YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ >>
An Adventure in Predatory Club Life Fade in: late night dance club... Prague, Czecho Republic. ...

Steve Bannon - Caricature by DonkeyHotey
fShare
0
Pin It

I don't like to talk about politics on Facebook - political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends - but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.

(Editor's note: This column was originally published by the author as a post on her Facebook account and has been shared widely. Heather Richardson confirmed via email that she is the author and granted permission to republish.)

What Steve Bannon is doing, most dramatically with the ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries - is creating what is known as a "shock event."

Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.

When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Donald Trump's executive order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it. 

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one's interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won't like.

I don't know what Bannon is up to (although I have some guesses) but because I know Bannon's ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle - and my friends range pretty widely - who will benefit from whatever it is.

If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.

If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln's strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.

Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a "government of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Confederate leaders and Lincoln knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.


- Heather Richardson is a professor of American history at Boston College. This column was first published on her Facebook account. Twitter: @HC_Richardson

On Populism and the Corporate Sleight of Hand
Francis Pruett On Populism and the Corporate Sleight of Hand

I am pleased at the results in Netherlands. Really, I am.

Mr and Mrs Booze
David O'Kelly Actor and writer David O'Kelly

We have all experienced something like it or close to it, a love affair.

Daaahlink! I’m an art critick!
Sha Najak Illustration Eclectech

Can you make it through the day pretending to be an art critic? Arm yourself with some pitch-black c [ ... ]

Killing the Baby Before It Can Crawl: Czech Neo-Fa...
Alexander Zaitchik Czech Neo-Fascism

When the Ku Klux Klan holds public rallies in the US, cordons of baton wielding police are alwa [ ... ]

Traces of communism harder to find in Prague
Kateřina Bartoň Anděl metro stop in Prague used to be called Moskevská, after Moscow to symbolize the partnership between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union

Prague was quick to get rid of reminders of the Soviet occupation, but some reminders remain

Crash Impulse: Maybe Next Time
Keith Kirchner David Cronenberg's Crash

In many ways David Cronenberg's adaptation of J.G. Ballard's 1972 novel perfectly describes the  [ ... ]

Obecní dům, the Art Nouveau gem of Prague
Ian Wills Obecní dům Prague

Decorative art often fails to get respect. Pleasing to the eye but lacking substance, it's critics c [ ... ]

Second Hand Fashions in Prague
Stanley Holditch

When I first moved to this country, and saw the vast number of second-hand clothing stores, I imagin [ ... ]

Read more...

Name Day/Svatek

Yesterday : Havel Today : Hedvika Tomorrow : Lukáš After tomorrow : Michaela

Our Mission

1. To make you think
If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. If you really make them think, they'll hate you.
2. To tell the world the truth
When you only tell the truth, you start earning trust, as journalists, our mission is to tell the truth.
3. To make you laugh
We want to make you laugh, chuckle, smirk, grin or smile as we try to find the upside of life in the face of all the evil around us.

The Power Flex yoga pant from 90 Degree by Reflex is the ideal combination of fashion, function, and performance. Our fabric is designed to contour perfectly to your body, giving you a streamlined look. We've created the perfect fabric at the perfect https://www.amazon.com/90-Degree-Reflex-Womens-Power/dp/B00IDHFYVM These Power Flex Pants are perfect for yoga, pilates, running, or any type of exercise or fitness-related activities. You can also go from the gym to running errands - all while being comfortable and stylish. Pairs well with our famous Power Flex Tan.

Situs bandarq indoqq dan aduq online terbaik di Indonesia

Tüvtürk randevu alma telefonla araç muayene randevusu almak için online hizmet tüvtürk araç muayene randevu istanbul ankara bursa izmir antalya telefonla randevu online web sitesi üzerinden başvuru yapınız Tüvtürk araç muayene randevu aldıktan sonra veya katma değerli 0888 233 0666 servis numaramızı dilediğiniz saatte çevirip çağrı

Taller Movil is a manufacturer of innovative van racking and aldder rack fully customised and made of anodised aluminium profiles which give them strong mechanical resistence plus light weight, give a look there http://tallermovil.org. Given that Taller Movil has planned to expand abroad starting from the USA where is opening a new facility in the state of Delaware because of its position on the Atalantic Ocean close to Florence port and the main market o the North East.

let's think for a while as to why love is important in a relationship. By reading these Love Qoutes you will be overly inspired to be more active, open and expressive about your feeling and showing someone how much your truly feel about them.

Improve your online visibility and generate more revenues thanks to Inspira SEO services in Bangkok, Thailand. Inspira SEO company offers professional and results oriented services.