Saturday, November 16, 2019

Narrative Engineering In Brief

     Via Mike Hendrix comes this beautifully compact exposition on what the Democrats are doing with their “impeachment inquiry:”

     Pretend you’re starving for food. You want to talk about getting yourself some food, but I take the conversation somewhere else by telling everyone you like to kick puppies. So you offer gobs of evidence that you don’t like to kick puppies and, as a result, everyone ends up believing you and thinking I’m a liar. Nice work. Now we can talk about getting you some food. Right?

     Wrong. Because next I say that I was mistaken about the dog thing, but I have good evidence that you like to step on cats. In a sane world, at this point people wouldn’t believe me and we’d all talk about getting you some food.

     But that’s how powerful the media are. Because now, instead of talking about getting you some food, we’re going to spend the next several months making you prove that you don’t like to step on cats. You might win that conversation also, but in the meantime you might die of starvation.

     That’s exactly how it works: pollute the national discourse sufficiently and the true difficulties and challenges facing us will be ignored in favor of “the Narrative.” The point isn’t argument. It certainly isn’t anything President Trump has actually done. It’s about denial by delay.

     C. Northcote Parkinson has told us that “delay is the deadliest form of denial:”

     Instead of saying “No,” the Prohibitive Procrastinator says “In due course,” these words forshadowing Negation by Delay. The theory of Negation by Delay depends upon establishing a rough idea of what amount of delay will equal negation. If we suppose that a drowning man calls for help, evoking the reply “In due course,” a judicious pause of five minutes may constitute, for practical purposes, a negative response....

     Where the urgent matter requires remedial legislation, delay takes on a dimension. The judicious pause will correspond, nevertheless, to the life-expectation of the man from whom the proposal originates....When a useful reform takes place, as must occasionally happen, this is the result of the Reformer’s living and working for years beyond the limits of reasonable expectation. The Reformer may thus outlive the Prohibitive Procrastinator, whose especial hatred is of reformers younger than himself....Delays are thus deliberately designed as a form of denial and are extended to cover the life-expectation of the person whose proposal is being pigeon-holed.

     Deep State bureaucrats, whose tenures in office are essentially infinite, have known this for a long, long time:

     [United States Senator from Oklahoma David L.] Boren, formerly a state legislator and governor, went to Washington expecting to make some changes. “What impressed me most is the great power of the bureaucracy compared to that of elected officials. All the talk about growing control by the bureaucracy is not exaggerated. The shift in power is very real.... There is almost a contempt for elected officials.”...

     Senator Boren found, to his surprise, that a Senator has great difficulty even getting phone calls returned by the “permanent” employees, much less getting responsive answers to his questions.

     The voters can’t “throw the rascals out” anymore, because the main rascals are not elected but appointed....

     Regulatory bureaucrats have extra power because they can outlast the elected officials. “Often,” Boren explains, “I’ve said to a bureaucrat, ‘You know this is not the president’s policy.’

     ‘True, Senator, but we were here before he came, and we’ll be here after he leaves. We’re not in sympathy with his policy. We’ll study the matter until he leaves.’”

     [Armington and Ellis, MORE: The Rediscovery of American Common Sense.]

     Is it really that surprising that Congressional Democrats, who are collectively the Deep State’s biggest supporters, should have noticed that tactic and elected to emulate it?

     If there’s an effective countermeasure, it would lie in nullifying the power of the Narrative. There’s only one way to do that, given the Left’s dominance of the major media. We must refuse it our attention:

  • Don’t read, watch, or react to the major media’s stories about it;
  • Don’t talk about it with others;
  • When it comes up in conversation, do your damnedest to change the subject.

     The prerequisite for the establishment of a Counter-Narrative is to clear the nation’s conversational channels of the existing Narrative. Is that possible, or have we succumbed so completely to the grip of the media that there’s no longer any escape but bloodshed?


mobius said...

Home run.

Pascal said...

Fran, your prescription falls in far too well with a revelation I had in a dream last night that may have been prompted by my response to Linda Fox only yesterday when I included the phrase "in spite of the 1st Amendment."

Let's call it Harrison Bergeroning of the mind. The Powers That Be have been actively forcing us one way or another to not speak of things that are actively accomplishing one of the goals of Newspeak: to make it impossible -- by first making us fearful -- to even to form thoughts that make rebellion possible.

We cannot permit ourselves to install handicaps on our thoughts. And we must find a way to help other recognize it. Several "Harrison Bergerons" have suffered already. For instance Andy Ngo. Look at the casualties and threats to any of a number of people who have been and are being doxxed simply for speaking out or supporting those who do.

Why? Recall how the short story ended. Harrison and his freed ballerina were achieving heights in dance everyone admired. But the enforcer came and blasted them with a shotgun. That's where self-handicapping due to the coercion we are witnessing is leading.

Disagree? Then why?

Linda Fox said...

Firing - even with such an experienced person as The Donald - is nigh-on impossible (with the collusion of every level of appeal dead-set against it).

What is possible is reorganization and attrition, along with a healthy dose of outsourcing.

That's why Homeland Security was created - the existing agencies were determined to obstruct any Non-Washingtonian's efforts to make they do what they damn well refused to do.

Same with ICE - the existing burearcracy was dragging their feet.

Reorganize the essential agencies - with MUCH smaller staffing levels.

When an employee does retire, file thei rplace with an insider.

And outsource like crazy. HR, Payroll, Printing (the GPO needs to be outsourced to local printers for JIT - just in time printing), and a lot of other staff positions/departments are the ones to target. Reduce the money for staff by 1/2. THEY have to decide whether to keep an unproductive employee on payroll, or to keep the actual performers.