you can buy beans at a give-away price
But that's just their way to get you down there
what you don't know is that they're every-where

Kathy don't go to the supermarket to-day
Kathy don't go to the supermarket to-day

They had a special program on the TV last night
explaining calmly why these things must be done right
They say the new computer is the way to control
but what they didn't say is that it cost your soul

Kathy don't go to the supermarket to-day

(don't go, Kathy don't go!)

Without a computer ID there's no way to pay

(don't go, please don't go!)

sing along now (*)
posted by are-coral-made at 1:34 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


Kathy don't go to the supermarket to-day
WTF was that?
posted by mumimor at 1:55 AM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot about how to deal with delusions and conspiracy theories, but what does the research actually say?
posted by Chrysopoeia at 2:50 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


See, this is the thing around which I can't wrap my head.

There are a few different things going on but could be reduced to definition.

An episode of the Attack ADS! podcast pointed out from the Chris Cristy (or was it Mike Huckabee) book on how to argue your point is you define the word and then attack the word based on what you've defined.

Thusly one can control the debate outcome.

Now in the post there was language chosen to minimize the great reset book as a panphlet when it is a 108 page book. The others talking about the book put framing as "Biden's idea" or calling it a conspiracy theory, or other things. And how can a publiched book be a conspiracy as a conspiracy needs action in secret does it not? So when you then ask the question at least you gave definitions and that allows for people to not talk past one another which is not something being done by the FOX/Newsmax/whatever crew. As for the general idea of smal technical boring things I would point one to The Project for the New American Century and the Powell Memorandium. Both of those would seem to chheck off the 'small techinal' box and yet PNAC and Powell documents have had quite an influance in the world.


Would it be helpful to consider this version of events:

One wants to explain an event/support a point of view. Thus in that effort supporting things are found and then mentioned. In the Daily Caller article about how 'Bidenn this/Biden that' people are expressing a concern of some sort about the ideas of the great reset book - would they be talking about the book if Trump had a 2nd term? Remember the book existed in July 2020 and only was spoken of by the masses AFTER Biden (has been considered to be) had solidified his status as the 2021-2025 person in the office. The book in its title is a reaction to COVID - the article is a response to the book and its title being a foil for attacking Joe Biden.

And because of past documents like PNAC or Powell memo had a large influance upon the world why not try to gain an advantage in the market by pointing out what could be a future outcome. Because the Senator for MBNA didn't get that name by his own actions, he got it by taking what ALEC and others wrote and submitted itl.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:11 AM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


ut what does the research actually say?

Tali Shaot did an interview on the Jorden Harbenjer show and the points she brought up might be a worthy starting point..

And in my life of dealing with a qanaon based theorizer of a conspiracy the 1990's NESARA has made a comback and the claim is being made NESARA will be implemented at Xmas time. Something like that being alive 10 years after the death of a major on-line advocate and 30 years after it was proposed and shot down indicated the battle to defeat delusions and conspiracy theories is hard fought. (At least he's not "researched" Lee Wanta)


I'm of the opinion that the shift be made to government being open and truthful with citizens because it would be hard for people to point at past things and ask "they lied then, ya sure they arn't lying now?" That doubt about if one is being lied to is what allows delusions and conspiracy theories to grow.

Because one man's delusion is anothers thing that is called a delusion untill paperwork shows that nope, you were being lied to. When it is not a delusion of course.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:27 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Primary data points for people who don't RTFA and in general: the World Economic Forum literally has a website called The Great Reset. It publishes graphics that rival anything a conspiracy theorist could render, which are a pretty clear indication of a desire to model and organize the future along axes that the WEF (whatever that really is) deems best. It is reasonable to consider other people's concerns about an organization that publishes things like "Welcome to 2030. I own nothing, have no privacy, and life has never been better". (Apparently the WEF has since retitled that article! But their own tweet, as well as other web sources, are clear indication of the original title.)

Not everyone is above average in critical thinking skills, but they do care. They may not understand the intent of the essay I mentioned before the writer added a disclaimer regarding their intent. If you have to add such disclaimers, you may be failing in your mission, whatever it is. I doubt we will ever hear the WEF respond to its critics (beyond patching up glaring missteps like that essay's title). What they do seems to be predicated upon not talking to the citizenry. (If they are asking us, it hasn't reached me, or apparently anyone else.) Dialogs are antithetical to the modern Institution: they create the appearance of fallibility, which is the first "Do" in Buzzbeast's listicle, "How Not To Be A Modern Institution". On the other hand, the Great Resetters are quite happy to talk to corporations: "World Economic Forum Partners are world-class companies with a strong interest in developing systemic solutions to key challenges" (first link). Too bad that humanity as a whole can't be a partner, but that's what 50 years of neoliberalism gets you.

Me, I don't understand anything any more. There used to be a time when the left would be fairly concerned, to say the least, about what might be called a "master plan" advanced by an essentially globo-capitalist organization. But apparently the left would rather concentrate on the "enemy's" imperfect rendering of that same problem or concern, and in doing so basically provide cover for the thing about which we should all be concerned. This has been a derangement in recent left politics and I hope it stops sometime. There's a lot riding on it.
posted by sylvanshine at 4:30 AM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


We’re gonna need a bigger paperclip.
posted by aesop at 5:33 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


There used to be a time when the left would be fairly concerned, to say the least, about what might be called a "master plan" advanced by an essentially globo-capitalist organization.

The actual left includes Jewish people and people who love Jewish people who are only "concerned" in so far as that is an antisemitic dogwhistle laden sentence.
posted by hydropsyche at 7:48 AM on November 27, 2020 [13 favorites]


It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources

Sounds great! Where do I sign up?
posted by flabdablet at 7:57 AM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


There are so many people in this world having a real mental health emergency and rather than get help they double down on conspiracy theories, racism and good old-fashioned I-got-mine-go-fuck-yourself selfishness. I can't help these people. You can't help these people. I keep asking out loud to my poor family what exactly are we going to do with these people who continue to believe any crazy thing the TV and social media tell them? There are no good answers but I simply can't give them my attention anymore. I want to be happy and I want them to be happy but they're mentally incapable of reciprocation. I have no more empathy for them. I have no more patience for them. I can't walk around angry and upset that they would rather watch people die and watch the world burn then deal with the idea they might be wrong. They are toxic and need to be treated that way until they're willing to get help.

I don't have a ton of time left in this world. I love my family and my friends. I want to be a part of making this world a better place and I've come to the conclusion that nothing I say or do will change these people. I choose happiness and that means I have to accept that they choose being miserable.
posted by photoslob at 8:03 AM on November 27, 2020 [16 favorites]


“A global plan called the Great Reset is underway,” Viganò wrote in his letter. “Its architect is a global elite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations.”
That guy is confused. "Coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations" is a succinct description of the conditions routinely imposed in today's corporate workplaces, and I think it's fair to say that the C suite already thinks of itself as a global elite.
posted by flabdablet at 8:05 AM on November 27, 2020 [10 favorites]


I hadn't really heard about this before this post, and then this morning the Ottawa Citizen had a big editorial cartoon of Justin Trudeau jumping on a giant "reset" button, and there were editorials with vague mumblings about the "great reset".
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:09 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


Sadly, no one predicted today’s reality better than he did.

Fortunately Burroughs also published a few simple admonitions that remain very useful for dealing with conspiracy theorists: I am not paid to listen to this drivel. You are a terminal FU.
posted by flabdablet at 8:13 AM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm not American, but I sense that my experience is not too different from the American one, except far less dangerous. When I talk with my conservative/libertarian relatives, whom I love, I sense that during 2020 they have lost direction.
Our parent generation was highly educated. They were doctors, chemists, high-level military, business people within knowledge-based industries, like medicine. They trusted and promoted science. And a lot of them were conservative. They were pro government but in a conservative way. They wanted us to be educated. But they also wanted us to hold on to the basic values of God, Law and Country.
For us, siblings and cousins, most have held on to the knowledge part of the deal, but for some, the political part has been more important. I can't say why. But for them, the last four years, and specially 2020 has been a huge cognitive challenge. They still know what science says, and they still love and respect the rest of us who believe in science. But they can't handle it. So they post weird stuff on Facebook, and they host parties and refuse to wear masks in public spaces if they can avoid fines.
My conclusion is that political identity has become so important to some people that they cannot accept reality. It's terrifying. It's really weird, too.
posted by mumimor at 9:09 AM on November 27, 2020 [8 favorites]


> There used to be a time when the left would be fairly concerned, to say the least, about what might be called a "master plan" advanced by an essentially globo-capitalist organization. But apparently the left would rather concentrate on the "enemy's" imperfect rendering of that same problem or concern, and in doing so basically provide cover for the thing about which we should all be concerned.

Every time I start to think there's nothing to the horseshoe theory, horseshit like this reminds me that there really are people who are quite happy to blame the victims of the racism, anti-Semitism, and red-baiting that's actually driving conspiracies like this just to prove how anti-capitalist they are.

In reality, of course, the blog post you cherry-picked out of the thousands of posts hosted on the WEF's agenda page was posted in 2017 by a minor party Danish PM, which means it has fuck all to do with this new initiative. Demanding copy editing perfection from an entity as large as the WEF is simply unreasonable, while making the tenuous connections you are here makes you a water carrier for the ghouls advancing this nonsense.

Conspiracy theorists will always find scintillas of "evidence" that can support their claims when those fragments are divorced from their original context. 9/11 truthers, "race scientists", and the like routinely cite peer-reviewed studies, sometimes even reputable ones, but twist them beyond their original conclusions. The answer is not to let the charlatans who perpetuate these movements silence or intimidate, but to call them out for what is really driving them, which, in this case, is far right reactionary paranoia.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:17 AM on November 27, 2020 [17 favorites]


What this reminded me of, without reading any links: a newspaper editorial cartoon, back sometime in the twilight years of the nineteen-hunnerts, which mocked the endless parade of natural disaster films trying to leverage millenarian doomsday beliefs, specifically parodying a film that'd had the marketing slogan “The Coast Is Toast” and other weather disaster films (and probably films with risible weather-related attempting-to-sound-hardcore titles like Hard Rain), by hypothesizing a disaster film about horrendous, cataclysmic morning dew with the tagline “The Coast Is Moist”.

That's what this sounds like—the “cataclysmic morning dew” of apocalyptic sky-is-falling conspiracy theories.

Back when such things were printed on dead trees and physically transported to one's doorstep by gig-economy-before-the-gig-economy underpaid newspaper delivery drivers who all now have life-altering knee problems from climbing stairs all the time, with only American non-benefits wage-earner healthcare to cover it.
posted by XMLicious at 9:29 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


sing along now (*)

well, that was weird
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:54 AM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


9/11 truthers, "race scientists", and the like routinely cite peer-reviewed studies, sometimes even reputable ones, but twist them beyond their original conclusions. The answer is not to let the charlatans who perpetuate these movements silence or intimidate, but to call them out for what is really driving them, which, in this case, is far right reactionary paranoia.

The game changed for me the day I realized every single 9/11 truther I knew accepted Darren Wilson's story about why he had to murder Michael Brown without question, or exception.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:26 AM on November 27, 2020 [16 favorites]


“His handlers, who are basically all old Obama staffers, believe in something called the Great Reset of capitalism,” Ingraham said in a November episode of her show. “It’s a plan to force a more equitable distribution of global resources.”

This line of thinking is especially galling when you consider that Walmart and Amazon are clear examples of gigantic planned economies.
posted by ishmael at 10:50 AM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of with dephlogisticated, conspiracy theories take off by reassuring you that you were correct to distrust the exact same people you already distrusted. And/or who does it make things difficult for if people believe it?

A detail I left out of the Canadian version is that our province has isolation camps organized by the Manitoba Metis Federation and the conspiracy claimed that Native groups were being used so everyone thinks the isolation camps must be a good thing since Natives are doing it.

And I that's when I was certain this was a right-wing conspiracy, if we're supposed to think that would work. You are not biased against Natives, dear reader, it is other people who are duped into trusting them too much, and you are simply clear-headed.
posted by RobotHero at 10:58 AM on November 27, 2020 [7 favorites]


Me, I don't understand anything any more. There used to be a time when the left would be fairly concerned, to say the least, about what might be called a "master plan" advanced by an essentially globo-capitalist organization.

I mean, when I came to this thread I was kind of thinking “oh boy, I can’t wait to see liberals decide Davos people are good, actually because the Right has found something to attack them for.” But, although the article didn’t do a fantastic job outlining the original of the Great Reset project, I thought it was actually fairly clear about what the WEF represents and also that they are kind of fundamentally full of shit which is for sure an important part of the picture. Maybe they’re picking right-wing nuts who think this is about communism instead of capitalism just for the rest of us to laugh at but that’s also the reason the Right is not capable of addressing the real problems with this sort of thing.
posted by atoxyl at 11:51 AM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


The actual left includes Jewish people and people who love Jewish people who are only "concerned" in so far as that is an antisemitic dogwhistle laden sentence.

On the other hand, I don’t think the Left is going to be able to address some of these problems if we can’t say “global capitalism.” Like, believe me, I know the associations and that the “globo-” making it A Thing is suspicious - I’m Jewish enough to count here, myself - but dogwhistles are also context-sensitive so sometimes the response to seeing somebody say something suspicious is to pay closer attention to what else they say, not to chastise them for saying a nearly bad thing.
posted by atoxyl at 12:12 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


I've been thinking a lot about how to deal with delusions and conspiracy theories, but what does the research actually say?

Here's a few articles from New Zealand: they're media articles but written by or referring to actual work that people have done in this area: How Misinformation Endangers Us, Mythbusing misinformation can help spread it, How to talk to whanau [family] about conspiracies:
Here’s what we found worked for shifting the tone of a conversation from adversarial, angry or dismissive to being more open to other perspectives: show people you understand where they are coming from. Lead with shared values and speak to a common vision. Help people feel heard so that they’ll hear you. Facts are ineffective. Debunking doesn’t work. Neither does telling people they are wrong.
In short, people who are left out are more likely to believe conspiracies....many of the people who are most likely to feel alone are also people who have been let down by the multiple systems that govern and shape our lives.
We should seek to preempt misinformation by spreading true information - while warning that people may at a later date see false information on this topic.....
To some degree, this is a systemic issue, rooted in centuries of colonialism, the architecture of social media and the rising distrust in previously-authoritative sources like the media or academia. That means it needs a system-wide solution, from the community level to central government and everyone in between.
[disclaimer: a friend of mine works with some of these people, but I don't know any of them personally].
posted by Pink Frost at 12:54 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


It's been said here on many occasions since 2016, but obviously needs repeating:
A lot of the people who indulge in conspiracy theories and generally believe in right-wing propaganda that goes against their own interests are not vulnerable white working class workers. They are safe middle class people who are scared of demographic changes and/or don't want to deal with climate change and/or have come to see their home as an investment.
posted by mumimor at 2:26 PM on November 27, 2020 [14 favorites]


On the other hand, I don’t think the Left is going to be able to address some of these problems if we can’t say “global capitalism.” Like, believe me, I know the associations and that the “globo-” making it A Thing is suspicious - I’m Jewish enough to count here, myself - but dogwhistles are also context-sensitive so sometimes the response to seeing somebody say something suspicious is to pay closer attention to what else they say, not to chastise them for saying a nearly bad thing.

There's really no need to invoke antisemitism dogwhistle global conspiracy theories when Jeff Bezos lives right here in the US and when white supremacy is our own home grown philosophy that guides absolutely everything that happens.
posted by hydropsyche at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


Trump demonstrated that for Laura Ingram and others don’t give a shit about prison camps, federal agents arresting people on the street and even having federal agents show up at a suspects house in the middle of the night and murder him....in fact they cheered Trump on and supported it. So fuck em...
posted by interogative mood at 4:23 PM on November 27, 2020 [9 favorites]


If we actually manage to reorient vessel Planet Earth, the great reset will mainly be a redistribution of wealth from fossil fuel producers to renewable energy producers. Maybe this will trigger some geopolitical drama. Let's all pray it happens swiftly and with minimal drama.
posted by simra at 4:59 PM on November 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Restore tabs when society restarts
posted by Morpeth at 5:17 PM on November 27, 2020 [5 favorites]


the tiny robots would activate miniature pincers and chainsaws and whatnot and rip holes in your aorta, then self-destruct without a trace

I just watched Escape From New York last week, and this is literally a plot point straight out of that movie. Guess we know what his favorite movie is.
posted by ymgve at 5:20 PM on November 27, 2020 [2 favorites]


There's really no need to invoke antisemitism dogwhistle global conspiracy theories when Jeff Bezos lives right here in the US and when white supremacy is our own home grown philosophy that guides absolutely everything that happens.

Fair enough insofar as “global” as a modifier to “capitalism” doesn’t actually do that much. The trans-national nature of Amazon is certainly relevant to its ability to drive down prices and avoid paying taxes, and for that matter I’d say white supremacy grew out of European colonialism, which is intertwined with the development of capitalism as we know it, but to say these are both examples of the damage wrought by global capitalism does at minimum elide a transition from multinational corporations being tied to nationalism to multinational corporations being nearly sovereign actors. The significance of “global” shifts.

However, while the concept of white supremacy is plenty useful in understanding, say, Amazon’s treatment of Christian Smalls, I don’t believe it is nearly sufficient to understand what Amazon is or why Jeff Bezos does what he does. You are gonna have to start with “capitalism,” there.
posted by atoxyl at 5:59 PM on November 27, 2020 [1 favorite]


Please don't throw us into the briar patch. Socialism, we should be so lucky. That's why my brother kept mentioning the great reset the other day. As said above, these people aren't wrong about the problems and dangers, but have been neatly tricked into blaming the wrong side.
posted by blue shadows at 8:08 PM on November 27, 2020 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, I don’t think the Left is going to be able to address some of these problems if we can’t say “global capitalism.”

The part that gets people sensing something's afoot is not "global capitalism" but the importance of "organization" in globo-capitalist organization. As if there's a tiny elite, a cabal if you will, to which the business and CEOs are subservient.

If the Left doesn't understand this is a nonsense framing it's not going to address anything ever. WEF-like organizations don't drive anything; they are like remoras on the actual big sharks, always going where the sharks want.
posted by mark k at 10:16 PM on November 27, 2020 [9 favorites]


Daedaluspark’s comment makes some interesting point. A key difference between us and them seems to hinge on trust. We generally trust that the government and society, if not always well run or efficient, have our collective interest at heart. They see the government more like Hobbes’ Leviathan, some powerful entity to be feared and tamed.

Maybe both views are actually lacking nuance ?

Even with elections, a large part of the gouvernement and its institutions are stable entities rather akin to big corporations, and “little people” can not easily keep them accountable. We’ve seen it with the cops, when they’re under scrutiny they prefer to have each other’s back and protect their institution rather than see Justice served, and Justice tends to be awfully lenient with them if things go that far (yeah little people!).

Cops are a really visible part of the apparatus but it’s fair to say a significant number of people in this kind of position of power will prefer to close ranks and wait for the uppity little people to be placated or made to go away. This kind of solidarity may be in part explained by white supremacy but also by good ol’ Marx and class struggle, because this does not only happen here, it’s everywhere. That’s the “power corrupts” old saw but it’s actually a serious problem.

Many of us would be happy with socialism and the redistribution of wealth but we need to remember the same people that would strive by exploiting others in the current system will not magically disappear after the Great Reset. The same kind of sociopaths that tend to rise to the top of big corporations (and government) in our system will still be there, trying to find loopholes and gain power, and it’s probably the most important issue because it enables all the other abuses. Racism, sexism, ableism, it’s convenient tools to divide and rule over people because everyone has genitals and everyone has skin and limbs and brains but they are infinitely different as are our opinions about them.

So in a society where no one owns anything, in practice things are still owned, by some institution or government entity which will therefore attract sociopaths like moths to the fire. Past revolutions seem to have all failed with this. Pol Pot re-education of intellectuals, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, the purges in Soviet Russia, they all kind of look in retrospect as misguided attempts at removing the sociopaths from the system but having misidentified them as random bourgeois or intellectuals, or whole classes of people, thereby enabling the real sociopaths to take control of the purge and derailing the whole thing straight into dystopia. But we have tools they didn’t: maybe we can avoid these human failures by letting an AI control ownership and incomes and throw away the root password? Even Google’s algorithm have racial bias, so who knows if this would work.

That’s why I’m not very optimistic about the fully automated gay luxury space communism: it’s likely to be great for a few years while sociopaths find out how to slowly creep their way up to the levers of power then it will slowly turn back to the same old dreary reality of division and strife for the 99% and full on hedonism for the sociopathic 1%.

TL;DR: maybe both sides are actually afraid of the same thing, the sociopaths that divide and conquer us, but keep on misidentifying them with terrible consequences for everyone normally kind and sane?
posted by dragondollar at 10:21 PM on November 27, 2020 [6 favorites]


But, maybe it isn't either rampant libertarian capitalism or gay luxury space communism. There are many countries in the world that manage to keep a balance. Not that they have created a paradise and now are just lounging about. It is a constant political struggle, where sometimes one part has the upper hand, sometimes the other, but on balance, there are always some basic rights, like healthcare, some level of housing, education, a level of support for the unemployed. The US and the UK throw the rest of the world off kilter, and the reason is to be found in their weird versions of democracy.
posted by mumimor at 1:30 AM on November 28, 2020 [7 favorites]


who knows if this would work

I do. It wouldn't.

Theocracy is always unsound, and the process by which Marketing misses the point of science fiction generates gods no more reliable than the traditional made-up kind.
posted by flabdablet at 2:24 AM on November 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


Look, if we're doing some great reset - I don't want my fair share of every redneck pickup truck plastered with truck nuts and Trump flags... I wouldn't mind sharing a portion of my education and upbringing with those folks though...
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:26 AM on November 28, 2020 [1 favorite]


dragondollar, it’s really quite simple: just don’t throw out democracy and freedom of the press. Where I live now (the Netherlands) there’s a much better balance of wealth, a government that works and provides a nice infrastructure and safety net to everyone, and strong Democratic institutions. Fully automated gay space European style socialism is what you want. Basically, heavily regulated capitalism with a strong social safety net and leaders chosen democratically by the people. It doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, but it actually works.
posted by antinomia at 5:02 PM on November 28, 2020 [2 favorites]


As long as we’re resetting, can we choose the all-singing, all-dancing alternate reality?
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:02 PM on November 28, 2020


by hypothesizing a disaster film about horrendous, cataclysmic morning dew with the tagline “The Coast Is Moist”.

I gather these folks were unaware of the cultural antecedents connecting morning dew with (nuclear) apocalypse
posted by eviemath at 8:01 AM on November 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's that the left necessarily trusts the government any more than the right wing. See again, the right wing's widespread acceptance that if the government guns you down on the street, you probably deserved it.

It's more that they see no useful purpose to the government outside of the subjugation of others. If the government provides health care or housing it must secretly be a precursor to some new act of subjugation. Which might result in someone getting subjugated who doesn't deserve it.
posted by RobotHero at 8:25 AM on December 1, 2020 [1 favorite]


My general rubrik for a while is that the right mistrusts the government, but loves hierarchy and authority. Government is especially the enemy because it's the primary means (outside violent rebellion) for people to oppose local authority.

Wilhoit's not-famous-enough observation puts this better: "Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect."
posted by mark k at 11:36 AM on December 1, 2020 [2 favorites]


« Older Take the Nightline through an infinite Metropolis   |   The dream-work makes the waking work possible. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments