Friday, January 21, 2011

Overselling the Meme

Dymphna posted last night about Rebecca Bynum’s new book, Allah is Dead: Why Islam is not a Religion. Some of the commenters on the thread argued that the author’s premise is not true, that Islam is a religion, since its schema includes major elements — a creator, demons, angels, heaven, hell, the end times, etc. — common to Christianity, Judaism, and other religions.

I don’t usually weigh in on such discussions, but I feel compelled to explain why Ms. Bynum is right, and why it important to get her message out in its simplified form.

The Ranting ManMy primary job is to be a propagandist: that is, my aim as an activist in the Counterjihad cause is to move the meme. Or, more fully, to move multiple memes.

Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment which rules the government, the academy, the media, and the culture at large.

Political correctness currently has an absolute lock on the major media, so propagating memes is extremely difficult. Yes, it helps us to get one of our people on TV as a talking head, but the setup in such situations is almost always rigged to make the interviewee look nutty or dangerous, so the value of such appearances is limited.

For large-scale effectiveness, we must proceed more stealthily, and with more limited goals. Each step is small, and seems inconsequential, but when aggregated our tiny successes have an effect, and will accelerate the change in our direction when things go sideways for the oligarchs.

To do the job, we must insert many, many memelets into common discourse. This must be accomplished at a level well below that of the celebrities and famous pundits, because action on that battlefield invites a massive and well-funded counterattack by CAIR, ISNA, the OIC, etc.

I’ve been paying close attention for the last seven years, and during that time there have been numerous changes in the common discourse at the samizdat level, below what is officially permitted in public discourse. For example, the phrase “Mohammed the pedophile” is now common — almost universal — in popular forums and discussion groups. It even pops up at the higher levels occasionally, and gets people like Susanne Winter and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff charged and tried. This meme was very rare until well after 9-11.

You might say, “But, strictly speaking, it’s not true — Mohammed’s marriage to a child was a commonly accepted practice in his day, among both Muslims and non-Muslims. It was not considered pedophilia back then. Asserting this is an example of the fallacy of ‘presentism’.”

These counterarguments are reasonable, and they may well be true. But they don’t advance the meme.

It’s the same with “Islam is not a religion.” This concept was all but unheard of just six or seven years ago. But now it is common currency.

To push memes like these into mass circulation, they must be oversold. If we spend all our time fine-tuning them, they won’t emerge into popular consciousness. If we include the historical background, the comparative theology, the philosophical references, and all the subtle nuances of the whole truth, the meme will never spread.

As a propagandist, my task is to spread the meme and not to sweat the nuances. Nuances can be argued about and nailed down by scholars in the centuries after Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion — is totally destroyed. We don’t have the luxury for such finicky scholasticism right now.

If I wanted to be totally accurate, I might say something like this: “Islam contains religious, political, and cultural ideologies that are fused into a unitary system. Unlike Christianity and Judaism, its political elements have never been separated from its theological ones. Those elements are supremacist, totalitarian, and expansionist.”

Now, that’s fairly accurate, and it’s about as short a statement as you can craft and still include the nuances of the situation. But as a meme, it’s a bust. You can squeeze the trigger on that particular rhetorical gun, and the bullet will just roll out of the barrel and plop into the dust at your feet.

Ordinary people understand the essence of what is intended when someone says, “Islam is not a religion.” They know that it means that Islam is not like modern Christianity. They understand that it refers to the fact that Muslim zealots will lie, steal, cheat, rape, torture, murder, and blow up trains and airplanes to attain political ends. That’s not what they consider a religion.

They know all these things already. Despite the intensive indoctrination they’ve been subjected to for forty years, the truth comes through: they see the dismembered bodies and the burning buildings and the disfigured women, and they understand that “Allahu Akhbar” is involved in virtually every single incident.

So the meme works, because it is true at an essential level.

But we have to oversell it to get it out there on everyone’s lips.

Our propaganda is aimed at changing minds at the margin, at affecting the thinking of those whose opinions are not yet fully formed. If we wait until we get every jot and tittle of our message perfect, the scimitar will be at our throats before we change even a single mind.

55 comments:

descendantofacrusader said...

Well said, Baron, you have typified well the desperate nature of the battle that we, as "cultural patriots", are each involved with in our struggle against the great evil of Islam. This particular "meme", that stresses Islam's political component, is indeed a powerful weapon and must be used to its greatest advantage if we are to save our enlightened age from its dark counterpart.

TB said...

"...You can squeeze the trigger on that particular rhetorical gun, and the bullet will just roll out of the barrel and plop into the dust at your feet."

:o) Ha! How I just love your way with words Baron. What a picture...LOL...

jjk999 said...

Islam's not a religion. It's a power structure.

It's pushed as religion only to the lower rungs of society.

Only the poor are made to follow it as a religion.

It's dictates are only applied to minorities and the poor.

Islam codifies more rights for the powerfull and less rights for the weak.

How are those for memes?

Zenster said...

Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment which rules the government, the academy, the media, and the culture at large.

That sentence is loaded with enough buzz words to have come straight from a Dilbert comic strip. Be that as it may, it is also very true.

The Left's control of media has given it an advantage that almost matches Islam's even more well-developed ability to manipulate media and diplomatic circles alike.

To push memes like these into mass circulation, they must be oversold. If we spend all our time fine-tuning them, they won’t emerge into popular consciousness. If we include the historical background, the comparative theology, the philosophical references, and all the subtle nuances of the whole truth, the meme will never spread.

This point cannot be overemphasized. The counterjihad continues shooting itself in the foot with infighting and bickering that rivals the Muslims themselves. STOP IT NOW!

However trivial they may seem, sound bites − like their grandparent clichés − hit the nail on the head. You can write an entire PhD dissertation about easily offended Muslim "sensibilities" and "sensitivities", but it will never approach the expressiveness of my simple meme:

MUSLIMS ARE SKINLESS PEOPLE LIVING IN A SANDPAPER WORLD.

The same goes for exposing Islam's jealously coveted and threadbare masquerade as a religion. To convey how Islam is more a political ideology than any sort of genuine spiritual endeavor; I coined the meme:

IF THERE IS NO SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, IT’S NOT A CHURCH, IT’S A STATE.

Truth be told, Islam’s political aspirations must be allowed to eclipse its religious trappings no matter how much a majority of non-Muslims currently believe otherwise. If we are to win the propaganda war against Islam, these memes have to be permitted to do their job.

PETTY BICKERING AND DITHERING OVER EXACT DEFINITIONS OR EXPLANATIONS ONLY SERVES THE INTERESTS OF OUR ENEMIES.

Nuances can be argued about and nailed down by scholars in the centuries after Islam — as a culture, a political ideology, and a religion — is totally destroyed. We don’t have the luxury for such finicky scholasticism right now.

Until quite recently counterjihadists were doing little more than fiddling while Rome continued to burn down around their ears. Only a very few individuals managed to rise above the background noise of scraped catgut and make themselves heard about the situation.

One of the very first was Kurt Westergaard and his, now immortal, "Bomb Turban" image. Were it not so to-the-point with its combination of bristling menace and implicit violence it would come across like a clichéd caricature which, in fact, it actually is. Its iconographic properties are a direct reflection of Westergaard's concise assembly of readily assimilated visual memes.

Regardless of any petty disputes it stirred up, my
flag design, combining the Nazi Hakenkreuz and Islamic Raya, sought to do the same thing. It was hoped that EDL members could use it to deflect routine media smears about them being “right wing”. Of equal or greater importance was to begin establishing some linkage in public perception regarding how Islam and Nazism share a doctrine of genocide.

It is vital for the counterjihad to begin assembling an arsenal of consensually adopted verbal and visual memes with which to fight our adversaries. Their well-honed media skills demands a head-on counterattack that arrays against them their most favored strategies and tactics.

Time is of the essence and any internecine quarreling must end if we are to win the day.

Jedilson Bonfim said...

Fascism hadn't been defined as such when mahoundianism was invented... Fourteen centuries ago it might have been fine to refer to a form of fascism as a "religion", but these days we know what fascism is like... And its definition fits islam like a glove.

Hans said...

In other words: we lie to spread lies! thanks and screencapped.

Jewel said...

Hans, it isn't a lie. Devotion to Mohammed may have its religious trappings, but Communism, the most anti-religious religion used the same kind of unquestioning devotion and terror to keep the riffraff in line. Because it was anti-religious, we were able to see it properly as a tyrannical control of both the man and his state.
Islam is the same thing, which is why I believe, at heart, the psychotic left also endorses and supports it. We have to strip it of its aanctimonious folderol and keep pointing to the fact that the Prophet Hath no Clothes!

Thrasymachus said...

Bravo! This is the kind of fresh, creative thinking we so desperately need.

It's not so much that mass consciousness is owned by the left, it's that it was practically created by the left, for its political and cultural purposes, and its commercial use is mostly incidental to this.

Pierre said...

Well said.

Islam does not fit a sound bite.

Any sound bite that helps the cause is better than no help.

And most non-Muslims define religion different from the reality of Islam.

Read my theory on Islam and fear at http://islamsfatalflaw.blogspot.com/ .

G. said...

I'm fond of asking indignantly, "What kind of religion kills people for leaving?"

Profitsbeard said...

Zenster said...

It is vital for the counterjihad to begin assembling an arsenal of consensually adopted verbal and visual memes with which to fight our adversaries. Their well-honed media skills demands a head-on counterattack that arrays against them their most favored strategies and tactics.

Time is of the essence and any internecine quarreling must end if we are to win the day.

1/21/2011 2:19 PM

_________________________

Hear, hear!

I hope I had a bit to do with the No Pedophile Prophets! meme and its spread.

Let's popularize:

PROOF ISLAM IS A DEATHCULT:
You try to leave, they try to kill you


[Makes a good bumpersticker]

Polemics is vital to undermine this dismal imperialistic threat to all humanity and a free future.

Islam is as much a 'religion' as the heart-ripping 'faith' of the bloody Aztecs.

No less, no more.

Hesperado said...

Baron's post is deceptively simple. There is a complex of interwoven assumptions and conclusions that need not be teased out if one is attracted to a quick fix.

Baron is correct in many of his descriptions of general principles; the point is, however, whether they apply in this specific instance.

I dealt generally with this issue in an essay I wrote a while ago on my blog, "Islam is not a religion" -- one of the mantras of the anti-Islam movement.

In one of my comments in the comments thread to that article, I go a little into a subsidiary aspect of this issue, which Baron adds more substantively: namely, the concern for persuasive propaganda in a climate of PC MC hegemony.

This in fact seems to be the main crux of Baron's argument for the usefulness of the mantra "Islam is not a religion".

I find, however, that Baron's argument is marked by a happy coincidence that should give pause: namely, a coincidence analogous, for example, to the liberal who advocates an environmental policy constraining industry that will be both "good for the environment" and economically beneficial. In this case, Baron's prescription is both accurate ("Islam really isn't a religion") and it will help the anti-Islam movement in its ongoing effort to change minds.

But we haven't fully presented a convincing argument that Islam, in fact, is not a religion. Part of the problem here seems to be a simplistic view whereby X cannot also by Y at the same time. I have yet heard no convincing argument that proves that a pernicious belief system cannot simultaneously be a "religion" and be pernicious at the same time.

At this juncture, Baron's argument seems to glide into a pragmatic ploy, whereby it doesn't matter if Islam is, or isn't, a religion: all that matters is that we push the meme sufficiently to make enough people doubt it.

This strikes me as perhaps effective in the short run, among idiots; but not in the long run, among the most advanced people in the history of the world (caveats aside for human imperfection, & etc.), Westerners.

I guess I have more respect for my fellow Westerners than Baron and others here have. I'm not interested in saving a perpetual Kindergarten of idiots in league with an evil cabal of "Elites" -- if that is all the West is to you guys.

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

It seems you have joined the ranks of Lawrence Auster, Robert Spencer, et alia, who would rather be right than effective. All of you will still be fine-tuning your message to make sure it is exactly, irrefutably correct, with footnotes and everything, t’s crossed and i’s dotted, even as the mujahid with the big knife ties up your hands and pins you down for the slaughter.

As you drown in your own blood, with your last conscious thought you can reassure yourself that, despite the fact that you and your civilization had to die, you at least were never wrong.

I don’t want to “sav[e] a perpetual Kindergarten of idiots in league with an evil cabal of ‘Elites’” — I want to do my own small part to save the whole shebang, starting with Virginia, and then, if I can, moving on to the United States of America, Europe, Australia, etc.

If this particular meme doesn’t help, we’ll launch some new ones.

But I stand by the statement that “Islam is not primarily a religion.” It isn’t, not as I understand the term “religion”.

This is a good meme, because it’s essentially true. You can parse your epistemological hadrons as finely as you like, and it will still be true.

In any case, I will go with what works, while I can.

While I still have breath in me.

While there is yet time.

Freyja's cats said...

Visual:


HAMMER + Moon-shaped SICKLE + STAR


==========


= fusion of flag of USSR + flag bearing Islamic crescent/star


==========


Green sickle/crescent + green star + black hammer

Mimics colors of Islam.


==========


Marxist-Leninism + Islam

That's the reality of the Left alliance today.


==========

Compare this Soviet flag with its Hammer and Sickle, and this Crescent and Star.

Add it up, and you get something similar to the flag of the Jordanian Communist Party flag, except in green moon sickle and black hammer on white background, with a green star.

Freyja's cats said...

Visual:


Thor's hammer Mjöllnir coming down on and crushing the Marxist-Islamist Alliance's hammer-moonsickle-star.


==========

THWAP! Thor's hammer coming down and crushing the Marxist-Islamist Alliance.

I love it.

Freyja's cats said...

Visual:

EUROPE DEFEATS THE MARXIST-ISLAMIST ALLIANCE


Cartoon of Germania and Marianne and Brittania, each with her staff, sword and shield, all attacking Muhammad and Marx, who have fallen to the ground, and have dropped their moonsickle, star and hammer flag, in defeat.

Freyja's cats said...

Visual:


EUROPE DEFEATS THE MARXIST-ISLAMIST ALLIANCE

The above-described cartoon of Germania and Marianne and Brittania, together beating the #&*! out of Marx and Muhammed, would be highly offensive to Islam: it would be

*** Three WOMEN defeating Islam ***


=====

I love it!

=====

Take that! you Leftist feminists...

Saul said...

"Islam is not a religion" is a poor meme because it is a complicated idea which is hard to prove. The consequence of the meme, if you get as far as proving it, also takes some effort to explain. It actually is far more likely to shut down potential support then to gain any for being so apparently remote from an observable truth.
"Islam is evil" is so much easier to demonstrate. "Islam = Nazism" may take a small amount of explaining but it also has the virtue of a clear emotional stance. "Muhammad was a pedophile and a mass murderer of course works wonderfully for being an absolute fact which can't help but generate the proper disgust towards Muhammad's legacy.

Freyja's cats said...

Islamocommunism

Marxo-Mohammedanism

Marxi-Muslima

MarxIslam

Muslimomarxism

Mohammed-Marx Alliance

Mo-Marx Alliance

Marx-Lenin-Mohammed Triple Entente

Marxist-Leninist-Islamist Trio

Prophet Marxi-Mo

Soviet Mohammedanism

European Union of Soviet Islamist Republics (EUSIR)

Marx-Mo Imperialism

Defeating Planet Marx-Mo

Hammer-and-Moonsickle

Hammer-and-Sicklecrescent

Mo telling Marx that he knows of a place where Marx can pick up a child-bride, real cheap.

Allah's commies

Freyja's cats said...

Memes:

Islam is Arab empire, not religion.

Islam is Sharia empire, not religion.

Islam is Mecca empire, not religion.

Islam is Saudi empire, not religion.

Islam is violent empire, not faith.

Islam is empire, not faith.

Mohammed was not a prophet. He was a bloody, ruthless desert warlord.

ib said...

This is something like the tactic"tell a big enough lie often enough & people will believe it". But instead, this is a way to promote ideas that are based in truth by repeating them all the time. I like it.

I also always say, copy what the muslims do if it works, they are masters at deception. Use whatever works.

ANTI-ISLAMIST said...

Quote: Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment which rules the government, the academy, the media, and the culture at large.
- - - - -

HOW?

The following translated piece is taken from the eminent Danish blog
Snaphanen. It very well illustrates the acute situation in Sweden. About 7% of the population now symphatizes with the SwedenDemocrats, At least 80% fancies themself that they shun the SwedenDemocrats like the plague. The do not know anything else about the SwedenDemocrats but that they are racists, nazies & xenophobes. ALL media are locked down for the SwedenDemocrats. The situation is like it was in the old DDR. And the madness is just rolling along in the idiocracy of Sweden
It is not about politics any more -- it is psychiatry.

[elusidations + my own opinion]
It is a great mistake to think that the Swedish Seven-Party [the conglomeration of the seven parties opposing the SwedenDemocrats: NewModerates+Liberals+Center
+ChristDemocrats+Greens+SocialDemocrats+Lefts
] is stupid or ignorant about the devastating effects of multi culture [doubtful], they probably does not even believe a single word of what they publicly say about this subject. They know much better than the SwedenDemocrats [doubtful], how wrong it is, and even if it costs the Swedish tax payers SEK 1.2 or 300 billion [at least more than 200 billion!] a year. However, they have only one priority: Immigration must never ever get on the public and democratic agenda, it is the country's largest political dead loss and it could tear down the parliament at one single election.

The classic traitor design has always been the own profit and the Seven-Party puts the power and its own profit before the country it was elected to serve. Therefore they are so hated [not by the majority!], therefore they look so sad and worried, when Jimmie Åkesson [leader of the SwedenDemocrats] is on the rostrum and, therefore, the potential for more mistrust or hatred of politicians is so huge in Sweden. They probably also know that they are living on borrowed time, now when the SwedenDemocrats are in the parliament mentioning things by name, which previously were unmentionable.

The countdown has begun, the SocialDemocrats, the Centre and the ChristDemocrats [and the Lefts!] will be the the first victims, but when the Swedes find out that Prime minister Reinfeldt's own party the NewModerates is exactly of the same mettle, then the table will be ready laid for drama. When Wetterstrand [female leader of the Greens] yesterday said that diversity unites us, then it could well mean that we, the Seven-Party stand and fall with the success or failure of diversity - although this truth probably was not conscious to Wetterstrand.

Profitsbeard said...

Saul said...

"Islam is evil" is so much easier to demonstrate.

1/22/2011 2:02 AM

___________________________________

Islam is a deathcult.

More evil, you cannot get.

Jewish Odysseus said...

I find THIS a much more common approach:

http://www.jewishjournal.com/film/article/holocaust_legacy_drives_enemies_genocide_film_20110119/

Jeff said...

everyone who is concerned about the increased power of islam ought to beware of what freud called (if memory serves me), "the narcissism of small differences."

auster and spencer and bostom and you and i -- all have imperfections, so let's not go there.

my own suggestion is that the meme be short, positive, and absolutely true; something like this:

"Islam is a dangerous political system."

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/018482.html

IoshkaFutz said...

Memes Schmemes.

Islam is evil. And that is the truth!

Now that can be worked out in slogans as well as in books replete with footnotes.

The real problem is convincing the so-called civilized that TRUTH exists. Islam in the west is only and entirely what the west allows it to be. Unfortunately that means that WE are very much part of the problem.

Want to see what the West's present notion of truth is?

Just listen to this John Cage concert available on you tube while admiring the artist Duchamp's capolavoro

goethechosemercy said...

My suggestion is clear:
Islam is profane.
Mohammed is a false prophet.
Repeat 1 & 2 and keep repeating them.

1389 said...

How about:

Expel the Muslim invasion!

See:

Why the West Fears to Confront Islam

Richard said...

I like to put it this way, Islam is an ideology disguised as a religion, and Marxism is a religion disguised as an ideology.

Dexter said...

Yes, it helps us to get one of our people on TV as a talking head, but the setup in such situations is almost always rigged to make the interviewee look nutty or dangerous, so the value of such appearances is limited.

Um, insisting that "Islam is not a religion" is most definitely going to make you look nutty and dangerous.

For large-scale effectiveness, we must proceed more stealthily, and with more limited goals. Each step is small, and seems inconsequential, but when aggregated our tiny successes have an effect, and will accelerate the change in our direction when things go sideways for the oligarchs.

To do the job, we must insert many, many memelets into common discourse.


Is there any example of such a stratgy ever succeeding? I can't think of one.

What succeeds is TRUTH. Evasions and small falsehoods can never succeed.

Ordinary people understand the essence of what is intended when someone says, “Islam is not a religion.”

No, they don't. Ordinary people think Islam is obviously a religion - and one of the "big three" at that - and they think a statement to the contrary is nuts.

They know that it means that Islam is not like modern Christianity.

Yes, but that doesn't mean they think it's not a religion.

They understand that it refers to the fact that Muslim zealots will lie, steal, cheat, rape, torture, murder, and blow up trains and airplanes to attain political ends. That’s not what they consider a religion.

Yes, and they have swallowed the LIE that "real" Islam has been hijacked by a few extremists who do bad things just sometimes like a few Christians do bad things. They do not conclude from the bad behavior of certain Muslims that Islam is not a religion.

Despite the intensive indoctrination they’ve been subjected to for forty years, the truth comes through: they see the dismembered bodies and the burning buildings and the disfigured women, and they understand that “Allahu Akhbar” is involved in virtually every single incident.

The proper meme to derive from this is not "Islam is not a religion" but "Islam is an EVIL religion".

Yes, go with "what works" - but this won't work. Lying propaganda generated by the nutty Right is never, never going to beat lying propaganda generated by the Left, because the Left has the big bullhorns (academia, government, media) in its thrall.

Vincit omnia veritas.

Zenster said...

Dexter: Is there any example of such a stratgy [i.e., inserting many, many memelets into common discourse] ever succeeding? I can't think of one.

Think harder. The Soviet Union rather capably inserted numerous memelets into Western culture that have very successfully eroded its morale to almost toxic levels.

One need merely examine how many of the 45 objectives already have been achieved as itemized on the list of "Current Communist Goals" (as compiled by Cleon Skousen in his work, "The Naked Communist":

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.


[to be continued]

Zenster said...

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policy-making positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity, which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.


Now, what was that you were saying about, "Is there any example of such a stratgy ever succeeding?"

It has succeeded all too well and it is long past tea for the counterjihad to begin dismantling both Communism's lethal drip feed of poisonous Cultural Marxism along with Islam's crude but remarkably successful masquerade as a "religion".

wildiris said...

Baron, if I may try and bring this thread back to the subject of memes, the final piece of the puzzle you're missing is that memes don't show up just one at a time. Memes come as stable self-referencing, self-supporting and self-protecting clusters.

Just as even the simplest of living organisms are not made up of just one gene but tens of thousands, thought patterns are not composed of just one meme but are actually complex sets of memes. In some ways, one can theoretically treat meme controlled thought patterns as very primitive life forms in and of themselves. And as is the case for all life forms, meme clusters have their own equivalent of an immune system. The barrier that you encounter when trying to get a single meme across to another individual is that individual’s own meme cluster’s immune response kicking in.

To pull back an old term, may I suggest that this particular parasitic meme cluster, that is so dominant in western society today, be called “the enemy within”?

If this makes any sense to anyone and they want to continue this discussion further, I’ll chime back in later.

Hesperado said...

[continued from last post]

2 & 3) I don't oppose the basic principle that the anti-Islam movement can benefit from simple memes. What I am leery of is the assertion that memes are more important or of sole importance for the anti-Islam movement in its mission to persuade the public. This seems to rest also on the assumption that there can be no, or ought not be any, division of labor in the anti-Islam movement. On the contrary, the project of effecting a sociopolitical paradigm shift (or of undoing a sociopolitical paradigm shift) is a massive and slow enterprise, and like an army, it takes more than mere grunts on the front lines: among many other diverse categories, intellectuals have their necessary place, alongside the "Madmen" who will push their memes. The former are necessary to help make sure our slowly crystallizing policies have rational content; and they also help make the movement presentable as a diverse community that includes refinement and sophistication, and not merely rednecked teabaggery.

And speaking of memes, my own pet meme is the following (though I realize it is meat too strong for those used to milk):

Islam is the problem, and all Muslims enable it actively or passively.

I agree with "Dexter" above whose comment implies another problem with the meme "Islam is not a religion": it is problematic because it cannot be unpacked -- at least not without incoherence and a contradiction of common sense based on facts. The instant a person tries to articulate its defense, he gets mired in a complex attempt at defending it from the massive evidence that Islam in fact quacks like a duck, Religion-wise (even if that duck also has venomous fangs). Scholars and great men of letters of the distant past in the West, long before PC MC became dominant, all regarded Islam as a religion, for various reasons that have yet to be convincingly refuted.

The meme's value seems to rest on the following darkly condescending view of our fellow Westerners:

1. Westerners think "Religion" has to be a good thing.

(Already, one detects a problem here, insofar as one significant aspect of PC MC is precisely the denigration of Religion -- Judaeo-Christian religion, that is. But this kind of complication is cut off from view by the pursuit of simple memes.)

2. Because of #1, as long as they think Islam is a Religion, they will be unable to be persuaded that Islam is also pernicious and dangerously seditious.

3. And, because the vast majority of Westerners are idiots, we cannot try to disabuse them of #2 in any manner that involves any kind of communication and thinking above the elementary vulgar level of advertisement jingles.

4. Therefore, our only recourse to persuade a sufficient number of our fellow Westerners such that we can save the West from its destruction by Muslims, is to push a meme that comports with #3.

5. Anyone who disagrees with 1-4 is hindering the mission of the anti-Islam movement.

(Lawrence Auster has pointed out a couple of these problems in a recent post of his; though I think he belabors a misunderstanding of Baron's supposed inconsistency when Baron in his later explanation adds the adverb "primarily": in my estimation, that later explanatory addition only reflects Baron's fundamental view that it doesn't ultimately matter if Islam is or isn't a religion or how much of a religion it is -- what matters is pushing the meme that is primarily true. Since "pushing a meme" requires ruthless concision, it will perforce leave out qualifying nuances. The recognition of any of those qualifying nuances in a sidebar discussion therefore does not necessarily reflect an inconsistency.)

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

I like your meme -- not too strong for me!

Baron Bodissey said...

wildiris --

I'm not actually "missing" that piece of the puzzle; I just didn't choose to focus on it in this particular rant. Unfortunately, I can't mention everything in a single brief post.

Obviously, memes can cluster, and usually do. They also mutate, and undergo mitosis, and exchange informational DNA, etc.

One such cluster includes the "Mohammed was a pedophile" meme. Others in the same cluster are "Mohammed was a misogynist", "Islam is culturally backwards", "Islam encourages wife-beating", etc. All of these are part of a group that promotes awareness of the depraved and culturally atavistic aspects of Islam.

"Islam is not a religion" is definitely a member of "The enemy within" cluster, as you say. "The Koran tells Muslims to lie" is another meme in that cluster.

Other possible companions are "Islam foments sedition", "Islam is a totalitarian political ideology", and so on.

As part of a broader strategy, I turn out dozens or even hundreds of memes, either minting them fresh myself or passing them on from others (e.g. Vlad's "Allah is Mohammed's imaginary friend", a classic). Some of them take off -- the success of "Islamophobic and proud of it" took me totally by surprise -- while others are duds from day one.

This is a casting-bread-upon-the-waters sort of business. If you get attached to the success of any particular idea, you're probably in the wrong line of work -- you're bound to be disappointed, because more than 90% of memes are likely to go nowhere.

One of my long-term ongoing meta-projects is studying what makes some memes successful while others are complete failures.

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

Actually, since I don’t agree with the premises of your arguments, I don’t accept the conclusions derived from those premises.

To wit:

1) The assumption that disagreements expressed by those within the anti-Islam movement are not only counter-productive but even dangerous -- because they tend to impede the degree of unity we need to be sociopolitically effective.

This is not my assumption. You have bruised yourself jumping to conclusions here.

Obviously, disagreement is not a bad thing in itself. It becomes counter-productive if (a) it absorbs an overlarge percentage of an activist’s time, or (b) it is vituperative and ad-hominem in nature, or (c) if it is narcissistically focused on being right and causing others to acknowledge that fact.

All three of these conditions are fairly common within certain precincts of the Counterjihad. There are any number of writers who spend more time trying to prove their ostensible colleagues wrong than they do attempting effective action.

On the other hand, there are many other occasions when disagreements are productive and useful and produce positive results.

There are probably other factors that could be added here. But I have never said, nor thought, that disagreements are counter-productive and dangerous.

Obviously, the assessment of the counterproductive nature of any one person or argument is a subjective one. But so are a lot of things in this world.

2) The assumption that the anti-Islam movement needs simplex memes in order to persuade enough (non-Muslim) people outside of the movement to join us such that our agenda will have concrete effects on Western policy with regard to Islam and Muslims.

This is not my assumption. Simple memes are useful, but so are lengthy intellectual arguments — see Fjordman’s essays, for example.

I have never said, nor thought, that “simplex memes” are all that is required.

3) The assumption that higher degrees of literacy (and their articulated communication) about the problem of Islam are either a) of secondary importance with regard to #2, or b) are even actually impediments to #2.

I don’t know where you get this one from. Being an unregenerate intellectual myself, I can hardly rampage against well-educated and well-informed discourse.

I have never said, nor thought, that higher degrees of literacy are of secondary importance or impediments to the cause.

4) The assumption that “Islam is not a religion” is an effective meme (indeed, even the most effective of all) to do the job of #2.

It’s too early to judge this one; the meme is relatively fresh. In five years’ time I’ll be able to tell you how effective it is.

It feels effective to me, but that’s a very subjective response. I’ve been dead wrong so many times in the past that I wouldn’t dare try to call it.

- - - - -

Unfortunately, any arguments you derive from premises 1 through 4 are inherently flawed, because your premises are incorrect.

This is a tendency of yours I’ve noticed in the past: to assert the substance of what someone else thinks as a given, when such an assertion is not justified by the facts in evidence.

You, of all people, should understand how fatal this sort of fallacious reasoning can be.

Baron Bodissey said...

OK, I've excised the initial comment and all its unfortunate descendants. Now cut it out, or I'll close this thread to further comments.

Profitsbeard said...

The most meme-orable things within the world
Are those that rhyme when they're unfurled.

Perhaps a couplet contest would do
To spread the truth about Allahu?

Hesperado said...

Baron,

Your response to my point #1 --

1) The assumption that disagreements expressed by those within the anti-Islam movement are not only counter-productive but even dangerous -- because they tend to impede the degree of unity we need to be sociopolitically effective.

Was:

"This is not my assumption."

If you mean that you didn't actually say that in so many words, you're right. But many different phrases from your main post, and from your previous comment, logically indicate my description of the assumption.

Thus, you wrote:

"Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment which rules the government, the academy, the media, and the culture at large."

I.e., if we don't agree to the course of action you prescribe, we will never bring down the hegemony of PC MC. And if we don't bring that down, we won't be able to withstand Islam over the coming decades.

That's what your statement means. It's the clear logically implicit meaning of it.

Similarly, you wrote:

"For large-scale effectiveness [against PC], we must proceed more stealthily..."

"To do the job, we must insert many, many memelets into common discourse. This must be accomplished at a level well below that of the celebrities and famous pundits..."

...

"If we spend all our time fine-tuning them, they won’t emerge into popular consciousness. If we include the historical background, the comparative theology, the philosophical references, and all the subtle nuances of the whole truth, the meme will never spread."

Again, the logical implications from your words are clear: we "must" do the memes, else we will not be effective. It doesn't take much of a jump -- certainly not one I'd ever fear would bruise me -- to connect to the assumption that if we don't agree to follow your prescription, it will have diastrous consequences against this most deadly emergency we face.

Given this context -- that we "must" follow your prescription because otherwise we will not change what has to be changed before we can effectively tackle Islam -- what possible value would disagreements have?

[continued next post]

Hesperado said...

My computer is acting up -- it keeps shtting down completely, necessitating a manual reboot. I lost my continuation to my last comment, and I don't feel like reconstructing it now; besides, I have to spend tedious time figuring out my computer's problem. Let's hope the scimitars to the throat don't get me before I finish.

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

If you mean that you didn't actually say that in so many words, you're right. But many different phrases from your main post, and from your previous comment, logically indicate my description of the assumption.

My phrases logically indicate nothing beyond what I state. Any other logical extensions exist solely within your own mind. They do not exist within the flow of my words.

If I intended to impart the meanings you ascribe to me, I would have stated them clearly.

Hence, these are your assumptions.

Now, it may be that everybody else in the world reaches the same conclusions that you do, based on what I said. In that case I would be well-advised to take up another line of work.

…if we don't agree to the course of action you prescribe, we will never bring down the hegemony of PC MC.

No. That is not what I said, nor what I meant.

I said: “Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment…”

There are presumably many ways this could be done. My suggestions are my own modest contribution, and I will be happy to see the work of others achieve the same ends.

Don’t assume that I think that my way is the only possible way.

It doesn't take much of a jump… to connect to the assumption that if we don't agree to follow your prescription, it will have diastrous consequences against this most deadly emergency we face.

Au contraire. What you “connect” requires a jump that would make Evel Knievel balk.

Perhaps someone who assumes that he and he alone is right would project the same assumption onto me. Project away all you like, but that does not make your projection true.

I don’t believe that my methods are the only ones that will work. They are simply courses of action that I have thought of and am trying. If they don’t work, I’ll think of something else.

Better minds than mine are at work on the same problem, and will probably achieve greater success than I ever can.

- - - - -

Your assumptions drive you logically to reach your conclusions. But your assumptions are wrong, so your conclusions are wrong.

They will remain wrong as long as you assign meanings to my words which I neither intend nor state.

Egghead said...

Hi Baron and all:

While completing my Master's Degree in Corporate Communications, I read a scholarly article that claimed that the subconscious mind fails to hear the words "no" and "not" - while still being able to process negative concepts conveyed with other vocabulary.

This explains WHY saying "Do NOT run across the street." to a child actually subliminally instructs that child to run across the street. It is far better to tell a child to "Stop running across the street." so that both the overt and subliminal messages match.

I alert the anti-jihad movement to this idea regularly. Thus, I strongly advised Pamela Gellar to stop saying, "No mosque at Ground Zero." and start saying, "Stop the mosque at Ground Zero." You can judge for yourself if Pamela took my advice....

In any case, using the meme, "Allah is Dead." which is the title of Ms. Bynum's book is far more effective than using the meme, "Islam is NOT a religion."

The worst case scenario is that saying "Islam is NOT a religion." actually subliminally reinforces the very idea that the meme overtly argues against. Another scenario is that the meme creates cognitive dissonance in the subconscious of the hearer who is vaguely uncomfortable with the hidden but real conflict between the overt and subliminal messages.

Unfortunately, I lack a citation for the original article. I have been unable to find it again after all these years. BUT, you can experiment with the concept yourself to see if it works. Watch how people - especially children - do the opposite of what you tell them when you say, "Do not do X." Then, watch how people - especially children - follow your directions when you say, "Stop doing X." It will amaze you! :)

This concept is WHY I really like Hesperado's meme: "Islam is the problem, and all Muslims enable it actively or passively."

Nilk said...

My favourite meme? The quran says you can beat your wife.

Actually, it's not a meme. It's a statement of fact, and quoting 4:34 tends to bring on a stupefied look on my companion's face, with a rapid change of subject.

Federale said...

It is both a religion and a totalitarian political movement. It can be both.

You New said...

Lot's of fantastic work here with memes. But the I think the best one is this slight modification of Jeff's:

ISLAM IS A POLITICAL MOVEMENT.

This is the most powerful phrase.

Is the most specific.
Is the most clear.
Is the most irrefutable.

This is a mental Trojan Horse.
It is an antibody.

If accepted, then other impediments become self-evident, allowing for a self-training process.

The softest thing in the universe overcomes the hardest, and that's a fact, Jack.

F6e28Hf said...

Another meme is that Islam allows slavery and that Muslims enslaved millions of Africans and Europeans until they were obliged to stop. Maybe you’ve heard about Schindler's list but you perhaps don't know about lists of European slaves freed from their Muslims rulers. Here are some of these lists from the beginning of the 17th to the end of the 18th century:
http://maitrederville.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/listes-desclaves-francais-des-barbaresques/

Hesperado said...

Baron,

Unfortunately, my lost continuation second part to my comment contained the completion of my argument; since I can't remember all the details, I cannot say with certainty that part one does not need part two, such that you were attempting a counter-argument against an incomplete argument.

At any rate, here is just one example among many where you deny that what I assert is correct, but it seems plain that I am correct:

I characterized the implicit meaning of your words in this way:

"…if we don't agree to the course of action you prescribe, we will never bring down the hegemony of PC MC."

You responded:

"No. That is not what I said, nor what I meant."

Then you went on to reproduce what you had written:

“Only by breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes will we bring down the hegemony of the PC/MC establishment…”

Notice two key components of your reproduced quote:

1) "Only by"

2) "with... memes"

"Only by" means only -- i.e., not any other way.

And the way to which your "Only by" refers is -- "with... memes".

Your later apparent attempt to argue that you are flexible about which memes will aid the goal (of undermining the PC MC impediment to the counter-jihad movement), and your willingness to accept memes other than yours or in addition to yours, does not address the exclusivity your words above clearly imply with regard to memes as the "Only" way, as opposed to non-meme tactics or strategy.

If you didn't intend this exclusivity, that's one thing; but to continue to assert that your words don't plainly imply it, is quite another.

Further, in two places, your words depict vividly the grimly dire consequences of failing to follow the "Only" way "with... memes" --

If we wait until we get every jot and tittle of our message perfect, the scimitar will be at our throats before we change even a single mind.

and:

All of you will still be fine-tuning your message to make sure it is exactly, irrefutably correct, with footnotes and everything, t’s crossed and i’s dotted, even as the mujahid with the big knife ties up your hands and pins you down for the slaughter.

As you drown in your own blood, with your last conscious thought you can reassure yourself that, despite the fact that you and your civilization had to die, you at least were never wrong.

These clearly convey your conviction that if we, who make up the anti-Islam movement, do not follow the "Only by... memes" strategy, it will not be merely a matter of relatively minor deficiencies we will cause, but rather we will suffer the worst possible outcome in this regard.

Note:

The above comment in its entirety (juxtaposed with my previous part one) presents an actual argument based upon your words. You have yet to extend to me the same courtesy; instead largely making counter-assertions absent any actual argument based upon my words, and couching them in addition with needlessly prickly pique.

Baron Bodissey said...

Hesperado --

This will have to be my last attempt to breathe some sense into this discussion.

Rather than address your response point by point — which would take more time than I have available right now — I will simply state my case in general form:

I don’t assert, nor do I intend to say, that mine are the only memes capable of “breaking through the dominant paradigms with subversive memes.” My “apparent” meaning is not “implicit”; rather, you inferred it.

I submit that the hypothetical “reasonable man” would not infer what you infer. This is a reading peculiar to you. You are, as they say in a court of law, “arguing facts not in evidence.”

I have a long track record of supporting eclectic, inclusive, and varied means of addressing the problem of Islam, as well as the root issue, PC/MC orthodoxy. I advocate these various methods in isolation or in combination. I welcome anyone who is even broadly in the same camp as myself.

I also expect that any strategies I come up with will be nowhere near as useful as those conceived by other, more expert minds than mine.

Perhaps you have not read enough of my posts to have discerned how “flexible” I am.

“You have yet to extend to me the same courtesy; instead largely making counter-assertions absent any actual argument based upon my words, and couching them in addition with needlessly prickly pique.”

Your words are included in the text above, as italicized quotes. As for my alleged “pique”: that may well be another projection on your part (and also another assumption based on “facts not in evidence”). I actually enjoy rhetorical fencing, and welcome new opportunities to hone my skills.

I commend you for your analytical ability, your logical skills, your dogged persistence, and your invariable civility (that last trait is rare among blog commenters, and is one which I greatly appreciate).

Of all the ankle-biting I have had to endure over the last six years, yours is perhaps my favorite.

Zenster said...

Baron Bodissey: Of all the ankle-biting I have had to endure over the last six years, yours is perhaps my favorite.

A classic backhanded compliment if ever there was one!

Dymphna said...

@ Zenster--

If it was a "backhanded" compliment, that is only because Hesperado has such a formidable two-handed fore swing.

Profitsbeard said...

Islam is lame.
It's in the name.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Baron. I will also let the matter rest at this point. At any rate, most of our disagreement became focused on one tangent of my initial objections. For the record, I favor a multi-pronged strategy for the anti-Islam movement, involving many different tactics and styles. It sounds like you do too.

That said, my own flexibility is relative to the state of the anti-Islam movement as it is now; were it to become more organized and "official", it would have to make choices and streamline its flexibility to some extent.

Then after that, there is another phase (which Allah willing we will see some day) -- namely, the beginnings of anti-Islam policy on the part of Western polities themselves, with likely cooperation with the (by then) organized (and international) anti-Islam movement. The choices and the streamlining would then become even more delimited: the rubber would meet the road on issues like deportation vs. curbs on immigration (do both? or only do the latter? do the former but only targeting known "extremists" with bushy beards? etc.), which would begin to move from hypothetical issues and desiderata to concrete policy to be implemented and enforced.

Hesperado said...

Thanks Dymphna -- at least Baron doesn't have a backhand (or a temper) like Jimmy Connors.

Dexter said...

@Zenster,

Think harder. The Soviet Union rather capably inserted numerous memelets into Western culture that have very successfully eroded its morale to almost toxic levels.

Did the Soviets actually do this? No, primarily these memes came from Leftists within the West, not from without.

Was this successful? At most, tactically.

If so, why was this successful? Because Western "useful idiots" were receptive to, and repeated the messages.

What are the lessons for the struggle with Islam? The prerequisites for success are not there.

I do not believe the Soviets successfully "inserted those memelets into Western culture". Those are all things we were already saying about ourselves; we took the poison, the Soviets did not feed it to us. At most, the Soviets were repeating the words of a vocal and politically strong Leftist faction within the West. Many Western politicians, media figures, and academics objectively acted in Soviet interests (without direct instructions from the USSR, of course), and were willing to take these propaganda themes and run with them. Thus, to the extent the Soviets achieved success, it was because there was a receptive audience in the West and powerful Western speakers willing to repeat the Soviet message. None of this is the case with respect to propagandizing Islam. There is no internal audience within Islam receptive to the "Islam is not a religion" message, nor are there respected Islamic voices willing to repeat the message. If the target audience for this message is "unconvinced Westerners" then you are competing with all the powerful voices (politicians, media, academia) who are shouting a very different message. An uphill battle at best.

Even if we accept the idea that the Soviets inserted these memelets into Western culture, so what? This "demoralization" was at most a tactical success, not a strategic one. At the strategic level, the West did not get demoralized and quit the Cold War, the Soviets did. So much for the demoralization campaign! Soviet propaganda never convinced the West to do anything that advanced Soviet strategic interests. For example, Soviet propaganda convinced a lot of people in the West that the deployment of US missiles to Europe in the early 1980s was "dangerous" and "destabilizing", and should be stopped. But, the missiles were nevertheless deployed. Ergo Soviet propaganda "succeeded" in sending its message, but strategically failed to achieve the overall objective the Soviets desperately sought. So the question is, with regards to Islam today, what do you hope to DO with respect to Islam? Is the target audience Muslims, whom you hope to demoralize and make leave the West? Not gonna fly unless influential Muslims start repeating that message, but they are all saying the opposite. If the target audience is people in the West, what does the message "Islam is not a religion" intend to make them do? And why will this message achieve it? If success is defined as "making some Westerners think bad things about Islam but not do anything about Islam" then you may "succeed" but the strategic effect of this in the struggle against Islam seems negligible.

This whole idea of "using memelets" represents another case in which the right seeks to use leftist methods against the left, never understanding that such efforts are doomed to failure. Leftist tactics work against the right, not against the left. There are no Muslim equivalents to the traitors within our gates who spread enemy propaganda, and no Muslim equivalent to the culturally exhausted, nihilistic, hedonistic population of the West.