Tuesday, 29 January 2019

How the political fringes became part of the mainstream

Peter Pomerantsev, author of "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: Adventures in Modern Russia" suggests that we are entering a new model of how things happen in politics:
Futures Forum: A healthy democracy and a free press
Futures Forum: "Political technologists" - is this the future of democracy?
Futures Forum: Brexit: and "Nothing is True and Everything is Possible"
Futures Forum: Moving beyond the ideological boundaries and "empowering people to find the solutions to their problems themselves"
Futures Forum: Managed democracy: "The deliberate undermining of people's perception of the world, by creating confusion and contradiction ... undermining any opposition to existing power structures ... which leaves us feeling helpless and depressed and to which the only response is: 'Oh dear'." 

The new series of Analysis on Radio 4 opens with his look at how the political fringe has now become mainstream: 

The War for Normal


We live in a world where everyone is trying to manipulate everyone else, where social media has opened up the floodgates for a mayhem of influence. And the one thing all the new propagandists have in common is the idea that to really get to someone you have to not just spin or nudge or persuade them, but transform the way they think about the world, the language and concepts they have to make sense of things.

Peter Pomerantsev, author of an acclaimed book on the media in Putin's Russia, examines where this strategy began, how it is being exploited, the people caught in the middle, and the researchers trying to combat it. Because it is no longer just at the ‘fringes’ where this is happening – it is now a part of mainstream political life.

BBC Radio 4 - Analysis, The War for Normal

Much of this goes back to the notion of 'common sense':
Common sense was his only method – TheTLS
Why Trump Invokes ‘Common Sense’ - The Atlantic
Brexit: Common sense or just scare tactics? - BBC News

Compare 1997:
What Is Mainstream Politics And What Is Fringe? - The New York Times

And now:
It’s easy to sneer at US fringe politics, but the crackpots are gaining ground in the UK too | Rafael Behr | Opinion | The Guardian
Conspiracy theories used to be a fringe obsession. Now they're mainstream | Jason Wilson | Opinion | The Guardian
A 'new India' where fringe is the mainstream | Politics | Al Jazeera
From Political Fringe to Political Mainstream : French Politics, Culture & Society
Europe’s populists are waltzing into the mainstream - Dancing with danger - The Economist
2017: When the Fringe Became Mainstream - The Wire
Awakening of Spain’s far-right fringe unsettles mainstream parties | Financial Times
In Pak, Once-Fringe Islamist Radicals Are Entering Mainstream Politics - NDTV
Bolsonaro’s Brazil win and Merkel’s Germany fall due to rise of fringe politics - Vox

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