The Streisand Effect

If you're not familiar with the concept it goes a little like this- In 2003 Barbra Streisand sued a photographer over pictures of her Malibu Estate, claiming "invasion of privacy". The instant reaction was to hugely increase the popularity of the image and doxx her address to anyone who cared to know.

The coinage itself came from Mike Masnick of TechDirt, a site I read several times daily and frequently cite (among many flaws of written English currently is a failure to correctly use the homophones 'cite', 'site', and 'sight', don't get me started about the proper use of 'affect', which is to pretend, and 'effect', which is to cause), in a 2005 discussion of a takedown notice issued to urinal.net, which naturally enough specialized in pictures of urinals, by a resort that was unhappy to be included in a compendium of male restroom plumbing.

Worked about as well for them as it did for Streisand.

Anyway, I am happy to report Comrades that our Socialist Revolution has received a great, and totally unintended, boost from Unidicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio and his capitalist Republican running dogs.

Trump wants to run against socialism. That’s great for socialism.
By Paul Waldman, Washington Post
February 6, 2019

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Trump identified the chief domestic danger we face, alongside immigrants who come here to murder us all: socialism.
...
On the off chance that a dangerous ideology cannot be banished with sufficiently vigorous chants of “USA! USA!,” Republicans are amping up their warnings that socialism is here and ready to put its heavy boot on our necks. The fact that they’re pushing this line is not surprising, given that the Democratic Party is indeed moving left and embracing policy solutions with stronger government components than what is currently in place on issue like health care.

The trouble is that as an insult, “Socialism!” doesn’t have the zing it once did. And that’s Republicans' own fault.

Perhaps not entirely, I'll grant you. One reason "Socialist!" isn't the powerful insult it once was is just time: Since the Soviet Union collapsed almost three decades ago, there are a couple of generations of Americans who have no memory of the Cold War. For them, socialism is not synonymous with communism, which anyway is just something they learned about in history class. They don't view it as the ideology of our enemies.

But more importantly, in the time since, Republicans have attacked almost anything Democrats wanted to do as socialism. Modest tax increases on the wealthy? Socialism! Regulations to lower carbon emissions and reduce the risk of climate catastrophe? Socialism! Health care reform built on maintaining private insurance but with stronger protections for consumers? Socialism!

After hearing that for so long, a lot of young people in particular seem to have concluded that “socialism” means little more than “policies that are more liberal than the Republican Party would prefer.” In other words, they’ve accepted the Republican view of what socialism is.

You can see it in polls like this one from Gallup, showing that among people under 30, 51 percent have a positive view of socialism while only 45 percent have a positive view of capitalism. They have little actual experience with socialism, but if you're saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt, you're working at a job with mediocre wages and few benefits, and you can't see how you could ever afford to buy a home, capitalism may not be looking so hot.

Lately Republicans have been working hard to convince people of this syllogism: Democrats are a bunch of socialists; Venezuela is socialist; therefore anything Democrats suggest will inevitably turn us into an economic disaster like Venezuela. Besides being completely asinine (ask economists whether we're in danger of seeing U.S. inflation reach 1 million percent any time soon), the argument relies on the broad public reacting with the same horror Republicans do when they hear suggestions like a wealth tax or universal health care.

But they don't, in part because when they hear the word "socialist," Americans are more likely to think of Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez than Joseph Stalin or Fidel Castro. In other words, someone who admires the social democratic systems they have in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia, and would like to see something similar here: a capitalist economy, but one that isn't structured so much to benefit the wealthiest elite and includes a stronger system of social supports. Which isn't nearly as terrifying.

If President Trump decides to run against socialism in 2020, he'll be repeating what Republicans did over the last few decades, except condensed into the space of a year or so. The policies he'll be describing as socialist, like higher taxes for the wealthy and giving more people health coverage, already have wide support, and with his own low approval ratings he's unlikely to persuade people to change their views on those policies. Instead of destroying the Democratic nominee by pinning on her a label that everyone agrees is horrific, he's much more likely to make socialism more popular than ever.

Which is why actual socialists — or democratic socialists, who are almost certainly far greater in number in the United States right now than the pure variety — should be more than happy to see Trump wage a war on socialism. It’s the best advertisement they can get.

The Internationale (traditional British version)

Arise, ye workers from your slumber,
Arise, ye prisoners of want.
For reason in revolt now thunders,
and at last ends the age of cant!
Away with all your superstitions,
Servile masses, arise, arise!
We'll change henceforth the old tradition,
And spurn the dust to win the prize!

So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale
Unites the human race.

No more deluded by reaction,
On tyrants only we'll make war!
The soldiers too will take strike action,
They'll break ranks and fight no more!
And if those cannibals keep trying,
To sacrifice us to their pride,
They soon shall hear the bullets flying,
We'll shoot the generals on our own side.

So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale
Unites the human race.

No saviour from on high delivers,
No faith have we in prince or peer.
Our own right hand the chains must shiver,
Chains of hatred, greed and fear.
E'er the thieves will out with their booty,
And to all give a happier lot.
Each at his forge must do their duty,
And we'll strike the iron while it's hot.

So comrades, come rally,
And the last fight let us face.
The Internationale
Unites the human race.

Properly sung with the right hand fist raised in salute if you don't have a convenient AK-47 to grasp.

(Well, of course it's cross published at The Stars Hollow Gazette and DocuDharma)

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Comments

I feel the need to remind people that it's not necessarily that I care what you think, my obnoxiousness is not dependent on your approval, but I am open to differing viewpoints and will respond to them.

Sometimes.

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mhagle's picture

Over the weekend watched a bunch of videos of Prof. Wolff speaking on socialism.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

Raggedy Ann's picture

that socialist movement. I'm in it!
Drinks

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"The herd management intent is simply to get you into one of the corrals. Nobody is right, if everybody is wrong.
I am a free range DFH."
NCTim

earthling1's picture

Since society (taxpayers) are funding a trillion dollar a year military machine, making it a socialist enterprise, we should dissolve it.
The fact that we (taxpayers) are footing the bill, yet Corporate America has unlimited use of our military for free to perform regime changes and gunboat diplomacy solely for their profit, we should be able to slash funding for it and end this socialist enterprise and corporate welfare at the same time.
Make them say it: some kinds of socialism are ok.

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Socialprogressive's picture

According to the block quote(last sentence in the next to last paragraph), the next Dem nominee is going to be female. So I guess Booker and Bernie have already been written off.

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Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end the faster it goes.

mimi's picture

@Socialprogressive
Bernie would say "Ladies first" to Tulsi Gabbard/Elizabeth Warren/Amy Klochubar/Kamala Harris/Kirsten Gillibrand and these women all know how to behave lady-like and will say "Beauty before Age", err we meant "Age/Wisdom before Beauty" to Uncle Bernie. That's too much headaches for Bernie, so he still thinks , if he is really going to insult so many ladies. It is a bit too much, right...?

And AOC of the wrong age (It’s ridiculous that it’s unconstitutional for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to run for president) will betray all her sisters and say "I am with HIM" and how long will it take til you 'gals' understand that "It's the Constitution, Stupid":.

I rather have to steal a glance at the potential brother candidates ... looky there, so much beauty, wealth and smarts and .... all are still thinking ...

Sigh.

Denk schneller Genosse. Pardon

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ggersh's picture

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

“USA will export two things soon, jack and squat. no planes, no cars soon.”

@ggersh

But it's the result of persistent propaganda since The Gilded Age and the successful conflation of Socialism with Communism during the Cold War.

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OzoneTom's picture

@ek hornbeck @ek hornbeck
@ggersh
The Democrats in large part do not want to appear "soft on communism"-- just as they DO want to appear "strong on defense."

Their outlook shows a sort of Stockholm Syndrome effect since they were traumatically beaten-down over their lackluster defense of past positions in those areas.

It was much more rewarding to go with the flow -- launch New Dem/3rd-Way and claim the loot-box of "donations" previously enjoyed by only Republicans.

What is changing is demographic. Growing segment missed the "duck & cover" drill-era earlier generations experienced. With the ending of the Soviet threat (not that there aren't efforts to bring that bogeyman back). For this growing cohort the term "socialism" has morphed to mean something good. or at least less bad than what Republicans really want.

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ggersh's picture

@OzoneTom to buy the D's, just mention $$$$$ to
the clintons and it's all over, worse grifters than
than tRump.

It was much more rewarding to go with the flow -- launch New Dem/3rd-Way and claim the loot-box of "donations" previously enjoyed by only Republicans.

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6 users have voted.

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

“USA will export two things soon, jack and squat. no planes, no cars soon.”

Pluto's Republic's picture

@OzoneTom

It's a calculation the Party makes in establishing their talking points. Their policy agenda looks fluid at this point, but it is set by their Donors.

The Party's [strong on defense] outlook shows a sort of Stockholm Syndrome effect since they were traumatically beaten-down over their lackluster defense of past positions in those areas.

Yep. They're addressing a demographic: older voters. And following the dollars, of course. They are fully on-board with Citizens United. It's the law of the land.

Younger voters are not so sanguine with the way things are. They are not moved by the bogeyman who terrified the older demographics. They can judge for themselves whether capitalism is working for the American people and improving their lives. If there's a better brand out there, they are interested in comparing the outcomes for ordinary citizens. Counting the number of billionaires produced is not so meaningful to them.

Naturally, socialism compares more favorably across society. It is not an ideology. It's Basic Shopping 101.

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May you come to dwell in an enlightened nation that judges itself by the well-being of its people. At the very least, this is your birthright.

ggersh's picture

@ek hornbeck needs more charter schools -s-

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"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." William Casey, CIA Director 1st staff meeting, 1981

“USA will export two things soon, jack and squat. no planes, no cars soon.”

mimi's picture

I can't decide if you are a romantic or the opposite of it. When I see images in a video that show the twin towers still standing, I think someone has forgotten to reboot.

Nothing for Ungood. The Streisand Effect affects me in the wrong way. May be the Streisand Effect is like the Compton Effect?

So many romantics among the brothers here. (Can't say that I don't like it a bit ... )

In any case, I am confused and scattered off into wrong direction.

The difference between Compton scattering and photoelectric effect is actually pretty simple… • With the PE effect, the incoming photon is completely absorbed by the electron. The electron is ejected out of the atom, but there’s no scattered photon. • With Compton scattering, the energy of the incoming photon is only partially absorbed by the electron. The electron is knocked out of the atom, but a scattered photon also comes out of the atom.

•With Compton scattering, this incident photon collides with an electron, usually a loosely bound outer shell electron. • Two things happen as a result of this collision… 1) the electron is ejected out of orbit (called ionization), and 2) the photon decreases in energy and changes direction (called scattering). • That’s why this interaction is called “scattering” – the photon is scattered off its original path.

I lost my energy and am scattered ... Barbara Streisand did all that? Or was it Compton?

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@mimi

Had to look that up. Kudos!

And at first glance I thought you were all down in the 'hood.

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mimi's picture

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@mimi

I wouldn't want people to get the impression that he and I are in opposition. He has a more pessimistic view and I think that concerted activism through existing institutions (which we both kind of hate) as well as Direct Action of the type Martin Luther King advocated may be sufficient.

It may not, but I think to at least get these ideas legitimized is a step forward from where the national dialog was even a decade ago.

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mimi's picture

@ek hornbeck
like watching a tennis game, moving my head to the right and then to the left over and over again and getting a stiff neck.

My (German) highschool curriculum didn't have 'debate olasses', so I tend to get a little scared if people agree to disagree too intensely and I turn into a chicken little.

Way beyond my bedtime. I can almost say Good Morning from over here.

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@mimi
Agree with me.

Problem solved.

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Sigh

mimi's picture

@UntimelyRippd
you know they cover the ground at the bottom and feed the soil and represent those, who don't have the money and the honey and the microphones and the servers and the camera.

I even don't disagree to disagree with you and you cleared up all those strange effects some low-affect characters have on my psyche.

I love the smell of spring in the air of C99p. Smile

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want to re-visit Webster’s Dictionary, affect also means to influence, not Just pretense.
And your venthole goes both ways.
Hah.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

@Tall Bald and Ugly
means to influence. The noun "affect" refers to a pretense or something fake, an affectation.

Don't get me started on "effect". It's part of what makes English the language it is.

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@FuturePassed if I ‘affect’ a pose(doing something) it’s a noun, but if I’m influencing someone, it’s a verb.
Still sounds like bullshit, as does so much of the language.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

@Tall Bald and Ugly
however, it's a noun when you're talking about psychological states. some people have a "low affect" -- they give the external appearance of lacking strong emotions. this can cause trouble for certain criminal defendants. in Stephen King's "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption", the protagonist's low affect helps persuade the jury that he has murdered his wife.

There's a corresponding adjectival form: educational psychologists like to talk about the "affective domain".

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Sigh

@Tall Bald and Ugly
humans have ever invented, but English is possibly the most extraordinary.

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Sigh

@UntimelyRippd that clarification. I suspect I’ve been using it correctly after all.

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .