The Present Belongs to Crowds

Today and tomorrow, like it or not, the future belongs to crowds.

We are now living in a society where there are too many chiefs and not enough indians.

Remember the images of the Chinese pro-democracy protesters dispersed by troops in Tiananmen Square; the images of the several million mourners streaming through the streets of Tehran to the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini; the images of a “tent city” emerging in Tompkins Square Park; the images of hundreds of English soccer fans penned against a chain-link fence during a match at Hillsborough Stadium, in Sheffield?

The year 2020 is now defined by images of crowds to rival those of the past: people waiting in mile-long lines at food banks; police using tear gas to disperse protesters; thousands of people gathered in support of Black Life Matters, Pro-life, LGBTQ rights and so on. More than ever, the protests of the past few years have shown that the most immediate and dramatic way for people to register discontent and call for change is by massing in the streets in frank and perilous defiance of the establishment and public order.

More than ever, people are standing in the streets rather that in the voting polls.

A dire consequence: governments, legislators and politicians are no longer adopting legislations and policies to build a better society, they are doing it to please the crowds and make sure to be re-elected and maintain their own personal power. To make things worse, news media in search of better ratings, are throwing oil on the fire: news commentators are no longer reporting, they are commenting; the more incipient and incendiary they are, the more profit. The real problem of the world today is not the Covid-19, the real problem is the degeneracies and degeneration of the people.

Imbecility is now the trademark of most of our populations.

Among the younger generation, progressive values are hegemonic. On issues ranging from LGBTQ and women’s rights to anti-racism and immigration, younger people are attempting to communicate their moral values on social media to the older generation. “Black Lives Matter” is just one flashpoint in that struggle.

2020 is getting really crazy, perhaps the most astounding year in generations, a year of norm-shattering abnormalities with an unlimited potential of destruction that might culminate in world-wide conflicts.

Based on the crisis-infused year we are in now, it is easy to predict that the balance of 2020 will unfold with even more craziness and long forgot aberrations. As I see it, as for the deluge, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Covid-19 is a benediction that will purge the earth from all the Trumps of this world, from all the malefactors of an evil society.

Michel Ouellette JMD, ll.l., ll.m.

Systemic Strategic Planning, Crisis & Reputation Management

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Michel Ouellette / Joseph Michael Dennis,isa former attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert,a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.


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Are the media more to blame than Trump for the white supremacist rhetoric surge?

From Trump to Fox News to 8chan: the web of white supremacist rhetoric is wide

Since 16 June 2015, the day he rode an escalator down to the lobby of Trump Tower, Trump has made fear of immigrants and those who might look like immigrants, the central theme of his campaigns and his administrative priorities. Trump is a politician perfectly fitted for a media ecosystem that amplifies extreme emotions, resists complex or nuanced thought, impedes deliberation and allows the loud to drown out the calm. Regardless of his tweets and speeches, his actions have inspired and emboldened violent bigots.

It’s hard in the heat of the moment, in the face of so much suffering and horror, to look at the entire ecosystem that fosters and encourages such thought and action. There are no simple, straightforward causes for this phenomenon. There is no simple “solution”. There is not one distinct medium to blame. White nationalists are savvy about how they work our dynamic, interconnected media ecosystem. Some are even savvier than the journalists who write about them and definitely know to exploit the weaknesses of the system. When they post screeds on forums such as 8Chan, white nationalists intend for police and journalists to quote directly from them and spread their messages farther than they could themselves. Their claims and terms of choice leap from the dark recesses of small, discrete groups into wider circulation. Coverage and quotes echo around mainstream news reports, then get recirculated even farther and revised into vernacular commentary via amateur posts to Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook. Facebook’s algorithms are designed to amplify content that generates strong emotions and thus, user reactions. Individuals add their own perspectives, reaction to the supremacist’s events and gelling into new forms and new expressions via Facebook and Twitter. What rises on Twitter tends to echo on Facebook and vice versa. Soon images and messages are bouncing back and forth, getting picked up by cable news, newspapers and news sites.

Every player in this complex ecosystem enhances, amplifies and changes the story and the message. The spectacle is the reward. For violent white nationalists and all other propagandists of all kinds and gender, this is an ideal media system. Their numbers can grow once their messages don’t seem so jarring and outside the bounds of normal conversation. The rhetoric of violent white supremacy like for the rhetoric of LGBT groups, the #MeToo movement has become common, almost normal. More and more people find homosexuality, lesbianism, white nationalism and so on, viable and acceptable.

Many, like for any other deviant philosophy and way of life, become less willing to condemn discrimination, racism and bigotry and mainstream media, journalists and pundits, like it or not, by their continuous insistence on reporting and commenting on Trump’s elucubrations are only contributing to convince a growing majority of their audience to grant racists the benefit of the doubt and take their concerns seriously.

In a world of increasing poverty and misery, more and more people might find white nationalism a comfortable world view, one that satisfies a once-latent urge to bond only with those like them and blame problems on those unlike them.

It is about time for all media to realize that without them, like for all deviant groups, Trump is nothing.

JMD

Skype @ jmdlive

JMDSystemics

https://www.bunkumless.com/

Michel Ouellette / Joseph Michael Dennis, is a former attorney, a Trial Scientist, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

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