"It's amazing how much 'mature wisdom' resembles being too tired." --Robert Heinlein

The Church of Reality




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Propaganda is Coercion

Given that the majority of crimes are never punished, to some extent "coercion" is actually propaganda. By that I mean that high profile and arbitrary prosecutions are a form of propaganda meant to convince people to change their behaviors without physically coercing them.

We don't have room in our jails for everybody who uses illegal drugs. We don't have enough cops to give everybody a speeding ticket. We don't have enough attorneys to sue everybody who downloads music ;-) A few people are chosen to serve as examples.


Given that most of what you'd consider "coercion" is actually propaganda, much of what you'd consider "propaganda" is actually coercion. By that I mean, to the extent a person believes that [behavior x] will lead to pain, illness, (imprisonment), death, or everlasting hell, because of a propaganda campaign, then she is coerced. Regardless of whether the proposed punishment ever materializes.

Most coercion is psychological, not physical. We "agree" because we don't want to be punished.

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