Difference between revisions of "Denialism"

From civicintelligence
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Latest revision as of 17:46, 26 February 2014

Political cartoon by Carlos Latuff


This is the adherence to certain beliefs proven to be untrue or refusing to accept as truth something that has been proven to be true. sometimes supported by certain media outlets and pseudo-sciences. Often motivated by religious beliefs, self-interest, or as a defense mechanism out of fear or discomfort.

How It Works

Relieves guilt by taking away responsibility.

Can be used to postpone or eradicate fixing problems that the state doesn't want fixed.

Though proof is presented, individuals continue to deny the proof and adhere to their false beliefs.

Problems can be reframed in a way that they are represented as not being problems at all. Popular beliefs can be played upon to invoke denial of the problem.


Denialism is not just an American problem but a global one as well. The rearrangement of facts or events to support ideas that certain thing never happened or at least they are watered down to the point that they cease to be irrelevant. With the American story this can be best illustrated in the events leading up to the civil war. Modern revisionist historian claim that the war was not about slavery, but state’s rights instead. A quick check of South Carolina’s or Georgia’s declaration of secession will dispel that notion. The denialism of this fact is self-evident; this is a desire to clean up the image for which the south was fighting for by forgetting the reason for the conflict in the first place, the preservation of slavery. On the global scale there is the holocaust denialism; that Nazi Germany did not engage in state sponsored extermination of a race of people. Climate change denialism; that the Earth has not been affected by man’s industrialization of the planet. These are just a few examples of how this anti-pattern/

Linked Patterns

Weapons of Mass Distraction, Dumbing Down, Compartmentalization of Knowledge, Distorting History, Societal Apathy, Media Monopolies, Professional Obfuscation.