I’ve had some notions about our common future that I haven’t put into posts because I was afraid they would be viewed as too wacky to be useful to our disability community. The election has changed my mind about that, so I’m going to post those ideas under the rubric, “Harsh Realities” over the next few weeks.
- The phrase “Culture Wars” is no longer a metaphor and hasn’t been for a while. The underlying framework of war is not the surface violence that we see in games and the news (or in actual combat for that matter). The real strategic framework of war is global deception, and deception is now the purpose of almost all public, and an increasingly scary percentage of private, communication.
Deception includes lies, misdirection, oversimplification, provocation, and similar propagandist techniques. More importantly, strategic deception has no boundaries that segregate private life from public. Every communication becomes an opportunity for deceit and pursuit of an overarching strategy.
- Closed system approaches, like law enforcement, ethical standards, logical argument, courts, and similar procedural disorder resolution methods that rely on common agreement and common ritual, are far too slow, and are already doing less and less to counter this situation. Instead, consensus conflict resolution is drifting relentlessly toward being no more than a reflection the ideologies of disruption that constitute our political system.
The militarization of police forces and the rise of market-driven terror organizations like drug cartels are particularly obvious examples of how we are being pushed toward a universal insurgency that would have been unthinkable two decades ago.
There are many other examples; universal surveillance and the expanding corruption of organizations, institutions, and communities are trends over which we have no control as well. Deception is the first sign of corruption.
- Strategic Deception always creates unintended pools of chaos in communication in addition to the apparent immediate purpose of the deception. This has been most obvious in the financial crashes of recent decades, none of which were “planned”.
They occurred because corrupt financial forces were seeking short term benefit and lost control of the impact of their more or less successful corruption. Complex systems are full of unintended consequences, and deception as strategy increases the complexity, range, and reach of such consequences.
These eddies of chaos arise and die unpredictably and dramatically enhance the overall uncertainty of the future, degrading our efforts to communicate real meaning and value.
This reality of universal deception has always been accepted as unavoidable in what we have traditionally thought of as war. The so called “fog of war” is now becoming the fog of everyday life.
- The best (if not the only way) to think about the ideological insurgencies we have seen globally in recent years is that their goals have been disruption, not persuasion. That is why countering propaganda memes with truth or rational analysis has had no impact on the belief systems of insurgencies or their electoral support. If disruption is the goal, lies are a great way to provoke it.
- There are excellent reasons to think that if our community doesn’t absorb these lessons, our advocacy will go the way that all ritual approaches to war have in the past-that is, our disability community rights advocacy may be rediscovered by historians (or worse, by archaeologists) in some conceptual dustbin of our future.
Don’t immediately reject these ideas because they seem so strange.
We already have models in our community of how to move our advocacy in the direction of an insurgency without losing our moral compass. The core of those models are community organizing, mutual support, and peaceful disruption of the increasingly likely retrenchment.
But, before we can actually make use of those models, we have to understand more deeply the necessity of doing so.
Next Post: All War is Deception