Politics Right-wing reactionaries.

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Has anyone else noticed the thread of contrarianism that has been growing since climate change became a public policy issue? I know you would have and most likely engaged in this sort of debate/conversation, otherwise, you wouldn't be in this forum! However, I mean have you noticed the common thread?

While these people are not an electoral entity in Victoria and fading in the rest of Australia, they clearly have some impact on the social conversation, this is true across all of the ex-British colonies. However, in the UK they have a sizeable impact at the ballot box and in America, they are pretty much mainstream since Tea Party and then Trumpism morphed into a full-blown fascist movement.

There is almost an unthinking response. You can almost guarantee that if a person talks about a "climate hoax", they also think public health safety measures are a communist plot, are anti-migration, think that "wokeism" is taking over the world and are suspicious about conspiracies left and right and centre. The typical type thing that stands out to me is flag-waving patriots thinking that supporting Ukraine is against the interests of the US and their Western European allies, or those who are anti-taxation and regulation thinking that Davos is some sort of socialist plot. They also accuse the centre-left of being paedophiles, but then go into bat for George Pell.

There is definitely a large portion of grumpy old men feeling like they're losing their special place in the world, but there is also a large portion of grumpy middle-aged men and women from the petty bourgeoisie and a bunch of young men who sound like hippies complaining about "the system man". While I agree with taking mainstream information with a grain of salt, there is a knee-jerk rejection of anything that peer-reviewed science and bureaucrats, but then swallowing crazy conspiracy theories hook line and sinker.

What's going on?
What do you think is behind this?
How long is this going to influence our public discussion?
Can you see it having a resurgence in Australia, or is it a demographic thing that will die out?
 

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Has anyone else noticed the thread of contrarianism that has been growing since climate change became a public policy issue? I know you would have and most likely engaged in this sort of debate/conversation, otherwise, you wouldn't be in this forum! However, I mean have you noticed the common thread?

While these people are not an electoral entity in Victoria and fading in the rest of Australia, they clearly have some impact on the social conversation, this is true across all of the ex-British colonies. However, in the UK they have a sizeable impact at the ballot box and in America, they are pretty much mainstream since Tea Party and then Trumpism morphed into a full-blown fascist movement.

There is almost an unthinking response. You can almost guarantee that if a person talks about a "climate hoax", they also think public health safety measures are a communist plot, are anti-migration, think that "wokeism" is taking over the world and are suspicious about conspiracies left and right and centre. The typical type thing that stands out to me is flag-waving patriots thinking that supporting Ukraine is against the interests of the US and their Western European allies, or those who are anti-taxation and regulation thinking that Davos is some sort of socialist plot. They also accuse the centre-left of being paedophiles, but then go into bat for George Pell.

There is definitely a large portion of grumpy old men feeling like they're losing their special place in the world, but there is also a large portion of grumpy middle-aged men and women from the petty bourgeoisie and a bunch of young men who sound like hippies complaining about "the system man". While I agree with taking mainstream information with a grain of salt, there is a knee-jerk rejection of anything that peer-reviewed science and bureaucrats, but then swallowing crazy conspiracy theories hook line and sinker.

What's going on?
What do you think is behind this?
How long is this going to influence our public discussion?
Can you see it having a resurgence in Australia, or is it a demographic thing that will die out?

Russian money and ideology designed to destroy western liberal democracy. Hybrid warfare at its most pure, and it is working. It is not an accident that most of Putin's rants about the left, western degeneracy, LGBT people, climate change are word for word the same as what spews from FOX, OAN, NewsMax, GB News, AfD, etc etc etc.

You would be surprised for example to find that the majority of money coming in to support the Canberra convoy was sourced from Easterrn Europe
 
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Russian money and ideology designed to destroy western liberal democracy. Hybrid warfare at its most pure, and it is working. It is not an accident that most of Putin's rants about the left, western degeneracy, LGBT people, climate change are word for word the same as what spews from FOX, OAN, NewsMax, GB News, AfD, etc etc etc.

You would be surprised for example to find that the majority of money coming in to support the Canberra convoy was sourced from Easterrn Europe

You sure it is as external as that?
 

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You sure it is as external as that?

Its not entirely external, obviously the Russians are working through like minded bodies and individuals in those countries who are sympathetic to right wing totalitarian ideology but the organising and coordinating push is coming from there and to a lesser extent Germany (though often Germans with ties to the former USSR)
 

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What's going on?

Right wing politics descending from some form of moderate liberalism into far right fundamentally conservative conspiracy peddling.

What do you think is behind this?

Various influence groups via media and social media, in Australia most notably the Murdoch press.

How long is this going to influence our public discussion?

Millennials are not drifting as conservative as previous generations, this should hamper the chances of the right being elected in the future. In the US they can do things like gerrymandering, voter suppression, race based voter purging to keep winning. In Australia not as easy. However we will have a big test this year with the Voice referendum and the right's attempt to fight it as a culture war issue.

Can you see it having a resurgence in Australia, or is it a demographic thing that will die out?

Far right conservatism doesn't last long in Australia. Hanson failed, once Howard went to war on workers with workchoices he failed.

6 years of Labor infighting got us Abbott, after Abbott's first budget we saw the reality of him and he dropped like a stone. Morrison was too new and managed to scare his way back in via attacks on Shorten, after bushfires then Covid we saw him for his true colours and turfed him out.

The anti-Muslim "patriot" movement never took off, anti vaxxers are mostly seen as nutters, the anti-transgender push at the last election via Deves failed.

Doesn't mean they won't keep trying but Australians mostly don't fall for far right scare campaigns for extended periods.
 

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I'd say individualism is the main ingredient for this attitude taking hold - probably why America has far and away seen it worst of all (supercharged by race issues and its effect on perception of social class.) Not so much an issue in the rest of the world, though if society in general trends that way, it will get worse here too. Millenials in Australia seem to be more class-conscious so I don't think there's any great risk for now.

Russian money and ideology designed to destroy western liberal democracy. Hybrid warfare at its most pure, and it is working. It is not an accident that most of Putin's rants about the left, western degeneracy, LGBT people, climate change are word for word the same as what spews from FOX, OAN, NewsMax, GB News, AfD, etc etc etc.

You would be surprised for example to find that the majority of money coming in to support the Canberra convoy was sourced from Easterrn Europe

I'd say it started earlier than that.

USA is where this toxicity is most prevalent, and all of the most contrarian Australians you come across lean entirely on talking points from over there. Mitch McConnell was pushing obstruction for the sake of obstruction back in 2009. I imagine the seeds were sown even earlier given his calculation that R/Independent voters would reward him for it. Other actors may have capitalised, but it's been largely self-inflicted.
 

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I'd say individualism is the main ingredient for this attitude taking hold - probably why America has far and away seen it worst of all (supercharged by race issues and its effect on perception of social class.) Not so much an issue in the rest of the world, though if society in general trends that way, it will get worse here too. Millenials in Australia seem to be more class-conscious so I don't think there's any great risk for now.



I'd say it started earlier than that.

USA is where this toxicity is most prevalent, and all of the most contrarian Australians you come across lean entirely on talking points from over there. Mitch McConnell was pushing obstruction for the sake of obstruction back in 2009. I imagine the seeds were sown even earlier given his calculation that R/Independent voters would reward him for it. Other actors may have capitalised, but it's been largely self-inflicted.

If you want to look for the moment individuality got raised to the point of obsession and the world view of a psychopath raised to a religion while human characteristics like compassion, empathy and altruism were made into sins it was Atlas Shrugged.
 
Its called strategic maskirovka, and is part of a long term strategy by the Kremlin to destabilise Western institutions and governments.

This article is one that tries to give a taste

They have also been quite prominent in the anti-5G movement
 
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Russian money and ideology designed to destroy western liberal democracy. Hybrid warfare at its most pure, and it is working. It is not an accident that most of Putin's rants about the left, western degeneracy, LGBT people, climate change are word for word the same as what spews from FOX, OAN, NewsMax, GB News, AfD, etc etc etc.

You would be surprised for example to find that the majority of money coming in to support the Canberra convoy was sourced from Easterrn Europe
To what extent can you demonstrate this?

I have no issues with an 'In My Opinion', but I'd appreciate a compelling basis beyond the circumstantial for a claim like this.
 

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To what extent can you demonstrate this?

I have no issues with an 'In My Opinion', but I'd appreciate a compelling basis beyond the circumstantial for a claim like this.







i could add more with more time but thats a taste
 
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I think it's important to have context about the situation we are in and that consists of decades of effort, within the west, to deliberately sabotage and undermine our cultural institutions.

On behalf of the cigarette industry, largely (though not exclusively, there've been a few industries that wanted to keep exposing their employees to beryllium dust and whatnot and were also involved). These tactics and generally the same spokespeople and lobbying agencies were later picked up by the fossil fuel industry.

I recommend Doubt Is Their Product, by David Michaels, as a comprehensive history. Merchants of Doubt, by Oreskes & Conway, is good too, but Michaels is more comprehensive.

This explains, to my mind, a lot of where we are now - we have a newspaper and television media industry deliberately crafted to be more agreeable to our fine sponsors at Marlboro and Shell than factual reporting, we have universities riven through with managerialism and dependent on corporate sponsorships for survival, and, of the remains of our institutions, we have legions of negative-information voters who are primed to immediately object to any source of reliable information.

It is the extremly fecund soil of epistemic nihilism that modern facist movements propagandise in.

(ironically, given that growing tobacco generally depletes the soil heavily)
 

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I think it's important to have context about the situation we are in and that consists of decades of effort, within the west, to deliberately sabotage and undermine our cultural institutions.

An example - higher education. Once upon a time, even right wing conservatives, respected and honored university education. Even more so than the left at times.

But think of how many times you hear a right wing figure sneering at "academic elites" or "out of touch uni grads". University education and the value of a degree is being eroded as so many right wing beliefs now require you to ignore basic facts, let alone academic knowledge.

Climate change, basic economics, social issues, vaccines, all still being debated because the right has turned a large chunk of the population against people who spent years of their lives studying those fields. "Do Your Own Research" - you need to do several units at uni just to learn how to properly conduct research.

They even have an online propaganda site dressed up as a fake university - Prager U.
 

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An example - higher education. Once upon a time, even right wing conservatives, respected and honored university education. Even more so than the left at times.

But think of how many times you hear a right wing figure sneering at "academic elites" or "out of touch uni grads". University education and the value of a degree is being eroded as so many right wing beliefs now require you to ignore basic facts, let alone academic knowledge.

Climate change, basic economics, social issues, vaccines, all still being debated because the right has turned a large chunk of the population against people who spent years of their lives studying those fields. "Do Your Own Research" - you need to do several units at uni just to learn how to properly conduct research.

They even have an online propaganda site dressed up as a fake university - Prager U.

Let's not neglect that there's a strong representation of religious types amongst conspiracy theorists, and this type of person is much more prevalent in the US than Australia.

The suspension of disbelief required to believe the bible is factual is not dissimilar to the suspension of disbelief required to believe Trump is somehow fighting the good fight against The Deep State.
 
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Let's not neglect that there's a strong representation of religious types amongst conspiracy theorists, and this type of person is much more prevalent in the US than Australia.

The suspension of disbelief required to believe the bible is factual is not dissimilar to the suspension of disbelief required to believe Trump is somehow fighting the good fight against The Deep State.

I have no idea whether this is true or not but I can see that, if you can believe in the "man in the sky" I guess Pizzagate etc isn't a stretch
 
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I have no idea whether this is true or not but I can see that, if you can believe in the "man in the sky" I guess Pizzagate etc isn't a stretch

There's plenty of studies out there. Not everyone who identifies as religious will fall in to this category, it's largely those who have quite strongly held beliefs in things like creationism, evangelical religions and such.


we did find that the extent to which religious worldviews were endorsed predicted belief in conspiracy theories. Among believers, the importance attached to their religious worldview was directly associated with higher belief in conspiracy theories


Across three correlational studies (N > 2000), we found robust evidence of a teleological link between conspiracism and creationism


The results indicate that the correlations between religiosity and conspiracy theory endorsement were positive

Came across this article whilst grabbing some links for the above and it is pretty decent;

 
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There's plenty of studies out there. Not everyone who identifies as religious will fall in to this category, it's largely those who have quite strongly held beliefs in things like creationism, evangelical religions and such.










Came across this article whilst grabbing some links for the above and it is pretty decent;



Yeah that last link pretty much sums up my thought about it, interesting article that.
 
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Has anyone else noticed the thread of contrarianism that has been growing since climate change became a public policy issue? I know you would have and most likely engaged in this sort of debate/conversation, otherwise, you wouldn't be in this forum! However, I mean have you noticed the common thread?

While these people are not an electoral entity in Victoria and fading in the rest of Australia, they clearly have some impact on the social conversation, this is true across all of the ex-British colonies. However, in the UK they have a sizeable impact at the ballot box and in America, they are pretty much mainstream since Tea Party and then Trumpism morphed into a full-blown fascist movement.

There is almost an unthinking response. You can almost guarantee that if a person talks about a "climate hoax", they also think public health safety measures are a communist plot, are anti-migration, think that "wokeism" is taking over the world and are suspicious about conspiracies left and right and centre. The typical type thing that stands out to me is flag-waving patriots thinking that supporting Ukraine is against the interests of the US and their Western European allies, or those who are anti-taxation and regulation thinking that Davos is some sort of socialist plot. They also accuse the centre-left of being paedophiles, but then go into bat for George Pell.

There is definitely a large portion of grumpy old men feeling like they're losing their special place in the world, but there is also a large portion of grumpy middle-aged men and women from the petty bourgeoisie and a bunch of young men who sound like hippies complaining about "the system man". While I agree with taking mainstream information with a grain of salt, there is a knee-jerk rejection of anything that peer-reviewed science and bureaucrats, but then swallowing crazy conspiracy theories hook line and sinker.

What's going on?
What do you think is behind this?
How long is this going to influence our public discussion?
Can you see it having a resurgence in Australia, or is it a demographic thing that will die out?

It's the steroids in the chicken.
 
An example - higher education. Once upon a time, even right wing conservatives, respected and honored university education. Even more so than the left at times.

But think of how many times you hear a right wing figure sneering at "academic elites" or "out of touch uni grads". University education and the value of a degree is being eroded as so many right wing beliefs now require you to ignore basic facts, let alone academic knowledge.

Climate change, basic economics, social issues, vaccines, all still being debated because the right has turned a large chunk of the population against people who spent years of their lives studying those fields. "Do Your Own Research" - you need to do several units at uni just to learn how to properly conduct research.

They even have an online propaganda site dressed up as a fake university - Prager U.
This could because the quality and type of degrees has changed.
Motivations of individuals whom have historically been trusted has also shifted towards personal financial benefit. Plastic surgeons v your trusted family doctor.
People have grown in distrust towards others maybe?
 
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This could because the quality and type of degrees has changed.
Motivations of individuals whom have historically been trusted has also shifted towards personal financial benefit. Plastic surgeons v your trusted family doctor.
People have grown in distrust towards others maybe?

Educated voters (tend) to think more critically about things. That's not good if your voting platform largely relies upon lies, corruption and racism.

Education is the enemy of parties intent on rorting the system.

In US politics the Democrats certainly aren't perfect, but compared to the GOP who spend every waking moment trying to further enrich the already wealthy and destroy the fundamental democratic system the US was founded upon, they're much better.

Australia has compulsory voting which keeps a lid on things a bit better, and voters saw through the LNP pretty quickly and turfed them out. Younger voters will tend to lean more left, and the younger generation is generally more educated than the voter bloc that's starting to die off. That should (hopefully) make it harder for parties trying to rely on ignorance to get elected.
 
Educated voters (tend) to think more critically about things. That's not good if your voting platform largely relies upon lies, corruption and racism.

Education is the enemy of parties intent on rorting the system.

In US politics the Democrats certainly aren't perfect, but compared to the GOP who spend every waking moment trying to further enrich the already wealthy and destroy the fundamental democratic system the US was founded upon, they're much better.

Australia has compulsory voting which keeps a lid on things a bit better, and voters saw through the LNP pretty quickly and turfed them out. Younger voters will tend to lean more left, and the younger generation is generally more educated than the voter bloc that's starting to die off. That should (hopefully) make it harder for parties trying to rely on ignorance to get elected.
I’m not sure how this relates to my post, I don’t fundamentally disagree with what you’ve said here either ways although I’m not able to comment on the US political party part.
 
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I’m not sure how this relates to my post, I don’t fundamentally disagree with what you’ve said here either ways although I’m not able to comment on the US political party part.

It’s become a catchphrase in certain segments of politics / voters because they’re trying to win votes through ignorance.

Hammer the same message, long enough, and some people have started to believe that education is somehow a bad thing.

The US is just an easier more extreme illustration of the same tactics used here.
 

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Educated voters (tend) to think more critically about things. That's not good if your voting platform largely relies upon lies, corruption and racism.

Education is the enemy of parties intent on rorting the system.
That is no longer true. There was a time when students and teachers were first up against the wall when the revolution came. Remember when.

Given that it's far easier to sway the emotions of teenagers and younger folk than it is older, it really doesn't come as any great surprise that the modern political trend is to appeal to emotion in order to discredit more pragmatic thought. Modern political society has realised that you don't actually need to get rid of the educated - you just need to educate them the "right way". Hearts and minds.

With particular reference to Australia, the perception of an "educated voter" has changed. In decades past, a university education was harder to obtain, and tended to conform more toward STEM subject categories than social. I'm not conversant with the numbers at this point, but I'd hazard a guess that there are far more students studying social sciences rather than STEM in recent years. Added to that, STEM numbers are influenced even more by international student participation, particularly those with a mind to stay on in Australia after education has been completed, skewing the disparity even more in favour of a social education.

The modern Australian born student has a far more socialised education than they did in the past. Gaining the support of educated people has become more a matter of harnessing the social aspect rather than the pragmatic, and as a result far easier to do, particularly with regard to younger voters who are more easily swayed by emotive arguments.


In US politics the Democrats certainly aren't perfect, but compared to the GOP who spend every waking moment trying to further enrich the already wealthy and destroy the fundamental democratic system the US was founded upon, they're much better.
That may be true, but I suspect the gulf isn't as wide as you infer, and tends to be more a matter of perception than reality.
Actually, the perception of America being founded upon democratic ideals versus the reality of its evolution as a nation is more a matter of perception than reality too, but I'm not about to go into that too much further.

Australia has compulsory voting which keeps a lid on things a bit better, and voters saw through the LNP pretty quickly and turfed them out. Younger voters will tend to lean more left, and the younger generation is generally more educated than the voter bloc that's starting to die off. That should (hopefully) make it harder for parties trying to rely on ignorance to get elected.
A counterargument to that is that Australia is a largely apathetic society, which goes hand in hand with relative prosperity.
Low voter turnouts can be an indicator of several things, voter ignorance being only one of those, and an extremely subjective one at that.

"Hammer the same message, long enough, and some people have started to believe that education is somehow a bad thing", you said.
You could, however, apply that thought more universally and come to a completely different conclusion.

You might start with asking yourself what message it is that you believe is being hammered, culminating at university level, which is leading to a an decreased view of the value of "education" itself.
 

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