Tipping Point: How Crazies Get Control—And How They Can Lose It
March 02, 2019, 10:05 PM
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See, earlier: John Derbyshire On Homosexual Marriage—Could The Pendulum Swing Back?

The Equality Cult is now so powerful that if you question it there is a serious probability you will be ostracized. Indeed, the enforcers have moved on to former allies: tennis champion Martina Navratilova, an open lesbian, has been fired from the advisory board of Athlete Ally [Email then] a charity aimed at helping homosexual sports people, just for saying that “transwomen” are “men who decide to be female” and that allowing them to compete against biological females is “cheating and unfair”. [LGBT group drops Martina Navratilova over transgender comments, Guardian, February 20, 2019] But how do we reach a tipping point where a bizarre minority opinion takes over? And can it be reversed?

Perhaps I’m being overly optimistic, but I suspect the answer is “Yes.” Note that Charles Murray feels the same way:

The speed with which the Trans-rights lobby has altered “acceptable opinion” is quite extraordinary. Condemning Miss Navratilova’s comments as “transphobic, based on a false understanding of science and data,” the charity insisted that she “perpetuate dangerous myths that lead to the ongoing targeting of trans people through discriminatory laws, hateful stereotypes and disproportionate violence.”

But there was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of allowing biological men to compete as women was universally regarded as laughable. Indeed, twenty years ago, the idea of gay marriage or even banning smoking in bars was absurd.

The immigration-critical views espoused on, for example, VDARE.com were perfectly mainstream a few decades ago, before a group of emotional and manipulative postmodernists managed to infiltrate almost every institution of importance. Thus from 1924-1965, immigration to the U.S. was kept low and restricted to traditional sources, and the consensus supporting this was so strong that those who wanted to change it were forced to lie about their intentions.

But in the last decade, just as the Equality Cult has moved ever Leftwards in its constant arms race to find a new “oppressed minority” to virtue-signal about, there has clearly been a backlash.

In the UK, by 1997, it was unthinkable for any politician, other than those on the fringes of the fringe, to criticize Multiculturalism or discuss Muslim child grooming gangs…but now, these issues are openly talked about, even by senior members of the British government. [Sajid Javid defends noting the ethnicity of child grooming gang, by Peter Walker, The Guardian, December 3, 2018]

Defend VDARE.com and you risk being shunned, hence, so many of us write under pseudonyms. But this week it was revealed that head of the Center for Immigration Studies, Mark Krikorian, a think tank “favored” by Trump and cited by him in tweets, had dared to assert: “Some of what VDare publishes is sensible, some of it is not, and some of it is downright scurrilous. Kind of like the New York Times” [Head of Trump Favored Anti-Immigration Group Confronted Over Promoting ‘White Nationalist’ Website, By Caleb Howe, MediaIte, February 20, 2019].

This implies that the sands might be shifting. Research published last year has demonstrated just how they do.

The “tipping point” at which vocal activists are able to change majority opinion to their minority view appears to be 25% of the group. Damon Centola and his team at the University of Pennsylvania have experimentally demonstrated this. [Experimental evidence for tipping points in social convention, By Damon Centola et al., Science, June 2018]

They divided 194 volunteers into 10 groups and had them work together playing an online game in which they had to try to create new social norms. In each round of the game, the volunteers were put into random pairs and were shown a photo of a stranger’s face. They would discuss appropriate names for the face. Then, without consulting each other, they each had to choose the name they felt was most appropriate. At the end of the round, the names were revealed, and they won 10 cents if they’d both chosen the same name and lost 10 cents if they hadn’t.

This mimics the way in which conformity can have a payoff. As the rounds progressed, and even though people only interacted with one of person in their group in each round, the volunteers developed “group-wide conventions” so that everyone ascribed the same name to the same face.

At this point, Centola’s team had vociferous “activists” join the groups, varying how many activists joined each group. They found that if the activists made up less than 25% of the group then their ideas would not take off. But if they composed 25% of the group or more than their ideas always completely replaced the status quo. There was nothing in between these two extremes.

Centola’s team then set up a computer model and found that it precisely replicated real life, with a “tipping point” of 25%. Even when there were very strong incentives to stick with the status quo, the tipping point was raised to a maximum of just 30%.

It seems that once this proportion is reached, confidence in the current dispensation is increasingly undermined and those who disagree with it, but keep their heads down, become increasingly confident about defecting. This explains why the “change” can occur so quickly; why an idea can go from being “extreme” to “mainstream” so fast, as long as those who advocate the new idea do so in a kind of “rabble rousing” and confident way.

Centola’s findings are in line with observational research from the 1970s which found that until women made up about 35% of the workforce in a particular company they would be discriminated against and demeaned. But, once they reached 35%, they began to make alliances with each other and to shift the balance of power in their favor. The result was that the whole “culture” of the workplace shifted to become specifically gaged towards female interests, even though females were still the minority. [The Tipping Point When Minority Views Take Over, By Ed Yong, The Atlantic, June 7, 2018]

This is why who controls powerful institutions is so important. It probably explains why the Left react with such hysteria when they discover that somebody who does not share their views has been appointed to work at a prestigious institution, as they have to the appointment of race realist sociologist Dr. Noah Carl to a fellowship at Cambridge University. His presence at Cambridge opens up the possibility of his views becoming more accepted, more people like him being appointed, and the 25% tipping point being reached.

It is probable that it was through the process outlined by Centola and his colleagues that the Gramscian “March Through the Institutions,” which has seen Leftist ideas take over mainstream American thinking since the 1960s, occurred. As the institutions “tipped” they then influenced society to “tip,” creating a revolution from both below and above. 

The vociferous group could be composed of an ethnic minority who are able, whether consciously or not, to push public opinion in a direction which benefits their ethnic group. Kevin MacDonald has argued in The Culture of Critique that is true of Jews in Western countries, particularly with regard to Multiculturalism. Thus British Jewish Labour MP Barbara Roche was immigration minister when the Labour government opened the floodgates of mass immigration. “I love the diversity of London,” she told an interviewer. “I just feel comfortable”. [Hideously Diverse Britain: The immigration “conspiracy.” By Hugh Muir, Guardian, March 2, 2011]

But more recently, seven Labour MPs have left the party with one, Jewish MP Luciana Berger, proclaiming it “institutionally anti-Semitic”. [Labour anti-Semitism claims: Jewish group backs Corbyn, BBC News, February 21, 2019] Arguably, growing Muslim membership of the Labour Party has caused it to “flip” in an anti-Zionist direction.

So science implies that there is a possibility of reversing the hegemonic power of the Trans lobby—and of the Left in general. Perhaps the fact that the head of a think tank tweeted by the President now dares to compare VDARE.com to The New York Times signals movement in the right direction!      

Lance Welton [Email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.   

 

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