2021: Welcome to Post-Persuasion America
Welcome to 2021 in post-persuasion America!
I first heard this term used by Steve Bannon, architect of the surprising 2016 Trump campaign, in a PBS Frontline documentary titled “America’s Great Divide.” Speaking way back in the pre-Covid days of early 2020, Bannon asserted the information age makes us less curious and willing to consider worldviews unlike our own. We have access to virtually all of humanity’s accumulated knowledge and history on devices in our pockets, but the sheer information overload causes us to dig in rather than open up. Anyone who wants to change their mind can find a whole universe of alternative viewpoints online, but very few people do (especially beyond a certain age). For Bannon this meant the Trump campaign, and politics generally, was about mobilization rather than persuasion.
Because we can always find media sources which confirm our perspective and biases—and dismiss those which don’t— the notion of politics by argument or consensus is almost entirely lost. And no matter what our political or cultural perspective, there is someone creating content tailored to suit us as stratified consumers. Thus liberals, conservatives, and people of every o
Article from Mises Wire