Here’s Henry from Crooked Timber not getting it. Here’s Randy McDonald not getting it. Look, the fact that neo-con wankers deal in baseless smears and mindlessly repeated talking points should neither be cause for surprise, nor should you hope to convince them of anything.
I occasionally make the point that after the Left invented post-modernism, the Right operationalised it and rolled it out as a coherent political-media-aesthetic package. If your politics depends on disagreeing with objective reality, and persuading people to vote against their interests, there is a huge opportunity in the realisation that it’s possible to have multiple competing truths. Setting the limits of debate, and controlling the language in which it is carried out, is a valid and proven strategy for power.
Since then, among other things, we’ve discovered that in fact it is probably impossible to genuinely ignore anything; cognitive neuroscience has demonstrated that our judgements are measurably influenced by information that we know is completely wrong. Further, the mere availability of information increases its force; repetition works. Repetition works. The availability heuristic means that repetition works. Guess why – HITLER! – they keep talking – HITLER! HITLER! – about Hitler – HITLER! – on the most unlikely – HITLER! HITLER! HITLER! – topics.
The upshot is clear and bears repeating; the purpose of a system is what it does, and what this one does is to pollute the information environment with drivel so as to influence your judgement. Of course they are lying, and of course they are talking nonsense. It’s what they do; they managed to invade Iraq like that, perhaps the most successful exercise in political manipulation in recent history.
They’re endlessly repeating mindless crap because it’s what they do. The answers are probably to do the same back to them, but more importantly, to secede from the information systems they dominate; this is arguably what happened in 2008.