Look what arrived! Excited to read this book. While today fascism and the far right is the existential threat that justifies any means to eradicate, it wasn't always this way. 18 yrs ago today it was radical (and non-radical) Islam and in the 1950s it was communism and the far left. This book documents CIA studies into mind control to counter the communist threat that resulted in torture of US citizens, death, and countless other atrocities.

I am curious to know, in what way is the far right an existential threat that justifies any means to irradicate?

@jlcrawf I'm not espousing any personal views about the far right, the far left, or Islam. I was only pointing out the similarities in some of the sentiments and rhetoric I see in social media today to those I saw in the aughts for the War on Terror and those I wasn't alive for but read about in the 1950s for the Cold War. All in the context of how similar thinking was used to justify the abuses documented in that book.

I'm sorry, but you've made this claim in the past, and never answered my question: do you seriously not see the difference between governments taking actions targeting dissidents and minorities, and random people on social media saying things you don't like?

@tga @jlcrawf Straw man. One diff between a govt. and a private group targeting minorities is that the govt. has more power and resources to bear. Of course companies are starting to wield quasi-govt power so if a private group can get help from them then they also start to have a similar level of power.

But the original point was to highlight the ethical risks involved in dehumanizing and extreme rhetoric, regardless of the target. If one has greater power, it just increases scope of abuse.


It isn't a straw man if it's your argument. E.g., why the focus on anti-nazi social media, and not gab, which certainly wins on the "dehumanizing and extreme rhetoric" front? The battles we choose reflect our desires, and if your battles don't focus on addressing power dynamics, then they are bound to reinforce them.

@tga yup there's certainly plenty of dehumanizing and extreme rhetoric there too. It all leads to justifying more extreme behavior in the minds of those who buy in.

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