climate change, lies and changing beliefs

We get lied to constantly and to a large extent it’s what we expect these days. Some of these lies are just so transparently obvious that it’s difficult to imagine a reasonably bright five-year-old being taken in by them. What’s worrying though is that no matter how obvious the lies most people seem to swallow them.

The most spectacular example has to be climate change. It is clearly not happening. Coastal cities are not being inundated. Coastal communities have not been swept away by the oceans. Any change is sea levels has been microscopic. The super-gigantic killer hurricanes have not eventuated.

The climate has not changed. But most people still believe the climate change lies.

There are several possible explanations. One explanation is that most people are so dumb that they believe what they’re told even when the evidence clearly indicates the opposite.

A second explanation would be that people don’t actually believe these lies at all but they’re so desperate to conform and so afraid of attracting the attention of the Thought Police that they will pretend to believe absolutely anything. If true that would actually be in some ways a hopeful explanation, because it would mean that those who are currently obediently chanting social justice slogans would, in the event of regime change, abandon those slogans overnight and start chanting a whole new set of slogans.

I’m inclined to think the second explanation is the correct one. While I would never underestimate the power of human stupidity I think the power of conformism is much stronger. The urge to conform is the most powerful of all human instincts, much more powerful than hunger or sex.

The problem is that if the majority is prepared to go along even with lies as obvious as climate change then bringing about regime change is going to be exceedingly difficult. We can’t rely on ordinary people suddenly deciding one day that they’ve had enough and they’re not prepared to be lied to any more. There isn’t going to be a grass-roots revolt. If people are willing to say that the climate is changing when it obviously isn’t then there is effectively no limit to the lies that they can be persuaded to accept.

That’s the thing about regime change which tends to justify both pessimism and optimism. Regime change is incredibly difficult to bring about but once it’s achieved it’s pretty much guaranteed to be permanent. If liberalism ever falls then the overwhelming majority of the population will abandon their liberal beliefs overnight.

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