Monday, May 22, 2017

Psychology of Tyranny.3: Invasion of the Internet Snatchers

On every imaginable issue, the current Washington regime is relentlessly and invariably choosing to do or propose what is cruel, unnecessary, shortsighted and destructive--in other words, evil.

But this swarming rule of the societal Shadow occurs while there's another notable phenomenon: the Internet as the playground for the unconscious.  The two look to be related.

First there were the extreme right wing blogs.  They not only promulgated extreme views, they used extreme language of ad hominem accusation, derision and vilification.  They specialized in demonizing their ideological--and soon mostly political party--adversaries.  Perhaps they were imitating extreme right talk radio, but they made their mark accelerating it.  Some--such as Brietbart--became rabid right institutions, allied with both the official R party and such precursor movements and organizations as white separatists and the Klan.

Then came the toxic commentators (many, as we now know, on the payrolls of extreme right organizations and at least shadow components of the Republican Party, if not the party itself) and the trolls.  They infect every thread on every subject, driving out sincere and thoughtful discussion, destroying the possibility of nuance or simple correction, and driving away disgusted and demoralized readers.

But politics is not the only Internet septic tank.  The centralization of everything in a few "social media" sites has made them the magnets of evil.  The Guardian's articles on Facebook and its struggles to control these raging manifestations of the societal Shadow suggest the extent of its reign.

Some of this is obviously due to the lack of control over these outlets--there are few or no gatekeepers for comments or social media posts, nor are there any standards for sites that call themselves political or news sites.  When the name of the game is attracting attention ("attention" being the old word for "clicks"), the more outrageous the better.

But if that's all this was about, it would likely have died down by now.  Instead it's gotten worse.  Together with hackers and various other criminals using email and other online manifestations to steal and extort, the rampant exploitation of Shadow violence and hate threatens to collapse the Internet entirely.

With the Shadow loose and growing stronger as it consumes and incorporates everything available to it, like some 50s horror movie Blob, it has moved from the murky underworld to the bright screens everywhere, and now into political power in the USA.

From 100 billion dollar deals for arms dealers to suicidal policies on the climate crisis to destroying lives by subverting healthcare and threatening the already threadbare safety net,  the rule of evil rages on, with self-righteous contempt.  

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