In her book "Origins of Totalitarianism (page 341-342) Hannah Arendt notes (full quote at bottom):
"Whenever totalitarianism possesses ... control, it replaces propaganda with indoctrination and uses violence not so much to frighten people ... as to realize its ideological doctrines and its practical lies."
For example, when such a regime is asserting that "unemployment does not exist, it will abolish unemployment benefits as part of its propaganda."
Realizing Doctrine Thru oppression
Sarcastically H Arendt noted that such legislation realizes the old "socialist doctrine" that "He who does not work shall not eat."
With the repeal of ACA, we see how Rubio, and his fellow flying monkeys, by cutting off subsidies to insurance companies designed to take high risk/high cost people off of the uninsured roles, were able to make ACA prohibitively expensive for people who might otherwise have been able to afford it.
Rubio's Poison Pill
Thus with a "poison pill" piece of legislation they have made it appear that they realized their ideological doctrines and 'practical lies.' Abolishing the "risk corridors" is part of them forcing the appearance of reality of their ideology, by sabotaging the public good, which otherwise would not apply as they claim it does. They are now using Rubio's Poison pill as an excuse to abolish ACA all together. Abusive legislation is designed to make the target fail. And abusive legislation is part of a totalitarian approach to propaganda. If things don't work the way your ideology says they should work, then you sabotage the alternative.
Advertising, Propaganda, Gaslighting
In my previous post [Trump and His Narcissist Flying Monkeys] I talked about how Trump is nothing without his followers, especially those in the movement who are willing to lie for him, advance propaganda for him and almost fanatically believe in him no matter what. All those behaviors are what make authoritarian movements extremely destructive and harmful. Shorthand: evil.
Whether his movement evolves into a fully fledged dictatorship or not is still up to the Fates (lady luck) but he's following tried and true patterns of behavior from other dictatorial regimes, and to me the only real question is whether we can stop his authoritarian movement from becoming a fully fledged authoritarian government. To do that we have to understand the distinction between ordinary propaganda, spin and gaslighting and the level of gaslighting we are only just beginning to see.
But Totalitarian Propaganda takes gaslighting to a whole new level. ACA is just one example of how the GOP has used deceptive legislation, poison pills in legislation and systematic gaslighting to advance its' agenda. It's efforts to pirate public goods and utilities and make them privateering properties are almost diabolical in their cleverness.
For another example the Post Office is required to fully fund retirements for it's workers, years in advance, something guaranteed to make it show a deficit. Why? Because the GOP want to break the letter carrier unions, privatize as much delivery as they can earn bribes (campaign donations for) and do away with the kinds of services that endear the Post Office to the people? Why so that the failure of the post office will "prove" that the Government can't deliver services to people more efficiently than for profit kingdoms like UPS or Fed Express. That they haven't succeeded isn't for lack of trying.
Similar efforts have been applied to Education. The purpose of "charter schools" is twofold. On the one hand legitimate charter schools were designed as an alternative to top down centrally run school systems. But on the other hand the charter school movement was designed as a means to re-segregate integrated school systems, divert money from the poor to the wealthy, defund and de-resource public schools, and prove that not only do public "socialist" public schools not work, but they should be done away with. The legislation is part of the propaganda.
I can think of dozens of other examples. For example the GOP regularly blame environmental regulations for coal country shutting down its coal mines, despite the reality that they were shutting them down for other economic reasons. Blaming environmental regulations for business costs is a way of both sabotaging those regulations and of hiding the fact that the monopolies involved are doing as they do because they are monopolies, they can and they have extracted as much wealth as they felt like from the area already. They are abandoning the mines for their own reasons. And de-regulating coal won't bring it back.
I'd go into even more detail but in this post I wanted to call people's attention to the principle and the strategy and processes behind what is going on more than to the specific examples in this post. These legal efforts are intended to "propel the propaganda". That is why they are persistent. The legislation is part of the propaganda and feeds back into it.
The GOP were acting like movement authoritarians (Altemeyer's term) (or totalitarians Arendt's), flying monkeys long before the rise of Trump and his new version of the Trump's Extremist Authoritarian (TEA) party. Whenever people try to use their force of will, force and legislation/law courts to impose their ideology the results are going to be wreckage, disease and death.
Further readings and related Articles
- Related Articles on the GOP:
- Hannah Arendt and Totalitarianism:
- Authoritarianism, Sociopathy, Narcissism and Why Trump is so Dangerous:
- Hannah Arendt & totalitarianism
- Trump's GOP Totalitarian Movement and Totalitarian Propaganda
- Hannah Arendt Trump and the Stateless
- The Dictator in Front of the Mob
- Hannah Arendt on Donald Trump's Mob
- Our Democratic Movement is not Totalitarian
- The Power of Doublespeak
- Being a Little Less Naive about Politics
- Authoritarians and Totalitarians, Altemeyer & Arendt
- EMAD Trump
- Subsidiarity and Fascism
- Further reading: Post Office
Published 1/13/2017 updated a little in July