How politicians like Putin make EXTREME things sound NORMAL

How politicians like Putin make EXTREME things sound NORMAL

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The whole problem is that the information  avalanche, crashing down on our consciousness   on a daily basis, began its course about 15  years ago. The speed of the information flow   is becoming dozens of times faster than our  brains have time to adapt. We are simply not   evolutionarily prepared for such lightning-fast  changes... But who's going to ask us... Evolutionary frenzy is belched right into  our faces, or rather into our brains,   which as it turns out can  be very easily programmed. The technology of 5 stages of  programming our consciousness,   including the example of how it’s been done  in recent events with Russia and Ukraine,   will be explained in this episode to  enable you to keep your brain clean.

So, first of all, we need to choose a theme  to drag from the state of "Unthinkable" for   our consciousness to the "Normality"  of life. You can think of anything,   even a fantastic theme: for example, people's  negative thoughts provoke emissions in the air,   or pants are better worn on the head, or... 99% of  wages the state has decided to take for itself...   I think you began grinding your teeth when you had  heard this last phrase, so let's take this one.

To work for just 1% of your salary sounds  unbelievable, even stupid, but you know,   the idea of the universal basic income once  seemed insane as well. But somehow, they sat down,   discussed it and even tried it in the advanced  countries like Switzerland and Finland. Yes, the result was rendered ineffective, but  that didn't stop them from starting discussions.  

If there was an attempt to just hand out money  from the state, why not try the opposite approach.   But of course, we are not going to try  it, we have a purely scientific interest. In the blink of an eye, a working  group of researchers has already been   set up. Buuuuut… some crazy people  have also appeared who are already  

shouting on the internet "give  all our money to the state!" And here we are, right now discussing the  subject, and the wackos on the Internet   are only helping us. After all, the number  of expressions on the topic has only   increased. On the one hand scientists with their  hypotheses and on the other - radical communists,   who will simply be made fun of in the current  realities, but the process of "making fun   of" means an increase in the citation of the  phenomenon. As they say, there is no colour to PR.   Thus, we have made the transition from  the Unthinkable to the Radical. Thus,  

we have introduced outright madness into our  information field. That was the first step. Step number 2. In the second step, we need to appeal to   curiosity, research and diversity. So, we need to  come up with a new, soft term for our phenomenon.   It is not like the state is forcibly taking  all your money, they are simply centralising   money for better management. Moreover, why  are we always talking about “money”? In time   we will come up with yet another softer term –  “the accumulation of population’s resources”.   No one is taking money from anyone, the  state is only accumulating resources.

Creating a soft term is very important in the  current step. You have to detach the form of the   word from its meaning. The main rule is that the  new word has to be made in a way that society does   not associate it with the time in the past when  it was unacceptable. And then the same scientists,   joined by intellectuals, start discussing the  accumulation of resources of the population,   and then it turns out that once upon a time there  was such a thing in Rome, or even in the history   of your country. And there's still some work  to be done to explore what effect it's had.  

So, here, we moved from the Radical to  the Acceptable. Step number 2 is complete. Step number 3 Now that we are already freely discussing the   accumulation of population's resources, we have to  determine people’s attitudes to this. On the left,   we have radical opponents and, on the right, we  have radical supporters. The main focus here is   to do two things: firstly, we need to admit that  there are radical points of view and they have   the right to exist. But at the same time ordinary  people who are against the accumulation must be  

labelled as radicals, we need to try to brand them  as uneducated ignorants who do not understand a   single thing, and generally they want their own  country to be weaker. Just a little longer and   we will call them internal enemies, or the ones  being controlled by an external enemy. After all,   just think about it, accumulation has its  disadvantages, but it also has its positive sides. So, the new phenomenon falls somewhere in the  middle between radical against and radical for,   embodying some kind of sanity and progressivity.   Congratulations, we have moved  onto the realm of Sensible. Step number 4 The topic has gone viral. It is no longer just  

discussed in narrow circles, but by the masses at  large, thanks to the media, of course. The most   important thing is to find popular people who will  say that they would be happy to give 99% of their   income to the state, because it will strengthen  people's power, make society equal, and justice   will prevail in the country. So, we will need  talk-show hosts, artists and bloggers for that.. - I vote for accumulation! - Accumulation isn't   about taking away at all! - So it's for the greater good!  - Don't be selfish! - I heard that George Washington did that!  - That was Franklin’s idea! - Once upon a time, Jeeeesus… Step number 5. The final shot. Since all possible studies have been   conducted, and public debate now leads to the  masses literally asking for the implementation   of resource accumulation, those who planned  it all from the beginning come out from   the shadows and listen sensitively,  out of the kindness of their hearts,   to the wishes of the common people. Opinion polls  are being published, confirming the wishes of the   majority. There is a high proportion of supporters  for a strong, solid and indestructible state. We are at the end of the play - the authorities  are preparing a legislative framework,   and a new dogma is being introduced into society  - "the happiness of the individual is forbidden,   one can only be happy for the whole country". If you get a slight chill at the possibility  

of a similar event, it confirms  the viability of this technology.   And it was invented… no, not by me. The  one who created it was Joseph Overton. You have to admit, it all sounds pretty cool.  Someone powerful out there is controlling us.   And by the technology of someone called Joseph  Overton. I'm telling you, the best myth is a   collection of half-truths, slightly mystified  by the presence of the World Government.

Let me explain. There is a widely spread essay on the Russian  internet called Technology of Destruction,   which tells that society's values  can be changed by employing 5 steps. There are 6 states of attitude to the topic,  you remember them from the previous chapter,   and if you use the tools - namely, topic’s  transition from the taboo into the info-field,   creating a soft term, labelling the opponents  as radicals (condemning radical non-acceptance   and acceptance of the topic), popularizing through  on-screen heroes, and legitimizing - then you can   shift the public consciousness, move that Overton  Window and make anything acceptable as the norm. And by “anything” I mean literally anything.  

Now, look. I’m going to read this widely spread  on the Russian internet article in full. It   has been the subject of conspiracy theories  for almost 10 years. And if you are asking,   why it is so, let me tell you what example the  author used for the explanation of Overton Window…   It’s cannibalism. So, sit back, relax and listen  to the story. Of course, if you don’t want to   listen to it you can read it yourself via the link  in the description and skip to this time stamp,   the mainline of the video will continue  from there. Alright, here we go.

Such a wild example has opened a can of worms,  or should I say a can of conspiracy theorists,   on the Internet. Here is a channel  with a magnificent head cover "Evolve   with Us" doing the same thing, retelling an  article, or rather a copypaste from 2014,   with the final conclusion that the evil there  is the capitalists, the world government – here   they are, those pyramids, eyes and  other attributes of the the Committee   of 300. Oh, really truth - evolve with us. And  the video has been viewed by 2 million people,   I wish I could see the dislikes, but  126,000 likes are a shit load for sure. The Overton Window was invented by  Joseph - all of a sudden - Overton.  

He got a bachelor's degree in electrical  engineering, and then a doctorate in law.   He was a senior vice president of the  Mackinac Center for Public Policy. And apparently an engineering  view on society helped him   see the concept. Once again. THE CONCEPT,  or the model, but not the technology. Its essence is that there is a framework of topics  that are acceptable in society at a given time. And stepping outside these boundaries towards  bigger or smaller freedoms can make you unpopular. Just a quick and clear example. Imagine  what would have happened to a person if  

they had spoken out in 2017 in favour  of entering cafes via the QR code.   He would have been put in  an insane asylum at best. An important comment here. No, I'm not  advocating that the virus is a chemical weapon,   no I don't think anyone wants  to kill us on purpose, and yes,   vaccines work, and yes, so does the Russian  Sputnik V, we even had a video about it. Now, who gives a damn about this window anyway?   Politicians. American politicians.  Who need to know what to talk about,  

so as not to get into trouble and lose popularity,  more specifically lose votes during elections. And they really have a federation there, unlike  the Russian Federation. There is political   activity, every state has its own regulations, it  would be inconvenient to come to the home state   of gun fans and start chanting that guns  should be banned. Well, roughly speaking. And that Mackinac Center for  Public Policy where Overton   worked - still exists to this  day. There's no mystique here. That is, the centre's employees would come to  the sponsors and say: "So, in order to get into   some local council, you'd better say this,  but these topics shouldn't be spoken about". That's all. They helped politicians to be  more politically literate in their statements.  

Moreover, the very name "Overton Window"  was not invented by Overton. It was   invented three years after Overton himself  died. The visual form of it was introduced   by Overton's colleague Nathan Russell,  and the concept now had a shell. Then, it was introduced by some guy named Joshua  Treviño. He sort of refined this picture by   adding the stages you are already familiar  with: unacceptable, radical and the rest.

The Window became really popular after Joseph  Lehman met the writer and politician Glenn   Beck in 2010. This Glenn Beck wrote a fantastic  bestseller and put the notorious Window in it,   but his version acquired a fundamental  difference - now the Window is not a   guide model on how to look at the current  public sentiment and adjust your actions,   but a technology to change the consciousness  of society with your own hands. This Lehman, who told Beck about the  concept, is still featured on the   website of the Centre for Public Policy,  where, as an explanatory piece, he says: “There is a common misconception about the  Overton Window and that is that politicians   themselves move the Overton Window. That’s  backwards. What politicians are good at   is detecting where the Overton Window is  and reacting to it at any point in time.   The Overton Window cannot tell you if a policy is  good or bad. What the Overton Window does   is tell you what policies are on the verge of  possibility. The ideas that are near the edge  

of the Overton Window but just outside  of it, maybe tomorrow’s policy reality.” And it was in 2010 when interest in the Overton  Window flared up in America. But here... In Russia, the outburst was organised  by a regular blogger in January 2014. He took Treviño's visuals, read Beck's book, added  cannibalism to it and pressed the publish button.   Who knew that this button would  launch a real information bomb.  

Here is a graph of interest in the  Window since 2014 in Mother Russia. The interest started right after the  January 14, 2014 publication of the article. And radicals of all sorts, from conspiracy  theorists to ultra-patriots, have come to believe   that there is the technology allowing to program  the mind, although the original Overton Window is   actually a way of looking at public sentiment to  determine what people approve of. It is a model.

By the way, it turns out that there are even   PROFESSORS who write articles that cannot be  called academic, no matter how hard you try.   This is straight from the website of a Russian  university. The naming there is on the level of   scandal rag and it’s named OVERTON WINDOW  - A THREAT TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY. And it tells about influencing people's  minds, manipulating the masses. It uses the  

words "zombification" directly. Turns out Overton  was not helping American politicians get votes,   he was studying how immoral value  systems could be introduced into society. And what does it all come down to? Correct - the  substitution of cultural values and traditions.   And who's to blame? That's right, GAYS. But we have blurred the author's data for a  reason. The fact is that our professors are   in a very difficult position, their standards are  tied to the type of scientific publications, so   I do not know the author, it is quite possible  that the article was made for formality,   to provide them with something to eat. And it's  not about the author. It is about the whole  

phenomenon in our country. It is like accusing  a cashier of demanding you to wear a mask. But to be fair, there are videos on the internet,  at least in the Russian segment, debunking this   conspiracy theory, pointing to the original  meaning and how it transformed in the internet But... I hope you won't fall  out of your chair now...   the thing is, I believe that this  twisted Overton Window theory… can work.   Let's take another look at the 6 states and  the 5 tools of transition to these states.  

Let's leave the debunking of myths out of  the brackets and highlight these 5 tools: - Introduction to the info field - Creating a soft term  - Illusion of sensible debate - Popularisation through   on-screen heroes - Legitimisation Personally, it seems to me  that these are the usual   tools of propaganda or political  spin machines, whichever you prefer. Take the tool number two. Watch how it works. In  Russia, some media and the government officials,   including Putin, often replace the original  word with a softer substitute so to make   it sound less radical and more abstract and  distant. So “gas explosions” become “pops”.   “Economic crisis” becomes “Negative growth”.  “Navalniy” becomes “The Berlin patient”. In general, politicians are not the only ones  to use such a technique to soften the issue.

Not a cam-whore but a webcam model, not a charity  but a donation. And here, we are no longer:  - Please, spare something for the poor man, kind people... But: - Yooo,   give me your donos, show  activity in the chat! Woohoo! Next, tool number three. Well, labeling  those who disagree is a good thing  

in general! They are enemies of the  state, extremists, foreign agents. The fourth tool - paying off actors, TV  presenters and bloggers for the sake of praise   or to express one's position as if  they were in favour of the issue. Even in the fifth tool, where social polls  are used... let me tell you something if   you didn't know: in Belarus, the only polls  that are allowed are those that are approved   by their dictator Lukashenko, while in Russia  the Levada Center, a prominent competitor to   the governmental Opinion Research Center, has  been added to the register of foreign agents. Yes, these points are not always 100% true, well,  because this, like any theory, is ideal. You don't   always have to use everything at once, like during  the recent invasion of Russia in Ukraine, BUT   sometimes, there is an almost textbook example:  increase of the retirement age in Russia.

The Act was signed into law on October 3, 2018.  But the information work started three years   before that, in early 2015. Remember what the  internet's mutated Overton Window started from. So, in January 2015, the Minister  of Economic Development declares   that the discussion about increasing  the retirement age has a valid point.   Well, here we go. Labour and Finance ministries  say a refusal to increase retirement age will   make it harder for people to get pensions on  a number of occasions. Former finance minister   speaks out in favour. And just a couple of days  later, on the annual Direct Line Putin said:

Have you noticed? We have already reached  the second stage. It is already possible to   discuss the topic, but it may seem radical for  the time being. The softening of the issue in   this case is the "but look at them" approach.  Yes, the softening will also include a law to  

increase the retirement age for officials. - Well, it's not for us, it's for THEM! Then, softening messagings begin to appear   saying that this is actually being done to  "prolong the productive lives of retirees",   and also messages spoken as a citizen  and not a "government official". In 2017, we are in the third stage,  when we are sort of already forced to   recognise the importance of the issue,  there are different points of view,   we need to take a sensible attitude, as  Putin’s spokesman explicitly says. There   is no unified point of view on the pension  reform, nor are there any decisions made. In 2018, we were already in the fourth stage,  when statements about the necessity of the   phenomenon are already emerging. Even  popular Russian sell-out bloggers and   influencers joined the informational whirlwind  speaking out, of course, in favour of the issue.

So, on October 3, 2018, the act has officially  been signed. Stage five is over. The mutated   Overton Window was being moved for about 3  years from unacceptable to legislative stage. If the example with the increase of  retirement age seemed alien to you,   let’s take a look at another example. The  one you most certainly know of – the war   between Russian authorities and Ukraine.  Like we said before you don't always have   to use every tool of the Overton Window  all at once. That’s exactly the case here.

All of you know there is a  conflict on the Ukrainian soil,   the most sensible part of people call it war.  But “war” sounds radical and harsh, doesn’t it?   Why don’t we deescalate the term to pacify  “true” Russian patriots and possibly the rest of   the world? “Special military operation”. Sounds  good enough. At least it does so for Putin who   initiated calling the invasion a special military  operation. Well, if that doesn’t seem soft enough,  

they’ve also got a name with a noble message  in it - Liberation operation. People in Duma   and the senator from Crimea, for example, do not  mind claiming that what’s happening in Ukraine,   Donbass and Lugansk is a liberation operation in  order to set people free from the fascist regime. This is how authorities tried to soften the term   “war”. Perhaps, that might have worked for  some, but generally it's been to no avail.   Funny enough, and here I’m getting ahead  of myself a little, authorities have banned   certain words in media so you can no longer  call the conflict a “war”, an “assault” and   an “invasion”. Call the thing correctly – Special.  Military. Operation. Or else get blocked. Period. But does this Overton Window really affect  the mind? Do people really believe in it?   No, of course not.

For a mutated window to work  it vitally needs 2 pillars:  1) Irremovability of power 2) Forceful resolution of disagreements And voila. If the governing system knows  that it will stay for another 20 years,   then it can plan for 10-20 years of change.  And if you add the willingness to deal with   disagreements by force... then there  is no conspiracy theory, much less   mysticism. People just don't want to get  their heads clubbed with a rubber baton. However, the creators of the Overton concept do   admit that sometimes politicians  do move it at their own will.

Well, that happens so over there, in the US. But  it’s not that uncommon in a place where a vertical   power structure has been developing for  about 20 years. It's more of a rule here. In Russia, we often remember our delightful  situation eight years ago. When approvals for   protest were not required, when you could not get  jail time for posting so-called unwanted pictures,   when the feelings of religious could not be  offended, when the media and even individuals   could not be declared as foreign agents. All this  was unthinkable then, but now it is a legal norm. Here, of course, the sophisticated  viewer may argue that we have fallen   into Learned Helplessness in this block,  or that it is essentially five stages of   accepting the inevitable, but I don't think that's   a bad thing. I would even say that the  mutated on the Internet version of the  

Overton Window is a refined instruction of  Learned Helplessness at the state level,   possible only in the presence of irremovability  of power and forceful resolution of disagreements. And knowing this, while looking at  today’s news, looking at today's events,   you can guess future possible scenarios for  next 3 or 5 years. What seems unthinkable today   could become the legislation tomorrow.

2022-03-19 01:59

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