Wednesday, 18 May 2016

How do we free ourselves from the tyranny of modern mass politics?

The multi-step American Presidential election process has always seemed baffling to outsiders (perhaps to insiders too) and increasing numbers of commentators are now explaining that it is also flawed and fundamentally undemocratic,[1][2] but in 2016, with the improbable rise of Donald Trump, it's an even stranger carnival than usual.

People all over the world are scratching their heads in wonder. How could a man like Trump, who seemed at first almost like a joke candidate, be doing so well? Many have simply stopped paying attention to the story - tuned out because they feel powerless to do anything about it, to oppose something so manifestly, and multifariously, wrong. But the winner of the American Presidential race will be, for a time, one of the most powerful people on Earth, and there is therefore is an increasing need for us all to make sense of this situation, to understand what's really going on, to work out what (if anything) ordinary people like us can actually do about it. Because this is not just an American problem. Trump's presidency, if he is successful, will affect millions of lives across the world, and the forces that may bring him to power are common to all people and societies.

A recent article in Psychology Today made some interesting observations that partly explain the secret of Trump's appeal: he is using the tricks and techniques of a dominant male primate to activate ancient templates lying deep in the human brain that turn us into unthinking, fawning, subordinate creatures that are happy to give power away to super-apes who promise protection and plenty for all - at least for those lucky enough to be on the right side of the fences they will build to keep the wrong kinds of people out. 

John Bell and Ivan Tyrrell have also just shone some additional, useful light on this subject in their article for Al Jazeera: Donald Trump, demagoguery and attractive illusions. Politicians like Trump use language in a special way that hypnotises and entrances, turning off the critical faculties and turning us, effectively, into their mindless slaves. But we can take back some power, and regain control over our own minds, if we realise what is being done to us. If we take the time to study and think about these methods of manipulation there is the possibility that we can learn to spot them when they are being applied to us and become less affected by them. But the onus is on us, as individuals, to do this for ourselves. Liberation from this kind of tyranny cannot be done for us or by simply joining some kind of mass movement. The revolution that is needed has to happen in each of us, individually - in the quiet stillness of our own hearts and minds once we have stepped away from the herd and absorbed the requisite information. 

This is such an important theme, particularly at the moment, that Human Givens College produced a webinar presented by Ivan Tyrrell:

How politicians use hypnotic language... to turn us into puppets

Increase your awareness and understanding of how some politicians gain fanatical support – and why it can be dangerous if we don't realise what's happening...

Attendees will discover:
  • Why we must pay attention to the language politicians use – and what happens when we don't
  • Important lessons from assessing speeches made by Donald Trump, Barack Obama, David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn
  • Why we are susceptible to becoming puppets – what is happening in our brains and how this can lead to mass insanity
  • Examples of hypnotic language – what to look out for 
  • What you can do to protect yourself against manipulation and make informed decisions during elections or referendums
You can watch a replay of the webinar here.