P:olitical weapon of choice
Week of 31st Aug 2020
The most threatening political weapon isn’t warships or planes or bombs. It is the weapon of psychology. Within psychology, emotions are invoked through different means, including using sympathy through apologizing, using fear through threats and using anger through fake news.
Today, we explore which is the most effective or dangerous.
For understanding fear through threats:
David Brook’s “An Era Defined by Fear”
For understanding anger through fake news:
Kostas Emmanouil’s “Fake news: A dangerous political weapon”
For understanding sympathy through apologies:
Joe Coffman’s “Apologies: The latest political weapon”
From the web:
From our Chief Opinionator:
A Potent Concoction of Fear and Anger
Psychology is a complex subject. Those who understands it, wield strong mind-controlling power. As political masterminds understood this concept, they have honed their mind-controlling skills and weaponized this knowledge.
Donald Trump was probably one of the most successful users of anger to get himself elected. Attacking his opponents and stoking anger among voters against seasoned politicians for not understanding what they want. This anger was so well stoked that voters were willing to vote for a lying billionaire. For this upcoming election, he upgraded his skillsets and has not only stoked anger, but also fear. He has shamelessly used fake news to spread fear among voters of a dystopian society. Truth is, he is the one who has caused a bipolar, un-democratic and dictatorship led society.
Spinning the globe to the other side of the world, Hong Kong was a fantastic example of forces using fear to stoke anger to cause an uprising of homegrown terrorists. Their unfound fear of a lack of freedom under China rule pushed them towards hatred against China. With the help of powerful media, fake news fanned irrational uprising and terrorist acts. Their movement steered these so-called freedom fighters to being terrorists. Their fear turned anger removed freedom from those who disagreed with them as they violently and viciously attacked anyone who had a different view, turning every day life to a dystopia. This anger was so powerful that these ignorant terrorists were blind to the fact that Mainland Chinese citizens were happy and had much less fearful about freedom than Hong Kongers were of the homegrown terrorist group.
In my opinion, this is the most dangerous form of political weapon, mostly spread by the carrier called Fake News. Once a mindset has been set and large swathe of population brainwashed, it will take a generation or two or even more for the fear and anger to subside. The weapon of psychology is truly scarier than a bomb.