Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Vox Popoli: The importance of rhetoric

Thales points out that the social media world is literally engulfed in low-level leftist rhetoric:
Surfing around Instagram, you will find a large number of scantily-clad women travelling the world petting cute little animals, talking about “body positivity” and posing provocatively, generally with the juicy bits only barely covered enough to avoid attracting the attention of the censors. Invariably, every cause spouted by these Instagram ladies is boilerplate Leftism. Save the whales, maybe, or fat is beautiful, or white men are vaguely shitty and probably shouldn’t even exist. Also, Christianity is crap, and Atheism is morally superior to the zombie sky wizard.

Now, we roll our eyes at this and go about our business. Why, after all, should we worry excessively about near-porn fusing with idiotic Leftism?

Truthfully, this is a massive problem. Leftism is seen, even by most Rightists, as the default position. It’s the ‘no thinking required’ setting. If you want to spout some kind of philosophical nonsense to make yourself look smart and cultured while your boob is falling out, you do Leftism. It’s easy rhetoric. Hey look, there’s a man with no fish. Saying “somebody should give him a fish, look he’s starving” is the easy rhetorical answer. Defeating this argument is simple with dialectic, but few people care about dialectic. It’s boring. Nerdy. Too many words. Better to just call somebody a bigot and move on.

The correct way to fight this is through memes. That's why I created the Daily Meme Wars, although to be honest, the memes I create tend to incorporate excessively high rhetoric. But it would be more effective to simply subvert the low-level rhetoric by taking their imagery and repurposing it. This will tend to be even more effective than their incoherent, dishonest rhetoric because, as Aristotle notes, the most effective rhetoric is based on the truth.

One can even engage in destructive meta-rhetoric, by taking their message and attaching it to images that make it clear how absurd and false their rhetoric is.

So, I'm going to be experimenting with lowering the level of the rhetoric and making it more direct to see if that makes it more effective on social media. For example, it doesn't change the message if the background image is a painting of the signing of the Constitution or a girl in an American flag bikini when the words, and the intrinsic truth underlying those words, are the same.

It is not your Country. It is not your Constitution. You have to go back.

The only substantive difference is in the effectiveness of the memes on different people. Some people do react emotionally to images from 1776. But a lot more react emotionally to images of attractive young women.

UPDATE: Here is an example from today's Daily Meme Wars that directly addresses the feminist body-positivity rhetoric.
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