I don’t think I would consider myself a highly persuasive person. Some people in this life are blessed with mighty oratory; I am not such a person. Persuasive speaking is not something I am particularly good at, and cannot provide much commentary on.
Very little of my writing on this blog I would categorize as persuasion; most of it is just good ole’ fashion bitching. The few times I have engaged in persuasive writing in my life has been as an unnecessary chore in grade school or standardized tests. Occasionally in English composition courses, we would have to write an essay trying to persuade someone for or against some position. I can hardly recall a single one of these prompts; I believe one was to write an essay writing for or against the uses of science in the modern world. While the word “polemic” was never used the entirety of my time in grade school, that was essentially what we were doing.
What exactly is “persuasion” though?
Whenever people think of “persuasion”, they tend to think of some unctuous used-car salesman trying to fast-talk some sap into buying a lemon.
A solid, working definition is helpful. We can begin by looking at the dictionary definition and the etymology of the word. The word itself is Latin in origin, from the Latin persuadere, meaning “to advise to completion.” Merriam-Webster defines it as:
“to move by argument, entreaty, or expostulation to a belief, position, or course of action.”
But the image of the used car salesman actually betrays much naivete. Most people believe themselves to be wise or perceptive enough to know when they are being persuaded, when in fact most persuasion these days is done insidiously via advertising, public relations legerdemain, and propaganda.
Reasoned Persuasion vs. Propaganda
Referring back to my time in school, I notice now a vast disconnect between how we were graded on our persuasive writing skills, and how persuasion is actually used in the real world. Much of the persuasive writing instruction I received in school is not very useful for large-scale opinion engineering. Typically, we were graded on how well we were able to use rationality, logic, facts, and deductive reasoning to convince someone to adopt a certain position. I will call this “reasoned persuasion.” This may work occasionally for a recalcitrant individual whose support is required, but it is not how the masses are programmed and controlled.
The effectiveness of what I will call “reasoned persuasion” rests on the listener being open to pleas to fact, reason, and logic: nowadays, in contemporary America, that is a weighty supposition. As Jacques Ellul’s book “Propaganda” discusses, facts and truths are simply tools to be used and abused for prodding at the target population’s emotions, in order to motivate them to collective action (see my review of the first half of the book here). This is the fundamental basis of the entire art and science of modern advertising. While I have not yet read the book, supposedly this line of thinking is also covered in Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”
The Linked Fate of Persuasion and the Death of White America
Reasoned persuasion requires an eloquent, intelligent, well-read speaker or writer on one hand, and an open mind on the other. Under these requirements, I believe the art of persuasion is going to be lost in the America of the future. This is mainly because the America of the future will be a political hegemony (barring Trump working a political miracle).
Why do I predict that America will become a political hegemony? The reason is because, the conservative core of America is composed almost completely of white Americans, who are being bred out and immigrated-out of majority status by the Democratic Party’s constituents. We endlessly hear paeans to “diversity” from the media, but such praises only apply to non-white minorities – which by corollary means “more left-wing Democrats.” The massive demographic shift that has taken place since 1965 is set to give the Democratic Party a permanent majority. With the taste of such victory on the tip of their tongue, such people don’t have to believe in persuasive talk or having a rational conversation. “We are in power. You will obey. Resistance is futile.” is the message.
Once white Americans become a minority, conservatism will be dead as a movement and the Republican Party will become 100% indistinguishable from the Democratic Party. Public debate and persuasion will be completely dead, as “debates” will simply be various ethnic groups arguing over their past grievances and agitating for more government goodies. Elections will simply become racial headcounts, steered by the threat of minority riots.
Under such conditions, there is no driving force impelling people to get good at persuasion – the only “persuasion” that multicultural societies know of is sinking a club into the opposition’s skull.
Stupidity on Campus
I routinely encountered people in college that were very poor at persuading others. Their level of rhetorical skill was “I said it; I am an intelligent, refined individual; therefore, you should believe it or follow it.” This was rampant in my dorm during my freshman year of college, where I was a Christian surrounded by godless atheists – all of whom were liberals.
Despite the trendiness of atheism today with white liberals, such people are hardly freethinkers. In truth, they are typically a wooden-headed, closed-minded lot. Such people enjoy claiming their beliefs and political opinions have the backing of the hard sciences – but just try bringing up the issues of biology and race with them, and they fall into line like obedient Good Party members.
“Race is just a social construct!”
“That is scientific racism!”
“You’re a racist!”
These claims fly in the face of a hundred years of scientific observation and experimental inquiry. But it matters not – they have made up their minds, and to contradict their ideology is to bring condemnation down upon yourself. Point them to your sources, they will dismiss them. Quote facts, they will ignore them. Direct them to scholars, they will curse them.
The Mass Media Racial Mind Control Helmet
To say or write anything contradictory to elite opinion on race and gender issues is to invite permanent career damage, death threats, the desertion of friends, divorce, and family break-up. Likewise on homosexuality and gay “marriage.” Such people can never hope to be moved by reason, fact, or logic. They have made up their minds, and now desire to impose the will of California and New York on the entirety of the country and, if they could do it, the entire world.
The mainstream media shares much blame for the uniformity of thought and resistance to fact that Americans suffer from these days. I’m not even really sure if “mainstream” is the best adjective to describe these people, since their beliefs are well at odds with what the majority of Americans think. I prefer the term “elite media.”
I can only shake my head at the level and quality of opinion the Internet has exposed me to, which would never see the light of day on any TV news outlet or on the radio. Genuine diversity of thought is now only found on the Internet; mainly on a select group of blogging websites comprising The Dark Enlightenment. Part of my disillusion with the American mass media as a tool for thought control stems from my self-education on these blogs, where highly persuasive evidence is presented on human racial and gender differences in all aspects of life. These opinions are often peppered with humorous jabs at the stupidity of our insulated ruling class, who have ensconced themselves as an upper caste that can only fail upwards.