Persuasion

Posted in Action / Politics / Advice on Thursday, March 24, 2016 by Joel Höglund

Persuasion

Most people in a discussion are likely to think that it is a game of factual and rational arguments. Even after repeated failures to persuade the opponent by these means, we still tend to believe that the problem was only in the quality of the argument, not that it was wrong tactics to begin with.

From my experience the majority of people in the alt-right are here because they weren't satisfied with the simple explanations they received in the education systems and mass media. Most of us grew up in the same politically correct environment as everybody else and often believed in it to a large degree too. It was only through questioning these "truths" that we arrived here, by a very rationalistic process, as far from the authoritarian brainwashing and hate-propaganda that mass media wants to suggest. A classic example of projection, perhaps?

If our search for facts and study of rational arguments could convince us, shouldn't this also be enough to persuade almost anyone? Sadly, anyone who has tried it, knows that reason alone will not persuade more than a small fraction. This tiny minority doesn't anyhow need to be persuaded, at most they need to be pointed in the right direction, and they will find out for themselves.

I recently stumbled upon Scott Adams blog. He is the creator of Dilbert and a little extra interesting right now due to his early prediction of Donald Trump becoming president. He has a large number of posts on persuasion on his blog and he also lists what he calls the persuasion stack. While reason is indeed a method of persuasion, it is quite low on his list:

  1. Identity
  2. Analogy
  3. Reason
  4. Definition

Reason

Reason beats arguing over definitions, but that is also all. Now that doesn't mean that reason is useless, far from it, but when trying to persuade people of different opinion, reason is not the most effective tool. I was too somewhat surprised in trying to grasp this, but looking back at various discussions I've had over the years, it did seem to fit reality quite well. Perhaps it is not so strange after all. We are not rational machines, but rather hairless mammals equipped with a larger than usual brain.

I mean, why should you trust that other guy, even if there are no apparent flaws in his reasoning. Sure, he might be correct if both his reasoning is sound AND the facts are true, but honestly what is the risk of that happening? The world is a complex place, and as we can't know all the facts, the odds are highly in favor of him being wrong at least somewhere. Or to put it in the words of Robert Heinlein, in Double Star:

Given time and plenty of paper, a philosopher can prove anything.

Of course, this is just as true regarding your own rational conclusions. I believe one major difference here - except that you are of course much much smarter, dearest reader - is that through your effort to draw the correct conclusion, your reasoning and search for facts, your brain has already formed a pattern that is now engraved in your brain. Correct or not - a brain doesn't really care. It spent a whole lot of energy and it is sure as not going to throw all that away just because some other douche tells you to.

Analogy

Interestingly, the next item on the list draws its full power from exactly this phenomenon. If we accept for the sake of discussion that the average brain is lazy and doesn't want to ruck on it's old thought patterns, an easy road to persuasion is to suggest that this new thought here is not really a new thought at all. In fact it is very much like this thought that your brain already has a familiar and well-tested pattern with which to process it. Why not run it through there and see if you don't draw the same conclusions this time also? Well, of course your brain says, why on earth would I set up these expensive thought patterns if I wasn't going to use them?

Now the key to successfully persuading through analogy is to find some thought pattern which is reasonable to think that your opponent shares, and that he therefore will draw the conclusions that you want.

For example: Every anti-immigration party in every white nation is presented as nazis or kind-of-like-nazis. It doesn't matter if it's a completely different issue or situation, the mass media still do this comparison without a fail. And why? To persuade your brain to use the thought pattern that is the second world war, which has been carefully ingrained through education and Hollywood movies. It is done in order to make your brain automatically ask itself:

Remember that time when Germany wanted to have border controls and there were wars and stuff and like everybody died? Wasn't that bad?

Another analogy that could be used equally as well is:

Remember that time when the Indians of America could not defend their borders and like everybody died? Wasn't that bad?

But for some reason, the mass media does not seem as inclined to use this analogy.

Anyway, the idea is simple: use the analogy that comes with the wanted conclusions! Any analogy that fits reasonably well with your proposed idea can be used to persuade your opponent of this. But remember: He must already have this thought pattern in his brain for it to be effective!

Identity

Identity is at the top of Adams persuasion list, meaning that it beats both analogy and reason. As Adams writes in the link above, race, sex and nation are strong identities for most people, simply because one cannot change these. Feminists use this to their advantage, claiming that every woman has an interest in supporting their cause simply because they are women. I assume that they still fail to attract many women, simply because they are so unfeminine.

But why then, doesn't nationalists seem to gain much support by preaching a racial or national identity? Following this logic, nationalism should be the most persuasive political identity of them all, right? Obviously not though!

It has been argued that whites are more prone to think of themselves as individuals, rather than members of a race or nation, perhaps even of a sex. In previously racially homogeneous countries, for example much of western Europe, there might not have been much need to grow a racial or national identity either, because everyone else already shared that same identity. To use an old analogy: does the fish know what water is?

Because our national or racial identification is so weak, many whites have instead opted for another identity: the morally good person. It can be discussed if there is any objective morality, or if so, if most people qualify as good, but it's not too farfetched to say that most of us WANT to identify as a morally good person, regardless if it is true or not. This goes for other races too I assume, but the difference is that their racial identity trumps their Gutmenschen identity. For whites it is not so. I do not know if it is a racial trait or a learned behavior. Either way is fine actually. Striving to be morally good is certainly not something to look down upon.

The problem lies in the values of today. That which we have been conditioned to regard as morally good is everything that will destroy us as a a people. And likewise that which would save us, and in all likelihood also the world, is considered evil. This is something that we must address and constantly remind others and ourselves that our cause is a good and just one, and further that which we fight against is the enemy of all mankind.

Even so, it seems to me that the question of morality doesn't actually enter the minds of most people. The real threshold for adopting a pro-white identity requires much less of an explanation. The issue for most people lies on a kindergarten level of psychology.  It has simply not been fashionable to be a nationalist. That is really all there is to it.

Fortunately, the times seems to be changing.

Last updated on Monday, May 9, 2016