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paulkienitz

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Bay Area, California
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 1,044

About Me

Software engineer who thinks a lot about the future. http://paulkienitz.net/future/

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and might I add

Regular Trumpism is the same as QAnon except with less overt wishful thinking. It's just as founded on lies, and just as attractive to people whose motive is to participate in hate and violence. In both cases, people mostly join up not because they are tricked, but because they are assholes.

call QAnon what it is: not a cult, a hate movement

We commonly hear QAnon believers described as crazy, kooks, deluded, brainwashed, in a cult, and a whole laundry list of other terms which treat them as if they were suffering from hallucinations or mental illness. That needs to stop, because what that description does is absolve them of responsibility for their bullshit.

When we see someone acting without sanity and ignoring reality in favor of some bogus story, our natural assumption is to frame it in terms of a deficiency in their ability to know fact from fancy, and thereby imply that they are in some way powerless over what has happened to them. But that's not true here. Though occasionally someone mentally ill will surface in that scene, for the great majority of people there was nothing helpless or powerless about how they started avowing such nonsense. Every step of the process was a choice made by a capable and responsible adult.

The essence of the Q bullshit is that it's a libel that justifies hatred and violence. It accuses non-conservatives of heinous acts so that conservatives can be justified in hating them. And QAnon believers were not tricked into hating because the libels somehow magically overpowered their sense of reality -- they chose to set aside their sense of reality because they wanted to believe the libels. There is no otherworldly hypnotic power to Q's bullshit, any more than there is to Trumpsky's. Nothing about it can take away someone's ability to be skeptical. What takes away people's skepticism is the desire to join a hate movement. Hate isn't a side effect of delusion -- delusion is a side effect of hate. The hate isn't an accidental consequence of the fantasy, it's the motive for why the fantasy was ever taken seriously in the first place.

The majority of people in QAnon are indulging in hate because they want to. Implausible libels are the excuse, not the cause. The reward they seek is not to find meaning in a confusing world, as with most cults or conspiracy theorists -- the reward is that they get to enjoy hating. It's a powerful feeling and they love feeling it. From that, all the bullshit and the lies follow. Some of them have totally suppressed their critical thinking and will naively believe whatever the movement tells them (and if so, some can be saved when they see the predictions fail)... but for a lot of others, I think you'll find that they are not just passively being led around by propaganda, but are actively participating in the doublethink, and are just as likely to produce lies of their own as to uncritically believe someone else's.

QAnon is a vicious hate movement, and the people in it bear full moral culpability for participating. They are responsible for freely choosing to support hate and violence, not to mention supporting a public discourse based on lies. Barring evidence to the contrary that may come up for individual cases, we need to treat them as fully responsible for the harmful behavior they indulge within this movement.

Racism and doublethink go hand in hand.

You almost never meet a racist who isn't either fooling themselves, or faking it too well to spot the difference. They're the least honest political faction there is, and that's saying something next to the fake libertarian corporatist greedhead wing.

she hit exactly the right line to sum up all the shit that had just happened:

OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE.
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