[FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA

Jochen Fromm jofr at cas-group.net
Tue Feb 27 16:29:12 EST 2024

Yes exactly, the sentiments are age-old. I believe Trump and Putin follow a similar authoritarian playbook and ideology: rule no.1 "Make <our country> Great Again", rule no.2 "Expel minorities (LGBTQ, immigrants, etc) and blame them for everything", rule no.3 "Lock up your opponents".Complementary to rule no.4 is "Reward loyalty". The authoritarianism we can observe in Putin's Russia rests on two pillars: loyalty is rewarded and betrayal is punished harshly. There is a reward for loyal behavior in the form of corrupt compensations or jobs in the administration and harsh punishment for criticism in the form of arbitrary prison sentences or even death penalties (as, described by Catherine Belton in "Putin's People", Harper Collins, 2020).In dictatorships the rule of law is replaced by the rule of the dictator. Law is what the dictator says. Even an authoritarian system follows rules though. The most important: collective discussions of issues is acceptable, but the dictator's position or authority must not be challenged (as mentioned in "Bridling dictators : rules and authoritarian politics" / Graeme Gill, Oxford University Press, 2021)Rule no.5 is "You have to vote for me" because only a strong man can save the country in a crisis. Authoritarian regimes justify their reign and strong-armed rule as "a response to intractable crises in societies traumatized by turmoil" (as mentioned in "Popular Dictatorships : Crises, Mass Opinion,  and the Rise of Electoral Authoritarianism", Aleksandar Matovski, Cambridge University Press, 2021). These rules are characteristic for an authoritarian system with a dictator at the top and other full-fledged dictatorships. All this makes you wonder why so many Americans and GOP members still support Trump. Have they forgotten he mainly played Golf in office? His insurrection attempt? Or his disastrous handling of the Coronavirus pandemic? https://quillette.com/2024/02/25/why-is-the-gop-sticking-with-trump/-J.
-------- Original message --------From: glen <gepropella at gmail.com> Date: 2/27/24  8:14 PM  (GMT+01:00) To: friam at redfish.com Subject: Re: [FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA Yeah, good point. MAGA was actually coined (?) by Ronald Reagan's campaign, I think. But the sentiments behind it (nostalgia, exceptionalism, jingoism, etc.) are age old. And they seem more nest/hive/collective oriented than individualist mandates like the Commandments. It would be less like "What would Jesus do?" and more like "What would the Catholic Church do?"In some ways, right populism is a different phenomenon from the same generator as left populism. As irritating as it is to have to take Wokeism seriously as a concept, it rings true for me. Does one support Palestinians because it's right to support *everyone*? Or does one support them because the Other/They supports the Israeli state? Similarly, does support Israeli victims of Oct 7 because all asymmetric warfare is evil? Or does one support the Israeli state because it's ensconced as sovereign by Us/Ours? How does one balance the ethic of one's tribe against the ethic of oneself?On 2/27/24 10:56, Jochen Fromm wrote:> Hmmm I am not sure. I'm still trying to understand cultural evolution better and how exactly fascism and authoritarianism fit into this picture.> > One thing I just noticed is that Trump's slogans are actually very similar to commandments - which serve as cultural genes in religious contexts. For instance "Make America Great Again" is a political slogan and the name of Trump's MAGA movement, but it is also a commandment like "You shall not murder". A call to action and an abstract instruction how to act. It appeals to all those people who do not feel great - Hillary Clinton's deplorable people. "Build the wall" and "Lock her up" are similar political slogans which are also commandments to expel immigrants and to imprison opponents. These are the genes of Trump's primitive strongman ideology.> > -J.> > > -------- Original message --------> From: glen <gepropella at gmail.com>> Date: 2/27/24 7:26 PM (GMT+01:00)> To: friam at redfish.com> Subject: Re: [FRIAM] The lies of Trump and ecDNA> > IDK. It seems like ecDNA, in general, can be either good or bad. And mitochondrial DNA feels like a boon, overall. Maybe a better analogy would be ecDNA <-> media and MAGA to the oncogenes being promoted. I think a useful foil for stressing the analogy is the difference between a filter bubble and an echo chamber. If we define a filter bubble as the sieve through which the ambience extrudes and an echo chamber as an agent-oriented selection bias, we can classify MAGA cult members as victims (incompetent consumers of media) and perpetrators. The perpetrators might be like the Federalist Society, where they seek echoes of their beliefs and put them in power. Or they might be like Joe Rogan, where they promote/amplify toxic materials they find in the wild. The latter seem like trans-acting ecDNA ... and Rachel Maddow might be similar to Joe Rogan in that sense, only considered toxic based on what they promote, not promotion in itself. The former seem like oncogenes. The rest, > like some random soccer mom at the Jan 6 riot, don't seem like either of those to me.> > > On 2/27/24 08:51, Jochen Fromm wrote:>  > The lies of Trump and his MAGA cult are a bit like extrachromosomal DNA that is apparently behind many malignant cancers. Both are normally part of selfish entities - single cell organisms or narcissistic con men -  and disrupt or distort the normal fabric of the world they live in. Interestingly ecDNA takes the form of tiny circles just like plasmids in bacteria. And it spreads faster than DNA in chromosomes, just as lies spread faster than the truth. As Jonathan Swift said "Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it">  > https://www.the-scientist.com/cancer-may-be-driven-by-dna-outside-of-chromosomes-68590> -- ꙮ Mɥǝu ǝlǝdɥɐuʇs ɟᴉƃɥʇ' ʇɥǝ ƃɹɐss snɟɟǝɹs˙ ꙮ-. --- - / ...- .- .-.. .. -.. / -- --- .-. ... . / -.-. --- -.. .FRIAM Applied Complexity Group listservFridays 9a-12p Friday St. Johns Cafe   /   Thursdays 9a-12p Zoom https://bit.ly/virtualfriamto (un)subscribe http://redfish.com/mailman/listinfo/friam_redfish.comFRIAM-COMIC http://friam-comic.blogspot.com/archives:  5/2017 thru present https://redfish.com/pipermail/friam_redfish.com/  1/2003 thru 6/2021  http://friam.383.s1.nabble.com/
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