Monday, March 8, 2021

Vox Popoli: When rhetoric works

(If you don't understand this - you're a CivNat! - CL)

The way to recognize whether rhetoric is effective or not is by the reaction of the targets. Rhetoric that inspires denials, protests, and wordy dialectical retorts is effective, but you can always recognize effective rhetoric by the attempts to ban it:

Conservatives chalked up a victory in the battleground of pejorative labels, concluding that the trending ‘Blue Anon’ branding of left-wing conspiracy theorists is sufficiently stinging after the term earned censorship bona fides.

The term made it into the online Urban Dictionary of slang words and phrases earlier this week, only to be removed by Sunday. A search of the term, a play on ‘QAnon’ that has been used increasingly in recent months to mock leftists, now comes up empty. Previously, the dictionary showed a definition for Blue Anon, noting that it's “a loosely organized network of Democrat voters, politicians and media personalities who spread left-wing conspiracy theories, such as the Russia hoax, Jussie Smollett hoax, Ukraine hoax, Covington kids hoax and Brett Kavanaugh hoax.”

Conservatives interpreted the attempted disappearing of Blue Anon as a sign of success. “Wokies at Urban Dictionary zapped Blue Anon because it was too powerful,” journalist Jack Posobiec said Sunday on Twitter. Others predicted a ‘Streisand effect’, when attempts to hide something inadvertently bring more attention and interest to it.

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to define a seven-level Nicomachean Scale of Rhetoric, by which the effectiveness of various rhetoric can be judged.

  • (7) Thermonuclear. Example: racist, pedo, you have to go back
  • (6) Nuclear. Example: Holocaust denier, cuckservative, mudshark, superstraight
  • (5) Highly effective. Example: SJW, sexist, BlueAnon, feminazi, judeo-christian, Proposition Nation
  • (4) Effective. Example: tranny, slut, conspiracy theorist, anti-Semite, neoclown
  • (3) Mostly Harmless. Example: global-warming denier, glowie, incel, quisling, extremist
  • (2) Harmless. Example: truther, hypocrite, propagandist, agist, anti-science
  • (1) Give it up. Example: Dems are the real racists, crybully, TERF, handicapable
Keep in mind that the more amusing and memorable the variant of the term, the more biting it will be. Telling someone "you will never be a real woman" is always going to be more effective than simply calling them a "tranny", particularly when the target isn't at all gender-confused. It's also more effective to say something like "calling her a feminazi is offensive to the German National Socialist Worker's Party" than to just call her a feminazi.

Also, note that the more a rhetorical term ju-jitsus the other side's rhetoric, the more effective it is. That's why SJW and BlueAnon are far more effective than people with a dialectical inclination tend to understand, because it is simultaneously parrying the other side's rhetoric while launching a rhetorical attack on the other side's self-image.