We have increasingly smart, surveillant persuasion architectures. Architectures aimed at persuading us to do something. At the moment it’s clicking on an ad. And that seems like a waste. We’re just clicking on an ad. You know. It’s kind of a waste of our energy. But increasingly it is going to be persuading us to support something, to think of something, to imagine something.
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There is this very bizarre alliance between world-changing geeks on the one hand and policymakers who only care about outcomes. They no longer care about how those outcomes are arrived at. They have stripped politics of all meaning. All they want is to get people to do the right thing. They don’t care why they do it.
This idea of finding a communist under the bed seems me all nonsense. And the result of the whole thing is that Americans now are so timid about expressing themselves that we’ve practically given up democratic methods and free speech. … The result is that we act as one and even on controversial subjects we don’t find any debate in public life. And don’t dare.
The 20th century was created by idealism. Communism and fascism and Nazism are all based on idealized systems, what the world should be ideally, and how it isn’t what it should be, and therefore we’re entitled to change it radically and take control of it in order to do so.
One of the problems here, of course, is that there’s no “we.” Who’s we? I mean, humanity’s composed—the human species is composed—of billions of separate individuals with different goals, different plans, different values, and different ideals.
I may say this, that if the Republicans should take over the Senate, I happen to be the ranking member on the investigating committee. That means that McCarthy would become Chairman of the Senate Investigating Committee. And if he does, I’ll make you one promise. That Leavenworth won’t hold them, Mr. Huie.
You see, I’ve got a very strong feeling that most of our people in public life underestimate the intelligence of the American people. And they try to argue and tell people how to vote. I think you need merely give the people the facts, and then you can go home and don’t worry. They’ll vote right.