(This article and part 2 are meant to be a bit of fun, and not to be taken seriously.)
Time for a bit of new year fun. In response to a previous article, someone asked “how do we win the culture wars? How do we defeat the cultural Marxism of the BBC, etc?” In a digital information age, battlefronts are changing. The way people, particularly young people, get information and express themselves is changing. The age of the television is over. The age of the meme is here. Doubt what happens online is important? Trump built an online movement, bypassing the MSM and speaking to the electorate directly. He had an unofficial online army backing him, which had honed their techniques during the Gamer Gate controversy. They dismantled the Left online, and their primary weapon was the meme. How did Corbyn reach so many young people? Momentum massacred the Tories online, particularly on Twitter.
So how do we counter?
In the book “4th Generation warfare” by William S. Lind, he says that there are three levels of warfare. These are physical, mental and moral. His theory goes that you can win all the major engagements, but still lose the war. You can dominate the enemy physically and mentally, but still lose if you don’t have the moral advantage. He cites Iraq and Afghanistan as examples. Here Allied troops dominated physically and mentally, but did not win enough hearts and minds. Take the case of when Allied troops were found to be torturing prisoners with electrodes. They physically and mentally dominated them, but morally it was a hammer blow to the campaign when the story broke. Add to this Allied troops lived in the ‘Green Zone’ with the best of everything. The enemy lived in and amongst the people, sharing their conditions. For various reasons, Bin Laden lived in a cave. Eventually we were forced to pull out, and ISIS ran amok across Iraq and Syria, the Taliban are back in Afghanistan.
Anyone who doubts this, look at CNN. An internet kid made a CNN meme. Trump retweeted it. CNN doxed the kid, and threatened legal action. CNN beat him on the physical and mental level. He couldn’t physically post more memes. Mentally he was terrified. But they were seen to be bullying a kid. Internet nerds of every political stripe went in to action. A meme war was launched. The internet was full of anti-CNN memes. The hashtag trended for a week or more. Infowars ran a competition. CNN was ridiculed over and over. CNN’s credibility has never recovered. Ratings plummeted. No news network will now dare dox anyone. CNN lost all moral authority. Trump is all over them like a rash. He branded then “fake news” and it stuck.
The Left love to claim the moral high ground, especially against ‘hate.’ Just look at the misnomer ‘Antifa’. They claim to be against fascism, while dressing in black, wearing masks, smashing shop windows, setting fire to things and attacking people with baseball bats. ‘Clubs and castor oil’, anyone? Kristallnacht? They have successfully perpetrated this myth with the help of the MSM, schools and establishment politicians who pander to them. So how do we fight back? How do you fight an idea?
With another idea. With a meme. If you use insults or lecturing, you lose the moral ground. You appear bullying or a know all. However, satire can cut through. What better way to get people onside, than make them laugh? While at the same time making a point. Here the meme comes in to its own. It can bypass the MSM and go viral online, via social media, blogs, image sharing services, etc. Memes can help break the news cycle of the like of the BBC, Sky and CNN. Shall we begin?
I know for some of you, I am teaching you to suck eggs. However, others have asked, “what is a meme?” There are no hard and fast rules. However, it helps if you have a good cultural reference point. This gives the audience a way in to the meme. They get what is going on. An example is below:
I used the cultural starting point of Star Wars. This is a widely known film, many people have seen it. Even if not, they know Darth Vader is the baddie. It is a famous scene, where Darth grabs a rebel by the throat. Everyone seeing the meme will know the situation, who is oppressed and who is the oppressor. I then assigned flags to the characters. Poland and the Polish badge to the rebel, and the E.U. flag to Darth. I put a smaller E.U. flag on Darth’s wrist, to emphasise the E.U. hand being at Poland’s throat. I put the E.U. in the position of the evil empire. Darth’s masked, inhuman face also helps. The E.U. becomes the faceless, inhuman Empire that cannot be reasoned with. Note that I could recycle this meme for many situations, just change the flags, etc. They don’t have to be works of art. This one is simplistic, but gets the message across.
Next I use a play on words from one of the film’s classic lines “I find your lack of faith….disturbing.” It isn’t in this scene, but it doesn’t matter. People know the line. I change it to suit the modern stand off between the E.U. and Poland. Memes are rhetoric. As with the best rhetoric, it has truth to it. It doesn’t have to be 100% true, but the more truth the better. If you just completely make stuff up, it won’t work. This is why saying Nazis are Socialists is so effective. They know there is truth to it. Another is saying “Merkel killed more Germans than Hitler.” She hasn’t, but it draws attention to the fact Germans are dying from terror attacks and migrant attacks. It compares Merkel with Hitler, and puts her in an unfavourable light. Stand by for triggering:
A stunning example of rhetoric was the vote leave bus. It referenced the NHS, and included the £350 million figure. Straight away people are wondering how many nurses this could pay for. Now, we send £350 million in total, but get some back. Remainers instantly hit back saying “It’s actually £198 millon net.” They fell in to the trap, as all this did was highlight the astronomical figure of £198 million a week. It implanted it in the national memory. Job done. You could argue the bus itself has become a meme, as it is now part of cultural folklore.
Part 2 will look at more on rhetoric, and more on how to trigger your opponents.
© Jonathon Davies 2018