Purpose: Why this article?
The goal of this article is to bring forth to the esteemed reader, the operational strategy of a “Pseudo-Liberal” in an objective manner.
Importance: Why should I read this article?
Time and again, history has shown that the success (or failure) is largely determined by the tools that are employed. For example, the nation of a geographically tiny island in Europe (the British) officially ruled the whole of India for nearly 90 years due to the tools they employed effectively; a combination of “Gun Powder” and “Divide & Rule Strategy”. Similarly, the people of India were able to overthrow the mighty British Empire, once again due to the powerful tool of “National Unity”. Having emphasized the importance of a tool, be it in any aspect of life from social to political to spiritual, let us begin this journey to explore the tools of a “pseudo-liberal”.
Definition: Who is this “pseudo-liberal”?
In simplest of terms, a “pseudo-liberal” is basically an individual who utilizes liberal human values (like liberty and equality) for personal gains be it for monetary gains (money or assets) or for fame (awards or influence).
Characteristics: How can one identify a pseudo-liberal?
As the name indicates such an individual inevitably indulges in hypocrisy, thus deluding the very human values one stands for. For example,
- celebrating “World Hijab Day”, while condemning the tradition of bindi (vermilion mark on the forehead) or pallu (traditional cloth worn)
- denouncing privatization effort while owning (working) in a private firm
- encouraging youth to forgo education and join a revolution, while promoting their own children’s education.
Hence, inevitably a pseudo-liberal falls prey to hypocrisy.
Tools of a pseudo-liberal
One of their powerful tools is “propaganda”. In simplest of terms, propaganda is an effort to spread disinformation “deliberately”. Propaganda works on two levels: direct propaganda and indirect propaganda.
Direct propaganda, which is the primary force of a pseudo-liberal relies on the powerful strategy of “half-truth”. “Half-truth” is a strategy which takes the viewer’s confidence by reporting an event partially, and gradually leads the viewer towards the propaganda by selectively omitting the information. For example, “Mr. Narendra Modi accepts a green shawl but refuses a skull cap” is the totality of the event. But the headlines highlight the aspect of “the refusal” while deliberately omitting “the acceptance” part of the totality.
Direct propaganda has its own strengths and limitations. As seen in the example, the strength of direct propaganda is its “half-truth” nature. It builds the confidence of viewers by reporting an event, and then gradually leads them towards a propaganda by selectively omitting the information. Direct propaganda basically operates on the intellectual level but fails on the level of emotions. From one’s own experiences, it can be observed that emotions are more powerful than all the intellectual knowledge one acquires. Hence, direct propaganda fails to impress on emotional public.
Indirect propaganda: Here comes the second tool of a pseudo-liberal which is designed to operate on the level of emotions. It is said that laughter lightens the heart. Propaganda can be easily coated with a humour which can penetrate and loosen the emotions. Once the power of emotions is lowered using a humour (stand up comedy or laughter shows), the direct propaganda then takes over. These are the two principle tools used by pseudo-liberals in achieving “their” success.
The diagram below captures a comprehensive overview of this article. With political season fast approaching, the reader will find it quite interesting to identify prominent pseudo-liberals across all sections of society from politics to media to intellectual class. It is quite interesting to identify the two types of tools in action. Thank you for taking your time.
Gowrish B. (Ph.D. Wireless Communication, ex. Scientist ISRO, IIT Delhi Alumni)
Kiran A. B. (Ph.D. Public Policy, NLSIU Bangalore Alumni)