Imagine you are presented with evidence of some sort, maybe pictures of a crime scene or some sort of accident. You see all of the physical evidence and you are given three stories to explain what you see. Each version is presented by a person who comes into the room to give their theory of the event. What we know about human nature tells us that you will agree with the best storyteller. Even if his story requires some leaps of logic.

Humans have been telling each other stories since we acquired language. Much of our social activity is story telling. When you go to a party, everyone there tells each other stories about their lives, their experiences, current events and so on. Some people are better at storytelling than others. These people tend to get invited to more social events, because they are entertaining and therefore pleasing. Even if they polish the apple a bit, people still like a good storyteller.

This is most obvious in politics. Ronald Reagan was famous for his short, pithy stories he would tell audiences on the stump. Sometimes they were just funny and other times they had a point. In the latter case, that point had something to do with some larger political point he was making. In the former case the story relaxed the audience and made them more open to his pitch. A man who can tell a good story is always someone we feel we can trust, even if we disagree with him.

Storytelling can be a highly effective form of logic. A persuasive storyteller will start with a set of objective facts. These are things that even a skeptical audience will accept as being true. Then the speaker provides a narrative to explain those facts and tie them to some cause, like a person or group of people. The narrative is presented in such a way that it appears to be the simplest and most likely explanation. For the listener, there is not obvious reason to dispute the conclusion.

This is a form of abductive reasoning. The conclusion is not proven in the sense that all other explanations have been eliminated. It is not proven in a scientific sense in that the causes are demonstrated to result in the stated conclusion. There is some doubt that the causal relationship is true, but it seems to be true and there is no obvious proof that it is not true. If the narrative is presented by a persuasive and charismatic speaker, then the listener is disinclined to question the conclusion.

The writer Ben Novak wrote a book explaining how Adolf Hitler was able to use the power of narrative to persuade the German people. For those looking for the short version, Greg Johnson reviews it here. The key to Hitler’s success as a politician was his ability to reframe events in such a way that changed how people viewed those events and the people involved in those events. Hitler changed the way in which people interacted with their world through his speeches.

Getting back to the example of three people trying to explain images from what looks like a crime scene, the reason you will go with “the best explanation” is that your brain has an idea of what the best answer is before you hear the stories. If you hear three dry presentations, then you will pick the one that matches the one in your head. On the other hand, if one is presented by a great storyteller and he takes you on a journey to an entirely new conclusion, your mental model will change.

Take a step back and the three great ideologies of the last century were basically narratives that framed how people experienced politics. The communist narrative was a story of class struggle. The workers versus the capitalists. The liberal democratic narrative was the story of political struggle. The people versus the powerful interests that rule every society. Fascism was the story of national struggle, the people versus the internationalists who run the global economy.

The point of all this is that human beings have evolved to understand the world through a mental framework. We have a conception of how the world works and we process information through that framework. That framework is the product of our upbringing, our experiences and the culture in which we live. It is not a permanent part of our consciousness that forms and remains static. It evolves and therefore it can be altered by new experiences, like a great story from a great speaker.

We see this in the current election cycle. Gavin Newsome, the governor of California, says his party is in trouble because they are “getting crushed on narrative.” It is not the economy or culture; their problem is they have not presented a “compelling alternative narrative” to the Republicans. No one can tell you what the Republican narrative is, but he is sure it must be better. How else can one explain why voters appear to be moving against the Democrats next week?

This incredible op-ed in the Financial Times lays the blame for inflation at the feet of the storytellers, rather than economic policy. You see, corporations are taking advantage of inflation to raise prices higher than necessary. They can do this because “the power of storytelling has conditioned consumers to accept price rises.” You see, “consumers seem to be buying stories that seem to justify price increases, but which really serve as cover for profit margin expansion.”

What those two examples suggest is that the great promoters of liberal democracy think the tenets of liberal democracy are nonsense. The politicians think people are morons who will fall for a good story, rather than vote their interests. The economists think consumers are not swayed by prices but by irrational beliefs. The premise of liberal democracy is that people understand their interests. If given the chance in a democratic system or a market economy, they will express those interests.

In reality, people will go along with that which keeps them in good standing with their fellows, even if it is against their interests. It is why a good storyteller can be so effective in liberal politics. He can get the crowd nodding along. Each member sees those around him agreeing to the pleasing story. Even if the story is clearly against his interests, he will justify nodding along with it. After all, every human brain has a narrative of sacrifice built into it at a young age.

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172 thoughts on “Storytelling

  1. It seems to me that the first person to use the word “democracy” more than usual was Hillary – right after the 2016 election. Perhaps it was actually a subconscious slip – in that the 2016 election caught the ruling class with their pants down. They truly thought they were going to slide past 3rd base into home without the white population noticing they had become the majority minority. It could have all proceeded on the down low if only Hillary hadn’t been interrupted!

    Remember all the happy chin wagging about “browning” of the population and endless discussions about what American children of the future would look like? Also, remember all the emphasis on Spanish and bilingual everything?

    Trump rudely yankked the tablecloth out from under them and they had to do a major course correction, pronto. Suddenly, Democrats needed to shore up what domestic voter blocks they could count on at home to keep the leftist coalition together — there wasn’t time to finish importing them. So Hispandering was set aside while all the stops were pulled out to get blacks as excited as possible. Many a Oaxacan gardener scratched his head over the sudden fawning over black criminality.

    Hillary added the “Our” prefix to “democracy” because that was always going to be the terminology once representational power was wrested from native stock (so to speak). “Our democracy” as opposed to just “democracy” – meaning mob rule with majoritarian swagger.

    Reagan was a great communicator but unfortunately he was the first president to introduce individual sob stories into speeches (and especially the State of the Union). This “folksy” approach was soon adopted by all the low brow papers – LA Times can’t start any major story without 15 introductory paragraphs about some sob story victims.

    Funny that Zman mentioned Brinkley, who had been a fixture in 60s American life and probably would have been voted as one of the nation’s most trusted individuals – in spite of being a journalist. That’s how far the profession has fallen – we now have teenage girls and degreed DMV clerks cranking out mindfarts in favor of the state. They are blissfully unaware that BigDaddy is their sponsor and gives their lives Meaning in addition to financing manicures.

    • BRILLIANT comment. I had forgotten this:

      “Also, remember all the emphasis on Spanish and bilingual everything?”

      Yes, that’s really been dialed back. Maybe because Juan likes to hunt Shanneeka and Shitavious for sport and has decided to get a big game stamp ro go after the Tribe? I would say that is karma and should be encouraged but it also illustrates the future perfectly, Heritage Americans surrounded by warring clans, often targeted, sometimes allied, always on edge

  2. I don’t know about others, but I’ve had a rare afternoon getting the diversity tax thrown in my face.

    On top of that, I have normie management that can’t even begin to process why the delivery dates for products built in Germany keep slipping into the future.

    This country is doomed.

  3. It’s a race to the finish line between their insane Narratives and Reality. My money is on Reality winning this race.

  4. I would dissent on this storytelling. The bad man with the small mustache never polled over a third of the electorate. And that only because the Conservative party totally blew it with austerity to combat the Depression. Had they offered any patronage/support the bad man with the small mustache would not have cracked 10%. He was installed because the industrialists and other power brokers thought he was a lunatic (correct) and they could control him (incorrect). He was once in power able to become Dictator because he had a powerful direct network of young and no so young men willing to do anything for him at a time when there was an excess of young and not so young (30’s) men. It was unique in time, place, demographics (lots of excess 20-30 age men) and the threat of the bushy mustache man to the East.

    Moreover no one wants to be either the villain or irrelevant and weak in a story ostensibly about them. That is why the Regime has failed. Sure various non-Whites, gays, lesbians, trans people etc. love those stories but they irritate to anger ordinary White people. The entire culture has been in overdrive since 2012 on the innate genetic evil of White men and the innate holiness of blacks, followed by muslims, gays, trans, and of course girl bosses. The market share for that is Rings of Power, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and the latest Star Wars movies. Toys sit on shelves unsold, to be sent to Africa or landfills. And there is no possibility of any story involving White people particularly White men where they are not the bad guys to be defeated in one way or another. No one will sign up to be the villain in their own story. Nor will they sign up for a bowl of bugs to eat and poverty when they have known plenty.

    [You already see in the media “blame White people as Nazis” for not voting to be impoverished villains in their own story.]

    The lack of the Managerial Class to tell stories to the vast majority of Whites where Whites are heroes not villains guarantees revolt. It just does. It might not be successful. But revolt constantly there will be. And they must succeed every time whereas our guys need only once.

    • This is as falce narrative as they come .The “bad ” man with the small mustache predicted all that you mention here in negative light exactly 100 years ago .Its written in black and white in his book .No one else in last 100 years is even one percent good as him in predictions. He was right about everything.

  5. “In reality, people will go along with that which keeps them in good standing with their fellows, even if it is against their interests.”

    Not this fella. Not once, not ever. To do otherwise I equate with being dishonorable. I’m a geezer (76), that was the honor code when I learned it young and I plan to abide by it. Those who fail to do so, those who “compromise” for social standing, well, in Spanish we call that a “mariconada”, as in faggotry.

      • Yep. Imagine how all the vaxxtards are starting to feel right now about going along with the narrative

        • I’m a bit surprised they haven’t made a renewed push for mandates.

          I have to wonder if their current lack of interest in doing so is an indication that, on some level, they realize what they’ve done to themselves with the jabs.

          I’m not that emotionally sensitive or empathetic, but as I wandered around the plant to day Naomi Wolf’s point that jabbed people are shuffling around like zombies struck home. It’s incredible how meek and drained of life the jabbed have become.

    • How about if you were a young man whose family would suffer after you were heroically liquidated?

      That’s a serious question. There have been millions of such incidents under tyrannical regimes in the past.

  6. Pingback: DYSPEPSIA GENERATION » Blog Archive » Storytelling

  7. Re: “Imagine you are presented with evidence of some sort, maybe pictures of a crime scene or some sort of accident. You see all of the physical evidence and you are given three stories to explain what you see. Each version is presented by a person who comes into the room to give their theory of the event. What we know about human nature tells us that you will agree with the best storyteller. Even if his story requires some leaps of logic.“

    Yes and no. Your gifted storyteller is unlikely to persuade people in your example above that space aliens were involved. Persuasive storytelling always has to be tethered to some kind of reality. Without that, you’re dealing with outlandish fantasy. Hitler, whatever you want to say about him, at least while campaigning, made observations that could be deemed credible (Germany was screwed over in the Paris Peace talks; the Weimar Republic was decadent and so on). In the end though, reality intruded, particularly after Stalingrad.

    Also, people parrot narratives without believing them (see, just about everyone who worked for the USSR in the USSR, as opposed to outside of it). Even those gay “We believe” signs are only to be found in very white, very wealthy, neighborhoods.

    Yeah, political storytellers definitely have an advantage — one of the very best, by the way, was Abraham Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address being nothing more than an ahistorical fable/parable.

    Reality, however, tends to have the final word. Don’t underestimate the power of storytelling, but don’t overestimate it either.

    • Which reality is that?

      A cold is going to kill millions of people?
      Blacks can found a functioning society?
      Butchering children is normal?
      sexual perversion is normal?
      Having no borders and importing millions of foreigners to replace their own population is normal for a country?
      Destroying your own culture is normal?

      You are mistaking the time before saturated electronic media as being equivalent to now.

      Reality demonstrably cannot compete with the NPC programming while such media control exists.

      • He’s still right in that your examples can be tethered, however tenuously, to reality. The intended audience for blank slate arguments can be shown a Walter Williams, a Thomas Sowell, or that hard-working negro down at the plant and think, “yeah, I guess it’s possible if throw enough money at the problem”. Importing cultural aliens isn’t much different as every normie KAGO, and of course muh restaurants.

        A gifted storyteller focuses his fable on the exceptions and convinces you to miss the forest for the trees.

      • I see some are starting to mask back up now that cold and flu season are upon us–I equate masking with thumbsucking, it’s just a self-comforting action designed to allay anxiety and fear in situations over which they feel they have no control. It’s fun to imagine them carrying teddy bears.

        • In some parts of the country they never stopped. Lots of little Midwestern college towns are inhabited mostly by very angry people who still wear theirs even when driving alone in a vehicle, and glare furiously at anyone who dares to walk down a street without putting on the symbolic obedience muzzle.

          None of this, of course, ever had anything to do with medicine or public health. The same people who still want to shut the economy down forever and put everyone everywhere on house arrest forever over the common cold just made it legal in California to give people AIDS. They’re the exact same people who were cheering on the Kenyan and his mob a few years back when they brought people with extremely contagious, 85% lethal Ebola virus into the US for treatment, didn’t even put them in quarantine, and wagged their fingers at us and told us that we were “racist” and “alarmist” when we objected. The exact same people, including Anthony “Little Napoleon” Fauci, forty years ago wouldn’t hear of putting carriers of the 100% lethal AIDS virus in any kind of quarantine. Not letting sexual deviants and violent criminal junkies run amok to spread their deadly plague would have been an unconscionable violation of their civil rights and human dignity, they said. Now put on your two cent paper mask that says right on the box that it isn’t for medical purposes and doesn’t stop or even mitigate viruses, so that the whole world can see which side you’re on. Obey. OBEY. OBEY, and stop talking about these crazy, obsolete concepts of “civil rights” and “human dignity.” OBEY, or you’re gonna kill Grandma, say the people who continue to aid and abet AIDS carriers passing on their disease and and killing Grandma.

          Marxists talk about “crisis theory,” in which the Revolutionary Vanguard uses every opportunity to educate “the masses” about “the crisis” and “the failure of capitalism.” And if there’s no crisis, you create one, by opening the borders and shipping the nation’s industrial base to the Third World. Or just make one up, like the common cold. Or weather–it’s not a rainy afternoon, it’s GLOBAL WARMING, and we’re all gonna die unless you shut up and OBEY. Astraphobia and hypochondria are such useful political weapons, aren’t they? Now shut up and do what you’re told, peasant. Do you think you know more than SCIENCE MAN? SCIENCE MAN says OBEY.

  8. “A persuasive storyteller will start with a set of objective facts.”

    The best “lie” is one sandwiched between two half truths. In this case, the half truths can be replaced with “narratives”.

    I agree with the basic premise Z-man presents, but I forgive the people who buy into narrative falsehoods. Actually, I consider such a point in their favor, although it still results inevitably in error.

    The question to me is, given I am only a person of limited knowledge and understanding, how do I evaluate arguments made requiring understanding and knowledge beyond my current ability/state? Somehow I must use my current level of understanding, experience, and knowledge to look for incongruities and contradictions, and not finding such, assume this narrative is the best explanation of the phenomenon discussed.

    Seems there are three ways people can react. 1) Simply accept the narrative because so and so said it, so it must be true—an obvious fallacy of reason. 2) Evaluate the narrative to the limit of our own knowledge, experience, understanding—along the lines of what we term “critical thinking”. 3) Drop everything, pick up a book and begin making oneself a content expert in the field(s) that the narrative purports to explain—obviously impossible for most “ordinary”, even exceptional people, not to mention time constraints of ordinary human life.

    Quick musings here, not completely thought through. 🙁

    • … what I do is apply common sense, which, the older you get, makes more and more sense (add smiley). When the Berlin wall came down everyone rejoiced; common sense told me a lot of new problems would arise and of course they did. When COVID came on the scene common sense reminded me of the many previous such viral pandemics that had arisen with none of the concomitant hysteria that COVID generated AND the fact that the media were in the fear porn business AND the fact that for every scientific opinion there was a different equally scientific opinion. Question: is common sense innate or does it come with the years (I am 91)? …

    • “Drop everything…”

      There you are! That’s the Zen approach. Just let it all drop, because in the final accounting, that’s all that’s required. “Self-realization”? Inside job. Neither you nor I will change the gestalt, nor should we concern ourselves overmuch with it. It certainly doesn’t concern itself with us.

    • The more bits of truth the narrative has, the more believable it will be and the more people who will believe it. The press is very good at this. You can find stories where the whole story is a lie where everything in the story is true. In fact, if you detect a narrative, especially an emotional one, it is probably to deceive you in some way.

    • your fourth option is to get angry and riot burn and loot because you are not smart enough to whatever, and you know it. One question I have always longed to ask a politician is “why is it that the darker people always want to come to where the white people are?”

      • “why is it that the darker people always want to come to where the white people are?”

        You tend to forget that it was the white colonizers who were the first to go where the dark people lived. The dark people merely followed them back after being told how wonderful “democracy back home” was.

        And the same democracy and belief in “equality” put dark people like Kamala Harris and Rishi Sunak in power.

  9. The Novak book is great and I really recommend it. He explains how the American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce first identified this form of reasoning. Since most of the reasoning that we do is abductive, it was almost too obvious for anyone to call out and analyze. Almost all explanations of history are abductive, for example.

    Novak also loves the history of detective novels and shows how Sherlock Holmes and Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin were masters of abductive reasoning and people responded by making the Sherlock Holmes novels some of the most popular books of their time.

    • When I was a kid, I added the word deductive to my vocabulary from reading Sherlock Holmes. To this day when I hear the word deduce, I think of Holmes.
      To deduct means to take out. To abduct means to take away.
      Subtle difference. So subtle I can’t see it.

      • That’s a great point. Holmes said that he was employing deductive logic but Novak says that it’s abductive.

        Novak’s argument is that deductive logic only really exists when we are drawing conclusions from indubitable assumptions, like in math or logic. Indubitable assumptions do not exist when we reason about events in the physical world. Seems like an argument about the purview of the term “deductive logic.” Still a really good book.

  10. Narrative spinning, story telling and cloud castles in the sky are not the mere province of politics. Lately I’ve been “debunking” parts of the medical establishment and unhappily have come to the conclusion that large parts of it are mostly bunk.

    This isn’t to say that medicine (or politics) for that matter is all illusion and never provides any real-world positive benefits. Medicine can and does cure or at least treat many illnesses, ranging from the most trivial complaint to the most life-threatening.

    As with any institution, alas it is vulnerable to manipulation for at least two reasons that should be easy to understand: ego, money and power. In the academy, reputations are built on earlier discoveries. It’s a prestigious club and membership is hard to get. There is always a gate-keeping function, to keep the undesirables at bay. Clearly there must be a vetting process. Not all who seek entry are worthy. But the problem is the screening also keeps out valid new knowledge that challenges the status quo. Of course this dynamic is not unique to medicine. It’s typical of virtually any academic field. One could even make the argument that science not only progresses slowly, but it SHOULD do so, because new ideas should be required to prove themselves and that is not done overnight. Just because wisdom is old doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And just because an idea is novel doesn’t mean it’s true or better.

    The problem however, is that some beliefs get established and become like little kingdoms, often with profit-generating industries allied with them. This is especially prevalent in the medical field. Now add in government funding and regulation (“public health) and you have the optimal formula for institutional capture and the stagnation that entails.

    There’s nothing wrong with a good idea getting promoted and funded. Problem: sometimes bad or at best indifferent ideas get enshrined as dogma for various reasons. Prior examples of this might include hormone replacement therapy, mandated bed rest for heart attack victims, Thalidomide for pregnant women or if you really want to delve into the past, how about not washing one’s hands between patients, or blood-letting?

    Major point: some, but not all of today’s public health interventions are all but worthless. They may even be net harms. Yet they’re widely promoted, employ thousands, and costs tens of billions of dollars. If you’re of middle age or more, there’s a good chance you currently are enrolled in one or more of them.

    The above would seem a prime example of the oft-repeated quote from Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.”

    What physician, anywhere, ever told his patient: “Jim, I’m going to recommend you get a shot for X, even though it only provides marginally better protection than doing nothing, and to be candid, we realy don’t know what the long term side effects may be. Also, I’m putting you on preventative baby aspirin, even though long-term studies show only a tiny net benefit and even that’s probably cancelled out by the risk of serous bleeding.”

    For my own part, I will be jettisoning three of my four prescribed drugs later this month, unless my doctor can make a good case why I should remain on them.

    I’m not quite ready to walk awy from preventive medicne and burn the bridge behind me, but I’ve got a can of gasoline and a box of matches handy…

    • Ben: Excellent comment and reasoning. This, in particular: ” One could even make the argument that science not only progresses slowly, but it SHOULD do so, because new ideas should be required to prove themselves and that is not done overnight. Just because wisdom is old doesn’t mean it’s wrong. And just because an idea is novel doesn’t mean it’s true or better.”

      • Governments too should progress glacially. Never take seriously anyone who complains about a “do nothing” legislative body.

    • For one example: The chemical imbalance theory, a core tenet of the mental health regime, has been essentially utterly destroyed. For even severe cases like schizophrenia, western medicine has been woefully inadequate. The only solution they have to these sorts of problems in living is to zombify the patient. The patient’s quality of life might be crap, but at least he’s not going to hurt himself or other, even though even that mileage varies. Robert Whittaker has done a lot of research into methods that gave far better outcomes that are ignored simply because there’s not enough money or power in it.

      Funnier still, most talk therapy has proven ineffective outside of basic paradigms that were known for a long time.

      Scared of X? Do X in increments until you are not scared anymore
      Depressed? Less ruminating, more direct action, change your environment
      Traumatic event? Learn to emotionally distance yourself from it. (This is actually where they really come in handy, as this is easier said than done.)

      • When I first began spending time in the Far East I scoffed at the Chinese pharmacies and what I believed to be their quackery. I’m far more circumspect now.

    • I stopped taking Statins, Ben.

      Cholesterol count is only part of the equation. What KIND of cholesterol is what’s important.

      There is treasure chest of money made in regularly selling Statins…just saying…more than a drug that prevents heart disease.

    • There is a blog—not very active lately—from a Swedish MD that was very good making the points brought out here. This good doctor is quite a skeptic wrt the medical and pharmaceutical industry.

      This blog has a lot of older posts which were quite good. Some good insights into Covid and the Swedish response. There is also a lot of study analysis wrt to medical treatment and prevention with important points made—such as the distinction between relative and absolute benefit of drugs.

      I would note—and bet—that Rushworth was the *first* to take a look at the all cause death rates—as aside from Covid deaths—and note that the medical profession “screwed the pooch” wrt Covid treatment and prevention. This topic is only now creating a stir in the USA.

  11. Off topic, yet dealing with quality of storytelling, I watched about five minutes of Biden’s speech yesterday (I was playing music on youtube, and saw the live broadcast being advertised). Besides the nauseating use of “democracy” over and over, it was funny how they are trying to make him look like a better speaker. If you watched, you can tell that he now has three teleprompters to read from, so it makes it look as if you are watching someone making eye contact with a crowd. What was particularly funny is he struggled when he read the one on the left the most. He did okay with the prompter to the front and (his) right, but the one on the left caused him to staccato his speech. As I watched, I reflected that those who stare at screen all the time truly live in a parallel world.

    • Eloi: “the one on the left caused him to staccato his speech”

      Okay, we got any resident neurological experts here chez Z?

      What’s the armchair diagnosis from afar?

      PS: On Biden’s left, or on the viewer’s left?

      • Biden’s left. He certainly stammered throughout (but, honestly, it was a well-delivered speech FOR HIM at this day and age), but I absolutely noticed decreased fluency when looking to his left.

        • I will say I don’t necessarily think this is neurological ailment (besides his clear dementia, I mean). I read material aloud to people for a good part of my work day, and I am much, much more comfortable reading in front (printed out) or to my left (if it is projected). When reading projections, I always prefer to stand, from the audience’s perspective, to the left of the projection. I just point it out because I was laughing at the way the puppeteers’ strings are visible- vis a vis the three teleprompters in an attempt to make him look like a better speech giver.

          • I assumed there must have been something more important to the left that caught his eye, like…say a prepubescent girl and that interrupted his focus on speaking about the loss of Our Democracy should the evil ‘R’s get elected.

      • Most likely a similar case to that of Derek Zoolander, he simply never was able to master turning left.

  12. If I understand him correctly, the eccentric Semiogogue argues that narrative came before language. That story was before the teller. Or if you like: “In the beginning was the Word…”

    All good stories need a villain. The problem with the story we tell about conservatives is that it makes potential converts feel like fools at best, or villains. Which is fine… if you are about demoralization.

    But if the aim is education, motivation and activation, then the bad guys are clearly the anti-Yemites.

  13. If I’m veering off topic then let me know. But I feel everyone tells themselves a narrative or origin story.

    I come from a liberal background and the story I told myself was that in the way before times you had these people who could only operate in the shadows like the kind of civil liberties and labor movement that you would find in places like NY or in a few singers like Pete seeger and the weavers.

    Eventually said movement was able to slowly gain confidence and create the unending string of victories from roughly 1965-1975. But then came the religious right with people like Paul weyrich, ed meese, Reagan etc. Clarence thomas replaced thurgood marshall (in a Senate with 57 democrats).

    Bill Clinton helped stanch the bleeding but we still had bush selected president by the court that Senate democrats gave away. But in 2008 with Obama winning I felt this was the resume button of politics circa 1965-1975. All that old energy of the antiwar or indian movement of the early 70s had reconvened to elect Obama.

    Then 2010 happened and I was kind of disillusioned for a long time after.

    • > “Then 2010 happened”

      What happened in 2010?

      Lois Lerner didn’t become an household name until about 2013.

      Her hard drive crashed circa 2014.

      • I dropped leftism around 2010 as well. It was a slow process, but accelerated by Obama being hailed as black Jesus then accomplishing nothing while blacks continued to whine and claim to be oppressed. That really broke my Star Trek notion that you could reach a colorblind society, and on top of that you had the far left start screaming that not obsessing over a person’s race was now racist.

        At that point it no longer made sense to be anti-racist, simply because the other races will eternally peck at you and call you a racist no matter what you say or do. And I wasn’t willing to reduce myself to being one of those grovelling soyjack foot washers.

    • Sorry, but GWB wasn’t “selected”. The SC simply shut down the shenanigans that the Dems were able to get away with in 2020. This doesn’t mean GWB wasn’t a brain dead clown. He just had the good fortune to run against one of the dullest people ever nominated. The country needed to a break from the Clinton’s(AG) and it’s unfortunate that GWB went so far off-track.

        • There’s a reason we call it the Uniparty. And that’s why everyone freaked out in 2016. Whatever else you may think about Trump, he exposed our political system for the Kabuki Theater it was.

          It was around 2010 when I started noticing something off, when people on both sides began pointing out that Obama wasn’t doing anything different than Bush: expanding the surveillance state, decreasing transparency, and bombing kids in the middle east.

          It was just a game the two parties played, making us think that we had a choice when they just collaborated to gain ever more wealth and power.

  14. Anybody who has been to court same thing. It’s not some wise judge up there making a decision on the facts. The Judge decides whose narrative he’s gonna believe in the first 2 hours, after that he ignores anything that goes against the narrative he believes, and only listens to the things that support the narrative he believes.

    • TomC: The sole time I was forced into jury duty that is what I witnessed – who told a better story, as well as which story better echoed the listener’s private beliefs. The stereotypical juice lawyer was a better liar/rhetorician trying to manipulate feelings, whereas the opposing female gentile lawyer was more direct and common sense. But ultimately the juice’s oriental grifter client was so unlikable and unbelievable that the jury delivered a rare victory for common sense. No doubt the grifter team appealed and will continue to do so until they prevail – AINO justice rah rah rah.

      • But that is the essence of the jury process. The jury listens to the presentation of two sides of the story (narrative). It has an advantage in that it has the legal ability to exclude “facts”, which may or may not discredit one of the narratives in their minds. They then render their verdict.

        Truth or falsity really is not the issue. If the “facts” are permitted in the trial, then they are deemed to have passed an initial level of scrutiny, the final scrutiny reserved to the jury as they judge both the fact *and* its logical inclusion into the narrative. And of course, in many trials, the “facts” really are simply states of mind and intention that are not objective, so it’s really only able to be presented in a narrative form.

        I’ve been on a number of juries, the process never particularly turned me off—but the law often did, and the jurors always did! Also, the above applies to trial type situations. Grand juries are another thing all together simply because they listen to only *one* narrative—not two. Hence the “ham sandwich” put down.

      • The one time I made it to jury selection I noticed right away that the lawyers were actively selecting for, let’s say, the most amenable to abductive reasoning. The ideal juror was apparently a nitwit middle-aged woman who, when questioned about her understanding of beyond reasonable doubt, responded by prattling on about her niece. I got booted immediately when I said I only regarded physical evidence as compelling, which makes sense given that the prosecution’s plan as far as I could glean was going to be to call up a series of crying women to give hearsay in order to “prove” that the defendant beat his girlfriend up.

        • Jury selection is a problem. And of course, jury selection is in the end a product of a corrupt/broken process. Whenever I was selected, or rejected, from jury duty, I remember two levels of questioning.

          The first level was the questioning by the judge. Such questions as, “This case is estimated to take 10 days, can any of you not commit that length of time?” Or “Do any of you know the defendant?” “This case entails money damages. Does anyone object to awarding monetary compensation?” “The charge against the defendant involves…has anyone been a victim of such a crime?” Etc.

          All these questions were reasonable on the surface. Never did I have concerns for a moment of the process. All were reasonable and pertinent to the issue of fairness and trail process. Hell, I even had a trial judge in a DUI case explain the law to the *benefit* of the defendant by expressly stating that “drinking” and driving were *not* against the law and that “impairment” must be proved!

          Trial lawyers are another thing. Questions were always geared to one of two things: selecting the most persuadable juror and ruling out the most knowledgeable juror. I got clipped most often there since I worked at the university—and I know this because I was specifically asked as to my level of education. A university landscaper probably fine, but if an instructor, I had my resume looked at. 😉

          Defendant’s lawyers were the worse, prosecutors not so much. Hell, once I was asked by the prosecution attorney if I knew anyone at the trial. I said “Sure, the defense attorney (head of the Public Defenders Office) is a friend and we went to school together!” His response was to look over at the defendant table, who confirmed with a sheepish grin, then at me and said “Well, can you render an unbiased verdict?” I said “Sure”. The prosecution attorney said, “Fine with us.” and I was empaneled.

          I still to this day maintain that after the judge asks his preliminary questions, you should impanel/select the necessary 14 jurors at random from the remaining pool. No (societal) good is had from the rest of the process.

      • My dtr was an international producer of WWE and her anecdotes were a marvelous source of laughs. Your comment is spot on! Man, am I glad that I expatriated 24 years ago! How did my native country fall so far? Rhetorical question at the end of the day. All here almost certainly know the answer.

  15. Storytelling can also explain the regime media’s strategy on news or events that are unflattering to progressive ideology or goals.

    Think about the Afghanistan withdrawal fiasco. The Narrative of our brave leader Uncle Joe overseeing the US military leaving the country. Of course, the reality is that untold billions worth of equipment was simply left there. This ensures more defense contracts to manufacture the gear left behind. But that doesn’t matter as long as the story of triumph is repeated enough.

    Telling a continuous story like a soap opera is what the 24/7 news cycle does today. Facts or logic don’t make for a good story, they just get in the way of it.

    • A lot of things, like pushing an iffy narrative, will work at the margins, making the presenter think that they should work in aggregate. That seems be what we’re running into here with the regime spin doctors wondering why people aren’t sponging up their inflation tales like college students sponged up their abortion tales.

  16. We still live in an age of affluence here in the USA, which as been ongoing for at least a half century and resulted in a widespread addiction known as the Comfort First Imperative. And when people are comfortable, they are amenable to storytelling narratives because the risk of hardship seems remote or is easily ignored.

    But because of high inflation (which cannot be ignored), many people are now fearful of hardship coming on like a freight train. And this fear is palpable and serious because most of the soft fat asses know in their heart of hearts that they will not survive severe hardship because they lack basic fitness and robustness. So they are much harder to bullshit with a clever narrative. Urban areas across the US are littered with homeless encampments (including a lot of hopelessly lost white kids). Do you think they are going to vote next week when their life consists of shitting in a filthy porto-potty? Methinks not.

    • The chattering classes are pretty delusional…Most of the working class people I know, which includes most of the former middle class, are extremely sensitive to price vs value..i.e. They’ll get the takeout meal if they think it can be turned into two meals, and they are cancelling or cutting back vacations…

      • The chattering classes are delusional because they can afford to be.

        They’re all making at least six figures to spin their yarns.

      • I’m still willing to *pay* for value as I can afford it, however given the demographics here we can not find value very easily—particularly in the trades as they are filled with White “frontmen” and Hispanic workers.

    • TomA: “…most of the soft fat asses know in their heart of hearts that they will not survive severe hardship because they lack basic fitness and robustness…”

      The Frankfurt School played that fiddle to a “T”, with their psychological warfare storytelling narrative which terrorized the goyische cattle into submitting to the V@xxines of Death.

      anatevka, anatevka,
      overfed underworked anatevka,
      where else could shabbat be so sweet?

      • When the Covid sham started, inflation was low and the Democrat Congress had not yet passed several trillion dollars in boondoogle spending. That was then, this is now. The sheeple can no longer keep their head in the sand when groceries and gas have doubled in price in 2 years time. So no, they are not buying into the current narrative like they did before. No one trusts the MSM and the RINO wave next week will prove that most folks are not willing to be fooled anymore.

        • ” No one trusts the MSM and the RINO wave next week will prove that most folks are not willing to be fooled anymore.”

          We’ll soon see. If they aren’t “willing to be fooled anymore”, it’ll take more than a vote to prove it. “Res no verbo” (and the vote is “verbo”) requires ACTION, not bla-bla. I ain’t holdin’ my breath.

        • “No one trusts the MSM and the RINO wave next week will prove that most folks are not willing to be fooled anymore.”

          TomA, you have my respect….but all that will show is that most folks continue to be fooled! 😉

          “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
          Lysander Spooner

    • “Do you think they are going to vote next week when their life consists of shitting in a filthy porto-potty?”

      Lucky for you, the dems aggressively ballot harvest in the tent cities. The voter’s pamphlet in Oregon repeatedly mentions how you don’t need to have a home to vote on their very important ballot measure to save our parks by giving lots of money to the city to embezzle.

  17. I would submit moral vanity plays a larger role than persuasion. While someone better capable of presenting a moral argument through a well-crafted story will one-up someone making the same case with a weaker narrative, this usually will not hold if the stronger storyteller has less appeal to the listener’s moral vanity. Constant propaganda makes people almost exclusively receptive only to that which comports with their conditioned morality.

    While economics drives communism, fascism, and liberal democracy and in fact undergirds all politics, each appeals in their own way to the morality they inculcate into individuals through a lifetime of propaganda. This phenomenon has exploded with the advent of mass media. We roll our eyes when the Left proclaims “we didn’t get our message out” in response to each political or cultural defeat (the few times there are), but they are not wrong. This is why they focus on monopolizing the public square’s megaphone and the educational system, and in extreme cases as we see in the West today, seek to destroy the family and society in their roles of shaping morality. Satan did a fine job of telling Eve a cool story, but the writers of that fable did far better work in telling the reader it was immoral.

    While economics eventually overcome morality when the belly is empty, see, esp., the Soviet Union, storytelling seldom does. This is the lesson we need to learn. In fact, I’ve long thought this might be true and you led me to realize it is. Control morality and control the man, and then reinforce this constantly through repetition in the mass media and popular culture. That is where good storytelling becomes most important. That is how control is attained.

    • The left has done an incredible job of substituting moralizing for morality. Nearly every narrative they have is coercive and uses moralizing that manipulates shame as the coercive force.

      * Anti-Poverty Programs: Left: You hate the poor. You are evil and want people to be poor. Selfish!

      * Pro-Black and now Anti-white Racial Preferences: Left: Racist! You are opposed to this program and thus you are opposed to black people! Racist! Racist! Racist!

      Same for immigration. Same for crime. Same for every last thing.

      Moreover, notice the constant offensive posture of The Left and the constant defensive posture of the non-left.

      There is no substitute for morality. Morality requires the proper cultural heritage and a proper education that teaches reasoning. The West ascended in vast moral superiority to the rest of the world because the Greeks and the Romans who relied upon Greeks as cultural advisors and then the German tribes who rediscovered Rome and Greece cultivated morals and moral thinking.

      Mass education, and education as a means to attain credentials and (supposedly), technical skills destroyed the Greco-Roman-WesternEuropean tradition of education. This new education system is why there is no longer an elite. An elite can descend and deviate from morality, but it can find its way back and be corrected if it cultivates and preserves morality.

      I have been thinking about this as applies to civilization. It strikes me that the French way fails because its aristocracy won’t dirty its hands with commerce. So it neglects it, or leaves it to a lowly rabble. The American way forsakes aristocracy, and emphasizes commerce to a point of moral degeneracy. The British way was the middle way. I think it is the correct way. The aristocracy preserved the higher learning that includes Western morality, and at the same time, via primogeniture, embraced commerce and wealth building. You have nobility with safeguards for morality and wealth production.

      I am convinced that the American Revolution was a grave mistake.

      At any rate, for the here and now, morality is confused with morality. It is done intentionally. As long as political action by the masses, rallied to vote and coerce by moralizing, is the system, things will only degenerate.

      Moralizing can be combatted via Socratic questioning. That was the role of journalism. Like morality, journalism was replaced by The Media which is entertainment that masks propaganda whose enticement is moralizing.

      We must preserve and cultivate morality and ourselves while the current system degenerates.

      • Aaagh! I use html characters and don’t know escapes.

        I said:

        * Anti-Poverty Programs: (Insert argument using morality of theft and property and reasoning for incentive structures increasing poverty) Left: You hate the poor. You are evil and want people to be poor. Selfish!

        * Pro-Black and now Anti-white Racial Preferences: (Insert argument using morality and reasoning illustrating degeneration of merit and incentives and the increase of strife and conflict and resentment …) Left: Racist! You are opposed to this program and thus you are opposed to black people! Racist! Racist! Racist!

      • Also, the British castration of the monarch and ascendency of Parliament was a mistake as bad as the American revolution.

        Western civilization’s future depends on our ability to correct that mistake, IMHO.

        • PeriheliusLux: “the British castration of the monarch and ascendency of Parliament was a mistake as bad as the American revolution…”

          I could write a 1,000,000 word magnum opus on this topic, which of course would never see the light of day, but, here goes the tl;dr…

          There is not a mind but that Rome assassinated the Christian Prince, Henry Stuart, via typhoid fever poisoning, in order to prevent him from ascending to the throne, and thereby to allow his younger brother, Charles I, the roman legalist, to re-institute the mass in England.

          Furthermore, Oliver Cromwell was only five years old when Prince Henry was assassinated, and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that Oliver Cromwell came to precisely the same conclusion as did I.

          You should count your lucky stars that Cromwell proceeded as he did, else you’d have a personal history of having been molested by the likes of the jesuitical communist sodomite satanist, Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

          • BTP-Catholicism maybe appealing to you..

            If you are so confident in your beliefs why are you so nervous about criticism?

          • Was supposed to have read as…

            There is not a DOUBT IN MY mind but that Rome assassinated the Christian Prince, Henry Stuart…

      • Peihelius Lux: Excellent point re moralizing versus morality. Point being, however, that most churches today do the same – moralizing about ‘brotherhood’ or ‘helping the poor’ rather than causing listeners to look at and judge their own lives based on biblical Christian morality, in opposition to social justice pseudo biblical moralizing. Same thing underlies standard leftist tropes such as “Christians only care about forcing women to have unwanted babies; they don’t help feed the hungry children.”

        What you term the British ‘middle way’ (in comparison with the French aristocracy) was more a result of the English expulsion of the juice in 1290. This enabled England to develop a native and organic middle class, absent alien middle managers financially milking the peasantry.

        American ‘commerce to a point of moral degeneracy’ was not necessarily an organic or original feature of the nation, to the best of my knowledge. Lots of smaller landholders and craftsmen as well as the wealthy and the influx of fortune seekers. I would argue that the rise of excessive commercialism coincided with not merely the rise of industrialization but also modern banking, which of course coincided with mass immigration. So a different kettle of fish altogether.

        • “American ‘commerce to a point of moral degeneracy’ was not necessarily an organic or original feature of the nation, to the best of my knowledge. Lots of smaller landholders and craftsmen as well as the wealthy and the influx of fortune seekers. I would argue that the rise of excessive commercialism coincided with not merely the rise of industrialization but also modern banking, which of course coincided with mass immigration. So a different kettle of fish altogether.”

          I agree on the whole with this. I think this happened, because there were no strong hands whose orientation was to balance commercial concerns with civilizational concerns. I think Rand correctly called out the failings of moral courage of the capitalist/industrialist class. I think they failed because their focus is singular as it should be. They define success and failure by their personal economic outcomes. Public debt to forestall economic pain and reform became the immoral and easy out. That and the replacement of commerce led by entrepreneurs with commerce led by government financed managers was the end. You need other powers whose essence and focus is on balancing and aligning commercial and higher moral interests.

          This system is just a bunch of mangy dogs and filthy roaches roaming around in search of a meal – any meal. It is true that America did have an aristocracy with high aims and standards. It is long gone.

        • Longshank’s expulsion was reversed by Cromwell. He was promised money to pay his War debts. Britain had it’s first Central Bank 40 years later. I believe it was second in the world after the Netherlands which had been culturally enriched by a certain tribe after the Alhamvra Declaration of 1492.

          • My historical knowledge lacks great depth. What I know of Cromwell is that we was the bane of England.

            Bane as in he and his reforms and corrupt dealings were the great deal of ruin in England. It took 300 years, but man did he do a good demolition job.

            More educated folks stand to correct me or give me good sources?

          • Bilejones: Spot on. George Washington wrote his infamous missal to the Rhode Island juice for the same reason – money.

      • “The British way was the middle way. I think it is the correct way. The aristocracy preserved the higher learning that includes Western morality, … I am convinced that the American Revolution was a grave mistake.”

        The points you make are easily refuted or not related. I can agree that the AR can now be viewed as in error. But how is GB fairing any better? We had a Revolution and here we are. GB had no Revolution and we can clearly see they are further down the progressive rabbit hole than we. Every degradation of society we decry, they exhibit as well and arguably in greater form.

        • CompSci –

          I addressed that in an addendum. I contend that the neutering of the monarchy and the ascendancy of Parliament had the same effect on top of the inevitable decay and problems wrought by empire. The problem is the same. Low time preference democracy (mob rule), came to Britain in a slightly different guise.

          Britain is farther down its circle of the drain than us, because their empire failed before ours. Given that they are tied to us, we held them up for a bit, but now, we are going down together.

          • Disagree-the US is further down the drain. The US is the source of political correctness,CRT, paedo worship,affirmative action etc.

            On most social metrics from suicide to drug addiction, to mental health problems ,to violent crime,to STD infections the US is worse than Britain.

            THe US has mediated its degeneracy through language. English is the great disease vector and countries where English is commonly spoken are much more affected by the American disease. See Ireland,New Zealand,the Netherlands ,Scandinavia, or Germany.

            NB The US is also much more diverse than the Uk or any European country

        • PeriheliusLux you don’t cite sources for your dismissal of Britain post Cromwell. More than willing to compare Britain in the 17th,18th and 19th centuries in terms of military,economic,scientific,artistic achievement with any country you care to name.

          I’ll assume you’re one of those charming ethnics still seething over an incident that happened centuries ago.

    • Jack Dobson: “I would submit moral vanity plays a larger role than persuasion.”

      You must run with the brie & chardonnay crowd.

      You in NoVa, or in Prince George’s County, or up around Fort Meade?

      Down here in Dirtland, that dawg don’t hunt.

      • You might want to re-read that. I live where you live. Every Normie around me is convinced he is on the moral highground because he doesn’t see color, whatever. Quality storytelling will not shake him.

  18. Considering that the left controls most of the cultural propaganda machine, it is somewhat surprising that their story tellers are as horrible as they currently are. I suppose it is possible that I have gotten better at seeing the liar. Normie may still like the actors, the tears and the drama. We all know some otherwise smart people that still believe the lie. At best, these “otherwise smart” people may sense there’s something wrong but will they just default to their previously held beliefs when push comes to shove? Probably, unfortunately.

    • If you are a bad storyteller and have a monopoly on the public megaphone, which the Left does, it really doesn’t matter. Once a morality is inculcated it is hard to overcome. As I responded to someone else, total control of social media is infinitely more important than the clowns elected next week.

      • The EU is already threatening Musk with penalties if he doesn’t reign in free speech on rebooted Twitter. Sheesh, he hasn’t even been in charge of the company a week…

        • This surprises you? Little terrifies the Power Structure more then general awareness of their exactions, and a liberated Twitter would help produce just that.

      • They have enough people whose identities are permanently tied to the left’s truth regime, so they can tell them anything they want because “I was wrong about my opinions for the last ten years, I’m a bad person and now I understand that I’m going to hell” is something no one in the history of the world has ever said.

        • There is no such eternal condition known as “hell”, or so say I. “Panta Rhea”: Heraclitus. Everything flows. Indeed it does. Do what you believe is right and if you’re in error, well, so it goes. Stay true to yourself and let the chips fall where they may. Man up!

  19. “Even if the story is clearly against his interests, he will justify nodding along with it. After all, every human brain has a narrative of sacrifice built into it at a young age”.

    I suppose that explains why in 2020 there were 85 mil who went along with a negative story, as told by a moronic story teller and poorly delivered.

    Seriously folks?

    • Seriously: the story is that FJB beat Cheeto Hitler in the cleanest election in human history and anyone who doesn’t agree is a violent insurrectionist who deserves to rot in prison.

      Also, we’re all gonna die from Covid.

      • Even though I’ve vowed to sit this election out, the narrative here is infuriating. I can only refer to Theodore Dalrymple who concluded the purpose of such propaganda (narrative) was to demoralize, not convince one of a position.

        It’s working…:-(

  20. if one is presented by a great storyteller and he takes you on a journey to an entirely new conclusion, your mental model will change.

    No, it won’t, if the message contained in the story is contrary to what the listener already believes and wants to believe. Rational criticisms of AGW, Covid-19, the merit of renewable power, etc. aren’t accepted by those intellectually invested in the belief that the man-made apocalypse is nigh and no story seems to be able to change their minds.

    • You are making the error conservatives always make. You think facts are better than a good story. Rational criticism will never beat a good story well told.

      • Morality > messaging, though. While facts indeed do not matter at all, inculcating the morality first does. A good story about AGW usually cannot overcome a religious belief about it, for example. That may seem like a chicken and the egg thing but it isn’t. People are receptive to good storytelling if it comports with the morality that was inculcated into them by, yes, often good storytelling.

        • Morality tales precede morality though. The Christian Bible is nothing but a collection of stories with a moral message. That is what a good story does in the political context. He reframes the morality of the listener. The regime’s obsession with Emmitt Till is because they think it is a compelling story with a sympathetic protagonist that supports their moral claims.

          • I really think quantity has its own quality here, though, and primacy wins. The Left can tell wretched stories and as long as it monopolizes the megaphone it triumphs. If it shapes the morality at an early age in the educational system and through the pop culture, and it mostly does, good storytelling usually will not get through.

            Who controls Twitter is far more important than who controls the Senate. Telling a good story from the well of the Senate has far less impact than telling a lame one on social media. Good storytelling can make propaganda more effective, but it plays second fiddle to an ingrained morality. That may be more chicken/egg than I allow, but it is true.

          • Exactly. I have a friend who is an angelical conservative with a very high IQ – probably 150 range. He is a data scientist and he is a massive “facts and data” guy. He loves to engage leftist acquaintances on FakeBook and argue with them. He posts long, well thought out dissertations on the issue at hand along with loads of data and facts to support his position. Every time, this is dismissed, and the leftist will even call out the “facts and graphs”. They will sometimes even acknowledge the information is correct, but it is MORALLY INCORRECT. Literally, the cognitive dissonance is so high, they will tell you that the sun is made of ice and call you racist if you disagree. You could build them a spaceship and fly them directly into the sun to prove it, and as they were flying into it, burning up, they’d still be yelling at you that the “sun is made of ice, you bigot!”.

            It is this storytelling and the emotions the stories stir up that has convinced American flax that they are victims when in reality they are the most privileged people in the world. Ask any liberal who commits all of the violent crime or how many “unarmed” black men are shot by police each year. “100,000 at least!!!” they will tell you. Because GAE has succeeded in dumbing down its population and focusing on what people feel instead of what is real, they have created 2 generations of pussies with no real knowledge or critical thinking skills. Everyone knows that a man in a dress claiming he is a woman is pure insanity, but it is accepted because that makes one a good person. Failing to arrest vibrant criminals is resulting in less blacks in jail, but the amount of crime has skyrocketed. Since the people who support this are safely tucked away from the risks of diversity and black criminality, then it isn’t real…

            All of this is due to storytelling. It is why I always try to tell my conservative buddy that all of his facts are meaningless. They fall on deaf ears.

          • “…because that makes one a good person.”

            There’s that “nodding along” thing, right there.

            We are looking for a guideline to a role we can play. Seeing if we can fit into the story somehow.

          • We have thousands of stories to tell about victimization at the hands of black criminals. They are not told. Why? It is immoral to tell them. Heck you could make a movie about Till’s dad that might call into question the Till narrative.

            You could tell an entirely different story of Tulsa’s, “Black Wall St.”, that is not the fiction that the general population believes. Every story is one where we are a caricatured villain. It is because we are no longer the story teller. As you always say, it is who, not how. I think how is pretty important, but without the proper who nothing matters. We need to start telling the stories. That they are true, or manipulated in interests of illuminating a truth, will sell them to the right people.

            You could debunk Black Wall St. by pointing out the success of Oprah and the BET guy. Are they building a new, “Black Wall St.”, with their billions? No. They are advocating for reparations.

            We should start telling those stories. We should start publishing them, along with re-telling our own existing stories and telling new stories of our achievements, failures, triumphs and tragedies. We should start answering the question, who will publish and promote these new stories?

            They can’t shut down the Internet. If we spent the resources we spend on complaining on doing our own story telling, those stories would find a huge and hungry audience. We need to beat Shapiro to the punch.

          • Zman, morality tales may well precede morality, as you argue. But that further reinforces Jack’s point about inculcating morality via messaging. That is why western children’s education included both reasoning based on natural observation and later added Christian morality. Aesop’s fables and local legends/myths/folk tales on through biblical children’s stories. This is why early American readers were based on Christian morality and many children learned to read using the Bible. The family inculcated basic morality and a shared culture.

            The past 125 years has been a sustained attack on that morality and family and culture. That is the entire rationale behind ‘early childhood education,’ daycare, public schools, etc. To mold young minds – start them off with electronic tablets and endless television and then immerse them in public schools/public media 24/7. Parents optional, and if aware, oppositional. The children imbibe the media’s message, absent a strong family and broadly Christian society.

          • For those who care: from earlier statistics (prior to the 2020 boom):

            In the USA each year there are around 1,000 [fatail?] police shootings of civilians per year.

            Blacks number about 400. This rate is about triple their share of the population, which seems suspicious. However, Blacks’ share of serious crime is far more than 40%, closer to 50-60% depending upon what source you consult. If that is true, it argues that police exercise more restraint with Blacks than with other suspects.

            Virtually all those shootings are justified*. In the majority of poice shootings, the suspect was armed. There are of course exceptions, but they are exceptions that prove the rule.

            *”Justified” here means that e.g. a grand jury reviewes the case. It doesn’t consider the opinion of a BLM activist, who would probably think all police shootings are unjustified.

          • @Ben

            The real number is probably upwards of 70-80% of all violent crime is committed by the criminal race. The FBI numbers showed that it is up to 60% officially, but that is only KNOWN perps. Think of all of the ones they never catch. What’s even more alarming is that nearly all of these violent crimes are committed by black males (roughly 6% of the entire population) and even further, between a certain age group which would narrow it down closer to 3-4%. 3 to 4% of 350m (probably even more) commit nearly all violent crime.

            Try explaining those facts to any left winger. The immediate excuse they go to is “Poverty caused by slavery caused this.” They have a fucking answer for everything. Hell, I can’t even get my normie conservative friends to accept these numbers.

            DR: “The sun is hot”.
            L: “No it isn’t, racist! It’s made of ice!, Stop spreading misinformation, bigot!”
            DR: “I’m building you a spaceship to fly you into the sun since you say it is cold.”

            As the Lefty is flying into the sun and is beginning to burn up it yells, “The sun is made of ice you bigot!”.

      • I agree, the ’92 election was a perfect example of this. Everyone remembers the Clinton campaigns “Man from Hope” made-for-TV-story and how it portrayed him as a
        charming, every man bumpkin, who grew up in a single-parent household and made good.
        You contrast that with Perot’s infomercial about how Clinton took a fairly poor southern state and once he became governor, took it to the bottom of the list of the fifty states in almost every conceivable category – especially education – and it should have been slam dunk in Perot’s favor. However the rose-colored story won.

  21. As long as the story being told has artifacts from reality that support it, and as long as there is a single story teller at the fire pit, this is true. The reason why the fire pit is now being closed to alternative story tellers, is because too many artifacts from reality do not support the premises that the stories are built upon.

    I find the comment section on this AmGreatness article to be very encouraging. Here is a story teller getting boo’d from the fireside pulpit.

    (apologies for the out link)

    Another example is now gone. Dennis Prager had an article stating that a) Kanye is an anti-semite because he said Jews control everything and that viewpoint is a prelude to a guaranteed holocaust. He says that in one sentence, then proceeds with a long diatribe to try and convince everyone that Candace Owens does not deserve to be buried with Kanye, because she is a good Trump conservative. The comments were not positive and I can’t find that article a day later. I assume it did not survive the criticisms from the marshmellow roasters who may be tired of listening.

    The story has been pushed too far, too fast, too aggressively. Winter is coming. Like our ancestors, the selective pressure in harsh conditions are going to act as a light to disinfect who is worth cooperating with and who will cannibalize us so that they, and they alone can survive the winter.

    • Grew up not far from the Windy City and recall the days of daaaa Bears, and da coach (and da Bulls).

      See if you can sing or hum these lyrics without laughing (or crying, or barfing)
      My kind of town, Chicago is my kind of people, too
      People who smile at you
      and each time I roam, Chicago is calling me home,
      Chicago is why I just grin like a clown It’s my kind of town

      • Stranger, you might have found yourself humming that “My Kind of Town” song if you attended the St. Paddy’s Day Parade in Chicago last March when Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot were greeted with relentless boos, profanity, and things thrown at them. They both had to leave the parade after 20 minutes.

        • Long since moved South and was not in attendance, however, I do recall reading something about that event – which I’m sure made my day.

  22. When it comes to storytelling, progressives tend to be way better at it than conservatives are. Progressives know how to tell a tale that pulls dramatically on the ol’ heartstrings. They know how to maximally leverage the theme of Good versus Evil that humans find so compelling. They intuitively grasp the desperate urge of people to align themselves with the angels and think that anybody who disagrees with them must be in cahoots the demons. Meanwhile, since conservatives typically suck at storytelling — or rarely even realize the need for and effectiveness of storytelling — they yammer on about abstract “principles” and “tradeoffs” and other subjects that may be perfectly rational yet entirely uninspiring. There are any number of reasons why progressives have been kicking conservative ass culturally for more than half a century now. Storytelling is one major factor in that.

    • I have read that the people who pushed for gay “marriage” give significant weight to the TV show Will and Grace for getting mainstreamed with the public. The people behind it knew what kind of story would work to push their issue.

      • “Will & Grace” is an excellent example. That type of propaganda masquerading as entertainment works miraculously well with the undiscerning masses. Say what you will about the Rainbow Flag Cult, I can’t think of any other group in recent times that has done a more magnificent job brainwashing the public. Though it becomes increasingly clear that the Alphabet Soup crowd (LGBTQLMNOP-whatever) has the potential to do great harm to society, especially to young people, a high percentage of us boring cis-heteros continues to view that crowd as benign and with sympathy. One wonders how much damage the LGBTQers will have to do before enough normies wake up and put an end to the shenanigans.

        • Wkathman: Read an excellent book about the entire campaign for homosexual acceptance-to marriage-to adoption norming. Can never recall the title, but it very clearly documented that it was a specifically targeted and heavily financed marketing campaign. Turning deviant sexual behavior, which traditionally made even average Joes recoil in disgust, into Just Another Neighbor was a carefully plotted strategy.

          • Of course. Homosexuals pervade Hollywood and compose an inordinate number of the script writers. All portrayals must be positive and not intimidating.

            Here’s a challenge. Waaay back when, just before the *ascendency* a realistic story wrt homo’s made its way to the screen. Try to find the movie, “Boy’s in the Band”. Near as I can tell in has been cast into the void.

        • Making normies accept homosexuality as normal, fun and incredibly witty was indeed one of the greatest marketing successes in modern history. As was adopting the colors of the rainbow to represent a physical act which involves a very different color. The gulf between the image of homosexuality and its reality is enormous, but normies don’t see that.

      • While good storytelling can enhance propaganda, its constant repetition and prevalence inculcates the moral framework. Once that moral framework is established, the best story on Earth will fall flat.

        WILL AND GRACE did as you wrote, but it built on propaganda that had been ongoing for years and helped shape a diffuse morality. This isn’t a chicken and eggs thing, either. Quality really does matter more than quantity in this sphere. It is why control of social media is far more important to the Left than who wins the beauty pageant next week.

        • One didn’t mind them as long as they were well mannered charming and talented and “knew their place”, but once they became obnoxious demanding and gross looking, it was game over.

          • p: But they weren’t well mannered and charming and talented – that is part of the public campaign most people swallowed. Part of the faux-benign face of evil is redefining deviancy.

          • Exactly. When AIDS hit, there was a full court press to label it a general population disease. Then we were treated to blaming druggies and Haitians.

            When it could not be hidden that it was a sexually transmitted disease, it was portrayed as equally dangerous to heterosexuals. But of course the numbers could not be denied. Finally, it was rightfully labeled a “gay” disease (in the USA and Western world in general) and then the dirty secret was out regarding the sexual habits of gay men.

            I lost interest about then with the antics of the gay men protesting for a treatment/vaccine research and the billions in funding the cowed Fed’s began putting into protecting the (perverse) gay “lifestyle”. AIDS til this day, is not curable, but you can live with it provided Uncle sugar picks up the drug tab.

          • Compsci-

            The goodthinkers beat us relentlessly with the Ryan White story when I was in elementary and middle school.

      • There is a video of Biden pre-President in which he is addressing some j3wish group. He congratulated them on persuading the country to accept hom0 marriage and he specifically cited “Will and Grace.”

    • Granted, it doesn’t hurt that they have the microphone, but they were smart enough to understand that controlling the microphone was key and worked to own it.

      As Z likes to emphasize, politics is a morality tale. Conservatives think that graphs and charts will win the day. They’re morons.

      That’s why identity politics is so important. Once you have a people, they become the hero of the story. You can craft a narrative around them for any issue. This is why TPTB are so terrified of whites joining the identity politics game. We’d have our own story with our own morality.

      • I don’t think we should give conservatives a pass for allowing the destroyers of civilization to monopolize the microphone. Action could have been taken to prevent that from happening, but it would have required a boldness and a resoluteness of purpose that conservatives rarely have. “They’re morons,” you say of them; I could not agree more. And you’re dead-on correct about identity politics as well. If we can get “Euro-Americans” (there’s a term I’d like to see come into vogue) to start seeing themselves as a people, we will have grounds for developing a compelling narrative centered on that people. No doubt about it.

        • To steal a line from the masters, “Is it good for our people?”

          That’s the only question we need to ask.

      • “That’s why identity politics is so important. Once you have a people, they become the hero of the story.”

        GREAT point.

      • Charts and graphs and facts. Ben Shapiro likes to say “facts don’t care about your feelings.” The new people piling into the West don’t care about Shapiro’s facts or Steve Sailer’s charts and graphs. It’s all primal tribal instincts with them.

        • Ben Shapiro is another in a long line of allegedly conservative pundits who only teaches conservatives how to lose respectably. So-called conservatism is more of a career for him than it is anything else. Plus, his last name should tip us off that he is not likely to be one of our own (in fairness, Takimag’s David Cole, a co-ethnic of Shapiro’s, does appear to be genuinely on our side). As for Steve Sailer, he’s a particularly lamentable case. Given that Sailer has delved into much of the taboo knowledge that we’re not supposed to notice, his advocacy of what he lamely calls “citizenism” is absurd beyond belief. He has no excuse for not knowing better.

          • Shapiro is no worse an example than some I’ve known from Leftist families whose offspring decide from an early age to enter government “service” and perhaps spring board to politics.

            I still remember Shapiro’s progress through UCLA and his posturing as a student Conservative/Republican. He was publishing pieces in those days in lessor publications online. He of course, brushed up his credentials by going to law school upon graduation and then made to jump to radio.

            I still like his early visits to the Universities and talks to the students, but that is long over as he is now making big bucks in the conservative media circles and has any number of others in employ working the act at other levels.

            As with most others of his ilk, his views are predictable and simply are feel good, comfort food, for Joe Normie and Boomers in general. There will be no progress there.

        • “facts don’t care about your feelings” is such a rich line coming from a guy like Shapiro who motormouths rhetoric in a stereotypical Jewish shyster manner.

  23. “The politicians think people are morons who will fall for a good story, rather than vote their interests.”

    That’s because it’s true.

    How many morons reflexively believe they “live in the freest country on the world” at the same time they can get fired from their jobs for making a politically incorrect statement or jailed for a “hate crime”?

    How many people think the cops are the “good guys” while the cops outright steal cash under “civil forfeiture” and the FBI spies on presidential candidates and entraps drunken morons as “domestic terrorists”?

    How many middle American farmboys have been willing to join the military and die or get their legs blown off for “freedom” in Afghanistan and Iraq while the military-industrial complex falls under the control of the gay lobby and makes bank on wars they never intended to win?

    How many people believe that voting actually matters and that we have a “free press”?

    How many people believe that the Second Amendment allows them the right to “keep and bear arms” when the government shot Randy Weaver’s wife’s head off because they accused him of having a shotgun with a barrel length of 17 3/4″ rather than 18″?

    How many people believe we have a “free market” when it’s all completely rigged by government spending and monetary policy?

    It’s human nature to believe lies and fairy tales. Plato observed this 2,500 years ago, and he noted that the people will ostracize or maybe try to kill anyone who disbelieves the myths about the shadows on the wall of the cave.

    • Read Stephen King’s “The Myst”. It is a story about the human condition much more than about hellish monsters attacking from another dimension.

      At one point in the story when the people are all trapped in the grocery store for a while, a religious fanatic woman starts to gather the attention of about half of the people. She begins telling them that the horrors they are experiencing are from the wrath of God brought upon by the sins of the people NOT in their group. One of the army soldiers confesses that he had heard rumors about a secret government operation that opened the gate allowing the monsters to come through. She was able to convince her group that, ultimately, it was his fault. Despite the irrationality of this decree, the mob becomes maniacal and they eventually stab him, beat him and then throw him outside where he is eaten by a monster.

      This is the power of storytelling which influences the moral beliefs of the listener.

      • Did that Stephen King book include a wise black person? Most of them do. Sometimes played by Morgan Freeman.

      • Yes! One of his better short stories. A minor correction: “The Mist.” Myst was a series of innovative (at the time) PC games in 1990s. The Mist was released as a fairly good dramatized audio version, on real cassettes, around that time.

        For Wolf: During the pursuit of my useless literary degree, we surveyed the idea of recurring themes in myth and legend. Although I didn’t deep dive into it, this is a specialized area of literature, sociology, etc. interest.

        You are right on the Freeman comment. This is an example of the trope “officially” dubbed Magical Negro. As with many tropes of storytelling, it goes back a very long way. It’s in standard catalogs of literary stock charcters or plot lines (e.g. the ghost of a little girl that an unwitting good samaritan drives home). Academics write papers about suchlike topics, when she’s not at home with her box wine and cats, getting her latest Covid booster, or seeing her cardiologist for that latest odd symptom.

        • In the adapted movie version, the negro is a well spoken on who is a NYC lawyer. He is the perfect character because he is always angry at everyone and he is constantly making the case that he is the victim and that all of the white folks are lying to him to try to trick him. He refuses to believe the monster is real and he proceeds to lead a flock of followers out of the store, into the mist, and ultimately to their death.

          Sounds about right…

    • Reporter: “Mr Stevenson, all thinking people are on your side (in the upcoming US election)
      Adlai Stevenson: “That’s not enough. I need a majority”

  24. “The writer Ben Novak wrote a book explaining how Adolf Hitler was able to use the power of narrative to persuade the German people. For those looking for the short version, Greg Johnson reviews it here. The key to Hitler’s success as a politician was his ability to reframe events in such a way that changed how people viewed those events and the people involved in those events. Hitler changed the way in which people interacted with their world through his speeches.”

    Sure. You can see Kanye West spinning the same Hitlerian Narrative Voodoo in real time.

    Unless, I dunno, they were both making some valid points? And them saying their verboten observations out loud, in public, broke the same mental logjam that keeps ostensibly free and independent people saying ‘The N Word’ rather than risk being ostracized?

    Once someone in the group says Nigger, I have observed, people’s REAL opinions can be given free reign and all that jibber-jabber about “good schools” gets shelved.

    See: Kanye Is Right memes.

    • At their core, even the normiest normie knows what their real interests are. They have kept quiet and “nodded along,” but narrative collapse is upon us and it remains to be seen what emerges from the dissonance.

      • That’s the key phrase, “narrative collapse”.

        “…he takes you on a journey to an entirely new conclusion, your mental model will change.”

        So people aren’t morons.
        They are listening for clues, as in: “how do I join the good guys?”

    • I think that’s thing besides the two racial groups with a big grudge that story just can’t carry the day.
      Regime: “It’s whities fault!”
      Kanye: “You sure?”
      Regime: “In to the void with you!”

  25. “What those two examples suggest is that the great promoters of liberal democracy think the tenets of liberal democracy are nonsense. The politicians think people are morons who will fall for a good story, rather than vote their interests.”

    Worse is that the pols might be right.

  26. The left has always relied on storytelling, but has relied more upon crushing dissenting narratives. Even with Social Media being almost completely in enemy hands, they are still having a terrible time whacking down all the counternarratives. I would argue how factual the narrative is isn’t even important as long as you can smash any dissenting stories.

    I remember in High School watching a movie about integration, complete with white bullies and the brave integrated black student who stood up for himself. If you knew nothing about what really happened in the 60’s, this sounds reasonable.

    You also have books like Race War in High School, that had a factual counternarrative that was such a polar opposite it boggles the mind. If this book was required reading in schools, we would have revolution within 10 years.

    If anyone wants some background listening while at work:

  27. “The politicians think people are morons who will fall for a good story, rather than vote their interests”

    They are not entirely wrong

    • See “President Gavin Newsome” from California in 2024. He has good hair, athletic build, straight teeth, pretty wife.
      After he wins all 57 states with 50 gorillion votes, the story will be, “The Return of Regan in the 21st Century”.

      • Give me George Clooney. He has all the attributes you mentioned, except his wife is prettier. I liked his dad as a host on AMC back in the day, and he isn’t the stone cold psychopath that Newsome is.

        If it’s what we have come to, what the hell?

        • What I want is an American Pu Yi who, installed as the puppet monarch of Machukuo, got it into his head that he was a real leader of his people until the situation was explained to him in stark detail by his chief “advisor”. (I am thinking of the movie here, sorry).

          Newsome would need no clarifications. He’d gladly wear the purple and party down in the palace, signing every document, including the laundry bills, without reading anything.

  28. For what its worth, a lot of the Republicans have stuck with a message of the Democrats are indifferent to run away inflation, are doing nothing to stop the historically high numbers of illegal immigrants coming across our border and don’t care if you are a victim of violent crime. They will also enable people who want to recruit your kids into deviant lifestyles and take your kids from you if you object.
    That is a fairly compelling narrative, Gavin Newsom doesn’t have anything he could say that would be credible to most voters to refute it.

    • Newsome doesn’t need to refute anything: good hair, straight teeth, athletic build, pretty wife, total media control.
      C.f.: John F. Kennedy
      Crime? Inflation? Invasion? His wife’s a Hollywood slut who slept with Harvey Weinstein? Fake news.

  29. Social media didn’t start the fire (put that in your pipe and smoke it, Billy Joel), but it’s one hell of an accelerant. At this point, the alternative story simply can’t break through, because we’ve valorized ignorance to the point where people take positive glee in listing all the things they don’t know. It’s SOP, for instance, for “reviewers” on Amazon to start their one-star “reviews” of badthinkers’ books with “I refuse to read this!” And with Twatter, Faceborg et al, they not only don’t have to hear anything they disagree with, they get lauded for the extremity of the measures they take to avoid it.

    I saw a lot of the change happening in real time with college students. When I started — this is pre-No Child Left Behind, so also pre-Facebook — kids were kids. They’d come into my office after failing the test, saying “But I got all As in high school!” I’d reply “Yeah, but this isn’t high school,” and they’d get that. They didn’t like hearing it, but it was a concept that made sense to them. But by the time I retired several years ago, their attitude was “I already know everything and I’ve got the standardized test scores to prove it, and how dare you even suggest the possibility I might not? I pay your salary, so mark down the A in the grade book and be quick about it, you jerk!”

    The challenge used to be getting the signal through all the noise. Now the challenge is getting any kind of signal out at all. It’s pretty much impossible.

    • My standard reply to “I cannot understand…” is “We can spend eternity listing the things you do not understand, but your ignorance is not an argument…”

      It is the weird effect of democracy. Every man becomes a king in his own mind.

      • One saw that exact thing play out in the recent parade trial in Waukesha. Try as she might, the judge could not get across the point that ignorance is not an acceptable counter argument to facts and law.
        What’s the quote? You gave them eyes to see and ears to hear but they will not do either.
        I’d add, a mind to use, but so often, lose.

        • Look, 50% of the folk have IQ’s below normal or average.

          I have the same problem with my wife. She is a smart woman, arguably smarter (test-wise) than I. She of course, is a women and that affects her judgement in many cases, but that aside the point. What she can never understand is what a subpar intellect looks like and acts like and what the effects to be expected are.

          She simply has a blind spot. Therefore her expectations are not meet and she get’s disappointed in many interactions in life because she thinks she is dealing with her *twin*—and there are not many who could claim that level.

          • Ha, reminds me of my mother trying to get her friends interested in all the fancy pants art and literature stuff she was into. I told her that most people react to that stuff like the Emperor in Amadeus: “too many notes”.

            I don’t have the link, but I remember there being an article with descriptions of what people are like at various IQ levels: such as the thresholds where things like writing a check or operating a doorknob become serious life challenges. It really hammers in just how bad 100 IQ really is, and that’s the average.

          • Plopped, unfortunately at my age I’m beginning to understand what it’s like. Look, everyone declines with age. I am at that age. I do stupid shit all the time, only to “figure it out” later. It is at a point where I no longer make decisions for fear of such. Can’t tell you how many times I get back to something after a night’s sleep and get to the correct solution—instantly. This never was part of my life before. Is now a constant concern. Some day even “sleeping on it” won’t help. Sigh….

  30. All I can say is anyone who nods along and agrees with a story telling politician these days is a dope. If it isn’t obvious by now that everyone of those SOBs lies through their teeth six ways from Sunday, I don’t know what’ll convince the crowds. Further, most of the pols are so pathetic, they couldn’t rise to the occasion of a good story if their life depended on it.

    • I was having a conversation at work recently with a guy who really wanted me to know that he had tried to get the latest clot shot. He knows I refuse to get the boosters, and I am very open about the fact that I only got the initial jab because the government threatened my family. Live to fight another day. He also knows that I think the jabs are quackery and that I got COVID and missed 2 weeks of work AFTER getting the “vaccine”.

      I rattled off all the lies of the past 2 years. That the lockdowns would stop the spread. That masks work. That the vaccines are safe and that they work. That Trump colluded with Russia. That Hunter Biden’s porn laptop and criminal enterprise was Russian disinformation. That inflation isn’t caused by Green New deal policies. That Biden doesn’t have dementia. Etc etc.

      I just looked at him and concluded by saying, “In every situation and at every level of Government. Every news report I read. Every TV program I watch. I ask myself only one question: How are they lying to me now?”

      My going in assumption in nearly every endeavor of my life is just that: how am I being lied to this time?

      It doesn’t make me happier. It merely closes the gap between expectations and reality.

    • I’m glad I did. Thanks for the link. At the end of the day, we humans are wired to tell stories; and a good one registers. This guy has mastered the short form.

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