External contribution

Persuaded or convinced?

According to Hannah Arendt (1906–1975), political scientist, philosopher and journalist, totalitarian regimes take control of the population by drowning them in a sea of contradictory information until they have no way of sorting out the true from the false, a useful analysis to understand the current context.(1)

Under the Nazi regime, the citizen never knew what would happen the next day, let alone in several months. Government propaganda did not consist of simply lying to people by presenting a single « official » version of the facts in government-controlled newspapers, as this could then be easily criticized.

In reality, the manipulation was more accomplished and much more effective.

Cognitive dissonance

In order to truly prevent any debate and any initiative so that the citizens become totally discouraged, stop trying to understand and lose all means of action, the subsidized and fully controlled media placed them under a continuous deluge of incoherent information, mixing the true and the false until nobody could know in good faith what to think. Citizens then reach the ultimate stage of cognitive dissonance.(2)

To achieve this confusion, the authorities no longer spoke with one voice, but rather through different channels, all of which were controlled by the authority. It was thus impossible to know which one was reporting the reality.

This is exactly what has been put in place today in only 18 months, but this time on a planetary level, this on the one hand thanks to Covid 19 (which could have been called Covid 1984(3)), but also thanks to the Internet without which the thousands of contradictory information could not have circulated so quickly. Thus a real tension mixed with weariness has settled in the population.

The Internet circulates the best as well as the worst and « controlled opposition » also exists in this field. In fact, government-led bodies produce documents that implicate the government itself, but deliberately introduce easily verifiable erroneous data. This allows the « official » and subsidized media to discredit all deviant thoughts by drowning them in an amalgam mixing the true and the false. In reference to the above, it is interesting to reread a publication from Le Point on July 7, 2017(4). Today in France, the LREM party is infiltrating the forums of all media with « Trolls » in charge of countering messages considered deviant and conspiracy theorists, thus daring to question the official word.

You are neither at fault nor stupid if you don’t understand anything anymore, because you are tossed around between friends, neighbors, family members, journalists, bloggers or even youtubers who all have opinions that seem valid and credible while being incompatible with each other.

However, the real information, the indisputable figures, the verifiable and official statistics are available and accessible to all those who want to take the trouble not to be a victim of this disproportionate world manipulation, but it takes a lot of willpower to resist the permanent brainwashing for 18 months now.

Persuaded or convinced?

Today, we are witnessing a confrontation between the camp of the « persuaded » and the « convinced ». Many of you may think they are synonymous, but that’s not the case at all.

Convincing and persuading are two very different approaches to argumentation. Convincing appeals to arguments, proofs, facts, and thus solicits reason and reasoning, whereas persuading appeals to feelings, fear (especially), guilt and thus solicits emotion as the only factor in decision making(5). Moreover, by analogy, a person who is convicted of a crime or misdemeanor is said to be « convinced » of the crime (felony, theft, etc.) because his conviction is the result of the analysis of evidence and not of subjective impressions not confirmed by concrete facts.The guru of a sect uses persuasion to bewitch its followers. Once convinced of what the guru has taught, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to « convince » thefollower that he or she is wrong. The return to normalcy and sanity will require constant therapy and help, especially keeping him out of the guru’s reach.

Now, replace the words « guru, cult, followers, information » by « minister, government, citizen, subsidized official media » and you get exactly the current context. This is what has caused the dramatic social divide that tends to worsen. The persuaded being today much more numerous than the convinced, the totalitarian State uses the first ones by inciting them to persuade the second ones, this by all the means even the most despicable, it is more or less the accumulation of the experiments of Milgram(6) and Asch(7). at the population level

Some resist and will resist until the end, but others, out of weariness, vital necessity, appeasement within the family, and other reasons (which do not have all their reasons), end up letting go and joining the camp of the persuaded, when in fact they are not at all. Today, the statist media are showing off their joy by reporting, among other things, that the introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket has « convinced » thousands of unvaccinated people to make an appointment as soon as possible to be injected with this product(8).

Were they « convinced »? No… « persuaded », because we appealed not to their reason and their conviction, but to their quite understandable desire not to be cut off from « normal life » (as far as this term still has a meaning today), it is indeed a blackmail of social credit even worse than that of China(9).

The Power makes the non-vaccinated feel guilty by appealing to their civic sense, even to the love of their neighbor for some(10). Worse, it makes the non-vaccinated responsible for the coercive situation(11), with fallacious arguments and figures doctored for the cause, inoculating at the same time as the vaccine a real hatred against those who refuse to follow the doxa.

Convincing the persuaded

As for guessing where and when this forced march towards this new world, this new paradigm, this dystopia will stop, no one can predict it with certainty. One thing is certain, all those who are convinced that this tragic farce has gone on long enough must put all their energy into changing the minds of those who can still be convinced, it is the last and only chance left to hope to reverse the course of things.

Let’s appeal to the same noble intentions so that the misguided persuaded can be convinced, even if it is often complicated, the reactions being frequently accompanied by verbal violence, but doing nothing and trying nothing, while we are all in the same sinking boat, is not a solution either.

Resistance with conviction remains the last bastion, help it stand.

Serge Van Cutsem

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