Bannon Bomb Tuesday


A captured image of the Bannon bomb in action.

From Heather Richardson, professor of History at Boston College:

“I don’t like to talk about politics on Facebook– political history is my job, after all, and you are my friends– but there is an important non-partisan point to make today.

What Bannon is doing, most dramatically with last night’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries– is creating what is known as a “shock event.”

Such an event is unexpected and confusing and throws a society into chaos. People scramble to react to the event, usually along some fault line that those responsible for the event can widen by claiming that they alone know how to restore order.

When opponents speak out, the authors of the shock event call them enemies. As society reels and tempers run high, those responsible for the shock event perform a sleight of hand to achieve their real goal, a goal they know to be hugely unpopular, but from which everyone has been distracted as they fight over the initial event. There is no longer concerted opposition to the real goal; opposition divides along the partisan lines established by the shock event.

Last night’s Executive Order has all the hallmarks of a shock event. It was not reviewed by any governmental agencies or lawyers before it was released, and counterterrorism experts insist they did not ask for it. People charged with enforcing it got no instructions about how to do so. Courts immediately have declared parts of it unconstitutional, but border police in some airports are refusing to stop enforcing it.

Predictably, chaos has followed and tempers are hot.

My point today is this: unless you are the person setting it up, it is in no one’s interest to play the shock event game. It is designed explicitly to divide people who might otherwise come together so they cannot stand against something its authors think they won’t like.

I don’t know what Bannon is up to– although I have some guesses– but because I know Bannon’s ideas well, I am positive that there is not a single person whom I consider a friend on either side of the aisle– and my friends range pretty widely– who will benefit from whatever it is.

If the shock event strategy works, though, many of you will blame each other, rather than Bannon, for the fallout. And the country will have been tricked into accepting their real goal.

But because shock events destabilize a society, they can also be used positively. We do not have to respond along old fault lines. We could just as easily reorganize into a different pattern that threatens the people who sparked the event.

A successful shock event depends on speed and chaos because it requires knee-jerk reactions so that people divide along established lines. This, for example, is how Confederate leaders railroaded the initial southern states out of the Union.

If people realize they are being played, though, they can reach across old lines and reorganize to challenge the leaders who are pulling the strings. This was Lincoln’s strategy when he joined together Whigs, Democrats, Free-Soilers, anti-Nebraska voters, and nativists into the new Republican Party to stand against the Slave Power.

Five years before, such a coalition would have been unimaginable. Members of those groups agreed on very little other than that they wanted all Americans to have equal economic opportunity. Once they began to work together to promote a fair economic system, though, they found much common ground. They ended up rededicating the nation to a “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” Confederate leaders and Lincoln both knew about the political potential of a shock event. As we are in the midst of one, it seems worth noting that Lincoln seemed to have the better idea about how to use it.”


About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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11 Responses to Bannon Bomb Tuesday

  1. Den says:

    Bannon, just another nutbag in rich boys feeble army of idiots, too much power too little brain. Dollar falling like a rock, Stock Market too. These bozos are doing their best to destroy us and set themselves up as targets as well.


  2. Den says:

    Firing the AG shows the Administration has no respect for the rule of law.

    Nixon performed a similar maneuver and got himself impeached, we can only hope this Constitutional violation achieves the same results.


  3. David B. Benson says:

    About 3 cm of snow overnight. To my amazement, B Street sidewalk had actually been plowed this morning.


    • David B. Benson says:

      After lunch and an hour talking to Holly for the first time, other than quips during checkout at the register, cleared the snow on the front steps and shoveled away what the snowplow had piled up where the walkway met Illinois Street.


  4. David B. Benson says:

    Those who love Trump

    There are a lot of them.


  5. David B. Benson says:

    Just down to 24 °F and dropping but certainly chills my fingers.


  6. º¿carol says:

    Had to shovel a few inches this morning, could push it with the shovel so it wasn’t too bad. Did it all, the trail to the birdfeeders, the trail out to the bonfire pit and the one around the garage where I will walk Quincy. Now I’m sorry I complained about the rain and said I’d rather have snow.


  7. º¿carol says:

    Why not take a break from all the negativity and learn about each other? 😃

    1. Who are you named after? There is a literal, fascist administration in office in the United States.

    2. Last time you cried? Resist it, unerringly, with all your strength.

    3. Soda or water? A woman, scheduled to be deported, attempted suicide in the airport.

    4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Donate to the ACLU.

    5. Longest relationship? Law enforcement is illegally enforcing the ban, even though a stay has been issued by the court system.

    6. Do you still have your tonsils? Soon, we won’t have the courts to depend on, either.

    7. Would you bungee jump? Get your news from Twitter, not Facebook. FB manipulates what you see. Getting an account is easy. Ask me who to follow.

    8. How many years at current job? Stand up for minorities and women’s health and freedom of the press.

    9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Make sure to take care of your mental health in this tumultuous and stressful time.

    10. Roller coasters? Punching unapologetic actual Nazis is illegal and you definitely should do it every chance you get.

    11. Favorite ice cream? Many of the Democrats are folding. Keep the heat on them, keep writing and calling them.

    12. Favorite thing to do? This is not normal. Don’t act like it is. You can’t ignore this.

    13. Football or baseball? Steve Bannon has said himself he is a Leninist who wants to destroy and remake society, and he is manipulating the POTUS to sow chaos as a pretext for crushing civil liberties and seizing permanent power.

    14. Leggings or Jeans? Install the Signal app to make sure your messages are end-to-end encrypted and stop using FB messenger, Google Voice/Hangouts, and texting, which are easy to spy on.

    15. What are you listening to? Keep up with everything going on, do not let up.

    16. Favorite Color? Prepare for the increased repression of American citizens. It is coming.|

    17. Tattoos? Keep in mind that he is constantly lying to us. Do not believe anything he says. If he says the sky is blue, look up and check it, yourself, or save time and assume that he’s lying.

    18. Married? They still haven’t fixed the pipes in Flint, Michigan.

    19. Hair color? Stop being complicit.

    20. Eye color? Stop being obedient.

    21. Favorite to eat? Stop fooling yourself that you won’t have to fight somehow.

    22. Scary movies or happy endings? Stop being scared. Stand up for what you believe in.

    23. Android or iPhone? America is a country of immigrants. We are better because of our diversity.

    24. Chevy, Ford or Buick? We will not re-center the white working class at the expense of minorities, women, and LGBTQ+ in the hopes of poaching voters. Elevate people less privileged than you who are being actively repressed.

    25. Favorite holiday? It will get worse. You are stronger than you think, and you can take it.

    26. Beer or wine? You have to. We don’t have any other options.

    27. Night owl or morning? Your children and grandchildren will remember you by what you did during these years.

    28. Favorite day of the week? Dissent is American. *All* enemies, foreign *and domestic.*

    Come on….someone do this with me. 😄 Let’s have some fun, take a break from negativity and learn about each other.


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