Author Topic: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy  (Read 1900 times)

Parsad

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8773
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2019, 12:14:49 PM »

One cannot help being a little confused with the constant bragging that “The United States is the greatest country in the world”.

But if that is true, why would it be necessary to  “Make America Great Again”?

Isn’t that a rather demeaning slogan?

After America came out of WWII, it was undisputed leader.  There was wealth & prosperity across almost the whole of the country.  It was so powerful, and so much ahead of most of the other countries, it was almost silly.

Fast forward to today.  America is still a great country...BUT...while America has kinda/sorta progressed, other regions/countries have made tremendous progress.  There are also TREMENDOUS areas of America and segments of the population that are much worse off than they were 30,40,50,70 years ago.

This is VERY easy to see in Detroit.  Detroit was once the richest city in America, was 4/5 largest in the country, was the "Arsenal of Democracy".  There was manufacturing, engineering, scientific knowledge in such quantities that the world had never seen before.  Now?  Not so much.  While Detroit has come back somewhat, it is but a shadow of it's former self.

Unfortunately, Detroit is not the only city to share this fate.  Look at Gary IN, Baltimore MD, St. Louis MO, and many others.  There are also rural areas that are hurting badly.

I think the slogan is meant to rouse people to make things better and that while America is a great place, it can be so much better in the future.

You also have to look at regions of the U.S. that have gained in influence...while Detroit has declined, the triumvirate of San Francisco, San Jose & Sacramento has thrived.  Probably more money, innovation and economic power centered there, than during the heyday of Detroit and Chicago combined.   Cheers!
No man is a failure who has friends!


Cardboard

  • Lifetime Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3308
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2019, 12:25:19 PM »
Very well said DTEJD1997!

And when you say that other countries have made tremendous progress, let's not forget how much sacrifice both the U.S. and Canada have made to help them get there.

Therefore it is interesting when U.S. leadership is telling some of these nations to pay their fair share, NATO for example, that we see such adversarial reaction.

In essence, what we are seeing is an end to the Marshall Plan that had extended to know-how on mass production, technology, medical science all leading to these trade deficits and they don't want to give it up.

In a way it is all human nature or entitlement and preservation of self interest. While I strongly disagree with endless tariffs to no end, something definitely had to be done and Mr. Trump despite his lack of finesse finally brought it to the forefront.

Read the Footnotes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2019, 01:04:32 PM »
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

Cardboard

  • Lifetime Member
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3308
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2019, 01:26:06 PM »
1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer

Isn't this the most recent Democrats playbook?

War against the rich, freebies for all of you deplorables, identity politics?

I did not see too many being demoralized on TV when 30,000 people at multiple occasions chanted: "Lock her up! Lock her up!"

They seemed more like the happiest bunch!

cubsfan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2019, 02:46:49 PM »
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

The divide and conquer strategy was perfected by President Obama in a quest to help the Democrats from stop losing power after the 2010
election losses. Never before have I seen a party get so divisive in a "us vs them" fashion. Many, many white Americans were very proud
voters in 2008 to elect our first black US President. Only to have the tables turned over time - when Obama ditched the message of unity and
resorted to identity politics and divide the country.

Obama was not a dictator - but he sure taught the Democratic Party how to race bait.

cubsfan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1481
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2019, 03:21:10 PM »
Very well said DTEJD1997!

And when you say that other countries have made tremendous progress, let's not forget how much sacrifice both the U.S. and Canada have made to help them get there.

Therefore it is interesting when U.S. leadership is telling some of these nations to pay their fair share, NATO for example, that we see such adversarial reaction.

In essence, what we are seeing is an end to the Marshall Plan that had extended to know-how on mass production, technology, medical science all leading to these trade deficits and they don't want to give it up.

In a way it is all human nature or entitlement and preservation of self interest. While I strongly disagree with endless tariffs to no end, something definitely had to be done and Mr. Trump despite his lack of finesse finally brought it to the forefront.

Yes, very well said both of you.

Many, many years after the US & Canada rebuilt the economies of Europe and parts of Asia - Trump is just saying - enough is enough.
This makes total sense. Trump made a promise to those Americans left behind and an interior that was being hollowed out by
free but not fair trade - and large expenses like NATO, where the US carries the load.

If deficits are so wonderful - why are Germany, China, Mexico, etc - so opposed to running them?

Why don't we run a surplus and take care of our own citizens?

Trump is just keeping his campaign promise to bring employment back to the country.

Politicians (Republicans too) - have been telling those left behind, that this "globalization" stuff would be great for them.
It hasn't worked out that way for many families and workers.

How do you think Trump defeated 16 high quality Republicans in the primaries?  He was the ONLY Republican with a job message that appealed
to the interior of the country. "I'll work to bring back your jobs"

And, of course, Hillary had nothing but contempt for the "deplorables" that were out of work.


no_free_lunch

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1604
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2019, 03:30:23 PM »
Though this is a very US centric thread, it's important to note that the tactics of 1) Demoralize the populace, and 2) Divide and Conquer are among the oldest nasty political tricks in the book and can be applied by any party in any country.

It's important to educate ourselves on their tricks because it steals much of their power.

The book The Dictator’s Handbook: Why Bad Behavior is Almost Always Good Politics by Bueno de Mesquita and Smith and the PBS series The Dictator's Playbook are both good resources. They are complements, not substitutes. Check them both out!

https://www.pbs.org/show/dictators-playbook/

deplorables

Cigarbutt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1904
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2019, 05:21:48 AM »
Today I learned that the cognitive fallacy known as MAGA (Make American Great Again) has a name. Declinism is considered a cognitive bias. Declinism is likely associated with another cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. I have always known that nostalgia was one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools used to manipulate people, but it is great to learn a couple of additional named cognitive biases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosy_retrospection

This reading reminded me that Gibbon in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire argues that the loss of civic virtue brought about the collapse of the Roman Empire. Civic virtue is based upon putting a premium on the good of the community and it also puts a premium on commercial honesty.

It seems to me that Trump's "me first" business practices and Trump before all else political behavior displayed on his multiple phone calls with foreign leaders is not compatible with civic virtue.

Also, the message that everyone is corrupt seems to be an especially toxic message that would undermine even the expectation of civic virtue and reduce the likelihood that members of the populace would consider civic virtue even being a goal for them individually.

Is it great again?
Mr. Gibbon put a lot of weight on the rotting civic virtue from the inside and some aspects of the modern American experience point to a certain decline and to the unsustainable build-up of significant imbalances and unfunded promises.
An example:
https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CIVPART

As a rational optimist, I think the decline is reversible but recovery may be delayed by the present trend related to increasing polarization. Polarization at both ends allows participants to indulge in behaviors that would tend to undermine democratic foundations and institutions. We need more centrist 'reforms', more centrist candidates and more centrist discussions.

Political noise will not go away but the drift has to reverse. The historical imperative needs us to look at the bright side and to carry on.

rukawa

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2019, 11:53:32 PM »
The average American is taking a hit from all sides. This is unprecedented. We always had disruption from technology but never at this break neck internet speed.

The speed now is pretty slow actually. The only major invention is the computer/internet and possibly the smart phone. And though they have the potential to be revolutionary...the truth is that the real computer revolution hasn't even happened yet. If go back to the nineteenth century when the railroad were invented, there was electrification, light bulb, telephone, indoor plumbing. Or you even look at the period when these technologies were rolled out to the masses from 1920-50...the progress was much much more rapid. And there was no welfare state and minimal government during all the nineteenth. Plus there were no regulations. And there were horrendous mass depressions and people were far poorer.

The truth is that compared to any point in human history, Americans have it pretty easy. When I listen to how many excuses are made for failure today I find it hard to square this with what humans had to do in the past to survive. The easier it gets the weaker, lazier and more entitled people appear to become. And as far as I can see the process has no limit.

Today certain things have become impossibilities. Its impossible for poor people to improve their lot without government handouts. Its impossible for fat people to not be fat. Its impossible for people to save money and not spend. Its impossible to diversify an economy without large government investments. But of course you go to other countries or back in history and all these impossibilities are no longer impossible but regular occurrences.

Listening to liberals I'm forced to conclude that I know a lot of supermen capable of impossible things. Somehow though they never appeared very "super" to me.


« Last Edit: October 04, 2019, 11:57:38 PM by rukawa »

Read the Footnotes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 313
Re: MAGA is a cognitive fallacy
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2019, 07:00:17 AM »
I started this thread with these comments in a post about declnism and civic virtue.

Today I learned that the cognitive fallacy known as MAGA (Make American Great Again) has a name. Declinism is considered a cognitive bias. Declinism is likely associated with another cognitive bias called Rosy Retrospection. I have always known that nostalgia was one of the most powerful marketing and advertising tools used to manipulate people, but it is great to learn a couple of additional named cognitive biases.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declinism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosy_retrospection

...

Also, the message that everyone is corrupt seems to be an especially toxic message that would undermine even the expectation of civic virtue and reduce the likelihood that members of the populace would consider civic virtue even being a goal for them individually.

To add to my point about civic virtue, if Trump wanted to make America great again, he should be encouraging good behavior and civic virtue. Instead, by constantly projecting his corruption on to everyone else, he risking the Golem Effect, which is the opposite of the Pygmalion Effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golem_effect

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmalion_effect

Another problem with this Rosy Retrospection and Declinism bias, is that there is a lot of evidence to support the thesis that people in the US two years ago when we needed to make America great again, actually had better odds than anyone ever has in history. The problem that to energize their base, both the Democrats and Republicans have been trying to convince us of the opposite. As evidence to support the argument that things are and have been pretty great in the US, I suggest two books that are quite popular among investors that rebut the cognitive fallacy of Declinism (both are recommended by Gates and I received copies from some of the best investors I know).

https://stevenpinker.com/publications/enlightenment-now-case-reason-science-humanism-and-progress
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlightenment_Now

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Factfulness:_Ten_Reasons_We%27re_Wrong_About_the_World_–_and_Why_Things_Are_Better_Than_You_Think