January 19, 2021

ROD DREHER: Reality Vs. Pseudo-Realities.

This is what so many of us on the normie Right failed to grasp about QAnon’s pervasiveness among our side. This is also what the Left is failing to perceive about Wokeness. [James] Lindsay goes on:

[T]he pseudo-reality is always constructed such that it structurally advantages those who accept it over those who do not, frequently by overt double standards and through moral-linguistic traps. Double standards in this regard will always favor those who accept pseudo-reality as reality and will always disfavor those who seek the truth. … [M]any normal people will fail to realize the pseudo-reality is false because they cannot see outside of the frame of normality that they charitably extend to all people, whether normal or not.

You can see that play out in a crude way in the exchange between [ESPN/The Atlantic’s Jemele] Hill and her interlocutor.

Lindsay says that liberalism — by which he means classical liberalism — has a bias against pseudo-reality because it contains within it the means to test propositions and reject them. Ideologies based on pseudo-reality — QAnon, Wokeness — depend on capturing powerful, intelligent people, who use their power and intelligence to compel the masses to believe pseudo-real claims. Lindsay:

The trend toward puritan-style pietism, authoritarianism, and eventually totalitarianism in application of this paramorality is a virtual certainty of acceptance of an ideological pseudo-reality, and these abuses will be visited not only on every participant in the constructed fictional reality but also to everyone who can be found or placed within its shadow (which can come to include entire nations or peoples or, in fact, everyone, even those who reject it). Again, this is the true alchemy of the pseudo-realist program; it transforms normal, moral people into immoral agents who must perpetrate evil to feel good and perceive as evil those who do good.

Lindsay explains that fellow travelers in cult ideologies end up thinking that the non-cultists are the crazy ones who have to be suppressed. “This represents a complete reversal of sanity, and the conversion of normal to ideologically psychopathic is, by that point, complete,” writes Lindsay. “These people, as many have learned the hard way throughout history, are the otherwise good people who are capable of perpetrating genocides.”

Read the whole thing, and then check out Jim Geraghty: Why QAnon Conspiracy Theories Can’t Be Ignored.

Exit quote from Geraghty: “Sooner or later, Congress is going to contemplate passing some sort of legislation that will be deeply divisive and controversial. Will the next group of angry extremists decide that the best way to stop Congress from passing legislation they oppose it to gather thousands and attack the Capitol building?”

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